PrintIT Reseller - issue 65

01732 759725 4 BULLETIN Artificial intelligence – friend or foe? The UK public is wary of the impact artificial intelligence (AI) could have on jobs and their personal data but still feel it will be a force for good, new research commissioned by AI think tank and development company, has found. Two-thirds (67%) of people are worried artificial intelligence will result in jobs being lost to machines and 59% have become more nervous about the way their personal data is collected and used since the rise of AI. However, three-fifths believe AI will do more good to the world around us than it will harm. One in three respondents said they do not think AI will ever be able to truly replicate the cognitive ability of humans. Nevertheless, three quarters want to see the UK government do more to govern the way AI technologies are developed and used. IT channel strive to improve customer experiences Companies doing business in IT industry channel are making modest progress to improve their customer experience strategies, according to a new research report published by CompTIA. About two-thirds of the 400-plus channel firms surveyed say they’ve made changes – major and minor – to their approach to the customer experience. Another one-third of companies are considering such actions. Three in 10 responding channel firms say they’ve moved to an omni-channel approach for interacting with customers, using a variety of tools and platforms to foster better communications. An equal number of companies have embraced a hybrid approach, combining some new elements with more traditional go-to- market practices, such as in-store sales and basic e-commerce websites. The balance of companies – about 40% – are sticking with a traditional approach to customer engagement. On the staffing front, 43% of companies surveyed have retrained technical staff; 36% have retrained sales staff; 33% hired dedicated customer service staff; and 31% hired full-time marketing and/or social media professionals. UK companies failing at the basics A survey of UK workers in full or part- time employment, carried out by technology services provider, Probrand. , has revealed that investing in new and expensive technology, whilst not considering the most basic of security steps, is potentially widening companies’ vulnerabilities to cyber-attacks, which cost UK businesses millions annually. 43% of the surveyed workers, who all use IT systems in their workplace, said their company has invested in new cyber security products and services during the past year – but the data shows employees themselves are risking this being undermined through sloppy security practices. Worryingly, 67% said they have a basic password (such as a single word or simple consecutive numbers) at work. Meaning they could easily be guessed or hacked. A further 63% admit that they do not change their password regularly. And in fact, almost one in two (46%) say they have never changed their password since they began working at their company. The data also revealed that more than one on three UK workers report to having used unsecure network connections (e.g. using public Wi-Fi or tethering to mobile phones) when working remotely. Getting from A to B The business transport of the near future is likely to see a mix of company cars and newer, mobility style solutions, according to new research included in Arval Mobility Observatory’s 2019 Barometer. It shows that few organisations would be willing to give up their company cars completely but there is an appetite to use them alongside new and emerging options such as car sharing, ride sharing, private lease vehicles and medium-term rental. Failing at improving productivity One-third (32%) of local councils in the UK have had their IT budgets decreased in the past year, and a further 21% have had their IT budgets remain the same. This is according to a new Freedom of Information request, which also found that only one fifth (21%) of local councils have future plans to invest in workflow solutions, representing only a 6% increase on the same findings from December 2017. This demonstrates that councils are still missing out on significant efficiency gains in various departments, according to Y Soft Corporation, which requested the information. Regional Sales Manager James Turner, said: “This hold on increasing IT budgets could be the reason many do not have plans to invest in workflow solutions, but this will unfortunately slow down any wider digital transformation projects. Automating core processes through software helps councils save money, improve productivity, increase security and improve the accuracy of their data by removing manual input errors.” Technology and people will drive the future of work 85% of business leaders, HR professionals, and learning and development experts believe that the success of the future of work involves a strategic combination of humans and technology. This is according to a poll conducted by Kronos that asked for opinions on the future of work and the role technology plays in transforming the workplace. The poll discovered that while employers understand the need for humans and technology to work in harmony, very few have put this into practice, with only a quarter currently using HR technologies that harness artificial intelligence and machine learning to drive positive transformation for employees. However, nearly half of those who do not currently use AI-enabled HR technologies are planning to do so in the future. James Turner