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The AI mix – why knowledge is the essential ingredient

Author - Lee Beardmore, CTO Capgemini Business Services


Empower your knowledge workers to develop a “corporate memory.”

I’d like to ask you a simple multiple-choice question: if you want to find out the answer to a particular question, what should you do?

  1. Get out your 20-volume Encyclopaedia Britannica set and leaf through its dusty pages hoping to find the right answer.
  2. Phone your mother-in-law because she knows everything, and mothers-in-law are always right, even when they’re wrong.
  3. Go to your local pub on a Friday evening and talk to the barman hoping to engage the locals in some intelligent conversation.
  4. Ask Google.

While choosing a), b), and c) may well give you the correct answer – albeit over elaborate or downright nonsensical, depending on which multiple choice answer you chose – if your answer isn’t d) then it’s likely you’re still living in the last millennium.

I think it’s true to say, if ever we need the answer to any sort of question, we go straight to Google – and we usually get the correct answer in a matter of seconds.

The rise of knowledge workers …

Although organizations spend vast sums of money on technology to automate processes, they don’t typically invest in developing “corporate memory.” The reality is, knowledgebases used to create a repository often end up being a corporate landfill – content goes in, never to be seen again.

More often than not, employees solve questions related to issues they face in the workplace by reverting to getting help from a colleague, which can lead to a reduction in productivity. On top of that, when knowledge needed for successful operation of the business is stored primarily in people’s brains, it can be lost through employee attrition. This also represents a loss of investment in people by the organization.

To this end, organizations should focus on institutionalizing corporate knowledge in a way that is easy and efficient to access and consume, harvesting from their employees and empowering knowledge workers to develop and secure this very important asset of “corporate memory.”

… is giving birth to the intelligent enterprise

At Capgemini, we’ve leveraged the Google thought process to empower our people with knowledge of how to “find” the answer to a question, rather having to “know” the answer. This requires a mindset that is more closely aligned with that of Millennials who have grown up with the mentality and culture of getting their answers from Google.

It’s about empowering the knowledge worker to ensure they have access to the answers they need to get the job done in a timely manner, making sure the risk of attrition from a knowledge and delivery perspective is removed, and driving as much of the process execution into technology, so knowledge workers can focus on more complex tasks that require access to answers from the corporate memory.

Enter Prescience

Adopting a knowledge-centric culture and a concerted technological approach underpinned by Prescience™ – Transversal’s cognitive technology platform for next-generation knowledge – to capture, maintain, store, and curate knowledge, is helping Capgemini deliver a range of business outcomes to our clients. These include:

  • 75% reduction in query handling time.
  • 60% reduction in query volumes through self-service adoption.
  • Up to 50% reduction in basic training time.
  • As a consequence, significant improvement in customer experience scores.

Knowledge really is the essential ingredient, and it’s all about getting the knowledge out of your peoples’ heads, empowering your knowledge workers, and changing the culture of your organization to develop an intelligent enterprise.

This blog is based on a webinar entitled “The AI mix – why knowledge is the essential ingredient,” in which Lee shares his experience on the range of technologies that can be combined to deliver the “Five Senses of Intelligent Automation” – the bedrock architecture on which Capgemini’s service delivery is deployed around the world.

Lee Beardmore is Chief Technology Officer at Capgemini’s Business Services, and has spent over two decades advising clients on best strategies for technology adoption. More recently, he has been leading the push in AI and intelligent automation as the CTO for Capgemini’s Business Services. Lee is a computer scientist by education, a technologist at heart, and has a wealth of cross-industry experience.