Is Enterprise Software Ready for the Personal Digital Assistant?

Its 2018.  You are woken early by your alarm and see on the screen that traffic en-route to your first meeting is heavy.  As you walk into the shower your home sensors know its you and that your preference is to hear your calendar for the day which is played through the speakers which integrate to your calendar.  As you drive navigated by the location information in your calendar to your client meeting important and relevant information is played about the people you are meeting, their business challenge and the latest from the CRM system.  And then the day proceeds…….


(Credit to @FedericaTroni for the framework to that story)


The questions:

  • Where will the data from your personal digital assistant come from?
  • Where will the data for your personal digital assistant be processed?


I don’t think the industry have fully addressed these questions yet but you can see that Apple with Siri and Google with Now/Glass are pushing foward assuming the user owns and has access to all that data; however the enterprise also feel they own a lot of that data.  The impact on the enterprise for saying no to personal devices has brought BYO to the fore.  I cannot imagine that when these devices are capable of making knowledge workers lives much more efficient that key employees will run headlong into adopting these technologies.  The questions we all need to be getting ready for are:


  • How do we enable enterprise data to be consumed by personal digital assistants?
  • If the enterprise tries to ”stop” or “control” this data flow what risks will be posed?
  • If the enterprise allows this data flow what risks are posed?


There are big questions about the link between the smart device, enterprise clouds and personal clouds that we need to be ready to answer and pushing our suppliers to answer.  There are also big questions about containerization with respect to isolating data from the native capabilities of a device and hence a personal digital assistant.


digital assistant


Food for thought.


(Credit also to @SteveRichards and @GrahamChastney who have both had various “water cooler” discussions with me on this)


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