Gartner has said that it expects virtual employee assistants (VEAs) to be used by 25% of digital workers daily by 2021, up from just 2% in 2019. VEAs include Amazon Alexa for Business and Nokia MIKA; the prior helps employees delegate tasks while the latter helps engineers find answers for completing complex tasks or diagnosing problems.
Annette Jump, senior director at Gartner, discussing the news, said:
“We expect VEAs to be used by an increasing number of organizations over the next three years. Industries such as insurance and financial services are showing strong interest in piloting VEAs internally. We’ve also witnessed VAs being used in IT, customer service and information queries.
IT leaders looking to implement a conversation platform should determine the capabilities they need from such a platform in the short term, and select a vendor on that basis.”
Gartner also claims that by 2023, voice interaction with these applications will be up to 25% from under 3% in 2019. Right now, interaction is text-based but Gartner said the state of speech-to-text and text-to-speech hosted services is rapidly improving, paving the way for more widespread use of voice interactions.
Van Baker, vice president at Gartner also claims that as smart speakers become more widespread in people’s homes, businesses will face pressure to use these devices. The firm said that consumer and business spending on these speakers will reach $3.5 billion in 2021. As an example, Gartner held up the partnership between Amazon and Marriott where Alexa-powered devices help with purchases and management of the room.