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AI Overload: Is it simply enough to implement the tools? Insights from a Microsoft specialist

Purple background with box on the right with AI letters inside

Generative AI. Copilot. Large Language Models. Cognitive Services. Our everyday lives are being flooded with a new form of intelligent tech. While these advancements are exciting, it’s important to maintain a focus on the bigger picture.  

With artificial intelligence taking centre stage at almost every convention, webinar and exhibition, here at Nasstar we’ve been hotly debating how generative AI is and will continue to impact the workplace. 

In this blog, Ross Welham of Nasstar’s Microsoft Practice shares his insights and opinions on the practical steps he thinks businesses need to take in the age of AI, especially in his specialism of employee experience and modern work. 

The dawn of AI in the modern workplace 

“Artificial intelligence isn’t a new technology, but it is becoming the catalyst for change in the workplace and beyond. Remember Clippy and Cortana? We have seen and used this technology before but what is changing is how prevalent and embedded in everyday working it will become. 

“It’s an exciting time for AI. New tools are becoming available all the time, offering solutions to workplace problems and helping us reduce the ‘busy work’ none of us really like to do. At face value, this is great, but simply getting your data in order and implementing these tools into your tech stack isn’t enough to make the most of what this technology can do.  

“Let’s take the newly released Microsoft 365 Copilot. There’s been a lot of talk and hype about how revolutionary this new tool is. Don’t get me wrong, it’s hugely beneficial for businesses in reducing the workload of employees and enabling them to focus on more important and strategic activities. But in its most simplistic form, it’s a digital assistant. While this is helpful, it’s just one part of Microsoft’s AI solutions and shouldn’t necessarily be considered as a standalone solution when integrating AI tools into your business. 

“When we think about how quickly AI has advanced in recent years, it’s only going to continue to build momentum and improve. That’s why it’s important that businesses consider the full AI stack and its capabilities when jumping aboard the Copilot train. Likewise, there are other considerations to think about, including the business needs, changing customer preferences, future growth and how AI would integrate with your current tech stack.” 

Adoption & change management for AI 

“AI tools have the power to change how we work, what we produce, and how quickly we get things done. But what’s equally important when considering using AI in your business, is ensuring your employees know how to get the best out of it.  

“Adopting AI technology requires fundamental change in the workplace and it’s going to take some time for people to get used to it. It’s a new way of working and interacting for some, but for others it may be perceived as a threat to job security, or yet another workplace tool in an already crowded suite. Without proper awareness and promotion of personal benefits, your business could experience resistance and an inability to use the tools to their full potential. This is where an adoption and change management strategy is key.” 

The people factor 

“A lot of conversations at Nasstar currently revolve around the human aspect of change, especially in relation to the implementation of AI tools. For example, the internet is over 30 years old and prevalent in everyday life. For some, they have never known a life without it. It has conditioned our behaviour to search for information using keywords while expecting the right answer the first time.  

“That search-based behaviour just won’t work moving forward. To fully embrace AI and reap its benefits, a fundamental mind shift is required. More importantly, this AI experiential change in the workplace will occur in months, not years.  

“This shift is essential for fully embracing AI. People will need to become accustomed to iterative interactions rather than individual actions, providing information as if they are delegating to a fellow colleague. They’ll need to use details, parameters and clearly set expectations to achieve the right outcome. 

“From an adoption and change perspective, personal development will benefit greatly by focusing on themes such as: 

  • Analytical judgement and emotional intelligence 
  • Creative evaluation of outputs generated by AI 
  • Intellectual curiosity to work with AI 

“At Envision, Microsoft emphasised the importance of fostering a workplace culture that supports these new ways of working for every employee, where curiosity is actively promoted, and innovation is more than just an aspiration. It’s no longer sufficient to teach someone to use something new. We must consider how a cultural change movement is embedded to ensure it resonates with every employee from the very beginning of their personal AI journey. 

“The primary objective for businesses considering AI should be employee engagement in the first instance. Start building a culture of curiosity where the prospect of AI generates excitement and opportunities to innovate. Don’t forget, many people are still fearful of the change this technology brings and the impact it could have on their career. Simply telling your workforce that AI is happening won’t cut it here. 

“Historically, digital transformation involved a business deciding on a new technology, implementing it and then informing people afterwards. However, Nasstar advocates a top-down approach where the people part of the conversation is a continuum; before, during and most importantly, after the immediate change. This empowers people to not only get on board with change before it’s sprung upon them, but to be business champions and active participants in driving innovation derived through these emergent technologies.” 

How Nasstar can help 

If you’re considering implementing AI tools in your business, whether M365 Copilot or something else, speak to our team about how we can help you get ‘people ready’ for organisational change. Our teams have a breadth of experience in supporting organisations to create a user-centric approach to adoption and change management, considering your people, technology, and business strategy.  

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