BYODA Bring Your Own Digital Assistant to Work

Digital assistants(DA) are ecoming to your work environment! With conversation becoming the next user experience frontier, DAs have the opportunity to become one of the most relevant runtime for the next generation of enterprise software solutions. However, for DAs to become a viable runtime for business applications, they need to be adapted to operate in highly regulated enterprise environments.

A few years ago the enterprise was disrupted by the bring-your-own-device(BYOD) trend which triggered an entire generation of successful products and technologies. Similarly, we should start seeing an equivalent phenomenon with DAs. Let’s call this trend bring-your-own-digital-assistant (BYODA).

The idea behind BYODA is fundamentally simple: In the near future, we should expect expect employees to start leveraging their DAs to perform work related activities such as interacting with documents, consulting data, sending messages and many others. even though we should see some enterprise-focused DA platforms to enter the market in the near future, the bulk of business DA solution are more likely to operate on mainstream DAs such as Alexa, Cortana, Allo, Siri and others.

BYODA in 5 Scenarios

There are many scenarios that will become relevant in order to enable movements such as BYODA. The great news is that, as an industry, we can leverage many of the lessons learned from the mobile-BYOD trend which created many successful products and companies as well as notorious failures. To get the debated started, I’ve listed some of my favorite BYODA scenarios:

1 — Authentication: Users should beable to user their voice from a DA to authentication to corporate networks.

2 — Distribution: Enterprise should customize DA skills based on the roles of specific employees.

3 — Auditing & compliance: DA skill should enable certain levels of instrumentation, logging, auditing and compliance when operating in business environments.

4 — Data Privacy: Conversations with DA skills should dbe protected when operating within enterprise environments.

5 — Access Control: DA skills should factor in user’s corporate roles and attributes in order to enable access to specific capabilities.

BYODA Market Opportunities

Like any other hot movements in enterprise software, BYODA has the potential to create exciting opportunities for startups and venture capitalists that enter the space. Here are some of my favorites:

1 — DA Management Platforms: Just like the mobile device management(MDM) movement during the enterprise mobility days, BYODA is likely to require new platforms for provisioning, securing and operating DAs when operate in enterprise environments.

2 — Voice Identity Management Platforms: Using voice as an authentication mechanism and integrate it with existing corporate platforms such as Active Directory will be key for BYODA to become mainstream in the enterprise. Pindrop Security is a great example of this type of technology.

3 — Enterprise DAs: Of course, BYODA will create opportunities for enterprise-first DAs which could also interoperate with mainstream consumer DAs.

4 — DA Skills Marketplaces: Similarly to enterprise app stores, BYODA will require new marketplace platforms to manage, distribute and provision corporate DA skills.

5 — DA Analytics & Auditing Platforms: BYODA could benefit from platforms that enable advanced analytics, ;logging and compliance capabilities. Mainstream consumer DA skills can be easily adapted to include that behavior when operating in business environments.

CEO of IntoTheBlock, Chief Scientist at Invector Labs, I write The Sequence Newsletter, Guest lecturer at Columbia University, Angel Investor, Author, Speaker.

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