From embedding it into Bing to enabling Copilot in Microsoft 365, Microsoft is making the power of generative artificial intelligence accessible to everyone. This will enable employees to spend less time on basic tasks and focus more on higher value activities.
However, generative AI needs guardrails to be effective and maximise its return on investment. The preparation involved in developing these guardrails centres around basic foundations but requires a very deliberate application in our enterprise environments. Kyndryl is helping customers to implement the many steps involved, including:
1. Content management
Copilot is a catalyst for modernising enterprise content management strategies and organisations should take the opportunity to streamline their systems.
Organisations should modernise their document repositories as much as possible, whether it be by consolidating into Microsoft SharePoint from legacy platforms or migrating from an old on-premises version of SharePoint to the latest online repository. It creates a single, enterprise search ready, location for Copilot capabilities to draw from and offers a way to improve storage costs, security and the employee experience as they navigate the information they need to do their jobs.
2. Information architecture and data hygiene
Microsoft uses the term ‘just enough access’ when highlighting the importance of content access control. Applying a smart approach to information management helps to prepare your organisation for search by the Semantic Index for Copilot. Managing use cases, identifying the right strategies for access control, and having the tools to manage the life cycle of this is vital to the effectiveness of Copilot. This includes controls for data loss prevention and data classification, content sensitivity labelling and tagging, and policies to limit access.
3. AI governance
An AI council helps our customers to enact policies that aid the adoption of AI and ensures corporate policies are aligned to the AI use cases.
A council can evaluate use cases for business fit, ethics, security and priority of investment. This applies to enabling Copilot, and the various ways employees are empowered to use it.
4. Organisational change management
Driving adoption is key with the rollout of any technology, and organisations should be utilising champion groups, education sessions and community spaces to ensure their employees can maximise the potential of AI.
By creating awareness campaigns and sharing best practices for prompting, employers can improve their ability to adopt Copilot as well as the employee experience.
Organisational change management includes license entitlement where organisations decide who will get access to Copilot. It is a great tool and can boost creativity and efficiency for those who can take advantage of it, and it will vary for each organisation.
Kyndryl recommends a framework that can be used upfront with supporting tools to enact the choices you make. For example, we often hear that Copilot is being targeted at executives or directors, but there are better ways to identify exactly who should get a licence. By looking at your employee’s workloads and file usage you can better determine who is creating material on a routine basis, meaning you can target those who would benefit the most from Copilot.
With any software, the correct licensing is important to manage cost and Microsoft offers many licences that meet the needs of different organisations. Kyndryl has saved customers millions of dollars by ensuring the right licences are applied providing employees with the right level of access to capabilities in the Microsoft 365 suite.
This is just a brief overview of the ways organisations can integrate Microsoft’s AI technology into their workspace and, as customer zero, Kyndryl leverages the same AI capabilities when it delivers to its own customers.
Vevek Lochub is director of automation and transformation, Dennis Perpetua is a distinguished engineer, and Ron Xavier is technical business development executive at Kyndryl
This article was originally published in the Autumn 2023 issue of Technology Record. To get future issues delivered directly to your inbox, sign up for a free subscription