It’s been about a week since the Workstorm team returned from Enterprise Connect at the Gaylord Palms in Orlando, FL. The enterprise communications conference was thought provoking and inspiring, and the perfect opportunity to reconnect with colleagues in the field. Enterprise Connect joins the industry’s top leaders and innovators with decision-makers in enterprise IT, communications, customer experience, and networking.

Here are our top three takeaways. Not surprising, they are interwoven with questions around Artificial Intelligence (AI).


Navigating the Interplay between Collaboration, Security, and Privacy 

Balancing security and compliance in the realm of collaboration technology involves a delicate interplay among convenience, security, and privacy. There is no one-size-fits-all solution, and trade-offs are inevitable across these three realms. Securing collaboration platforms involves aspects like identity management, encryption, and data loss prevention, while privacy considerations encompass regulatory compliance, data residency requirements, and user controls.

Monitoring data flow and understanding the various stages data passes through is crucial in maintaining the security and privacy of information. The first step is to evaluate how data is processed, stored, accessed, and made visible on its journey. The next step is to link this to AI integration, as the processing and handling of data (especially in AI interactions) can impact end-to-end encryption.

Vital processes are: Classifying data into categories such as private, confidential, or personally identifiable information (PII) within collaboration systems. Implementing different levels of protection based on the type of data helps strike a balance between security considerations and user convenience. Identifying good use cases for trade-offs, such as protecting intellectual property, securing privileged company communications, ensuring ultra-secure communications in the event of a cyber breach, managing customer service interactions, and complying with various regulations like GDPR and HIPAA.


Vertical Technologies and the Worker  

Vertical technologies offer tailored solutions for diverse workflows and worker types. While most technology solutions cater to knowledge workers, it is crucial not to overlook field and frontline workers with specific workflow requirements. This includes hardware compliance, access to records, mobility apps, and custom APIs. Customers who are embracing holistic views are selecting technologies that meet these specific needs and offer benefits like improved customer experience, problem-solving capabilities for front-end workers, capturing specialized field-worker knowledge, and workflow-specific tools to meet stringent service level agreements (SLAs).

Workstorm recently polled customers in specific verticals; the responses showed the need to build technology to suit the customer’s requirements. During the pandemic, organizations brought in any collaboration tools that could work, i.e., general solutions for knowledge workers. Demands have shifted: customers are now taking time to determine their optimal solution and are asking how collaboration benefits all workers and all workflows.


The State of AI: Customer and Vendor  

In the evolving landscape of AI, vendors are aiming to provide unified solutions with a single tech stack for client service. However, customers may prefer specialized solutions, especially in areas like Contact Center as a Service (CCaaS) and Unified Communications as a Service (UCaaS), where privacy and security are essential considerations.

Workstorm’s focus is on aligning AI initiatives with information governance strategies, addressing agility fragility concerns (adopting changes without the proper infrastructure in place), and navigating challenges like data governance, oversharing risks, and data residency complexities.

By carefully assessing the nuances of collaboration, security, and privacy alongside advancements in AI and vertical technologies, organizations can tailor strategies to meet the evolving needs of today’s dynamic workforce and regulatory landscapes.


Summary: The Race to AI Is a Marathon—Not a Sprint 

Customers are still in exploration mode and not many have fully rolled out AI. They are proceeding cautiously with concerns over governance and customer data, DEI, and total cost of ownership. Organizations who are moving forward are being particularly strategic and intentional by starting out with small use cases to measure real versus perceived value. To stay competitive, customers know they need to consider different technologies and explore all the options. If they haven’t already, employees will begin using AI tools on their own, creating a web of shadow AI problems, particularly for those organizations with strict compliance, industry regulations, and sensitive or confidential information.

Experts are needed at this pivotal time to explicate AI and its impact on security and privacy: talk to the Workstorm team.