Over the last couple of years, we’ve begun to open up our homes to some new residents. They’re helpful, always quick with an answer, and eager to please. They go by the names of Siri, Alexa, Google, and these voice assistants have been quick to transform how we interact with technology in our homes. Until now, adoption of voice technology in the corporate world has been much slower, with only distinct functions like call centres making any real headway. Yet enterprise adoption is set to become mainstream by 2021. In the process, IT professionals across all disciplines can expect to see the effect, as new skill requirements emerge and others become obsolete. Here are four ways that voice technology will impact IT professionals in the years ahead. Your IT Strategy Will Be Reconsidered We all know that new technologies are rarely a complete success if they’re developed in isolation and bolted onto existing IT systems as an afterthought. The integration simply won’t be seamless enough, and voice technology is no exception to this rule. It has the power to transform the very foundations of how your users will interact with your systems. So it must dovetail into every corner of your IT department, if it’s going to be a success. With this in mind, voice technology is likely to mean that your cloud strategy, your security architecture, your data model, and lots more besides will change. This is a big undertaking for all IT departments, which we cannot underestimate. Nonetheless, it’s better that you do this now, rather than face the prospect of reverse engineering your architecture later, when voice products have been implemented in silos. You’ll Need To Acquire New Skills You might not plan on developing voice technology yourself. However, given the widespread impact that it will have on IT infrastructures, it’s likely that you’ll still need to acquire new skills, in order to integrate with this emerging trend. Most people who have experience in the major coding languages can be easily trained in the additional ‘human factors’ elements that are required by voice technology. You can learn this while you’re on the job, either in your own time or with the support of your employer. While you may not be eager to spend time on training in a skillset that you don’t plan on directly utilising yourself, having a core knowledge of the basic development principles can still be incredibly helpful. After all, the most successful IT professionals demonstrate that they have learnability – the ability to continually adapt their skills to keep up with the break-neck pace of change. Voice Technology Will Bring New Opportunities Of course, there will also be opportunities for people to make a permanent move into the voice technology space, and become a go-to expert in this specialism. Our research found that senior roles like Technical Architects can command up to £75,000 a year, or £550 per day on a contractor basis, with most roles based in the south-east of England. Individuals who are currently working in IT specialisms that are experiencing a reduction in hiring demand may be particularly interested in making the move. For example, whilst demand is still high for C, C++, Java and PHP developers, we’re starting to see this gradually reduce. Make the move into an up-and-coming discipline now, and you might find yourself in higher demand in the years ahead. But You’ll Face New Challenges, Too Every interaction that a customer has with your organisation helps them to build a picture of what your company is really like. Many of these interactions will be with the people who work for your company – your sales team, customer service advisors, and more. But the experience they have when interacting with your technology is equally important, and voice technology is going to rewrite all of the rules. Adopt voice technology too early, and it will frustrate your customers and cause cognitive friction. But if you adopt it too late, it’s likely that potential customers will instead turn to other brands that are easier to engage with. It’s a delicate balance, but it’s one that your whole IT department will need to get right in order to effectively harness this technology. Voice technology will enable organisations to nurture more engaging, personal experiences with their customers. But they’ll only be able to achieve this if they have the right skills in their business to develop this technology, and embed it into the wider IT infrastructure. Those IT professionals that are aware of this emerging trend and align their skills accordingly can expect to be in strong demand in the years ahead. To find out more about the growth of voice technology and how this will impact IT departments, please download our report ‘Industry Insiders: The Rise of Voice Technology’. Alternatively, if you’re interested in speaking to Experis about our latest job opportunities with organisations across the UK, please visit the Experis website.