Why Not Work With a Bot?

To help IT Leaders shape their future workplaces, Gartner explored the need for people and technology to come together to build tomorrow’s businesses, platforms, and ecosystems. The research took into account the extent to which machines are capable, and the extent to which humans are accepting of them while considering different combinations of key, strong and uncertain forces on the roles of machines in the workplace.


This research outlines four scenarios and provides recommendations for how IT leaders can manage machine-human workforces.

Scenario No. 1: Minibot proliferation

Machine capabilities are limited, but humans are comfortable with the presence of large numbers of simple, focused machines.


Recommendations: Build sticky relationships with highly skilled talent. Invest heavily in bot support, skills upgrades and other elements of the employee value proposition.

Scenario No. 2: I’d rather have a bot for it

AI drives both software- and hardware-centric bots that surround people in their day-to-day lives, making machines widely accepted throughout society.


Recommendations: Manage robots and virtual assistant resources to maximize productivity, with continual reassessment and reprovisioning of these assets. Optimize cybersecurity capabilities to fend off threats and produce competitive advantage.

Scenario No. 3: Bots go bad

Highly capable machines are present, but rejected by humans. Humans are effectively in an ongoing conflict with machines, which operate outside the boundaries of society and the law. This is the darkest scenario.


Recommendations: Invest heavily in risk management capabilities, including cybersecurity, to increase resilience amid uncertainty. Build trusted networks of employees and workers who are aligned to a common higher-level purpose.

Scenario No. 4: Bots can’t drive

Machines are not always reliable, sometimes unsafe and can’t be trusted to make important decisions. Humans largely reject the presence of machines in their lives and offices.


Recommendations: Create a strong governance policy for the use of machines. Develop “bot master” certification programs. Update ethics and value statements that can be used as a tool for communicating machine guidelines. Purchase robot insurance to protect against damaging failures.

The challenges and opportunities of bots will be covered at Gartner Application Architecture, Development & Integration 2019, 11 – 12 March in Mumbai, India.

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