You may have heard the words ‘Microsoft Copilot’ being used when looking at recent trends in AI – Well, the new AI offering from Microsoft is being released next year. Microsoft are betting big on Copilot, having invested 13 billion dollars over the last 4 years into Open Ai (the power behind household name Chat GPT). This investment now has tangible functionality and is set to change how everyone works – if you are on board and ready to embrace it.
Copilot – What is it?
The name speaks for itself – which is unusual for Microsoft who are known for releasing a product with an ambiguous name and then rebranding down the line. Think “Microsoft Entra”, which was “Active Directory” for years.
Copilot is exactly that, it is your own personal assistant or copilot whilst you go about your day-to-day work within the Microsoft stack. As you work within the applications, (Word, Excel, PowerPoint etc.) you can call upon your copilot to do the heavy lifting. Convert sheets of data into digestible charts, ask for analysis on that data and get insights based on the questions you ask. You can then bring that to life in seconds in a power point presentation. Whilst copilot won’t complete the task for you, your new assistant will get you 60-80% of the way there so you become the editor rather than the creator.
Why does it matter?
It's an opportunity to move the goal posts on productivity! It has been well reported that productivity has stagnated after the last technology boom: (Ref- UK productivity slowdown worst since Industrial Revolution)
In Q3 2023, productivity was 0.3% lower compared with a year ago (Q3 2022).
Microsoft believes that making a move towards user-friendly, integrated, and secure tools within your own tenant is the solution to address productivity challenges. You're hungry for tech, savvy staff will want access to it, and your more hesitant team members will soon see the benefits after a few runs. This isn’t about replacing staff with computers, this is about enabling your staff to do more, achieve more and spend more time on the tasks that add value to your business.
What you need to know
Right now, the functionality is only available to a select group of Microsoft enterprise customers, but general release is due before the middle of next year. It is being advertised as $30 per person/month, and you can expect it to come with an equivalent pound price.
This may sound like a significant amount on the surface, but the business case speaks for itself. If you allocate a copilot license to every role that should have one (it does not have to be made available to all staff), and the tool saved a person 30 minutes in a month it will have paid for itself. Plus, anything beyond those 30 minutes is a bonus, showing that if used properly the return on investment is very compelling.
One aspect to consider is your data and policies; this is the less exciting part, but it is very important to ensure your business and data are protected. To let AI run inside in your business, you need to be sure your data and access policies are well defined and proactively managed. AI will seek out information it is asked for and therefore without well-defined policies and document control in addition, you could find potential information landing in the wrong hands.
However, consider this policy and document management task the equivalent of having to endure the airport, security, and long flight before you arrive at your beautiful holiday destination. It is all worth it to experience paradise!
T-Tech can provide a light touch review to assess your readiness – if you want to get involved with copilot then now is the time to act.