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Mention artificial intelligence to most people these days and they'll probably think first of the spectacular creative pieces AI has produced. Imaginative fantasy landscapes, hilarious visual mashups that can turn your dog into a ninja, rap parodies of classic literature, even music that sounds like a lost track by your favorite band: that's where the sizzle is with AI at the moment. It's pretty incredible that such dazzling works of art are just a well-crafted prompt away.
But the role of AI in work management promises to transform work life even more deeply and profoundly than those high-profile creative functions. Professional services, in particular, are ripe for value enhancement by AI's analytical and efficiency capabilities. No wonder those services top the list of industries that will see the impact of generative AI.
Industries that will be most affected by generative AI
by % of total revenue attributed to AI (in parentheses)
- High tech (4.8-9.3%)
- Banking (2.8-4.7%)
- Pharmaceuticals & medical products (2.6-4.5%)
- Education (2.2-4.0%)
- Telecommunications (2.3-3.7%)
- Healthcare (1.8-3.2%)
- Insurance (1.8-2.8%)
- Media & entertainment (1.8-3.1%)
- Advanced manufacturing (1.4-2.3%)
- Consumer packaged goods (1.4-2.3%)
Source: McKinsey Digital
Adobe's big bet on AI: it's not just for artwork anymore
Adobe has naturally been at the forefront of bringing generative AI to professionals and consumers. Its Sensei platform has powered Photoshop features like content-aware fill for years, and 2023 saw the integration of its Firefly machine-learning model into Adobe Creative Suite. Users of Adobe's creative software can now use natural language prompts to generate original imagery, including editable vector art.
As groundbreaking as that is, however, it's only the beginning. Adobe now plans to bring Firefly AI into its Workfront project management software. And the transformations sparked by that move will shake walls far beyond the creative industry.
"We're developing APIs so that our enterprise customers can integrate Firefly capabilities directly into their unique workflows," Scott Belsky, Adobe's Chief Strategy Officer, told attendees of Adobe's October 2023 investor meeting. "Imagine being able to simply tell Photoshop or a product like Workfront what you want to do, and it actually walks you through it."
OK, but what could AI in Adobe Workfront really mean?
We don't really know yet. But Workfront's capabilities suggest some intriguing potential directions.
When Workfront is used as a single operating system of record (OSR), it brings together strategy, resourcing, documentation, and workflows onto one platform. That's where AI could really make things interesting.
The best person for the job. Let's say you need to assign one of the copywriters on your staff to a new project. Right now, you can see on Workfront's Workload Balancer who has capacity. But an integrated AI tool could also match you up with the copywriter who has the best knowledge and experience to meet this brief, based on similar tasks they've completed in the past.
Take the air out of ballooning workflows. Imagine one of your OKRs is to shorten video production time by 10%. Adobe Workfront can show you the actual data from all your completed video projects in the past 12 months. Great, right? But with integrated AI, it could also create an iteration of your video workflow template to reduce the planned duration of tasks that pose lower risk of running behind, adjust task constraints to optimize efficiency between dependent tasks and their predecessors, and/or propose adjustments where tasks can be consolidated or eliminated.
Different strokes for different clients. You've learned that every client of your packaging design company works on a different timeline with different financial constraints. And the data in Workfront confirms it: so far, so good. AI could potentially take that data further by creating customized, client-specific project templates that take all those factors into account, and automatically adjust from project to project according to changing trends.
Again, these are hypothetical scenarios. We don't yet know any specifics about the AI capabilities that Adobe will bring to Workfront. But we know one thing: if the accelerating speed of AI advancements has taught us anything, they'll be here sooner than we think.
Now's the time - and Workfront's the vehicle - to get AI-ready
The pace of AI means that if your company waits to see how these developments play out before committing, you'll already be behind. You can start right now by implementing Adobe Workfront as your team's OSR. Why?
AI is only as good as the data. And Adobe Workfront is excellent for capturing data. When these AI features hit, the organization with a year or two of workflow data will have a big advantage over their competitors who are starting from scratch.
Managers need time to adjust to their new role. A Harvard Business Review study found that managers spend 54% of their time on rote administrative work like approving requests, scheduling employees, and writing routine analytics reports. Only 7% of their time is spend on developing people and engaging stakeholders, and only 10% on strategy and innovation. Expect AI to flip those proportions. Engaging now with Workfront's existing automation capabilities will help managers adjust to the new reality. As work management AI develops, managers will gradually be more and more free to do the strategic work and relationship-building that AI can't do.
Implementing a new OSR takes time. There's no getting around it. No new platform can start out at peak performance the moment the switch is flipped. Even with the help of Adobe Workfront experts like WNDYR, there will be some transition time. Would you rather manage those changes while you're also adjusting to AI, or be ready to smoothly integrate every new AI capability into an already well-oiled machine?
It's easier with a partner
Sound a little daunting? It shouldn't. You can do this. How do we know? Because here at WNDYR, we've helped companies around the world escape the maze of clunky spreadsheets and endless email chains into a low-stress, high-efficiency future. We believe in using complex technology to simplify processes so people can thrive at work. And as an official Adobe Workfront Gold Partner, we're world-class experts in doing exactly that. If you're ready to get ready for AI, contact WNDYR today.