Cortana is getting serious traction in the enterprise world, according to a new study that predicts Microsoft’s digital assistant will be neck-and-neck with counterparts from Google and Amazon.
A new survey of IT pros by Pindrop, an Atlanta company focused on voice technology security, found that 78 percent of businesses want to implement Cortana into their operations over the next two years. That’s right up there with the Google Assistant (78 percent) and Amazon’s Alexa (77 percent).
The findings seem to bare out the theory behind Microsoft and Amazon’s surprising Cortana-Alexa partnership: that people, or in this case businesses, aren’t loyal to a single digital assistant. The two companies showed off the first integrations between their respective virtual brains last month.
While Amazon, Google, Apple and others are duking it out in the consumer market with in-house smart speaker, a lot of Microsoft’s focus has been on the enterprise. It has been building out productivity capabilities such as the ability to check email and look for messages from specific people.
Pindrop based its estimates on a survey of 500 IT decision makers at companies around the world that employ more than 100 people.
The survey shows that there is a lot of room to grow in the enterprise market for digital assistants. Only 28 percent of businesses surveyed said they use voice technology today, but approximately two-thirds plan to implement digital assistants for the majority of customer interactions over the next five years.
That said, there are deep concerns about security among survey respondents. And Vijay Balasubramaniyan, CEO and co-founder of Pindrop, said those worries are warranted.
“The proliferation of voice technologies will continue to put consumers’ security and identity at risk. Currently, fraudsters can easily get around existing authentication methods. As businesses adopt the latest voice technologies for the majority of customer interactions, there will be a parallel need for top-notch security.”
More than 85 percent of businesses said customer concerns about misuse of data will slow the adoption of voice technology. And 82 percent of businesses believe consumers are worried about fraud.