News / Enterprise chatbots pose great security and integration challenges
By Anurag Lal, Jul 08, 2016

Mobile messaging is growing. It has surpassed the popularity of social networking apps. For consumers, mobile messaging has quickly become their communication preference for personal and even business communication. A study found that many employees are using consumer-facing messaging apps such as Facebook Messenger or WhatsApp throughout the workday to communicate with colleagues, external partners, stakeholders, and clients. Unfortunately, these consumer-facing apps aren’t created with the enterprise in mind, and they lack key capabilities vital to use in the enterprise — especially security.

In light of this, many enterprise-specific mobile messaging platforms, from Google and Microsoft in particular, have emerged, and a few consumer-facing services have made significant changes to become more appropriate for enterprise use. Chatbots are beginning to experience a similar lifecycle. Chatbots like Microsoft’s Cortana and the Google Assistant and even Amazon Alexa have had great success with consumer adoption. Just like messaging apps, enterprises are now looking for ways they too can embrace chatbots. However, enterprise chatbots require a higher guarantee of the integrity of the information exchanged, as well as increased security commitments.

Implementation for the enterprise

Chatbots in the enterprise are a brand new phenomenon and are largely being introduced by service providers already accommodating the enterprise market with solutions such as enterprise-grade mobile messaging platforms. Enterprise chatbots, unlike their consumer counterparts, need to be more custom, relevant, and pertinent to the enterprise user in order for employees to embrace and use them. For example, they might need to tie into a backend like Oracle or SAP, which makes the configuration much more complex than WhatsApp. Within the enterprise, chatbots should function as an all-encompassing resource and tool for employees, one that is also confidential and secure.

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