The technology-enabled data explosion is making it harder than ever for businesses to keep up in terms of effectively managing data to drive better business outcomes. Increasingly, applications are becoming valuable business assets in overcoming this challenge.

In my previous post, I talked about how liquid applications (one of three new applications strategies for helping businesses keep pace with software-driven change) drive speed and agility in software development and deployment. Intelligent applications are the second of these three strategies.

Intelligent applications can make your business smarter.Intelligent applications help businesses more effectively interact with customers, determine how to buy and sell products and services, and uncover new product insights.

Intelligent applications allow firms to apply intelligence in every aspect of the business to improve business functionality, in large part by helping firms manage—and make the most of—the increased volume and velocity of data they are inundated with on a regular basis. Improved knowledge about the customer and the ability to quickly respond to customer behavior combined with large amounts of non-fully exploited customer information in real-time will help firms better retain their more valuable customers while attracting new ones—anytime and anywhere.

What intelligent applications do

Much like humans, intelligent applications have the ability to comprehend, act and learn. Through high-powered data analytics and processing capabilities, they transform the runaway complexity of today’s business environment into high-performance outcomes—helping firms increase the business value of both internal and external data.

Factors that are influencing and allowing intelligent applications include:

  • Increased processing power
  • Advances in data science
  • Innovation in natural language processing, machine learning and cognitive computing

These developments allow software to automate decision making using rule-based algorithms, as well as independently evolve and innovate using advanced learning techniques.

Imagine a world in which you could predict your customer’s behavior and act accordingly to offer them the right product or service at the right time—and always with a brand-consistent experience.

Intelligent applications and critical capabilities

Intelligent applications transform the business environment through the following three critical capabilities:

  1. Intelligent automation. Intelligent applications automate routine tasks— reducing complexity, improving productivity and accuracy, and freeing up human resources for jobs that need a human touch. These applications can be especially valuable to companies in terms of reducing legal, business and compliance risk—for example, analyzing network traffic to root out rogue traders, market manipulators and policy violators.
  2. Integrated analytics. Integrated analytics create systems that independently analyze and comprehend data, then integrate and embed that data into processes to drive improved performance. For example, by putting pieces of data together and creating predictive models, intelligent applications can drive better customer experiences and new business opportunities. 
  3. Self-governance. Digital agents are intelligent applications that have been taught to think, learn and govern themselves. Often digital agents are applied to customer service situations—where they are able to understand and respond in multiple languages, search repositories and develop answers. Intelligent applications have the ability to evolve and adapt to the data they ingest, thereby altering their behavior and expanding their capabilities based on experience—much like humans do.

Applying intelligent applications to your business

Firms should take steps to embed intelligent applications throughout the business in order to improve not only which applications are built but also how they are built. Here are three suggestions for embedding intelligent applications across your firm for greater effectiveness:

  1. Apply intelligent automation to the application lifecycle process. Look for opportunities to automate all application stages, from development, through testing and deployment, to maintenance. The accumulated knowledge and experience gained will drive a continuous improvement cycle—resulting in better productivity, leaner processes and enhanced cost-savings.
  2. Integrate analytics with business processes. In the digital age, data is everywhere. Intelligent applications can harness that data and embed it into the organization in numerous ways. By integrating Big Data and analytics directly into business processes and applications, firms can avoid the need for a separate analytics function while significantly improving business performance.
  3. Teach applications to act. Digital agents are an adjunct workforce. Firms should take every advantage of opportunities to embed this type of automated decision making into the normal flow of business processes.

In my next post, I’ll share how you can expand your firm’s reach with connected applications.

For additional detail, please see:

The Future of Applications: Three Strategies for the High-velocity, Software-driven Business


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