Cognitive Apps Power The Future Of Autonomous Enterprises

Cognitive applications run mission-critical business systems in a continuous, self-driving, self-learning, auto-compliant, self-securing, and self-healing approach. These AI driven systems intelligently automate transactional systems and processes such as campaign to lead, order to cash, procure to pay, incident to resolution, concept to market, and hire to retire. The goal of an autonomous enterprise is to continuously automate precision decisions at scale. Why? Transactional applications have run their course. Pressure to reduce margins, technical debt, and investment in core systems create tremendous pressure for automation. Customers seek cognitive based approaches in order to build the foundation for AI driven precision decisions. The benefits include less staffing, reduced errors, smarter decisions, and security at scale. The quest for an autonomous enterprise starts with a desire to consider what decisions require intelligent automation vs human judgment.

Inside The Five Levels Of Autonomous Enterprises

Constellation identifies five levels of autonomous enterprises and predicts when these cognitive apps will deliver full autonomy in this $10.35B market by 2030 (see figure 1):

Figure 1. Understand Five Levels Of Autonomous Enterprises


Level 1 Autonomous Enterprise: Basic Automation

In this level, the system can provide basic task and workflow automation.

When? Today.

Includes: Basic process automation tools such as BPM, manual instrumentation and control, and intelligent workflow automation

Who’s in control? Humans are still in control and guide many manual steps.

Level 2 Autonomous Enterprise: Human Directed

Level 2 enables human directed automation of business processes.

When? Current state of the art

Includes: Robotic process automation, process mining tools, journey orchestration tools, machine learning algorithms, natural language processing

Who’s in control? Humans direct major decisions, minor decisions automated over time with some effort in training

Level 3 Autonomous Enterprise: Machine Intervention

Level 3 delivers automation with occasional machine intervention

When? The next big thing in 2020

Includes: Cognitive applications, neural networks, GANS models, contextual decisions, and next best actions.

Who’s driving? Humans still on standby, but can be hands-off for periods of time

Level 4 Autonomous Enterprise: Fully Autonomous

Level 4 presumes that the machines can deliver full automation but not sentience

When? Sometime in 2023

Includes: AI Driven smart services, full automation, self-learning, self-healing, and self-securing.

Who’s driving? Machines fully automated

Level 5 Autonomous Enterprise: Humans Optional

Level 5 achieves full sentience and humans may no longer be needed.

When? 2030

Includes: Fully autonomous sentience, empowering precision decisions at scale

Who’s driving? Humans fully optional

The Bottom Line: Expect Level 4 Autonomous Enterprises To Emerge In 2023

The pioneering work with early cognitive applications show exponential progress in achieving Level 4 status by 2023. Organizations will have to rethink how they work with their transactional applications, future data-driven digital networks, and distributed compute and storage environments. The future is autonomous. Machines will deliver services that are continuous, auto-compliant, self-healing, self-learning, and self-aware. The need for greater precision decisions will require connections to data-driven digital networks and for more and more sources of data. This battle for public, private, and shared data will shape who wins in new networked economies that form the future of this autonomous decade (see video).