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Harnessing huge data and smarter software to achieve the intelligent enterprise

Sam Liew, Managing Director and ASEAN Technology Lead at Accenture | Aug. 6, 2015
Software and cognitive computing will lead to even greater levels of organisational intelligence by extending a machine’s ability to sense, comprehend and act.

Sam Liew, Accenture
Photo: Sam Liew

For years now, business and technology leaders have been drawn to a new corporate ideal: a powerful, productive, and exceptionally intelligent organisation whose competitive edge comes from its pervasive use of data to drive decisions.

However, most enterprises are struggling to fully utilise their data, as they deal with the complexities of identifying, capturing, categorising, analysing and sharing it throughout the data supply chain. Currently, only 28 percent of businesses believe that they are generating strategic value from the data they collect.

The answer to this problem lies in software intelligence. Applications and tools are now equipped to help companies make informed business decisions about their customers, products, competitors and markets.

Software intelligence encompasses a range of artificial intelligence technologies that ingest data to trigger automatic action, such as rule-based programming, machine learning, cognitive computing, natural language processing (NLP) and computer vision for image recognition.

As discussed in the Accenture Technology Vision 2015 and the trend on the “Intelligent Enterprise”, digital companies must stretch their boundaries to view software intelligence as a core capability, one that can elevate operational excellence, power innovation more rapidly and serve customers more effectively.

In the past, employees relied on perfectly adequate software to make business decisions. But we are looking at a future where software will help machines make decisions that empower businesses to run more efficiently, innovate more rapidly and serve customers more effectively.

According to 80 percent of survey respondents, we are in an era of software intelligence where applications and tools will take on more human-like intelligence. Some 78 percent of respondents also believe that software will soon be able to learn and adapt to our changing world and make decisions based on learned experience.

These unprecedented advances in software intelligence will come from an influx of big data, backed by a proliferation of connected devices as well as advances in processing power, data science and cognitive technology.

Accenture envisions companies navigating a software intelligence maturity curve. Many businesses are already at the earliest part of the curve: using rule-based algorithms to automate basic processes, like filtering unwanted email into a spam folder. This type of automation adds much-needed horsepower for tackling longstanding data challenges.

Automation is also helping companies set up, configure, and manage today’s massive data centres; they are now larger and more complex than ever in order to handle big data.

The next stage in the maturity curve is machine learning: leveraging massive amounts of data to identify new associations, and using the resulting insights to self-evolve, learn, solve future problems and make novel discoveries.


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