Early mobile users were content with basic apps such as the Calendar, Calculator, and Clock, but, with the advent of smartphones came an abundance of apps to assist us in every way possible. Today, you have an app for everything and anything, so businesses need to focus on providing a user-friendly experience rather than just maintaining a mobile presence. Next came the shift in trends towards intelligent applications, technologies such as artificial intelligence (AI) and machine learning (ML) have become growth stimulators in various industries. With the integration of more and more systems and devices, AI has become the mediator between machines and humans.
The era of intelligent applications dawned when application developers succeeded in integrating AI into software applications. The rise in demand for advanced analytical tools, and an improvement in technologies such as big data and analytics, has led to the growth of the intelligent apps market. Intelligent apps are no longer considered as an innovation, but a necessity that organizations must provide in order to stay competitive.
What are Intelligent Apps?
The long-gone Microsoft Office assistant ‘Clippy’ could be seen as the humble beginning which would eventually evolve into today’s intelligent apps. Simply put, intelligent apps are applications that leverage historical and real-time data gained from user interactions to deliver relevant, personalized and adaptive user experiences. Intelligent apps use AI-powered algorithms to differentiate between relevant and irrelevant information. Putting this remarkable trait to good use, companies can make real-time changes to their services to improve their position in the market.
Applications of Intelligent Apps
Intelligent applications use all the data they can to respond to changing circumstances and formulate favorable outcomes. Companies can leverage this to bring about digital transformation and deliver rich customer experiences. Large industries are using intelligent applications that collect and process data from a variety of sources and provide real-time experiences using technologies such as machine learning and artificial intelligence.
Coming up are some sectors where intelligent applications are used:
- Finance: Today’s financial institutions are being expected to transform services using advanced technology. With many start-ups taking their claim of the market, more customers are demanding ease of engagement. The evolution of intelligent apps has transformed the financial sector. Intelligent apps have helped institutions improve their efficiency and consumers can better understand and manage their finances through the use of intelligent apps.
- Business: Smart apps have the potential to increase operational excellence in the B2B as well as B2C sectors. This next generation of applications can help employees to carry out their work in an efficient manner, for example an organization could develop an intelligent app to alert employees to respond quickly to emails that require an immediate response. Since smart apps deliver highly personalized and contextual information, employees can quickly filter and streamline information on the basis of their needs. Thus, intelligent apps can be used to enhance output and reduce turnaround time.
- Energy: With the emergence of decarbonization and decentralization, electric utilities and other energy companies are actively exploring effective ways to reduce the imbalance in supply and demand through the use of renewable energy sources in power generation. AI-powered intelligent apps possess tremendous potential to transform the energy and utility sectors. Smart apps can be used to analyze large amounts of data, identify patterns and trends, detect anomalies and make accurate predictions of power requirements. Using predictive analysis, intelligent apps can provide us alerts that help us to improve the equipment O&M and predict downtime, which ultimately enhances the efficiency of the system.
- Media: Today’s media has shifted from traditional broadcast and cable television to real-time streaming. Self-learning, self-controlling and self-communicating standalone intelligent applications have enabled an entirely different aspect of media viewing in recent years. With virtual reality creating totally new environments, coupled with the user’s ability to interact with virtual spaces, intelligent apps powered by machine learning and AI are set to replace various aspects of the industry.
The Future of Intelligent Apps
- Evolutionary Apps: We have already seen that intelligent apps combine customer, product and operational insights to create a more compelling user experience. Thus, the future belongs to intelligent apps. IDC states that “by the end of this decade, more than half of the apps developed will have some cognitive services embedded in them”. People have experimented with neural nets that can look at codebases and dynamically change the user interfaces themselves. Thus, AI-powered apps would be able to think, act and evolve. We already have apps that show functions pertaining to the user, thus offering a more personalized user experience.
- Invisible Apps: One pain that many users experience with apps today is that they have to input a lot of information. For example, when using a normal fitness app to keep track of your daily calorie count, you have to input all the details of whatever you eat (like quantity, ingredients, restaurants). However, the combination of conversational AI and cognition with analytics allows users to input information using voice. Thus, instead of typing everything that you ate, you can simply tell the app, “I had a Big Mac from McDonald’s”. This creates more dynamic user experiences, which customers appreciate. Organizations that plan to develop or that already have apps should take this into consideration.
How can you be future-ready?
As we are gradually moving towards a world with driverless cars, smart homes and everything around us turning smart, intelligent apps are definitely the future. We have come a long way from the basic apps that came with the early generations of mobiles. Even if we do not always see it, at some level, AI is proving to be a potentially useful and promising concept in technology. Organizations using AI have grown from 4% in 2018 to 14% in 2019. (Gartner’s 2019 CIO Agenda Survey).
Along with increasing adoption of AI-powered enterprise applications, specific infrastructure resources need to grow and evolve alongside to ensure high success rates. Instead of pushing for deep machine learning, organizations need to understand how to apply simple machine learning techniques to address their business problems.
CIOs should ensure that their software providers outline proper roadmaps depicting how they incorporate AI to add business value using advanced analytics to advance user experiences. With the widespread use of intelligent applications for business and personal use, companies need to stay up to date on these exciting possibilities.
Tony Joseph - I believe in building technology around processes, rather than building processes around technology. I specialize in custom software development, especially in analyzing processes, refining it and then building technology around it. I work with clients on a daily basis to understand and analyze their operational structure, discover key improvement areas and come up with technology solutions to deliver an efficient process.