Enter the age of Algorithm Economy
February 25, 2020
Algorithms will not only drive scores of business processes, but also build other self-intuitive algorithms, much as robots can build other robots. And rather than using apps, future users’ lives will revolve personalized algorithms to drive individual choices and behaviors.
Enterprises will license, trade, sell and even give away non-lynch pin algorithms and single-function software snippets that provide new opportunities for innovation by other enterprises. Enterprises will also partner with cloud-based, automated suppliers with the industry expertise to advice on ways to avoid future risk and adapt to technology trends.
Imaginative thinking ! but it’s no surprise that future value will come from increased density of interactions, relationships and sharing between people, businesses and things ̶ or what I call “ Algorithm Economy “ .The greater the maturity of algorithms , the greater potential value you can reap. We’ve seen interconnection coming of age for a while now and have invested heavily in a platform to empower enterprises with fast, direct and secure interconnections with business partners and network and cloud service providers.
Redefining Business Architecture with Algorithms
The term “algorithm economy” is relatively new, but the practical use of algorithms is already well established in many industries. In my opinion , CXOs must begin designing their algorithmic business models, both to capitalize on their potential for business differentiation, and to mitigate the possible risks involved.
Established businesses need to adopt a “bi modal strategy” and build what I called an algorithmic platform, completely separate from legacy systems, that harnesses repository of algorithms, interconnections, the cloud and the Internet of Things (IoT) to innovate, share value, increase revenues and manage risk.
New platforms based on this bimodal model should be far simpler, more cloud-based and more flexible than in the past, with the ability to add and remove capabilities “like Velcro” to support new short- and long-term projects. At the same time, IT should start divesting itself of older systems and functions that are outliving their usefulness or could be better done by other methods. The significant development and growth of smart machines is a major factor in the way algorithms have emerged from the shadows, and become more easily accessible to every organization. We can already see their impact in today’s world, but there is much work ahead to harness the opportunities and manage the challenges of algorithmic business.
CXOs should examine how algorithms and intelligent machines are already used by competitors and even other enterprises to determine if there is relevance to their own needs. The retail sector has long been at the leading edge of using smart algorithms to improve business outcomes. Today, many retail analysts believe that the algorithms that automate pricing and merchandising may soon become the most valuable asset that a retailer can possess. In HR function, algorithms are already transforming talent acquisition as they are able to rapidly evaluate the suitability of candidates for specific roles, but the same technology could easily be applied within an enterprise to allocate workloads to the right talent. In healthcare, the open availability of advanced clinical algorithms is transforming the efficiency of healthcare delivery organizations and their ability to deliver care. The practice of sharing and co-developing algorithms between enterprises with mutual interests could be relevant to most enterprises.
The Challenges of Algorithm Economy
The advances and benefits of algorithm economy will come hand in hand with obstacles to navigate. Whether the problems are anticipated or unexpected, as quantum computing becomes more pervasive, the implications have the potential to make or break organizations. For example, an extreme point of view is that any beneficial effects of algorithms on humanity may be nullified by algorithmically driven systems that are antithetical to human interests. Or, while an algorithmic business model may be deployed with good intentions, it could be manipulated by malicious humans to achieve undesirable outcomes. Undesirable, at least, from the point of the view of the person or organization that owns or controls the algorithm. Algorithms rely on the data they are fed, and their decisions are only as good as the data they are based on. Moreover, tricky ethical problems that do not necessarily have a “correct” answer will be inevitable, as a greater complexity of decision making is left in the hands of automated systems.
The scale of change that is made possible by smart machines and algorithm economy warrants considerable planning and testing. Enterprises that fail to prepare risk being left behind or facing unexpected outcomes with negative implications.
The Transformation required in Algorithm Economy
Making sense of all the data about how customers behave, and what connected things tell an organization, will require algorithms to define business processes and create a differentiated customer experience. Algorithms will evaluate suppliers, define how our cars operate, and even determine the right mix of drugs for a patient. In the purely digital world, agents will act independently based on our algorithms, in the cloud. In the 2020s, we’ll move away from using apps to rely on virtual assistants – basically, algorithms in the cloud – to guide us through our daily tasks. People will trust personal algorithms that thinks and acts for them. Take this to another level and the algorithms themselves will eventually become smart by learning from experience and producing results their creators never expected.
The Final Frontier
Therefore, we have to get the architecture of algorithms robust and steady to derive meaningful objectives. In essence, algorithms spot the business moments, meaningful connections, and predict ill behaviors and threats. CXOs need to be the strategic voice on the use of information, to build the right set of intelligent insights. Experience the Algorithm Economy and the ensuing strategic value for your enterprise . Are you geared up ?