Autonomics is redefining expectations of ROI.

In the human body, the autonomic nervous system executes routine, but vital biologic operations with limited oversight, e.g. your heart reliably pumps blood all day without you even thinking about it, but will pump extra hard when you are startled or excited. With autonomics handling routine tasks, humans are able to concentrate on complex mental activities.

Like autonomic systems in the human body, autonomic digital systems independently and dynamically handle routine or repetitive tasks, making enterprises more productive and freeing humans to concentrate on creative problem solving. Much has been written about the ability of autonomics to reimagine business processes, but these systems come with an inherent upside that is of particular interest to corporate decision makers and financial executives: accelerated ROI.

Here are some of the ways that autonomic systems for the enterprise can drive faster ROI:

Reduced overhead

One of the most immediate contributors to autonomic ROI is its inherent ability to mitigate costs. But before jumping into that, it’s perhaps important to differentiate between autonomics and mere automation.

Automation refers to mechanical or digital systems that replicate physical or transactional tasks previously executed by humans (and typically, far more efficiently). Autonomics, on the other hand, incorporates cognitive technologies which empower machines to determine the steps necessary to satisfy a high-level command and then dynamically execute those steps.

For example, an autonomic system in charge of managing a company’s Unified Communications (UC) could be tasked with monitoring for outages and mitigating them as quickly as possible. Should an outage be discovered, the system would automatically prompt virtual agents to respond, diagnose, and remediate the outage – all independent of human intervention (unless deemed absolutely necessary).

In this example, the autonomic system dynamically executed multiple steps (monitoring for outages, diagnosing the outage, fixing the outage), which in a previous technological era would have required the work of several dedicated IT workers, if not an entire UC team. By handing these multiple tasks to the autonomic system, companies are freed to reinvest resources elsewhere in the business.

Autonomic systems come with an inherent upside that is of particular interest to corporate decision makers and financial executives: accelerated ROI.

Quick resolutions, increased productivity

To continue the UC example above, the autonomic system was able to locate, diagnose, and fix an outage in short order – perhaps in a matter of minutes, and hopefully before it affected any users. This efficiency is important because it allowed the company to remain productive far longer than if the outage brought company operations to a standstill.

This is only one example, but when an autonomic system addresses these types of business problems, issues can be mitigated in a fraction of the time it would take a system dependent on human “middleware.” A more productive company by default generates more revenue, which further contributes to ROI.

More creative problem solving

Some of the biggest changes autonomics delivers is the way employees interact with their company’s digital systems. A solution such as 1Desk can form the cross-platform autonomic framework of an organization by automating workflows across numerous departments (HR, IT, Finance, Marketing, etc.). Autonomics’ potential is even further realized when combined with a digital colleague like Amelia who allows all employees – regardless of role or technical proficiency – to engage with the system in an intelligent, conversational manner.

Users can interact with Amelia in 1Desk using natural conversation, which means employees can execute complex actions across platforms with simple spoken or written commands. This opens the door to creative problem solving that benefits both customers and companies. For example, an employee at a supermarket, anticipating demand from an upcoming sale, could tell an autonomic inventory system, “Please increase inventory of all fruits by 5% for two weeks.” The employee can then monitor the efficacy of this command and tweak it one way another, e.g. increasing or decreasing inventory depending on response to the sale.

The above example is a complex undertaking requiring multiple steps and systems, both within the vendor and with external partners and suppliers. This action might have proven too unwieldy or time-consuming in a previous technological era to become part of a business plan. However, when autonomics lowers the bar to complex actions, employees can use their creativity, intuition and predictive capabilities, and other uniquely-human “soft” skills, to build additional business value.

It only gets better

Autonomics can redesign and reimagine business processes, which benefit a company’s bottom line. And thanks to machine learning, these systems will only become more productive and efficient with experience, which means that ROI will only continue to accelerate over the life of an autonomics investment.