More than 3 years ago, I wrote a IDC Community post, “Using Robots to Curb Labor Shortage in Chinese Manufacturing” highlighting a factory in China that replaced 90% of the people in the factory with automation and robots. In that case the workforce was reduced from 650 employees down to only 60 people, those remaining were doing drastically different work than those jobs that were replaced. The jobs shifted from manual labor to oversight, maintenance, and support of the automation and robotics systems.
As the market for intelligent applications and the software platforms used to build them has emerged, nomenclature confusion has grown. What should we call these applications, and what should we call the platforms, libraries and software tools used to build them?
The terminology matters. Vendors need to differentiate their products from the business intelligence and predictive analytics software that has existed for decades. ‘Intelligent applications’ and ‘business intelligence’ software provide two very different sets of functionality. For technology buyers who need to justify new solutions to budget holders, the terminology matters too.