PwC: The Future of “Mindful” Platforms

Filed Under Innovation

Arwen Heredia

February 10, 2014

Technology evolves at such an incredible rate that a graphed curve of its advancement would be almost vertical. And with this progress comes new intuitiveness, intelligence, and predictive abilities that allow technology to integrate seamlessly with the way we work and manage our daily lives.

A recent report from PwC digs deep into this concept of innate mechanics in mobile platforms, or what they’ve termed “mindful” application. “Blending human and software intelligence is the new territory for enterprise applications,” they note. “By providing support for human cognitive processes, future enterprise apps will engage humans as an integral part of the business process of interest.”

Key Differentiators

When analyzing what sets apart mindful apps from traditional apps, PwC looks at the following:

  • Rather than optimizing the work of a group of people as traditional applications do, mindful apps optimize the work of individuals by focusing on the role of thinking in their work.
  • Rather than embracing a scripted flow to a deterministic transaction, mindful apps support exploratory dialogues associated with cognitively complex decision making under uncertainty.
  • Rather than prescribing a single best path to an outcome, mindful apps support the multiple paths necessary for exploratory work.

What’s particularly interesting about the idea of tools based on cognitive processes is their potential to support enterprise innovation in a way that’s not only repeatable, but that supports unique thought and leverages individual strengths and expertise. Because many of the approaches utilized in the enterprise are subject to serendipity and uncertainty,  automating any type of innovation management program — or other knowledge-based system — can become extremely challenging at scale. That’s why taking a holistic approach, much like the methodology detailed in Mindjet’s Vision to Action Lifecycle, is an ideal way of maximizing all of the resources at your disposal — particularly the human ones. From the report:

“The user experience is the key underappreciated enterprise critical success factor,” says Bill Murphy, CTO of Blackstone, an alternative asset management company. Because mindful apps are personal, about the thinking self, and about accomplishing ad hoc knowledge work, the user experience provides a holistic way to understand and address all of the concerns together at the design stage…The objective is to hide the complexity behind the scenes to limit the cognitive load on the user and to integrate the human-computer dialogue as a flexible interaction for better decisions and results.

As industries seek to bring greater process and predictability to enterprise strategies, focus must shift from conventional goals to identifying scalability opportunities and developing concrete methods of connecting ideas to outcomes.