It was great to reconnect with so many friends and colleagues who we haven’t seen in person since the last in-person PegaWorld, back in 2019. Although it took a while to adapt back to speaking to people in three-dimensions, it was an unexpected and welcome surprise.
After returning from PegaWorld iNspire last week, our team huddled to share our key takeaways from the event. Our discussion centered on the fact that PegaWorld raised a lot of questions for architects, while also painting a picture of a future world where AI played a responsible role in delivering fast-paced digital transformation.
Here are our top five takeaways from PegaWorld, along with our recommendations on next steps you should take after PegaWorld:
- Pega is ramping up to support generative AI, with heavy reliance on third-party AI tools. As Pega architects embark on their generative AI journeys, one key aspect that can’t be overlooked is that Pega Infinity 23 will not provide a native generative AI engine. Instead, Pega will depend on third-party AI tools such as ChatGPT and Bard, in addition to allowing architects to leverage their own large language models. With this last option, large language models, Pega architects will be empowered to use technologies that support their organization’s ethical and security needs when applying AI to new and existing solutions. The main takeaway here is that architects will need to spend more time upfront with planning AI strategy before taking advantage of these new capabilities. Ultimately, Pega architects will also need to look at the tradeoffs between adopting large language models versus leveraging external third-party generative AI tools.
- Next generation of Pega low-code will simplify UI development and automate app builds. Compared to previous PegaWorld events, we noticed a big decline in how much Pega used the term “low-code” in keynote presentations and breakout sessions. This led some Pega architects to the conclusion that Pega has moved on from low-code. But the truth is just the opposite. The big announcement from Pega around its new UI framework, Constellation, is ultimately all about providing a low-code user interface (UI) development environment to replace the Cosmos UI framework. Although Pega did not refer to Constellation as a low-code UI environment, it’s easy to see Constellation fitting into the low-code App Builder environment in future versions. Additionally, Pega showcased new capabilities on the main stage at PegaWorld that will allow architects to automatically build new apps using generative AI capabilities. Just type in a description of the app you want to build and Pega will build the app for you - including journey stages, personas, forms, data sets, and rules - in less than five minutes.
- New generative AI (GenAI) rule-type will allow architects to embed AI into any Pega application. While it’s easy to geek out on new AI features, Pega architects will need to focus on the added value that generative AI can bring to customers and employees. The real value of generative AI will come from embedding these capabilities within existing and new Pega low-code applications, providing customers and employees with richer, contextualized experiences. With the introduction of a new GenAI rule-type, Pega architects will be able to configure applications to leverage third-party generative AI engines or their own internal models. In the same way that reports and workflow rules can be configured and placed in your process in ways that are unique to you, the new AI rule-type will allow Pega architects to reimagine key parts of low-code applications by injecting generative AI assistance for your employees and customers. From the mainstage, Pega demonstrated a generative AI use case that auto-populated marketing responses, created viable test data, and streamlined call wrap-ups. Pega architects should begin identifying use cases in existing business processes that can leverage AI that will bring the greatest value to help speed decisions and drive increased customer engagement.
- App Studio is now the gold standard for building Pega (low-code) applications. Pega architects who started building applications on the platform over three years ago always viewed Pega’s Dev Studio as their “go-to” platform for building out sophisticated Pega applications. However, Pega’s CTO, Don Schuerman, was very direct in his keynote presentation that App Studio is now the standard for building Pega applications - no matter how complex the application. App Studio is now the “DNA” that establishes your low-code structure to business value. New technologies introduced to the platform such as generative AI and Constellation, as well as the future vision of Pega technology like AutoPilot, will all be enabled through low code development in App Studio. Dev Studio is not going away, but rather evolving into a review portal to allow developers to review and monitor the results of generated code or to finalize complex configurations. From the introduction of Pega Express until the latest versions of App Studio, Pega architects have witnessed continued expansion in the low-code capabilities of the platform.
- Companies implementing Pega’s Customer Decision Hub (CDH) have a head start on the autonomous enterprise journey. The most compelling keynote presentations at PegaWorld came from executives at Aflac, Virgin, and Citi, who shared how much value their companies realized as a result of implementing Pega CDH. You might be asking, “Pega CDH has been around for over a decade, so what’s new?” Traditionally, companies have deployed CDH for next-best-action use cases, primarily focused on cross-sell and up-sell of products and services during customer interactions. In their keynotes, these executives shared new use cases that highlighted more sophisticated personalization and retention capabilities. Pega architects can draw two major lessons from these keynotes to guide their roadmaps for the autonomous enterprise. First, establishing a customer-360 data model is essential to driving autonomous interactions. Second, personalization and next-best-action has to evolve to focus on delivering the next-best-experience to customers - which goes far beyond products and services. Next-best-experience looks at all potential interactions, including resolving service cases, educating customers, and providing customers with valuable insights.
Our favorite keynote at PegaWorld was from Pega's CTO, Don Schuerman, who made the point clear that the autonomous enterprise is a journey. And teams will need to take time to assess which parts of the autonomous enterprise to tackle today, which ones to tackle tomorrow, and which ones make sense to tackle well into the future.
As a follow-up to PegaWorld iNspire, on August 23 - 24, our team of Pega Lead Architects and Strategists will facilitate an in-person workshop to dive deep into the new capabilities announced at PegaWorld. This workshop will provide hands-on working sessions to help architects separate the hype from the reality of Pega Infinity ‘23, and to evaluate the impact of new features on their Pega strategies, architectures, solution designs, and roadmaps. Click here for additional details and to register for our upcoming Pega Infinity Jumpstart workshop.