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The Autonomous Enterprise - Powered by AI, a practical guide to how applications of AI can boost innovation and transform business processes

The book explores the path towards enterprise autonomy, a journey that has already started by many corporations. It takes a deep dive into the role of AI in enabling it, provides case studies, discusses best practice and covers the importance of embedding ethics in every step.
The Autonomous Enterprise - Powered by AI, a practical guide to how applications of AI can boost innovation and transform business processes
Cover of the book: The Autonomous Enterprise - Powered by AI

Sarah's first book,‘The Autonomous Enterprise - Powered by AI’, was published by BCS , the royal chartered British institute for IT, on Februray 7 2022. It is available from the BCS bookshop and most other outlets, including Waterstones, Barnes and Boble and Amazon.


In the book, Sarah Burnett argues that we are on a path to increasingly autonomous enterprises. These have most of their core repetitive transactional processes and basic decision-making automated. The enterprise of the future will still be run by people, but the style and the nature of their work will be different and augmented by AI. An overview of AI is provided using a conceptual stack, with layers that include off the shelf software, and frameworks. Burnett goes on to define its layers and components and how and where they can be used, including applications of technology for intelligent automation.

She further examines the case for adoption of AI for enterprise autonomy along two major dimensions; innovation and efficiency. A series of real life and named case studies are provided to demonstrate applications of AI for innovation and efficiency and to show how the journey towards the autonomous enterprise is already in progress. She wraps up the book by delving deeper into the concept of the autonomous enterprise, how to succeed on the journey and the need to build ethics into every step.

No previous knowledge of AI is assumed so the book will be suitable for anyone who is looking to find out more about practicalities. The prime audience will be business managers or executives who want to gain an insight into the technology and its potential for their businesses.

Book endorsements

“She (Sarah) has spent much time engaging with, and thinking through myriad examples across sectors and the globe. She has always been incredibly up to date. Unsurprisingly, this is a distinctive feature of the book. An introductory chapter - alone worth the price of the volume - offers a detailed overview explaining the concept of the autonomous enterprise, and already many examples spread across retail, finance, healthcare.”
Extract from the foreword written by Leslie Willcocks, Professor Emeritus at London School of Economics and Political Science, Associate Fellow at Green Templeton College Oxford, and  Research Director at Knowledge Capital Partners. He is co-author of four books on automation, including Becoming Strategic With Robotic Process Automation (SB Publishing, Stratford)

"Masterful insight, this book is more relevant than ever. It is critical reading for the business leaders of today and tomorrow. Through many illustrations and case studies, learn how AI is inevitable for your business to boost innovation, efficiency, and for it to become autonomous!"
Pascal Bornet, Author of "Intelligent Automation"

The book provides a clear picture of the state of AI in business today and where it is heading. It inspires innovation and shows how success can be achieved with many practical examples and detailed case studies. Essential reading for all business decision-makers ready to embrace the future!’
Dr Adam Bujak, Co-founder and CEO, KYP.ai

"Burnett offers a comprehensive foundation and directional understanding of the future of business in this book. Her years of analyses into the world of technology shines through, as she explains the current state of artificial intelligence being used across the world of business and why you should get involved. She weaves a series of exciting case studies, from a wide range of examples to bring to life a story of potential for the companies and individuals involved at this evolutionary initial step towards an autonomous enterprise. A must read."
Rob Hughes, Co-founder and CEO, Techopian

“I recommend this book for executives who need a business-focused primer on AI and the opportunities that it brings for innovation and efficiency.  The book explains AI and  intelligent automation as the next set of innovation levers driving business results in leading enterprises. Executives will learn the language of intelligent automation, including the major classes of tools, their capabilities, and limitations, and how they work together.  Sarah Burnett’s book addresses implementation challenges and the practices that delivered business value in real-world case studies.”
Mary Lacity, Walton Professor of Information Systems at the University of Arkansas, Co-author of Becoming Strategic with Robotic Process Automation

‘’AI’ is the buzzword that business claim to have embedded, but in reality many have struggled to adapt and underpin their companies with true AI capabilities. In this book, Sarah Burnett seamlessly makes the concepts and implementation of AI accessible to all business leaders looking to undertake the digital transformation journeys necessary for their companies to survive and thrive using the true benefits of AI.’
Russ Shaw CBE, Founder of Tech London Advocates & Global Tech Advocates

Sarah has an ability to simplify the complex. Her approach makes for easy reading and those real life examples help to cut through the noise that AI attracts and shine a light on the real value it delivers. As a serial entrepreneur and investor in AI, I appreciate the inclusion of case studies that demonstrate the art of the possible and bring this fascinating technology to life.
Andrew Anderson, Serial AI entrepreneur and investor

Sarah Burnett’s book is both a handy roadmap through the often-confusing landscape of AI technology, products and services and a thought-provoking read on the longer-term potential for business transformation through AI. The case studies will be particularly valuable for those seeking to understand how they can make best use of AI in their own organisations.
Audrey Mandela, Chair, Women in Telecoms & Technology; Co-Founder, Multimap”

Essential reading for all business decision makers who need to understand the basics and future possibilities. The book provides an insightful and comprehensive coverage of the current world of AI, explaining how it is a business enabler, provides increased opportunities for innovation and efficiency. Sarah Burnett’s case studies demonstrate the positive impact AI has already had and that investing in AI is necessary as it continues modernising and disrupting the tech industry.
Andrea Palmer FBCS, Chair BCS Women and Consultant, Infosys Consulting

Filled with real, practical examples, this book strikes a nice balance between explaining future possibilities with the current practical realities. The author has disaggregated the concepts of AI into the tangible tools and applications available in the market today – in particular for enterprise use cases. A powerful primer for business executives wanting to quickly deepen and round-out their understanding of what AI can mean for the enterprise.
Eric Simonson, Managing Partner of Research, Everest Group

Will intensify your AI curiosity.  It is filled with wonderful examples of humans and machines working together and learning.  Sarah uses AI for good, ethically driven, to build the Autonomous Enterprise with concepts such as phygital.  It makes AI relevant to us all in a style that relates to everyone.
Andrew Lowe, co-author of the BCS publication 'Artificial Intelligence - Learning From Experience'