Instrumented Interconnecteds Intelligent
February, 13th 2015

Shanker Ramamurthy, Global Managing Partner, IBM Global Business Services

Shanker Ramamurthy, Global Managing Partner, IBM Global Business Services

By Shanker Ramamurthy

In today’s world, it can be difficult to stay abreast of the latest technological trends and distinguish true opportunities from over-hyped fads.

Despite tremendous advances in cognitive computing capabilities, organizations have only begun to scratch the surface of potential for this innovative technology.

From improving customer engagement to enhancing research capabilities that identify new, life-saving medical treatments, the potential value of cognitive-based solutions is boundless.

The first in a series of reports based on research from the IBM Institute for Business Value (IBV) study, Your Cognitive Future, identifies multiple opportunities across industries to apply cognitive computing today, as well as examines how the technology will evolve.

The paper identifies six major forces that will influence the evolution of cognitive computing in both the public and private sector:

Society – The general population is relying more and more on intelligent machines. The increased access and demand to cognitive capabilities through mobile devices will improve comfort with the technology, however there will still be opposing forces seeking to slow the adoption.

Technology – While technology advances are still needed to take cognitive computing to the next level, mobile devices and the Internet of Things have already permeated the market and will continue to contribute greatly to the robustness of information available to feed data into cognitive systems.

Perception – The market needs to be well educated to truly understand the realities and potential value of cognitive computing and to help organizations avoid setting unrealistic expectations that cognitive can solve every business problem. While many pioneering organizations have already experienced the economic value of cognitive computing, the perceptions often vary.

Information – The big data explosion, largely driven by mobile devices and social media, will only continue in contribute to the future of cognitive. The hyper-availability of big data will also require cognitive computing to evolve more rapidly in order to cope with information exhaustion.

Policy – Data sharing, security and privacy policies will likely require modification as wider adoption of cognitive computing takes place. We can also expect a new wave of policies to address any uncertainty that will impact the evolution of cognitive solutions.

Skills – A key influence that will challenge the advancement of cognitive computing is the availability of human talent with unique skill sets that are currently in high demand, but limited in supply, such as machine learning experts and natural language processing scientists. IBM is working with leading universities around the world to ensure that students are being trained on both the technical and business skills necessary to work with cognitive systems.

These forces will only continue to develop and enhance the next generation of cognitive computing.  Organizations like Well Point, Inc. one of the largest health benefits companies in the United   States, that is already using a cognitive system with IBM Watson, will be able to further streamline claim processing. Baylor College of Medicine will benefit from these major forces as it seeks innovative approaches to advance and accelerate medical research.

In February, the IBV will release a second report that explores lessons learned from pioneering, early cognitive adopters. Then, over the course of the coming year, the IBV will release a series of additional studies on cognitive use in individual industries including Government, Healthcare, Banking and more. Each of these reports will be based on surveys and interviews with hundreds of executives and will discuss opportunities for leveraging this innovative capability in each industry.

To learn more, download a copy of the report here. Cross-industry and government-specific editions of this report are both available.

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