Viewpoint: The Cognitive Enterprise is here

Read time 3min 20sec

Hot on the heels of digital trends that are starting to mature, the next wave of innovative technologies that go beyond mere digitisation has already begun, says Pommie Lutchman, CEO at Ocular Technologies.

The rise of new and exponential technologies – including AI, blockchain, the Internet of things (IoT), Robotic Process Automation (RPA), virtual and augmented intelligence, 3D printing and others – is teeing up another era of business architecture change.

The result of such revolutionary change is known as ‘The Cognitive Enterprise’, according to an IBM white paper.

Mark Foster, senior vice president of IBM Global Business Services, says this shift is being driven by the pervasive application of AI and cognitive technologies to the core processes and workflows of organisations.

He says this generational shift will take the digital wave that businesses and governments are currently surfing to the next level, and transform the way employees add value and sustain their differentiation. The Cognitive Enterprise will leverage proprietary data, unique platforms and specialist expertise to achieve its goals.

At a recent IBM Think event, Ginni Rometty, chairman, president, and CEO of IBM, stated that all digital reinvention strategies will ultimately be built on platforms, and success on the path to a cognitive enterprise will depend heavily on the platforms businesses choose to use.

Foster echoes this understanding, but says there are seven essential actions that lie at the heart of successful digital and cognitive transformations:

  • Create platforms to unleash Digital Darwinism

Platforms must leverage deep expertise, open workflows and data synergies to seize expansion potential within an ecosystem, and design thinking, co-creation and agile approaches are needed to accelerate the build of winning business platforms.

  • Leverage the incumbent advantage in data

Proprietary and heterogeneous data and analytics can be integrated and curated to drive business platform performance. Trust in data and avoidance of bias is needed at the heart of valid cognitive workflows and decision-making.

  • Architect your business for change

Enablement of agility and flexibility requires a few fundamental architectural choices to provide a practical frame to make progress – these choices relate to workflows, data, AI and computing. Intelligent orchestration of open and hybrid architectures is needed across networks and ecosystems.

  • Redesign company workflows around AI

Customer-facing workflows must be humanised, as well as automated, end-to-end. Adaptive operational processes and workflows will continuously learn and be self-aware.

  • Get agile, change fast and build things

Strategic agility is about aligning your increasingly pervasive agile activities to core platform intents. Operational agility is about ‘flow’ and removing bottlenecks in workflows. The DevOps of business change needs to be implemented.

  • Reinvent your workforce to ignite talent

New business platforms and workflows require new and ongoing skills attainment. AI is enabling skills inference, transforming workforce management and learning. Agile teaming is the new paradigm of work, supporting rapid skills transfer and development.

  • Win with trust and security

Security of the business platform will be critical to its trust and longevity, but companies need to balance this with seamless customer and employee experiences. An ecosystem of business platforms requires an open network approach to security across parties, driving collaboration and insights at speed.

As confidence in AI and other distributed technologies continues to grow and businesses reinvent themselves, we’ll find more and more Cognitive Enterprise success stories, where companies are making better use of data for informed business decisions. It’s going to be an exciting journey, and we look forward to making it alongside local organisations looking to make this evolution to become next-level.

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