IBM has launched Cognitive Business Solutions, a new practice aimed at developing cognitive computing expertise and solutions for the coming demand from a wide range of industries. The new practice will leverage IBM Watson, involve more than 2,000 consultants and spans across both computational as well as transformation and business units at IBM.
‘Cognitive’ is a new model of computing that provides a way in which to analyse big data from multiple sources to derive actionable insights for business, marketing and logistic decisions. The technology uses a combination of technological innovations in analytics, natural language processing and machine learning.
According to a recent survey from IBM, involving 5,000 C-suite executives, the demand for cognitive based systems is set to grow rapidly in the coming five years. Particularly the insurance, retail and health sectors are expected to see high levels of implementation of the technology. According to the survey, nearly all of the executives intend to invest in cognitive computing capabilities. Some industry analysts predict that by 2018 half of consumers will be interacting with cognitive computer based interfaces regularly. The biggest issue cited by many of the executives is however, a lack of skills in cognitive computing.
To provide the industry with expertise in cognitive computing, IBM launched its Cognitive Business Solutions practice. The new practice will provide clients with services from consulting professionals with expertise in machine learning, advanced analytics, and data science and development, as well as support drawn from industry and change management specialists to accelerate their needs on their cognitive business journeys.
The technology behind the new practice includes the computational reasoning and learning capabilities of IBM Watson, which is itself already a $1 billion investment in the advancement of cognitive computing innovation. IBM will further train 25,000 consultants and practitioners in the area of cognitive computing this autumn, in preparation for future demand. The offering so far includes a ‘get started’ initiative that provides clients with a readiness assessment as a low-cost entry point towards seeing how their business might benefit from the introduction of cognitive computing.
“Before long, we will look back and wonder how we made important decisions or discovered new opportunities without systematically learning from all available data,” says Stephen Pratt, Global Leader of IBM Cognitive Business Solutions. “Over the next decade, this transformation will be very personal for professionals as we embrace learning algorithms to enhance our capacity. For clients, cognitive systems will provide organisations that adopt these powerful tools outperform their peers.”
“Our work with clients across many industries shows that cognitive computing is the path to the next great set of possibilities for business,” adds Bridget van Kralingen, Senior Vice-President of IBM Global Business Services. “Clients know they are collecting and analysing more data than ever before, but 80% of all the available data – images, voice, literature, chemical formulas, and social expressions – remains out of reach for traditional computing systems. We’re scaling expertise to close that gap and help our clients become cognitive banks, retailers, automakers, insurers or healthcare providers.”