By: Roger Bales

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Cognitive computing is now business-ready to perform well-defined tasks, and early adopters are already well on their way to becoming full-blown cognitive enterprises. These organizations’ experiences help us develop strategic plans to empower other businesses with cognitive computing adoption.

In a recent study entitled “Your Cognitive Future: How Next-Gen Computing Changes the Way We Live and Work,” the IBM Institute for Business Value (IBV) examines how organizations can get started with cognitive today. The report outlines these nine tips to prepare your business to become a cognitive enterprise.

Limited Stitched Elliott College Jersey 1917 Ezekiel Red Throwback 15 1. Find the right opportunity

Limited Stitched Elliott College Jersey 1917 Ezekiel Red Throwback 15 Cognitive solutions aren’t a perfect fit for every business challenge. Therefore, organizations should evaluate opportunities based on how particular capabilities of cognitive systems might benefit them. These might include natural language processing and the ability to extract insights from big data.

2. Define the value proposition

From the start of your project, be sure to define and communicate the business value of using a cognitive solution. Make sure all stakeholders are connected to this value proposition, and regularly review progress.

3. Be realistic about value realization

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Set realistic goals for achieving measurable progress on the benefits you outlined. The benefits of a cognitive solution are likely to be recognized incrementally, not all at once — especially if you employ a phased rollout.

4. Invest in human talent

Cognitive systems require skilled subject matter experts. These people have domain-specific expertise that can define question-and-answer pairs for the system to learn. Investing in the right talent and ongoing training will be necessary to the cognitive journey.

5. Ensure a quality body of data

Cognitive systems are only as good as the data they have access to, so make sure you’ve digitized your records and curated the ideal body of data for them to analyze. Data needs to be high-quality and in a usable format.

6. Consider policy impacts

Organizations will need to assess and understand how new cognitive solutions will affect their existing processes. Some policy changes may be needed.

7. Ensure executive involvement

Executives should be involved in the early stages of defining a vision for cognitive and creating a road map. To keep momentum on the cognitive journey, they will need to perform regular progress reviews.

8. Communicate the cognitive vision

Cognitive computing is new and not always well understood, so communicating your vision for cognitive in your business is critical. Address any fears and uncertainties upfront by providing clear expectations about the changes.

9. Raise the company’s cognitive IQ

Continuing education will help ensure new technology is understood and adopted by users. Cognitive computing is at the center of transformational change, and I can’t wait to see how it empowers organizations to achieve their business goals.

Over the past few weeks, I’ve met with a number of CIOs and IT leaders at IBM Systems Technical University events around the world — and they want to know more about how to use cognitive systems for a competitive advantage. When introducing new technologies like artificial intelligence and cognitive computing, organizations often experiment with small incubator projects to test the waters. While these projects can be educational, businesses must prepare the right strategic framework, context and organizational capabilities before diving into sweeping IT changes. The IBV study provides a strategic approach that helps align IT and business priorities so you can get the most value from cognitive computing in your company.

Check out the Institute for Business Value to learn more about the latest research on cognitive computing.

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About The Author

Roger Bales

Manager, Worldwide Business Development & Executive Consultant, IBM Systems Lab Services

Roger Bales leads the IBM Systems Lab Services Worldwide Business Development team of over 130 business development professionals deployed in all major regions worldwide. He has global responsibilities for business and engagement development, seller and business partner development and support and marketing. He is also a practicing Executive Consultant providing business and IT strategic guidance... Read more