Dr. Julia Glidden, General Manager, Global Government Industry at IBM, had an opportunity to sit down with David Bicknell, editor of Government Computing to discuss the era of cognitive computing and the digital transformation that is taking hold in government agencies around the globe.
Dr. Glidden describes the intersection between digital transformation and cognitive computing as an evolution and, more importantly, an opportunity. Government leaders can leapfrog the technology and organizational barriers of the past and better utilize sources of previously inaccessible data. These data-driven insights can be used by all types of government agencies to better protect, serve and engage citizens.
Further describing the transformation that is taking place, Dr. Glidden explains that the growing amount of data being created daily makes it vital for government agencies to develop digital capabilities to manage and utilize this data. The insights derived from data can be used to tackle large societal problems, improve policies and improve service delivery in order to benefit individual citizens and society as a whole.
When asked how to get government leaders to understand and embrace the promise of cognitive computing, Dr. Glidden explains the best approach is compelling stories that relate technology like cognitive computing to real world scenarios. Humanizing stories showcase how technology can help scale human capacity and deploy insights, like giving healthcare professionals the ability to improve treatment outcomes, teachers the ability to better address the educational needs of students, or social workers the ability to gain timely insights into risk factors that can help determine the best course of service delivery.
To close the discussion, Dr. Glidden points out that cognitive computing should not be seen as something that is big, technical or scary, but it is really the next logical step for government. This technology builds on government’s most vital asset: the knowledge government agencies have on the needs of citizens, policy, and socio-economic imperatives. What is new is now government organizations can enhance the infusion of intelligence decision marketing, policy development, and situational understanding.