Cognitive computing

A new era for technology

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In recent years, a confluence of changes has created an unprecedented disruption in businesses and enterprises, leading the technology industry to evolve and transform dramatically. The most significant changes are the following: enterprises have higher expectations of what technology can do for their businesses, the CIO is now seen as a technology consultant, and business segments like marketing and sales are now directly in touch with technology providers.

Profiting from disruption

But what is generating this disruption and how can a company maximize what the available technology can do?

First, the amount of data, both structured (like databases) and unstructured (like twitter comments) grows at incredible speed. The capacity of hardware and software to manage, interpret and use all that data today is infinitely greater than it was just a few years ago. In addition, adding on the cognitive abilities of teams like IBM Watson allows companies to take advantage of it to generate benefits for their business. Data gave rise to the cognitive era, where solutions, servers and storage are no longer inanimate, but are now able to analyze, understand, think, learn and generate ‘insights’ into all kinds of data.

Secondly, the Internet of Things (IoT) represents the evolution in which objects are able to interact with other objects and enables proactive access to data from connected devices. This allow enterprises to get closer to their customers, know what they like at that moment and make an offer just for them.

Thirdly, there is the cloud, created for greater flexibility and speed. Enterprises must define when to use public clouds, private clouds or a combination of both. This is called hybrid cloud and today it is the best solution for any existing enterprise. The future of business requires open hybrid clouds by design and provides the freedom to choose, change environments and deliver a robust and safe experience by extending existing IT to the cloud. How does a company benefit from hiring a public cloud provider for a given ‘workload’ if they cannot easily move data from the cloud to their current systems? The hybrid cloud is expected to become the basis for computing, and it will help redefine the purpose and use of the traditional data center.

Open infrastructure for collaboration

Finally, technology plays an important role in disruption. The improving integration of IT requires open innovation and environments known as “software-defined.” For example, IBM is a key sponsor of Linux, and all products (hardware or software) are created with open infrastructure and are ready for the cloud. IBM shares intellectual property of its power technology with more than 200 companies within the OpenPower Foundation. This open infrastructure allows for faster innovation, the ability to be more responsive to customer needs and provides new ways of working with other innovators and enterprises.

How to be prepared for the cognitive era

Therefore, to cope with the rapid changes and digital transformation of the new cognitive era, systems have to be designed specifically for hybrid cloud and the big data world, and they must be open and collaborative. Nobody knows what the new tool of the future will be, and that´s why it´s crucial that enterprises prepare and invest in open technologies. Only then will they ensure the significance of their investments.

So, are you prepared?

To find out if your infrastructure is ready for cognitive era, take the IBM Readiness Assessment here.

And read the Spanish translation of this post here and the Portuguese translation here.

Vice President, Systems Hardware IBM Latin America

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