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5 lessons on building an intelligent enterprise from 600 early adopters of cognitive

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The Cognitive era is here, and it’s accelerating, across industries. The cognitive computing market is estimated to grow from $2.5 billion in 2014 to more than $13 billion by 2019. Experts predict that by 2018, more that half of all consumers will interact with cognitive technology on a regular basis. But the journey to becoming an intelligent business is still new to so many leaders, and watching and learning from other early adopters may be the best way to avoid common mistakes and overcome complex challenges.

Businesses that can create actionable knowledge from large volumes of data, can improve business outcomes, expand expertise, delight customers and continuously outthink the needs of the market. Early adopters like Honda, Hilton, Staples and GM are already gaining a major competitive advantage from their use of cognitive technologies. And hundreds of other companies are catching up.

To understand how these early adopters are working on their business transformations, we surveyed more than 600 decision makers, worldwide, at various stages of implementation of cognitive initiatives. The results of the survey weren’t just surprising; they was inspiring and encouraging as we discovered exciting real-world applications, successes and valuable lessons we can all learn from.

At this year’s World of Watson Conference in Las Vegas on Oct. 23-27, IBM thought leaders Susanne Hupfer and Nancy Pearson will share the full results of this survey in their session titled: “The Intelligent Enterprise: Building a Cognitive Business.”

As a sneak peek into the results of this survey, we’re sharing 5 things we learned from speaking to these 600 early adopters of cognitive:

1. Most businesses want to become cognitive, but many of them are only starting their journey

Of the 600+ decision-makers we surveyed, about 65% of them said cognitive computing is extremely important to their business strategy and success. But only 22% of respondents said they had been using two or more cognitive technology capabilities for more than a year.

While cognitive technologies are still new to many businesses, the race to the top is now fully under way. More than half the respondents said they had been using multiple cognitive technologies for less than a year or using one technology for more than a year. A quarter of them said they are planning to adopt cognitive and AI initiatives within the next two years.

2. Business leaders see cognitive solutions as a key differentiator that gives them a competitive advantage

These “thinking” businesses are already seeing positive business outcomes including improved customer service, sales, ad conversions, productivity, employee performance and revenue growth. More than half the respondents said they consider cognitive computing to be a key ingredient of their strategy to remain competitive within the next few years, and essential to the digital transformation of their businesses. Cognitive systems are able to put content into context, to quickly find the proverbial needle in a haystack and identify new patterns and actionable insights in ALL available data.

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3. While the opportunities are limitless, there are still many hurdles to overcome

Businesses on their path to becoming more cognitive face some common challenges. Top adoption challenges include security concerns, lack of skilled resources, roadmap struggles, maturity of these new technologies, data security, and lack of unified sources of data. About half of our survey respondents said that they see the value in cognitive computing, but they struggle with a clear roadmap for adoption.

4. It’s not enough to just have advanced analytics anymore

Cognitive computing is essential to overcoming data challenges that conventional analytics cannot solve as it unlocks the hidden value of “dark data” that was previously unreadable by machines. At most companies, a lot of the data available — more than 80% of it — is “unstructured,” in the form of emails, social media posts, documents, videos, images, audio recordings, manuals etc. Traditional tools and machines can’t analyze this unstructured content to find insights and patterns, but cognitive systems like Watson can.

5. Many business leaders share common goals for implementing cognitive solutions

 

While their products and industries may vary, many business leaders share the same goals and challenges on their path to becoming truly cognitive.

Top priorities include:

  • Improving productivity and efficiency
  • Reducing costs and compliance risks
  • Improving decision-making and planning across teams
  • Delivering more personalized and faster customer service
  • Scaling expertise to make every employee as good as their best employees

Cognitive solutions can help businesses achieve all these goals and more. They create usable and meaningful knowledge from data to expand everyone’s expertise, continuously learning and adapting to outthink the needs of the market.

The Cognitive Era is Here: Come be Part of it at World of Watson

At this year’s World of Watson conference in Las Vegas on Oct. 24-27, thousands of innovators, business leaders, developers and marketers will come together to explore technologies and strategies that will help propel their companies into the future.

To learn more about the results of this survey of more then 600 early adopters, and much more, register today. Learn how businesses, across industries, are overcoming obstacles, improving decision-making and customer service, predicting trends before they’re trending, and using the right data to drive growth and revenue.

Do you want to learn more about what it means to be a cognitive business? Register today to attend the World of Watson, 2016 to learn how many companies including your competitors are already winning with cognitive. Get your ticket today!

World of Watson 2016

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