Enabling technologies pave the way
To gain cognitive advantage, organizations need a strong digital foundation. Early adopters benefit from taking a holistic view of IT. In fact, 9 out of 10 respondents say cloud computing, data analytics and security will each play an important role in cognitive initiatives within two years. There is also a strong linkage between cognitive and mobile and the Internet of Things (IoT) where applications and devices can benefit from cognitive intelligence.
Cloud remains the platform of choice, with 55 percent of users favoring cloud-based services and another 32 percent reporting that their cognitive initiatives rely on a blend of cloud-based services and non-cloud. Both software-as-a-service (SaaS) and platform-as-a-service (PaaS) top the list for development and deployment. Over time, cognition-as-a-service (CaaS) will emerge as its own class. Open source is also important: over half of users are using open source technologies to support cognitive initiatives. Among developers, 74 percent expect to make heavy use of open source technologies.
Early adopters, especially advanced users, tend to be analytically mature organizations, using not only descriptive (historical view) and predictive analytics (analytical insights to predict possible outcomes), but also more sophisticated prescriptive analytics (intelligence and modeling to recommend next steps or actions) to uncover insights from all types of data. Given that strong analytics base, it’s notable that 60 percent say that cognitive technology is essential to tackling data challenges that are not possible to conduct using conventional analytics, and more than half believe cognitive technology will unlock hidden value from dark data such as voice, images and video.
These figures are especially encouraging. Before the cognitive era, much of unstructured data, which accounts for an estimated 80 percent of all data created, was incoherent to traditional analytics technology, and therefore was not always actionable. Users already leverage a blend of data types with 62 percent of them tapping into unstructured data for cognitive initiatives. Ninety percent of them plan to utilize a combination of internal company data, external data and shared industry data to derive intelligent insights.