What is the Cognitive Enterprise?

The Cognitive Enterprise™ is IBM’s vision for the next-generation business model.  As a new era of business reinvention is dawning, organizations are facing an unprecedented convergence of technological, social and regulatory forces. Artificial intelligence, automation, Internet of Things, blockchain and 5G are becoming pervasive, and their combined impact will no doubt reshape standard business architectures. The “outside-in” digital transformation of your business over the past decade is giving way to the “inside-out” potential impact of what your business’ data can deliver.

Seven keys to becoming a Cognitive Enterprise

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Find your platform

Reinvent the core of your business by building a platform that plays to your strengths.

Honing in on what your business does best is the key in determining your platform. Once the purpose is clear, you can build the platform around it and differentiate your business by integrating proprietary data, expertise and smart workflows with your customer at its core.

woman and man talking to each other

Build it on data

Carefully curate data that serves your platform and differentiates your business.

It’s what you do with your data that really matters, so focusing  efforts on feeding your platform and informing your core business strategy is key. You can curate and enrich your data to meet your specific business needs, functions and workflows, and put in place robust data governance.

a business meeting

Architect for change

Build scale, speed and flexibility into every area of your business, starting with the platform.

Creating a manifesto for continuous change will help keep your business current. You can align your business architecture with the emerging technology architecture and link every change to the legacy system with your vision of a future state, using the open hybrid multi-cloud as a steppingstone.

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Design intelligent workflows

Infuse machine and human intelligence into your customer-facing workflows.

Today’s customers expect to be engaged in ways that are humanized, founded in empathy and attuned to context. To that end, you can build strategic workflows with automation, streamlining processes that are intelligent and efficient; they will learn continuously and augment employee decisions.

a business meeting

Get agile

Work fast - with purpose - and break down internal boundaries to delight customers.

Strategic agility is the foundation for culture transformation, new ways of working and exponential growth. You can assemble agile teams that span organizational boundaries to naturally share their ideas and insights, with one common goal in mind: to meet customer needs quickly and efficiently.

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Empower your people

Continuously upskill your existing talent and hire curious, inventive people.

Your teams need the right tools to grow in line with business needs. You can leverage AI to identify skills gaps, design personalized learning programs and mobilize people across new roles and opportunities. You can reward curiosity and an experimental mindset in both new hires and existing talent.

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Scale up security

Find the sweet spot between frictionless customer experiences and trusted transactions.

Cybersecurity is critical for you to trust in, as well as to the longevity of your business platform. AI can take cybersecurity to the next level, framing it as proactive rather than defensive and ensuring strong authentication of transactions without restricting customer engagement.

Get the full story

Download the full IBV report for a deep-dive look into all seven steps, with insights and future predictions from IBM experts.


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Case studies

Kraft Heinz Company

IBM and Kraft are launching a state-of-the-art algorithm to deliver products to consumers more efficiently.


IBM and Generali used intelligent workflows to build better experiences for insurance customers.


IBM and Volkswagen co-created a mobility services application  to reinvent the driving experience.

Talk to us about getting started

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