Home

Building the Cognitive Enterprise

A blueprint for AI-powered transformation


We are at one of the tipping points in history where the impact of technology on business is significant enough to transform the whole way that business gets done.

We are at one of the tipping points in history where the impact of technology on business is significant enough to transform the whole way that business gets done.

The convergence of new exponential technologies such as AI, automation, IoT, blockchain, and 5G have the power to change business models, reinvent processes, and reimagine the way we all work. We call this the emergence of the Cognitive Enterprise™.


Bookmark this report  


Meet the author

Mark Foster

Connect with author:


, Senior Vice President, IBM Services and Global Business Services


As we construct the picture of the winning Cognitive Enterprise, we see three main building blocks of success:
1. Market-making business platforms
A “market-making business platform” is the most fundamental component to get right first. It is the new instantiation of the business strategy of the organization and the clear North Star for the investment priorities and change initiatives required to shift to the future. We call the platforms “market-making” because they need to be focused, critical and impactful, whether they reinforce competitive position within an industry, shape a new role in an industry context, or open up cross-industry market opportunities.
See how Yara is leveraging data to help 620 million farm families create a more sustainable future.
Sometimes an internal enabling business platform (for example, talent, finance, or risk management) can be strategic enough to set the agenda. The choice of platform, focus, and the degree of doubling down on investments that the enterprise makes is, therefore, defining its core intent and narrative for the future.
Action areas to build market-making business platforms
1. Double down on “Big Bets”
The choices that organizations are making about which market-making business platforms to major on are existential in nature—they are the means through which organizations shape markets to their advantage. They are not experimental, nor are they peripheral plays that reside at the edge of the company. We are seeing organizations commit their future to these new markets and to exploiting them by applying data, technology, and new expertise at scale. The focus of these new platforms is anchored in the core of the company. They take advantage of traditional sources of differentiation and channels, as well as the organization’s unique access to data, then evolve and scale those capabilities over time.
As such, any bet made on platforms needs to become the holistic and explicit strategic intent of the organization. The CEO, Board, and leadership need to espouse the North Star that the fresh direction represents and draws upon the organization’s legacy values to create a compelling mission and vision. We see leaders setting out on these new directions and making substantive investments to support their plays. Freque