When I was invited to join the elite team of Futurists at IBM, naturally I was honored. The Futurist role is reserved for people who have demonstrated to IBM through their content, online engagement and public speaking an ability to think and communicate about how business is conducted in the modern era. IBM also looks for people who are forward thinking with a #NewWayToWork mindset.
Why I Attended The Annual IBM Insight Event
As a Futurist I was invited to attend the annual IBM Insight event. The event was held in Las Vegas, Nevada October 26th through 28th. Each morning the general sessions were produced Las Vegas style on a big stage with multi-media, drama-filled content that riveted my senses and captured my attention with information that stimulated my Futurist juices.
Discover the Insight Economy
The primary theme of IBM Insight is the notion that analytics has the capacity to reveal a lot of insight to a business, that when harnessed properly can be game changing. Analytics data is either structured or unstructured. Structured data is that which is captured through website traffic, completed forms and other types of structured engagement on apps and other digital media. In reality though, 80% of data is “dark” or unstructured. That’s because the gargantuan volume of data from social media posts, social media engagement and behavior not captured into tables and rows is more difficult to glean.
But this is rapidly changing. The insight gleaned through artificial intelligence from IBM Watson is becoming readily available through a library of open APIs so that just about any business can tap into its potential. While it’s here today, it’s still early days and the future is exciting when we consider the power of the insight economy.
The Cognitive Era
This is fast becoming known as the cognitive era. Imagine how a bank might anticipate my needs because my social media posts show pictures and comments about me packing my house for the big move from one city to another. In this example, my online behavior should trigger predictive analytics by providers of moving supplies, banking, television/teleco/internet, retailers in my new geo location and more. These businesses can market to me in a relevant way that taps into the human emotion of a big event taking place in my life – such as relocation – in the precise moment it occurs.
The more data we have in business; the more insight we potentially have. In the insight economy cognitive is the differentiator that drives digital transformation. Cognitive computing drives how and what businesses learn about their customers. The stark reality is that machine-learning algorithms are augmenting human intelligence in staggering ways.
Two Simple Examples of Insight in Action
During IBM Insight, several examples of cognitive computing were shared from the main stage during the morning general sessions. Here are two such examples…Ivy is an app from GoMoment that provides an automated guest engagement platform for hotels. Ivy welcomes guests via text message and measures their satisfaction with everything from the check-in experience to every encounter that guests experience in a hotel. Common guest questions and concerns get answered instantly via text by Ivy, reducing call volume and wait times. Hotels that use Ivy are efficiently handling the often messy aspect of reputation management while increasing guest satisfaction and driving more profitable revenues.
Wine4.Me is a mobile app from VineSleuth that helps you find wines you know you’ll like. You tell Wine4.Me what wines, wineries, grape varieties or countries’ wines you like, and Wine4.Me gives you a ranked list of wines to try. It’s tailored to your tastes and learns as you use the app.
Both GoMoment’s Ivy and VineSleuth’s Wine4.Me apps are powered by IBM Watson, demonstrating innovative and potentially disruptive applications of the insight economy in action.
New C-Suite Study in November
I’ve been a fan of the IBM C-Suite study for years. It is the most comprehensive study I’ve encountered providing a global view of what the C-Suite is thinking about across industries around the globe. The 2015 C-Suite study is coming this month. We were given a glimpse into this year’s study. One of the top three concerns in the C-Suite is being “ubered.” In other words, a top concern of the C-Suite is being disrupted. The cognitive era puts disruptive power into the hands of those entrepreneurs who harness the potential of analytics to innovate, disrupt and solve consumer needs better than an existing solution.
How Mobile is Transforming How We Work
Do you remember “the year of mobile?” Was it 2010, 2012? It doesn’t matter. All that matters is that mobile is now pervasive. Eighty percent of employees use their personal smartphones and devices at work. This is a stat that changes on a daily basis.
The average user engages with their mobile device 200 times in a day. The tech savvy user uses their mobile device even more often. The reason this is so significant is because people have come to expect their software tools and collaboration applications to be like their mobile experience!
“The social network is the new production line.” Ginny Rommety, CEO, IBM
What The Insight Economy Means to My Clients
Every business has potential to be disrupted. Every business is experiencing an explosion of data. Every business is competing for talent. Every business lives in the cognitive era where the winners are those who harness the integration of cloud computing, social technologies, security, analytics and mobile (not necessarily in that order).
On a weekly basis, my team and I help our clients shape and execute digital strategies designed to find and convert more business opportunities. Conducting business in the insight economy requires a futurist mindset among all stakeholders.
I want our clients (and anyone reading this) to consider how they might be disrupted. More importantly, I want our clients to think about how they can be disruptors. By thinking as a disruptor and leveraging the opportunities available in cognitive computing, we can create strategies that balance today’s customer needs with the promise of tomorrow. Because, in the insight economy tomorrow is here today. #NewWayToWork