Cognitive Computing and Competition in the 21st Century: From "Industries" to "Competitive Arenas"
For more than 100 Years, IBM has been one of the main contributors in the information technology revolution. This has been a remarkable achievement if you consider how fast the computer industry is moving forward and how quickly it has changed in the last decades. Today, IBM is again at the forefront of the newly evolving cognitive revolution. We have entered an age where computers understand natural language, can learn, and built knowledge by themselves and can interact with humans more naturally than ever before. One of the major capabilities of cognitive computing is the ability to transform unstructured data into knowledge. Supported by trends like digitalization, Internet of Things and social media the amount of unstructured data is exploding. This means great potential in generating value for companies and individuals.
One of the major visions for cognitive computing is to provide a cognitive assistance (augmented human cognition) to everyone who needs expertise for a specific topic. Here some examples:
- Healthcare: Surface best protocol options for practitioners
- Finance: Enhance portfolio analysis and risk management
- Education: Deliver personalized programs for students & teachers
- Business Decisions: Analyze complex scenarios and support strategic decisions
Of course cognitive computing will also be used in many other areas (e.g. automation) but it is not possible right now to predict how exactly it will change our live in the future. What is certain is that this new revolution will mean tremendous opportunities as well as challenges for organizations and individuals.
Competition is traditionally understood from an industry perspective. In recent years, however, we have seen that competitive moves increasingly happen between industries, as firms leverage their capabilities across industry boundaries - in what one can call "competitive arenas". In order to grasp and strategize the growth potential, and the competitive threats associated with these new realities, managers are challenged to employ new ideation and decision-making frameworks and tools.
Specifically, these tools are designed to help managers to improve their firm's capabilities in business opportunity identification, in assessing the potential inherent in newly identified opportunities and in crafting and executing a promising opportunity exploitation strategy. However, in order to unleash the potential inherent in new opportunities and in order to benefit from the available tools, the organization is challenged to develop an entrepreneurial mindset.