UPDATED 19:00 EDT / OCTOBER 27 2017


IBM spotlights its own failures to develop a cognitive enterprise platform

Companies don’t generally like to admit mistakes or project failures, so it’s unusual when a firm the size of IBM Corp. confesses its shortcomings. Yet that’s exactly what a company with a current market capitalization of $143 billion is doing as it unveils its Cognitive Enterprise Blueprint.

The goal is to provide customers with a better understanding of how IBM is approaching its transformation to becoming a fully cognitive enterprise. “We’re trying to understand how to transition from an old world of going after pure efficiency just by getting after economies of scale and process standardization, to really now driving efficiency to enable you to get competitive advantage,” said James Kavanaugh (pictured, right), senior vice president of transformation and operations at IBM. “That has been the essence of what we’ve been trying to do at IBM to really reinvent our company from the core.”

Kavanaugh stopped by theCUBE, SiliconANGLE’s mobile livestreaming studio, during the IBM Chief Data Officer Summit in Boston, Massachusetts, and spoke with co-hosts Dave Vellante (@dvellante) and Rebecca Knight (@knightrm). He was joined by Inderpal Bhandari (pictured, left), global chief data officer at IBM, and they discussed concepts behind the cognitive blueprint, findings from a top-level executive survey and data ownership. (* Disclosure below.)

IBM introduced the Cognitive Enterprise Blueprint at its CDO Summit this month. Cognitive systems can visualize and provide context across all data, something that IBM has been implementing internally. The understanding the company gained from this work provides the basis for showcasing it to customers, mistakes and all.

“They’re pretty much all our failures as we’re learning, going forward with this in terms of developing our own recipes as we eat our own cooking,” Bhandari said.

Survey identifies top risk concern

Earlier this year, IBM commissioned a survey of 4,000 top executives to better understand what the number one factor would be concerning the long-term sustainability of their business. “For the first time ever, technology factors came out as the number one risk identified,” Kavanaugh said.

Data, cloud and customer engagement were major factors cited, and this has driven IBM to focus on data architectures that can transform business and reach desired sustainability. But there is a growing debate around how businesses are going to use data collected by architected systems, and, on this point, IBM has made its position clear.

“The client’s data is their data,” Bhandari said. “If there’s insight drawn from that data, that insight too belongs to them. Our cloud is architected from the ground up to be able to support that.”

Watch the complete video interview below, and be sure to check out more of SiliconANGLE’s and theCUBE’s coverage of IBM Chief Data Officer Summit. (* Disclosure: TheCUBE is a paid media partner for the IBM Chief Data Officer Summit. Neither IBM, the event sponsor, nor other sponsors have editorial control over content on theCUBE or SiliconANGLE.)

Photo: SiliconANGLE

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