IBM augments Watson with new cognitive business consulting arm

WatsonEnterprise tech giant IBM has announced the creation of IBM Cognitive Business Solutions, a consulting practice designed to help businesses get into the cognitive computing game.

IBM continues to invest heavily in its Watson cognitive computing operation, which uses artificial intelligence and machine learning to better deal with unstructured data. This consulting business will have access to over 2,000 consultants across a wide range of industries.

“Our work with clients across many industries shows that cognitive computing is the path to the next great set of possibilities for business,” said Bridget van Kralingen, SVP of IBM Global Business Services.

“Clients know they are collecting and analyzing more data than ever before, but 80 percent of all the available data — images, voice, literature, chemical formulas, social expressions — remains out of reach for traditional computing systems. We’re scaling expertise to close that gap and help our clients become cognitive banks, retailers, automakers, insurers or healthcare providers.”

“Before long, we will look back and wonder how we made important decisions or discovered new opportunities without systematically learning from all available data,” said Stephen Pratt, global leader, IBM Cognitive Business Solutions. “Over the next decade, this transformation will be very personal for professionals as we embrace learning algorithms to enhance our capacity. For clients, cognitive systems will provide organizations that adopt these powerful tools outperform their peers.”

Speaking at a Gartner symposium IBM CEO indicated the cognitive business is a cornerstone of IBM’s overall strategy. IBM says it has already invested over a billion dollars on Watson and intends to train another 25,000 IBM consultants and practitioners on cognitive computing before the end of this year.