Making Digital Transformation More Than a Buzz Phrase

My last post on cognitive computing was a backgrounder, and it stated the importance of search to any cognitive computing initiative. So, how does cognitive computing powered by search lead to digital transformation? In fact, just what is digital transformation?

Cognitive Search for Digital Transformation

It is, no doubt, an overused phrase. But it captures something very real that’s occurring not only in business but across society at large. An article in i-SCOOP frames digital transformation as the ways in which a mix of digital technologies accelerate change in business and organizational activities, processes, competencies and models. 

The article goes on to say these changes enable organizations “to be more agile, people-oriented, innovative, customer-centric, streamlined, efficient and able to…  …tap into new information- and service-driven revenues.”

Cognitive Search: At the Core of Digital Transformation 

One of the technologies shaping digital transformation is cognitive search. By offering unified access to internal and external information — regardless of form or format — and delivering insight into the relationships between them, cognitive search makes employees more productive. It helps companies engage more effectively with their customers, recognize and capitalize on new revenue opportunities, and avoid risk. Traditional search technologies simply can’t do this. Nor can they scale to accommodate the vast information today’s organizations generate.

Cognitive Search at the Service Desk

Information gathering is the first step in delivering good customer service. To be effective, a customer service rep needs an understanding of who the customer is. What products have they purchased? Are they paying for maintenance and support? Are any of the products end of life? Have they called in the past about the product? Were earlier interactions with customer support positive or negative? The more the service rep knows, the better he can engage with the customer to solve a problem or even upsell into another product. 

Cognitive search automates the synthesis of information and presents it to service reps in a context that makes them much more capable and informed right from the start. It joins efficiency and cost savings with revenue opportunities.

But what really puts the “cognitive” into the mix is the ability to optimize customer service outcomes by anticipating the best resolution path based on similar cases, past actions, and past outcomes. This drives massive gains in productivity, and the follow-on effects of better quality customer service.

Risk Avoidance 

Cognitive search helps risk and compliance leaders protect their brands by delivering a holistic view of risk in the organization. Using machine learning and text analytics, cognitive search offers comprehensive, scalable, and automated monitoring of communications across every channel.

Take the case of communications between the sales team and the trading desk in a large brokerage firm. This is a critical area where manual tracking simply cannot keep up. Cognitive search helps compliance executives and investigators understand past behaviors and take preventive actions while eliminating false positives.

By avoiding risk, you protect the value of the brand. When the press reveals that a large bank has unknowingly laundered the money of Mexican cartels, customers begin to leave. Reputation risk becomes financial risk. So, these communications surveillance efforts driven by cognitive search can be vital to an organization’s long-term health.

The Unified Digital Workplace 

Today’s information workers are used to intuitive search experiences in their personal lives with tools like Google, Alexa, and Siri. When systems in the workplace don’t deliver that ease of use, it creates frustration. 

Cognitive search bridges that gap by creating an engaging and relevant workplace experience. By sharing knowledge, finding answers, connecting with people, and automating routine tasks, cognitive search creates a unified experience that helps organizations benefit from digital transformation in a highly productive way.

And cognitive search behind the unified digital workplace gets smarter and delivers more precision the more it’s used. It learns from the search behavior of every user.

Cognitive Search Produces Clear ROI

Every company wants to invest in initiatives that are self-funding in terms of ROI.  And, the most easily quantifiable ROI story is one where you can prove a clear cost takeout. Cognitive search delivers that. But, if cognitive search initiatives are so promising, why do many fail, while costing the client organization millions of dollars? I’ll get into that in my next post.


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