Jeff Vail
Jeff Vail

How is the cognitive wave changing business?

Automation and cognitive computing are dramatically shifting the way employees work and business is done. They function as the next generation of outsourcing, shifting its focus from labor arbitrage to labor itself. These tools allow tasks to be performed faster, more efficiently, and with greater accuracy than ever before, while shifting the role of human workers to more creative and interpersonal jobs.

The cognitive wave is already having a major impact on business, and its effects are only likely to become more pronounced in the coming years. As computer technology becomes more advanced and developers create tools that can perform tasks previously only doable by human employees, work and the role of the employee are shifting. Building on this and incorporating it into the businesses innovation strategy is critical to maintaining a competitive edge in the future.

Business unit needs

As an IT leader, it is important to understand how the business can use automation and cognitive computing to increase efficiency, reduce costs, improve accuracy, and deliver better customer service. This will help the department to provide better guidance to business leaders when attempting to help them reach their goals. By helping incorporate cognitive computing and automation into business units, IT can facilitate the business to function more effectively and can maintain its own key role of technology leadership within the company.

Increased speed – Automation tools can perform certain tasks faster than any human worker could. This is particularly true in areas in which computers excel, such as sorting through large volumes of data or performing mathematical operations. This means that companies have the opportunity to significantly out pace the competition, deliver better service, and increase efficiency across the organization.

Personnel redeployment – Automation can perform menial tasks better and faster than human workers. This means that companies have the opportunity to redeploy their personnel to more interesting and productive areas that can grow the business. Humans no longer have to perform the boring work of crunching numbers or performing simple password resets, they can now be reassigned to areas where they can make a more significant contribution to the enterprise.

Increasing accuracy – One of the greatest advantages of using automation tools is their ability to perform actions in a highly accurate, repeatable manner. Although in some cases there is no substitute for employee oversight, in specific roles automated tools can perform a task better and faster than any human. Reviewing large data sets, automatically troubleshooting and addressing common IT problems, and providing access to a wealth of information are all roles in which computers can outperform their human counterparts.

Better customer experience – Although customer service may be primarily associated with human connection, cognitive computing can still play a key role. Providing automated service for simple customer requests can greatly speed resolution of any problems that may arise while simultaneously reducing the workload on the human staff. This can significantly improve customer service productivity and improve brand value.

Multiplying productivity – Although many workers are afraid that automation will take their jobs, this is usually not the case. Instead, the technology acts as a productivity multiplier, helping the workforce focus on more human oriented and creative tasks, while leaving repetitive work to the machines. This can drastically improve employee productivity, allowing them to solve problems faster, and provide for greater innovation within the company.

Reduce costs – Increased productivity, reduced errors, and improved speed all translate to significant cost savings after automation has been implemented. The technology allows for an increase in the amount of work the company can perform while simultaneously decreasing the cost of that work, meaning that automation has one of most advantageous cost/benefit ratio of any IT initiative.


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Jeff Vail
Chief Executive Officer

As CEO, Jeff leads Wavestone US’ team of experienced consultants and plays a pivotal role in strategy development and execution for the firm. He is a top advisor and thought leader on Wavestone's range of services, spanning IT strategy, run optimization, and IT service management. With more than 20 years of experience in executive leadership functions, he has a deep understanding of what is takes to solve IT’s biggest problems: aligning with the business, lowering costs, and increasing speed and impact.

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