Seeing past the hype around cognitive computing – Jeanne Ross

Jeanne Ross, Director & Principal Research Scientist at the MIT Sloan School's CISR

Jeanne Ross, Director & Principal Research Scientist at the MIT Sloan School’s CISR

From Information Management

Given the hype around artificial intelligence, you might be worried that you’re missing the boat if you haven’t yet invested in cognitive computing applications in your business. Don’t panic! Consumer products, vehicles, and equipment with embedded intelligence are generating lots of excitement. However, business applications of AI are still in the early stages.

Research at MIT Sloan’s Center for Information Systems Research (CISR) suggests that small experiments in cognitive computing may help you tap the significant opportunities AI offers. But it’s easy to invest huge amounts of cash and time in failed experiments so you will want to carefully target your investments.

The biggest impact from cognitive computing applications is expected to come from automation of many existing jobs. We expect computers to do—faster and cheaper—many tasks now performed by humans. Progress thus far, however, suggests that we have significant obstacles to overcome in our efforts to replace human intelligence with computer intelligence. Despite some notable exceptions, we expect the displacement of human labor to proceed incrementally.

The business challenge is to determine which applications your company is ready to cash in on while resisting the lure of tackling processes that you can’t cost-effectively teach machines to do well. We have studied the opportunities and risks of business applications of cognitive computing and identified several lessons. These lessons offer suggestions for positioning your firm to capitalize on the potential benefits of cognitive computing and avoid the pitfalls.

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Why smart companies are embracing shadow IT — Jeanne Ross

Jeanne Ross, Director & Principal Research Scientist at the MIT Sloan School's CISR

Jeanne Ross, Director & Principal Research Scientist at the MIT Sloan School’s CISR

From Hewlett Packard Enterprise

Companies have no end of opportunities when it comes to spending their technology dollars. And over the years, individual business units have become adept at making their cases for the IT projects they want funded.

But according to our research at MIT Sloan School, top-performing companies are bypassing nice-to-have projects in favor of absolutely must-do ones by focusing on their most strategic opportunities for business transformation.

Practically speaking, this means narrowing down the programs that get funded to just a handful—and rejecting proposals for any IT projects that don’t advance one or more of those programs.

We call this “demand shaping.” Demand shaping is the process of negotiating and learning that goes on within a company as it identifies its most valuable and achievable business-change opportunities, and decides which IT programs will best support those opportunities. (Read my HPE Business Insights article “Don’t satisfy demand for IT services—shape it instead” for more on this process.)

But what about the projects that don’t get funded? Isn’t there a risk that they will just be driven underground, contributing to the ever-growing shadow IT challenge companies face today? Shadow IT, of course, is what happens when technology is brought into an organization without IT’s permission or knowledge. Some estimates put shadow IT expenditures as high as 30% of official IT budgets.

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How to succeed when facing digital disruption — Jeanne Ross

Jeanne Ross, Director & Principal Research Scientist at the MIT Sloan School's CISR

Jeanne Ross, Director & Principal Research Scientist at the MIT Sloan School’s CISR

From TechCrunch

In a digital economy, companies are constantly faced with opportunities, challenges and threats. Business changes are critical to successfully navigate in this environment, but there are plenty of pitfalls to watch for along the way.

Some companies, like those in the media space, are probably closer to the head of the pack in addressing these issues. They’ve either survived or not at this point. Others, in areas like retail and financial services, are in the eye of the storm, while industries like oil and gas and consumer goods see this more as an issue on the horizon.

Regardless of where they are in dealing with digital disruption, everyone’s assumptions about what is necessary to succeed are being shaken up. Digital disruption comes at you in unexpected ways, and businesses need to be prepared. MIT’s Center for Information Systems Research (CISR) has been studying this issue for years through case studies, interviews and surveys. Based on that research, we’ve identified five propositions about thriving during digital disruption.

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5 commandments of cloud preparation — John Mooney and Jeanne Ross

Jeanne Ross, Dir. & Principal Research Scientist at MIT Sloan's CISR

Jeanne Ross, Dir. & Princ. Res. Scientist at CISR

John Mooney, Researcher at the MIT Sloan's CISR

John Mooney, Researcher at CISR

From Computerworld

Talk of the cloud has stirred up a lot of excitement. A 2011 mandate from the government CIO to move toward a cloud-first strategy has managers hoping that public cloud solutions will provide a quick fix to sticky technology challenges and messy business processes.

To some extent the hype is real. The cloud is transforming how organizations use and manage technology. As cloud adoption becomes more prevalent, government organizations that resist its charms risk missing opportunities to enhance the services they deliver.

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