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Oec. Magazin 2

picture of what products people buy and why and can then make a better analysis of how to address client needs. Or think of a bank that can get a much better grasp on what is going on around the world and can factor this information into its risk management policies, or can combat fraud by deriving patterns which indicate what should not be going on and can then implement the necessary measures. What examples are there of successful big data outside the commercial sphere? One big topic is health where you can signifi- cantly improve diagnoses in complex environ- ments where data about certain diseases and treatments is increasing at such a speed that no human being can keep on top of it. Our under- standing of complex chemical reactions can be also improved by conducting certain analytics that would have been impossible just a few years ago. What’s IBM’s general approach? First of all, we see data as a new economic re- source, so for us the whole notion of data is one of our strategic pillars. We believe the growth will continue and remain one of the underlying drivers of how information technology is being reshaped. In practice, we approach it by address- ing the needs of the different stakeholders in the business, for example by helping CEOs under- stand how their business models have to evolve in a new organisation built on data; by helping CMOs to attract new clients and understand them as a whole and not just as a single transac- tion; and by helping COOs improve and stream- line operations and make them more viable. What tools does IBM provide, and what is innova- tive about them? We should look at the life-cycle of data. That life-cycle starts with the production of data, and then considers how to improve its quality, how to store it, organise it, make it accessible, ana- lyse it and, finally, how to understand it. Our interest covers this entire spectrum right up to what we call «cognitive computing» where we’re developing increasingly sophisticated algorithms which, based on an understanding of natural language, emulate the human thinking process more closely by evaluating statistical findings and competing hypotheses and then come up with conclusions until now proffered only by a human brain. IBM recently announced an in- vestment of more than a billion USD in the new Watson Group which is pursuing projects in the field of cognitive computing. What’s your thinking on security and privacy con- cerns with regard to big data? This problem has to be taken very seriously and for us security is a key issue. On the one hand the issue can be tackled with technology and here we’re doing ground-breaking research at our lab in Rüschlikon. But while technology can help, you also need to understand how to treat data in the light of regulatory requirements. Ulti- mately, society itself has to decide what it wants: what should be possible and what should not be possible with regard to data? The possibilities are endless and we recognise our responsibility to participate in and support discussions on these concerns. Where do you see big data in five or ten years’ time? I see a huge potential in the whole area of cogni- tive computing. This, together with the capa- bility to handle data at high volume and high speed, is going to bring about a lot of change in business in general but also in many other areas such as healthcare, urban development and the like. «We believe the growth will continue and remain one of the underlying drivers of how information technology is being reshaped.» 22 Oec. Dezember 2014 Fokus