INTERVIEW: Turning the digital journey into cognitive business across SEE

SOFIA (Bulgaria), December 9 (SeeNews) - Over the past 80 years since IBM has been present in Southeastern Europe (SEE), it has been continually transforming "the who" - its people, "the what" - its technologies, focused on creating solutions, not products, and "the how" - how it engages with its clients and creates ecosystems that thrive, Michael Paier, General Manager, IBM South East Europe told SeeNews.

Three big shifts are transforming industries and people's lives: data, cloud and mobility - driving the digitalization of data and processes - all underpinned by a strong need for security in the digital space, Paier said in a video interview.

Clients are increasingly looking for solutions that help them make data-driven decisions, while 80% of the data today is unstructured and is never analyzed or acted on. Cognition helps digital things learn and turns computer systems from an enabler for better efficiency and effectiveness to a trusted business advisor, he said.

Clients across SEE, including a leading retailer, are already using IBM cognitive business solutions to understand the buying behaviour of his clients, Paier also said.

Technology shifts are impacting key industries as well, like financial services industry, retail, and healthcare, Paier pointed out.

Industry players today need to deal with the traditional challenges along with a completely new ones, like the explosion of structured and unstructured data, the need to secure complex IT environments or ever changing client expectations and behaviors.

Cloud services, along with analytics and security solutions are already helping SEE's financial industry clients create powerful customer experiences.

Retail industry across SEE grows faster than SEE economies, suggesting for an untapped market opportunity, Paier said. E-commerce in the region too is still not at the level of comparable Western European countries but is gaining ground, he added. SEE consumers are increasingly savvy and demanding. Clients leverage IBM solutions that provide a unified approach to managing evolving digital and physical channels, Paier said.

As another sector on IBM's radar Paier pointed to healthcare.

SEE countries spend between 6 and 10% of GDP on healthcare, yet this does not translate into higher life expectancy and less deaths.

"I think there is an urgent need to make the healthcare system across SEEmore intelligent, efficient, and again to link medical expenditure to patient outcome," he commented.

Advanced technology can be a game changer here as It can link medical expenditure to patient outcomes, save time and money.

Talking about blockchain, Paier noted that it requires a complete ecosystem of industry players working together. It goes beyond banks and touches different industries, and an increasing number of firms are beginning to use it. "It gives you an opportunity to create much more cost-efficient solutions and networks," he said.

In his words, IBM is leading blockchain evolution. "We are currently working with more than 300 clients in the world to pioneer blockchain for business, and this is more than any other company," Paier noted. "We are providing the entire stack for blockchain. These integrated solutions will help save time and speed up transactions, you can save money on document transfer and verification, and even more important, you can reduce risk and increase trust."


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