When creating a culture of innovation, many organizations face hurdles related to talent, capital and time. CIOs and the enterprises they lead are now at an inflection point in the way that humans and technology work together in the business ecosystem, with companies utilizing cognitive automation as a way to shift workflow dynamics and unleash the potential for every employee to be an innovator.\nThe opportunity for cognitive automation is so great that\u00a0industry analysts predict that by 2020, smart machines will become a top five investment priority\u00a0for almost a third of CIOs.\u00a0 By mimicking human activities such as perceiving, inferring, gathering evidence and probabilistic reasoning, cognitive systems can perform tasks that have historically required human intelligence and situational analysis.\nThe co-existence between human employees and cognitive systems is creating a new class of digital labor that can enhance human skills and expertise, allowing employees to innovate constantly. Working within this new ecosystem, generalists can behave like specialists, and less experienced employees can perform like seasoned veterans.\n KPMG \nAs the organization begins laying the groundwork for cognitive automation, key considerations for CIOs can be segmented into four phases.\nInnovation discovery.\u00a0Determine the disruptive impact on your business processes, people and culture. What are the benefits of digital labor? What are the cognitive opportunities across functions? How will employees do their jobs differently? Your innovation discovery should culminate in a clear understanding of these questions.\nVendor landscape. Separate hype from reality and choose the right solution for your needs. Do you need a niche software provider with narrow applications, such as digital assistants for retail customer service? Do you need a vendor for configurable process robotics software? Or is it best to seek a provider of more comprehensive platforms in artificial intelligence and machine learning?\nUltimately vendor selection should align with your strategy for creating enterprise value, balancing short-term quick wins with long-term game changers. Also consider how vendors will complement what your organization can already do by itself.\nStrategy and roadmap. Prioritizing use cases can lead to \u201ccognitive moments\u201d that represent transformative opportunities to show how employees will benefit as innovators working with digital labor. This kind of approach creates best practices for the organization as it begins execution.\nImplementation.\u00a0Use a portfolio approach to reduce the risk of your cognitive transformation, while ensuring that the enterprise can extract value from both simple and complex implementations. For example, you might want to start with robotic process automation (RPA) to automate basic tasks, which in turn can support more complex cognitive projects. Cognitive projects take longer to implement but, accordingly, have a higher business impact. Finally, ensure that technology teams use modern design thinking and agile methodologies to drive user adoption at every stage of the implementation roadmap.\nJust as critical to sustained success is a model for change management and governance, which should have the\u00a0full commitment of leadership and underpins all four phases of a cognitive strategy. This model helps ensure that the cognitive automation vision \u2013 to transform the enterprise into an engine of unconstrained innovation \u2013 becomes a scalable reality, with buy-in from all parts of the organization.\nTo learn more, download\u00a0Embracing the Cognitive Era: Using automation to break transformation barriers and make every employee an innovator.