CEO Topic: IBM Watson – A Hammer in Search of Nails

Author: Simon Alterman

Date: May 27, 2015


If a computer system like IBM Watson can “reason” like a human being, what are the implications for information businesses? This new era of computing cannot be ignored; CEOs and their teams have a challenge ahead as they decide whether, when, and how to engage with cognitive computing. This report addresses:

  • The progress IBM Watson has made since its commercial launch.
  • IBM Watson’s market strategy and its impact in the health, financial, legal, and other sectors.
  • How publishers and information businesses can use IBM Watson.
  • Case studies from Deakin University, Vantage Software, and OnRamp Exchange.

Leading information businesses have the advantage of deep knowledge and long-term relationships with their users but they need to stay ahead of where this computing convergence is leading.


Outsell completed approximately 20 interviews with executives at IBM, Watson clients and partners, other technology companies, and information businesses either engaged with Watson or considering it. The topic has also featured prominently in our regular dialogue with information industry leaders. In addition, we looked at demonstrations of services and applications built on Watson and conducted secondary research looking at material published by IBM and others about the Watson program and examining the field in which it is operating. This, combined with our ongoing dialogue with the marketplace and analyst coverage across many verticals, led to our analytic conclusions.

Outsell Inc. CEO Topic: IBM Watson - A Hammer in Search of Nails


  • Why This Topic
  • Methodology
  • Watson and Convergence
  • What is Watson?
  • Cognitive Computing
  • The Watson Business
  • Market Strategy
  • Watson in Action
  • Health
  • Finance
  • Legal
  • Other Sectors
  • Watson and the Content Business
  • Content for Training
  • Content Marketplace
  • Using Watson
  • Issues for IBM
  • Essential Actions
  • Related Research

Figures & Tables

  • Figure 1. Growth of Watson Clients and Partners
  • Figure 2. Watson Ecosystem APIs (March 2015)
  • Figure 3. Working with Watson: Recommendations for Content Providers

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