IBM unveiled new AI and edge computing solutions to help businesses navigate the uncertainty of today’s business environment and automate IT operations for greater control, efficiency and business continuity.
Speaking at the IBM Think Digital 2020 virtual conference, Rob Thomas, Senior Vice-President for Cloud and Data Platform at IBM, said that chief information officers (CIOs) need a powerful AI to automate their IT infrastructures in a bid to be more resilient to future disruptions and to help reduce costs.
He said the challenges faced by today’s CIOs are more complicated and critical than ever before as they look to help their businesses recover and restart in the wake of a global pandemic.
IBM unveiled IBM Watson AIOps, a new offering that uses AI to automate how enterprises self-detect, diagnose and respond to IT anomalies in real-time as unforeseen IT incidents and outages can cost businesses in both revenue and reputation.
Market intelligence firm International Data Corporation predicts that enterprises that are powered by AI will respond to customers, competitors, regulators and partners 50% faster than those that are not using AI by 2024.
“AI is not going to replace managers but managers that use AI will be replaced by managers that do not use AI. There are three differentiating capabilities in AI for business — trust, language and automation,” he said.
Driving the need for automation
Thomas said that Watson AIOps is built on Red Hat OpenShift to run across hybrid cloud environments and works in concert with technologies at the centre of today’s distributed work environments, such as Slack and Box.
It also works with providers of traditional IT monitoring solutions such as Mattermost and ServiceNow.
A few days back, IBM subsidiary Red Hat announced new offerings to help organisations of all sizes and industries optimise, scale or simply protect IT operations in the face of shifting global dynamics.
“Watson AIOps enables organisations to introduce automation at the infrastructure level and is designed to help CIOs better predict and shape future outcomes, focus resources on higher-value work and be better prepared to build more responsive and intelligent networks that can stay up and running longer,” he said.
Moreover, he said the Covid-19 crisis and increased demand for remote work capabilities are driving the need for AI automation at an unprecedented rate and pace.
“With automation, we are empowering next-generation CIOs and their teams to prioritise the crucial work of today’s digital enterprises — managing and mining data to apply predictive insights that help lead to more impactful business results and lower cost,” he added.
In addition to automating IT operations, IBM updated its ‘Cloud Pak for Data’ with a host of new capabilities designed to help business leaders automate the access to critical business-ready data, updated its ‘Cloud Pak for Automation’ to enable clients easily create AI digital worker automation solutions and updated its Watson Assistant conversation platform.
Thomas said that the convergence of 5G, edge computing and hybrid multi-cloud is redefining how businesses operate —speeding innovation, creating better user experiences, and improving employee and customer engagement.
However, he said that only 10% of the data is processed at the edge today but that is expected to grow by 75% between now and 2025 per year.
“We are helping enterprises capitalise on the opportunities created by this new computing model, offering a comprehensive set of open edge solutions and a robust open ecosystem,’’ he said.
Achieve insights closer
Hillery Hunter, IBM Fellow and CTO at IBM Cloud, said that by 2022, Gartner predicts that half of the newly deployed on-premises infrastructure will be in critical edge locations rather than corporate data centres from the current 10%.
“We see three market factors —the rollout of edge computing infrastructure, backend at the advent of 5G and the transformation of telco networks into an actual cloud platform — that are converging to create a significant opportunity for IBM in edge computing,” she said.
The solutions combine IBM’s experience and expertise in multi-cloud environments with Red Hat’s open-source technology.
With new edge services and multi-cloud network solutions from IBM, she said that enterprises can overcome the complexity of managing workloads across a massive volume of devices to fully realise the benefits of edge computing, including running AI and analytics at the edge to achieve insights closer to where the work is done.