The challenges facing today’s Chief Information Officers (CIOs) are more complicated and critical than ever before, as these leaders look to help their businesses recover and restart in the wake of a global pandemic. To that end, IBM announced Think Digital conference, a broad range of new AI-powered capabilities and services that are designed to help CIOs automate their IT infrastructures to be more resilient to future disruptions and to help reduce costs.
Market intelligence firm IDC predicts that, by 2024, enterprises that are powered by AI will be able to respond to customers, competitors, regulators, and partners 50% faster than those that are not using AI.
To that end, IBM is unveiling IBM Watson AIOps, a new offering that uses AI to automate how enterprises self-detect, diagnose and respond to IT anomalies in real time. Unforeseen IT incidents and outages can cost businesses in both revenue and reputation. Market research firm Aberdeen pegs an outage at about $260,000/hour.
Watson AIOps enables organizations 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 build more responsive and intelligent networks that can stay up and running longer.
The new solution is built on the latest release of Red Hat OpenShift to run across hybrid cloud environments and works in concert with technologies at the center 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.
As part of the rollout, IBM is also announcing the Accelerator for Application Modernization with AI, within IBM’s Cloud Modernization service. This new capability is designed to help clients reduce the overall effort and costs associated with application modernization. It provides a series of tools designed to optimize the end to end modernization journey, accelerating the analysis and recommendations for various architectural and microservices options. The accelerator leverages continuous learning and interpretable AI models to adapt to the client’s preferred software engineering practices and stays up-to-date with the evolution of technology and platforms.
Many of the technologies underlying Watson AIOps and the Accelerator for Application Modernization were developed in IBM Research.
“What we’ve learned from companies all over the world is that there are three major factors that will determine the success of AI in business – language, automation, and trust. 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 prioritize 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.”Said, Rob Thomas, Senior Vice President, Cloud and Data Platform, IBM
In addition to automating IT operations, IBM is announcing a series of new and updated capabilities designed to give CIOs a playbook for operating in this new environment.
IBM new AI capabilities are designed to help:
- Automate Business Planning – IBM Cloud Pak for Data, IBM’s fully-integrated data, and AI platform has been updated with a host of new capabilities designed to help business leaders automate the access to critical business-ready data. For example, added to the platform as extensions are IBM Planning Analytics, designed to enable users to automate planning, budgeting and forecasting for business; and DataOps capabilities such as IBM InfoSphere Master Data Connect, which enables users to access MDM deployments in on-premises environments.
- Automate Business Operations – A major new update to IBM Cloud Pak for Automation, software for designing, building and running automation apps, enables clients to more easily create AI “digital worker” automation solutions. Digital workers automate routine work and collaborate with human counterparts. The new capabilities can help simplify how organizations digitize automation skills, such as data capture, task automation, and business routing.
- Automate Call Centers – IBM Watson Assistant, IBM’s AI-based conversation platform, has also been updated to help intelligently automate the most complex, knowledge-intensive interactions and drive improved customer satisfaction while reducing operating costs. The Assistant now has a pre-built user interface that requires no development effort to deploy and is designed with user experience-based best practices. Also, new integrations to some of the leading customer service platforms preserve clients’ existing investments in those services and allow users to reach live agents with ease. Finally, a new feature called “autolearning,” currently in development and due in the product this summer, will learn from prior customer behavior to provide the best, most relevant answers to new questions on the same topic. Just as human agents improve over time by learning from customer interactions, autolearning will now offer similar capabilities for the virtual assistant.
Today’s news expands on the recently announced business solutions for COVID-19 disruption that are already helping businesses navigate the uncertainty of today’s business environment. Leading businesses and institutions are turning to IBM services and our leadership in cloud, data, and AI solutions to help with recovery during this pandemic.
About IBM Think Digital
At Think Digital 2020, IBM will discuss the state of business and the role of critical technologies, such as AI and Cloud, as clients accelerate recovery and digital transformation in the wake of COVID-19.