‘Technology Will Accelerate Business Recovery’

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Arvind Krishna

By Emma Okonji

The Chief Executive Officer of IBM, Mr. Arvind Krishna, has said organisations must leverage critical technologies such as Artificial Intelligence (AI) and Cloud, in order to accelerate business recovery and digital transformation in the wake of COVID-19.

According to him, the challenges facing today’s Chief Information Officers (CIOs) could be 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.

Krishna, who spoke recently, during a virtual ‘Think Digital’ conference organised by IBM, announced a broad range of new AI-powered capabilities and services that are designed to help CIOs automate their Information Technology (IT) infrastructure to be more resilient to future disruptions and to help reduce costs.

Market intelligence firm IDC, had predicted that, by 2024, enterprises that are powered by AI will be able to respond to customers, competitors, regulators, and partners, 50 per cent faster than those that are not using AI.

Based on the prediction, coupled with global business disruptions occasioned by COVID-19, IBM unveiled several technology solutions that will help speed up business recovery and stability, among which is the IBM Watson AIOps, a new offering that uses AI to automate how enterprises self-detect, diagnose and respond to IT anomalies in real time.

According to Krishna, unforeseen IT incidents and outages could cost businesses in both revenue and reputation, and a market research firm, Aberdeen pegs an outage at about $260,000/hour.

He said Watson AIOps would enable 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 build more responsive and intelligent networks that can stay up and running longer.

“The new solution was 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 environment, 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 Modernisation with AI, within the IBM’s Cloud Modernisation service. This new capability is designed to help clients reduce the overall effort and costs associated with application modernisation.

“It provides a series of tools designed to optimise the end-to-end modernisation 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,” Krishna said.

Addressing organisational challenges in the face of COVID-19, Slack CEO and Co-founder, Stewart Butterfield, said: “The greatest challenge for organisations is one of alignment. Slack is most valuable when it integrates tightly with the other tools customers use every day, bringing critical business information into channels where it can be collaborated on by teams.

“By using Slack with Watson AIOps, IT operators can effectively collaborate on incident solutions, allowing them to spend critical time solving problems rather than identifying them.”

The Senior Vice President, Cloud and Data Platform, IBM, Rob Thomas, said: “What we have 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 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.”

According to Krishna, the critical technologies 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.