Technology

AI adoption to accelerate in new normal, says IBM

Rob Thomas, Senior Vice President, Cloud and Data Platform, of IBM, says companies are becoming more comfortable with AI adoption.
Rob Thomas, Senior Vice President, Cloud and Data Platform, of IBM, says companies are becoming more comfortable with AI adoption.

As the COVID-19 pandemic reshapes the world, AI adoption will help businesses recover and restart. To this end, IBM has announced today new AI-powered capabilities and services, including IBM Watson AIOps.

Built on Red Hat OpenShift, IBM Watson AIOps will be a powerful tool for automating a company’s information technology infrastructure. It runs across any cloud and works in collaboration with an ecosystem of partners, including Slack and Box.

Helping businesses adapt

“The crisis in many cases is going to accelerate what probably would have happened anyway. And I think AI is a great example of that. Companies are slowly getting comfortable with the idea of AI and it being their friend, and that it drives transformation. I like to say AI is not going to replace managers, but managers that can use AI will replace managers that cannot,” Rob Thomas, Senior Vice President, Cloud and Data Platform, of IBM, told Digital Life Asia at the press briefing for its Think Digital conference.

At the press briefing, Dario Gil, Director of IBM Research, cited IBM’s experience and resources. These enabled IBM to help its employees and clients overcome the challenges posed by the COVID-19 pandemic.

Dario Gil, Director of IBM Research, cites IBM's own experience with AI adoption and the cloud, which helped it address the challenges posed by the pandemic. Image credit: John O’Boyle
Dario Gil, Director of IBM Research, cites IBM’s own experience with AI adoption and the cloud, which helped it address the challenges posed by the pandemic. Image credit: John O’Boyle

“Since the outbreak of COVID-19, IBM has been focused on, one, protecting the health and safety of our employees, partners, and clients. Second, ensuring business continuity for our clients and our own business. While seamlessly accelerating the digital reinvention of our clients, so that they can emerge stronger. And aiding society with resources, research, and capabilities,” Gil said.

He said the company’s success in adapting to the new normal will prove helpful to clients. For instance, IBM was quickly able to shift 95 percent of its global workforce to a work-from-home arrangement.

With its own experience in AI adoption and the cloud, IBM can guide thousands of businesses in making the transition. IBM will also help them address the increase in certain risks due to remote work, such as cybersecurity issues.

Encouraging AI adoption

IBM Watson AIOps will automate your information technology infrastructure.
IBM Watson AIOps will automate your information technology infrastructure.

In a previous interview, IBM Philippines Chief Technology Officer Lope Doromal Jr. said the “combination of human and machine makes AI both powerful and transformative“.

AI is certainly a powerful tool for ensuring business continuity. For instance, unforeseen IT incidents and outages can cost businesses in both reputation and revenue. In fact, according to market research firm Aberdeen, the cost of downtime is about US$260,000 per hour.

With IBM Watson AIOps, businesses can use AI to automate self-detection, diagnosis, and response to IT anomalies in real time.

“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,” Thomas said in a press statement.

Preparing for remote work

“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,” Thomas added.

The nature of work will change in the post-pandemic world. Companies will need to make hard decisions today that will have ramifications on their business for the years ahead. Remote work as the new normal will come with its own set of challenges.

“The greatest challenge for organizations 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,” Slack CEO and Co-founder Stewart Butterfield said in a press statement. “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.”

“In this new era of remote work, securely sharing and accessing files anytime, and across all your apps, is more important than ever before,” said Box CEO Aaron Levie in a press statement. “We’re thrilled to expand our partnership with IBM to deliver content and collaboration across Watson AIOps, enabling IT organizations and businesses to get work done faster, simpler, and more securely.”

Getting your business ready for the new normal? AI may turn out to be your company’s best friend.