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IBM: Data Is Everyone’s Opportunity

Data

IBM THINK — About 20 percent of the world’s data is searchable. The other 80 percent of data is owned by businesses — customer data, underwriting data, financials and so on. Because of that fact, many can win —not just a few companies. Data is everyone’s opportunity.

IBM is “trying to make the world of business work smarter” at its Think conference this week in Las Vegas. Almost 40,000 attendees are in Sin City for the event.

This is what happens, at a unique moment in time, about every 25 years, when both business and technology architecture change at the same time. It has the potential to change everything. Think about AI, machine learning and Watson, the era of man and machine.

IBM's Ginni Rometty

IBM’s Ginni Rometty

“It’s the data that leads to exponential learning and the competitive advantage to out-learn everybody else,” Ginni Rometty, IBM president, chairman and CEO, shared with the audience. “Embed cognition in every process you run, and you’ll empower people with all forms of intelligence.”

Per IBM research, it’s worth about $2 trillion if we could make better decisions. But how to get there?

Start with a platform. Rometty noted that companies will use a lot of platforms — their digital intelligence. Many of these will be other companies’ platforms, such as Salesforce.

Throw in some learning to get cognitive processes. Processes ripe today for AI are human resources (HR), customer service, risk and compliance, and knowledge workers.

Go on the offensive and empower people.

“We’ve done lots of studies, and man and machine always get a better answer than man alone or machine alone,” Rometty said.

While platforms, intelligent processes and empowering people will be an inflection-point business, it will also be an inflection point for society.

Addressing data and the potential it has to be the greatest opportunity of our time is easy. More difficult is that it also has the potential to be the greatest concern.

“We all have to work on data trust and responsibility, jobs and skills, and inclusion,” Rometty said.

IBM made many announcements supporting its conference theme:

  • It is bringing mainframe-level data protection to the IBM Cloud, with the IBM Cloud Hyper Protect family. IBM Cloud Hyper Protect family includes four services: Protect Crypto Services; IBM Cloud Hyper Protect DBaaS; IBM Cloud Hyper Protect Containers; and IBM Cloud Hyper Protect Developer Starter Kits.
  • Access to purpose-built hardware to leverage AI and deep learning is an imperative, so IBM introduced Power9 on IBM Cloud, PowerAi on IBM Cloud, and, SAP Hana on Power Systems on IBM Cloud.
  • IBM Watson is joining forces with Apple Core ML, the smartphone giant’s machine-learning framework. The combination will result in the next level of apps for the mobile enterprise, such as getting real-time insights, the ability to analyze images, classify visual content and train models using Watson.
  • Also new is Watson Data Kits, designed to accelerate the development of AI applications. The kits will provide companies across vertical industries with pre-enriched, machine-readable, industry-specific data that can help them scale AI across their businesses. Watson Data Kits will serve vertical industries beginning with travel, transportation and food beginning in the second quarter.

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