IBM announces breakthrough hybrid cloud and AI capabilities

May 15, 2021 | 12:56
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US tech giant IBM announced advances in AI, hybrid cloud, and quantum computing at the company’s Think 2021 conference early this week, helping its clients and partners to accelerate their digital transformations, return to work smarter, and build strategic ecosystems that can drive better business outcomes.
ibm announces breakthrough hybrid cloud and ai capabilities
IBM chairman and CEO Arvind Krishna

“We will look back on this year and the last as the moment the world entered the digital century in full force,” said IBM chairman and CEO Arvind Krishna. “In the same way that we electrified factories and machines in the past century, we will use hybrid cloud to infuse AI into software and systems in the 21st century. At Think 2021, we are unveiling our latest hybrid cloud and AI innovations – the very technologies that serve as the building blocks of a new IT architecture for business.”

A new IBM study on the adoption of AI for business reveals that the imperative to embed AI into business processes became more urgent during the pandemic. Of the IT professionals surveyed, 43 per cent said that their companies had accelerated their rollout of AI. And nearly half of global IT professionals surveyed said they evaluate AI providers in large part on their ability to automate processes. That is why IBM has invested heavily in building rich and powerful AI capabilities for business.

The following innovations are designed to equip businesses for the next stage of their digital journeys.

Accordingly, AutoSQL (Structured Query Language) automates how customers access, integrate, and manage data without ever having to move it, regardless of where the data resides or how it is stored.

With the launch of AutoSQL, IBM Cloud Pak for Data now includes the highest-performing cloud data warehouse on the market that can run seamlessly across any hybrid multi-cloud environment – including private clouds, on-premises, and any public cloud. AutoSQL will be one of several new technologies woven into a new data fabric in the Cloud Pak for Data.

IBM has added a new capability into WebSphere Hybrid Edition that enables enterprises to optimise and modernise their applications for hybrid cloud.

Watson Orchestrate is a new interactive AI capability designed to increase the personal productivity of business professionals across sales, human resources, operations and more. Requiring no IT skills to use, Watson Orchestrate enables professionals to initiate work in a very human way, using collaboration tools such as Slack and email in natural language.

Watson Orchestrate is the latest AI-powered automation capability from IBM designed to help people reclaim a significant amount of their time to focus on more strategic tasks. It was developed by IBM Research and is now available in preview as part of the IBM Automation Cloud Paks and is expected to be generally available later this year.

IBM has launched Maximo Mobile, an easy-to-deploy mobile platform with IBM’s leading Maximo asset management solution at the core. Maximo Mobile is designed to transform the work of field technicians who maintain physical assets such as roads, bridges, production lines, power plants, refineries, and more.

Even in the most remote locations, users can access Watson AI and in-depth organisational knowledge to easily solve complex issues. This powerful combination of AI, intelligent workflows, remote human assistance, and access to digital twins puts decades of industry experience directly into the hands of technicians for safer, more efficient operations.

IBM Research also releases Project CodeNet, a large-scale, open-source dataset comprised of 14 million code samples, 500 million lines of code and 55 programming languages, to enable AI’s understanding and translation of code.

Project CodeNet is currently the largest, most differentiated dataset in its class and addresses three main use cases in coding today: code search (automatically translating one code into another, including legacy languages like COBOL); code similarity (identifying overlaps and similarities among different codes); and code constraints (customising constraints based on a developer’s specific needs and parameters).

IBM has added a new capability into WebSphere Hybrid Edition that enables enterprises to optimise and modernise their applications for hybrid cloud.

IBM Mono2Micro uses AI developed by IBM Research to analyse large enterprise applications and provide recommendations on how to best adapt them for the move to cloud. It can simplify and speed up an error-prone process, which can reduce costs and maximise return on investment.

IBM Mono2Micro is one of IBM’s suite of AI-powered products and services that can make it faster to migrate to the cloud.

In addition, IBM is making it faster and easier for developers to use quantum software by introducing Qiskit Runtime. This software is containerised and hosted in the hybrid cloud, instead of running most of its code on the user's computer.

Qiskit, the IBM-developed open-source framework for quantum computing for a global community of developers, aims to make quantum computing accessible to all.

By introducing Qiskit Runtime, IBM is enabling quantum systems to run complex calculations such as chemical modeling and financial risk analysis in hours, instead of several weeks. IBM recently demonstrated how the lithium hydride molecule (LiH) could be modeled on a quantum device in nine hours, when previously it took 45 days. This kind of improvement is key to scaling quantum computation for new use cases.

By Anh Duc

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