IBM makes Watson available for competing cloud services


In a departure from its past practices, IBM is now making its Watson Artificial Intelligence (AI) services available for any cloud, even those run by Google, Amazon or Microsoft. Watson is designed to help organisations put AI to work to improve the performance of business. But earlier they needed to use IBM’s Cloud computing service for the technology.

IBM said it had made Watson portable across any cloud and empowered businesses to prevent vendor lock-in and start deploying AI wherever their data resides.

“Businesses have largely been limited to experimenting with AI in siloes due to the limitations caused by Cloud provider lock-in of their data,” Rob Thomas, General Manager, IBM Data and AI, said in a statement.

“With most large organisations storing data across hybrid Cloud environments, they need the freedom and choice to apply AI to their data wherever it is stored. By breaking open that siloed infrastructure we can help businesses accelerate their transformation through AI,” Thomas said.

IBM said Watson services can now be run on any environment – on premises, or on any private, public or hybrid-multicloud – enabling businesses to apply AI to data wherever it is hosted. The flexibility this affords can remove one of the major obstacles to scaling AI, since businesses can now leave data in secure or preferred environments and take Watson to that data.

Though the use of AI continues to gain attention in business, many organisations are still challenged to move projects forward. According to an MIT Sloan report, 81 per cent of enterprises do not understand what data is required for AI, or how to access it.

And a recent Gartner study found that, “data and analytics leaders continue to struggle with the complexity, time to integration and cost implications of their data integration projects, thereby inflating their schedules and delivery costs with multiple cycles of revised project scope”.

Still, the vast majority of enterprises, 83 per cent, according to the MIT Sloan report, agree that driving AI across the enterprise is a strategic opportunity.


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