IBM uses AI for new workflow automation and data migration tools

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At its Think conference this week, IBM unveiled AI-based products in its portfolio of enterprise platforms. Mono2Micro, new capability in WebSphere, leverages AI to streamline cloud application migration. Watson Orchestrate helps automate work in the business tools of Salesforce, SAP, and Workday. And an updated IBM Cloud Pak for Data dramatically reduces the cost and complexity of data retention for AI and machine learning workloads.

The AI ​​industry is booming, with research commissioned by IBM revealing that nearly a third of companies are using some form of AI and machine learning. By 2027, the global AI market is expected to reach $ 733.7 billion, according to at Grand View Research. But while recent technological advancements make AI more accessible, the skills gap and increasing complexity of data remain major challenges.

Mono2Micro

New Mono2Micro The service in WebSphere Hybrid Edition, IBM’s application and integration middleware, optimizes applications and workloads to run in hybrid cloud environments on Red Hat OpenShift. Mono2Micro refactors applications to move them to the cloud, restructuring existing code without changing its behavior or semantics.

IDG reports that the average cloud budget has grown from $ 1.62 million in 2016 to $ 2.2 million today. But cloud adoption continues to present challenges for businesses of all sizes. A separate A survey by Statista identified security, cloud expense management, governance, and a lack of resources and expertise as significant barriers to adoption.

“As IT complexity increases with the growing adoption of hybrid cloud, businesses are looking to use the power of AI to transform the way they develop, deploy and operate their IT,” IBM wrote in a blog post. . “A significant challenge facing CIOs is that many of their core applications were written for an on-premises world and they may have hundreds, if not thousands of legacy applications that need to be modernized and moved to the cloud. . “

Mono2Micro uses machine learning and deep learning to analyze large enterprise Java applications. The analysis produces two alternative refactoring options for an application that can be explored in charts and reports for transparency and explainability.

Watson orchestra

IBM’s newest member of the Watson family, Watson Orchestrate, is designed to empower employees in sales, human resources, operations, and more, to get things done faster. By interacting with existing business systems, Watson Orchestrate can complement to-do list items, such as scheduling meetings and obtaining approvals.

When McKinsey surveyed 1,500 executives from all sectors and regions in 2018, 66% said closing the skills gaps related to automation and digitization was one of the top 10 priorities. Forrester predicts 57% of B2B sales leaders will invest more heavily in tools with automation. Perhaps this is why Salesforce predicts that the addressable customer intelligence market will reach $ 13.4 billion by 2025, up from several billion today.

Users can interact with Watson Orchestrate using natural language – the software automatically selects and sequences the pre-defined skills needed to perform a task, connecting to applications, tools, data and history on the fly. For example, a sales manager might ask Watson Orchestrate to monitor sales opportunities, send an email alert when a transaction is progressing, and set up a meeting with the sales manager to discuss next steps.

Waston Orchestrate also understands and maintains context based on organizational knowledge and past interactions. Concretely, this means that it can act on information provided by a user’s preferences, such as a preferred business application or an e-mail contact.

Watson Orchestrate tracks acquisitions to extend IBM’s automation capabilities, including WDG Automation, Instana, MyInvenio, and Turbonomic, signaling the company’s ambitions in the area of ​​enterprise automation. According to IBM data, 80% of businesses are already using software and automation tools – or plan to do so within the next 12 months.

Watson Orchestrate is currently available for preview as part of IBM’s Cloud Pak for Automation.

Cloud Pak for data

IBM introduced Cloud Pak for Data three years ago to help businesses apply AI to data in hybrid cloud environments. Starting this week, the service acquires new AI-powered features, including AutoSQL, which automates data access, integration, and management without having to move it.

Data management is very complex and can be a real challenge for organizations. A recent MIT and Databricks survey of C suite data, IT and senior technology executives found that only 13% of organizations are implementing their data strategy. The report concluded that the business impact of machine learning is largely limited by the challenges of managing its end-to-end lifecycle.

AutoSQL uses the same query engine for all sources, including data warehouses, data lakes, and streaming data. It is part of an intelligent data fabric that harnesses AI to orchestrate data management tasks: discovering, understanding, accessing and protecting data in all environments. The new fabric unifies disparate data into a unified view and aims to ensure data access without compromising privacy, security or compliance.

“Data quality and integration become major issues when mining multiple cloud environments,” IBM wrote in a blog post. “With the new data structure and AI capabilities, [we’re] delivering what we expect to be a significant differentiator for customers by completely automating the data and AI lifecycle – the potential to free up time, money and resources – and connect the right data to the right people at the right time, while conserving resources. “

Another part of the smart data fabric, AutoCatalog, leverages AI to automate how data is discovered and maintain a real-time catalog of assets from all businesses. Meanwhile, AutoPrivacy, another component of the data factory, automates the identification, monitoring, and enforcement of policies on sensitive data across organizations.

The Cloud Pak for upgraded data is available to customers starting today.

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Sean N. Ayres