Artificial intelligence is not something that most managed service providers regularly employ, but if IBM has its way that’s all about to radically change.
At the opening of the IBM Watson headquarters in New York this week, IBM showcased a number of new applications running on a cloud-based version of the IBM Watson supercomputer. Two of those applications are focused squarely on dramatically reducing the cost of delivering managed services, while at the same time significantly improving the quality of those services.
The first is a security management tool that has been developed by SparkCognition, which has collected a corpus of information about security vulnerabilities that spans a massive library of IT security data. Usman Shuja, vice president of market development for SparkCognition, says IT service providers will be able to use the natural language capabilities provided by the IBM Watson platform to launch queries about how best to resolve any IT security problem. Moreover, the SparkCognition platform itself will continuously scan “honeypots’ the company has deployed in various cloud services to discover anomalies that it will then automatically alert IT services providers about.
But that IT service provider innovation doesn’t just stop at security. Chips Technology Group, a solution provider based in New York, is building a Watson application that is specifically designed to aggregate all the data and information that MSPs need to run their daily operations. Chips Technology CTO David Tan says that Chips is still working on aggregating all the content, but is already convinced that the capabilities that Watson provides to make all the information readily accessible is nothing short of “amazing.”
Both SparkCognition and Chip Technology Group are part of an ecosystem that IBM is trying to build around application programming interfaces (APIs) for accessing various Watson services running on the IBM BlueMix cloud integration platform. Collectively referred to as cognitive computing applications, the goal is to make the analytics capabilities provided by a supercomputer readily available to all as a cloud service.
The end result is that rather than spending days and week trying to find an answer to particular IT problem, Watson applications will present those answers in a matter of seconds.
It’s generally unlikely that most MSPs are ever going to have the resources needed to acquire their own supercomputer. But thanks to the rise of APIs in the age of the cloud, supercomputers that can make MSPs a whole lot smarter faster will soon be a simple natural query away from MSPs of all shape and sizes.