IBM’s Rometty Describes Enterprise-Driven Digital Reinvention
IBM THINK — If chapter one in the digital transformation – aka digital reinvention – journey is characterized by digital, AI, experimentation and customer-facing apps, chapter two will be enterprise-driven, meaning scaling digital and AI, including hybrid cloud and mission-critical applications — all underpinned by responsible stewardship.
That’s according to IBM’s chairman, president and CEO, Ginni Rometty, who kicked off IBM Think 2018 this week in San Francisco
To help conference attendees digest exactly what the digital-reinvention journey looks like, Rometty got a little bit of help from her friends, namely, premier IBM customers – such as AT&T Communications, Geico, Hyundai Card, and Kaiser Permanente – companies on the leading edge of digital reinvention, and way ahead the pack of mere mortal businesses. That said, IBM has already racked up about 20,000 AI engagements with customers around customer service, HR, predictable energy, and so on.
“Many of you have deployed new capabilities, new apps or new ways of reaching your customers, described by many of you as random acts of digital,” said Rometty in her keynote address, titled Building Smarter Businesses. “And, by the way, it’s not going to let up.”
With that, Rometty shared five lessons learned when it comes to what it will take to scale digital and AI. The first two lessons have to do with the approach taken — outside in or inside out. The outside-in approach means offering services around the customer experience. Inside out, that’s about workflow, the idea of data driving change, which requires modernization of core applications, resulting in a flexible architecture.
The third lesson is that you’re going to need a platform to put things together.
“It will be fueled by data and have AI infused in its workflows, and people will feel like technology really empowers them,” said Rometty.
The fourth lesson learned is the need for an AI platform to keep track of its life cycle. The fifth lesson is that you’ll never have AI without an information architecture.
IBM made some product announcements this week to support chapter two, including Watson Anywhere, and IBM Automation with Watson. Watson Anywhere makes Watson portable across any cloud – public or private – or on-premises. Rometty describes IBM Business Automation with Watson as workflow with moments of intelligence baked in, or digital and AI with the guardrails of business rules.
Before sitting down for individual fireside chats with top executives from AT&T, Geico, Hyundai Card, and Kaiser Permanente, Rometty shed some light on where IBM is headed, and that’s toward chapter two, or scaling digital and AI.
While still in research – with products not too far away – IBM is working in three areas: core AI, trusted AI, and scalable AI. Core AI is about how to get AI to learn with less data. Trusted AI is about developing and applying tools to wire AI systems for trust. Scalable AI is AI to automate AI.
To get a sense of what a digital-reinvention journey looks like, there’s Geico, founded in 1936 and one of the largest auto insurers in the U.S — also, one of the first insurance companies to tackle a major digital transformation.
Greg Kalinsky, executive vice president and CIO at Geico, pioneered the company’s journey with Watson. He spoke about …