IBM is a leading provider of global hybrid cloud and AI, and consulting expertise. We help clients in more than 175 countries capitalize on insights from their data, streamline business processes, reduce costs and gain the competitive edge in their industries. More than 4,000 government and corporate entities in critical infrastructure areas such as financial services, telecommunications and healthcare rely on IBM's hybrid cloud platform and Red Hat OpenShift to affect their digital transformations quickly, efficiently and securely. IBM's breakthrough innovations in AI, quantum computing, industry-specific cloud solutions and consulting deliver open and flexible options to our clients. All of this is backed by IBM's long-standing commitment to trust, transparency, responsibility, inclusivity and service.

How to accelerate the modernisation of organisations in New Zealand with AI

How to accelerate the modernisation of organisations in New Zealand with AI

By Shannon Harris, Managing Director, IBM New Zealand

Credit: IBM

Digital transformation is advancing at a rapid pace and organisations face challenges to stay ahead. According to a recent World Economic Forum report, 23% of all jobs globally will change in the next five years because of artificial intelligence (AI). In addition, the annual IBM CEO study found that nearly half of CEOs surveyed identify productivity as their highest business priority — up from sixth place in 2022.  

45% of CEOs recognise technology modernisation is key to achieving their productivity goals and therefore ranked it as the second highest priority for them, over the next two to three years. As CEOs work with CIOs and IT teams to firm up their modernisation objectives, success will depend on their ability to first define what modernisation means for their organisation, which will in turn inform the creation of the best hybrid cloud strategy for them. A good example is how application modernisation, which is a core part of a hybrid cloud transformation, can deliver up to 13x higher revenue impact of cloud investments when orchestrated as an end-to-end reinvention of the enterprise.

AI for business

The combination of IBM’s AI stack, deep industry expertise and associated infrastructure options – including infrastructure consumption – can help organisations in New Zealand on their journeys.

As we’re all seeing, generative AI is an increasingly high priority for organisations right now.  In fact, over 75% of CEOs globally are already pursuing generative AI with 43% using it to make strategic business decisions. As enterprises embrace generative AI to drive innovation, I truly believe the combination of IBM’s AI stack, deep industry expertise and associated infrastructure options (including infrastructure consumption) can help organisations in New Zealand on their journeys.

The power of foundation models with the availability of a GPU as a service on IBM Cloud offering would help organisations tap AI in a secured environment while aiming to mitigate third- and fourth-party risk. IBM also recently unveiled watsonx, our next-generation AI and data platform to help enterprises train, validate and deploy AI models.  I love watsonx because of its ability to drive completely agnostic, integrated outcomes.  It works on, for and with what organisations already have, and it is relevant to all businesses regardless of prior investment or architecture. 

With watsonx, businesses have a unified platform to tap the best of IBM and open-source foundation models to create, deploy and manage both traditional machine learning and generative AI that can be adapted to new scenarios.  More importantly, the client data that is used to train models with watsonx is not retained by IBM and we will indemnify clients against copyright or other intellectual property claims for using our generative AI systems.

This underscores our principles of trust and ethics in bringing AI for business solutions to our clients.  On top of that is the role of governance. Governance should not be an afterthought but an essential element in the development of foundation models. IBM will bring to bear the strength of its AI governance capabilities to help organisations implement end-to-end lifecycle governance, mitigate risk and manage compliance to the growing AI and industry regulations.

Moving forward

Modernisation will also allow organisations to maintain a sustainable, secure and cost-effective infrastructure. Resiliency, performance, security, compliance and total cost of ownership are the five factors to keep in mind when making the right workload-placement decisions.

I’ve broken it down here:

1. Deliver high levels of resiliency: Operational resiliency is at the heart of any successful transformation and is essential for organisations to be able to securely manage critical workloads and enable business continuity when implementing strategies to reduce risk and keep pace with market demands. Clients who have adopted IBM Cloud have seen improvements to cloud stability and resiliency, including an 87% year-over-year reduction in Severity 1 Customer Impacting Events (CIEs) and a 38% decrease in Severity 1 CIE disruption time for the same compared periods in 2022 versus 2021.

We continue to drive innovation by building a cloud foundation with regulatory and security function that are embedded within to help clients accelerate their implementation journey. Our goal is to deliver resilience, security and stability with a reliable foundation.

To share an example, Dizzion,  based in Denver, Colorado, United States of America, is an innovator in the Managed Desktop as a Service (DaaS) industry, and hosts its managed desktop offering on IBM Cloud to help enterprises manage their workforce due to the high level of resiliency. IBM Cloud has made it easier for Dizzion’s customers to enable their employees to work remotely in a secured and collaborative environment.

2. Harness the power of performance: The high levels of performance of IBM Cloud do help organisations react to constantly changing market demands. The technology introduced on IBM Cloud (4th Gen Intel® Xeon® Scalable processors) is designed to help organisations take advantage of higher performance, enhanced security and faster memory.

These capabilities are needed for machine learning, artificial intelligence, simulation and other high-performance computing (HPC) workloads. Additionally, clients across industries are taking advantage of IBM Cloud® HPC  and grid computing to innovate faster.

Another American firm, Cadence Design Systems, Inc. which has a decade-long history of delivering electronic design innovation along with offering hosted design services, is using IBM Cloud HPC to perform large-scale tasks with speed, helping to significantly accelerate its electronic chip and system design software development.

3. Risks, compliance and regulatory dynamics: IBM Cloud for Financial Services is a first-of-its-kind cloud with built-in controls informed by the industry to address risks, evolving compliance standards and regulatory dynamics in highly regulated industries such as banking.  Right Here in New Zealand, we are working with clients to mitigate this risk and positioning financial services and other regulated industries to host applications and workloads in the cloud in a secured environment.

We have the privilege and benefit of collaborating with over 130 partners to validate their security and compliance posture. The IBM Cloud Security and Compliance Center has evolved to become the cornerstone platform to help our clients and digital partners to manage their risk profile and support their compliance work.

4. Safeguard and secure valuable data: We are committed to delivering innovative security capabilities – including confidential computing and Keep Your Own Key (KYOK) encryption –  that help keep data protected and visible only to its owner. This is possible through our engagement with experts such the Cloud Security Alliance to advance cloud security and address risk within financial services.

We also have the expertise from partnerships with major financial institutions like BNP Paribas, Banco Bradesco, Nationwide and Banco Sabadell to further drive the strategic evolution of cloud security in this highly regulated sector. The IBM Financial Services Cloud Council brings together a robust community of financial services professionals, including CIOs, CTOs, CISOs and Compliance and Risk Officers, who are leading a focused effort to advise on the ongoing advancement of the IBM Cloud Framework for Financial Services.

5. Prioritise total cost of ownership: Working with the right cloud providers to minimise additive expenses and complexities to optimise organisations investments in cloud is essential. By helping our clients lower spend on developing and maintaining regulatory controls, they are able to adapt to emerging industry requirements and compliance obligations, to mitigate the cost and complexity in an evolving regulatory landscape.

Innovation cannot be done in silos. It demands the right technology, skills, and support to succeed.

The extensive control set within the framework includes security, data privacy, access management and configuration management. Case in point is BNP Paribas that reported this approach can save 30% of the investment costs required to implement the necessary compliance components by working with IBM.

The truth is, innovation cannot be done in silos. It demands the right technology, skills, and support to successfully drive meaningful digital transformation. IBM is committed to unleashing the transformative potential of foundation models and generative AI through Open, Trusted, and Targeted value creating solutions for business success. Our approach Empowers organisations to deploy transformative technologies in a responsible and structured manner across a variety of environments.

Wherever your organisation is on in its digital transformation journey, IBM and our Ecosystem of partners in New Zealand can help. We are continuing to build a coalition of ecosystems to help enterprises gain the flexibility to scale with hybrid cloud in a security-rich environment and achieve the goal of creating exceptional customer experiences that lead to business success and growth.

About the author

Credit: IBM

Shannon has held technology leadership roles in New Zealand and the United Kingdom for over twenty five years. For eleven years she was also a business owner and dealt extensively with suppliers throughout Asia, manufacturing products and retailing in New Zealand. Shannon’s career journey has centred on helping Kiwi businesses accelerate their digital agenda and thrive in a global market.  She’s passionate about cultivating diversity of thought and experience by nurturing the talent pools that exist in our young woman, Māori and Pacifica communities. She believes harnessing untapped talent is the key to building a sustainable and positive future for New Zealand. Shannon is focused on developing and coaching people to reach their full potential; individually, with IBM, and with ecosystem partners.

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