Cloud Insight

Is This The Same IBM We’ve Always Known? No, Not Anymore.

30 Oct

Like many companies, IBM has played a major role in creating or improving various aspects of technology over the years. IBM minds created the original time clock, sold industrial scales and meat slicers, and even manufactured arms for the military during the Second World War. Several years later IBM changed the retail industry with the invention of the Universal Purchase Code (UPC). These days IBM continues to innovate in ways we couldn’t have imagined, and a few recent shake-ups have IBM on track to be the leader in business analytics and data mining for years to come.

IBM and data go together like cake and ice cream, coffee and sugar, peanut butter and jelly. IBM has a storied history in the field of data analysis and has been a driving force behind computing innovation for decades. What’s new about IBM’s strategy is its extreme dedication to data highlighted by several key partnerships recently announced. IBM announced a partnership this past summer with another technology giant, Apple. More recently, IBM announced a partnership with Twitter. IBM, Apple, and Twitter, oh my!

IBM agreed to develop more than 100 iOS apps geared towards enterprise clients. IBM will push iPads and iPhones to enterprise clients with pre-installed apps ranging from analytics to security. Apple’s end of the bargain has them supporting all of the apps through their Apple Care program. This is an important development, as IBM has struggled to come up with a “big hit” in several years and up until recently had not found a way to make its supercomputers, most notably the “Watson”, a viable business option. Not only does this get IBM back in to the minds of enterprise clients looking for more than servers or local data analytics, it pits two formidable and innovate companies together. Apple and IBM have long had a silent agreement against Microsoft, and with the Windows-maker falling short to Apple in the mobile and tablet arena, this now public alliance could start a technological revolution at the enterprise level.

Not only has IBM partnered with perhaps the biggest name in mobile devices, it recently made a deal with social media bigwigs Twitter. As IBM moves towards a more “Big Data” driven approach, Twitter looks to be a big factor in gathering this data. IBM customers will now be able to utilize the large factions of data created by Twitter, which is a real-time, real-world data source and use IBM supercomputer technology to make sense of it all. This is a strategic partnership for IBM as it hopes to build its machine-learning supercomputer “Watson” into a data mega-wizard, if you will. IBM notes that machine learning isn’t just about algorithms and fed data, it’s also about real-world data.

This brings us back to “Watson”, the machine learning supercomputer that became the only known robot contestant on the popular trivia show Jeopardy. IBM hopes to use Watson as a tool for businesses to help them analyze large amounts of data while getting answers to difficult data driven questions. Watson has been transformed into a cloud service, allowing a number of businesses access to the innovative system. As more and more customers feed data to Watson, the computer learns more and more, and is able to calculate, manipulate, and visualize data for users more efficiently.

Mobile devices, social media, cloud-based artificial intelligence. This is definitely not the IBM we’ve become accustomed to over the years. However, IBM is obviously making a push to reclaim its spot atop the technology mountain. These new partnerships and developments seek to strengthen the business community at the core and improve insights and analytics so businesses can make better decisions faster. Be sure to keep your eye on IBM and new developments in the coming months, you might be using their applications very soon.