AWS Aims to Make AI More Accessible for Both AI Specialists and Non-AI Experts

R. Bhattacharyya

Summary Bullets:

  • In mid-May, AWS highlighted its portfolio of AI tools and solutions during its AWS Summit Online for the Americas region and announced the general availability of Amazon Kendra for enterprises.
  • Tools that support AI model development and management and pre-built solutions that can be easily deployed by developers who aren’t AI experts help streamline AI adoption.

AWS understands the challenges enterprises face when building their own machine learning models. The company notes that when scaling AI adoption, enterprises face wide-ranging complexities that can start as early as the data collection stage and continue throughout the model management lifecycle. At the beginning of a project, organizations face challenges related to data identification, storage, and curation as they pull together disparate data sources. Later, while building and training models, they need to manage numerous other complexities, such as sharing notebooks and pre-trained models. They need to ensure effective collaboration among what can be a growing number of individuals or teams, each with their own specializations. And, since machine learning models aren’t usually perfect the first time, team members need to communicate during the process of model tuning and optimization. They need to manage multiple versions of models, run experimental models in real time, and compare results. Even after deployment, machine learning algorithms need to be managed and monitored for concerns such as data drift, with newer versions deployed as additional data is collected or the factors that impact model results change. Managing these tasks can be challenging, and as AWS rightly points out, tools that help manage the complexities do much to streamline and speed AI deployments. Continue reading “AWS Aims to Make AI More Accessible for Both AI Specialists and Non-AI Experts”

IBM Think: IBM’s Action Items for Hybrid, Automation, and Blockchain Objectives

C. Dunlap

Summary Bullets:

  • IBM kept product announcements to a minimum, featuring a DevOps-oriented security monitoring tool.
  • Hybrid and multi-cloud were the predominant theme for the week.

After attending IBM’s annual mega customer conference under a virtual format, GlobalData offers three key action items for moving its hybrid and multi-cloud strategy forward, addressing operational issues via AI-infused automation, and improving customers’ grasp of blockchain’s potential. Continue reading “IBM Think: IBM’s Action Items for Hybrid, Automation, and Blockchain Objectives”

5G Will Play a Key Role in Economic Recovery but Spectrum Availability is Key

S. Soh

Summary Bullets:

• 5G and the ecosystem around it will be a major contributor to the economy and facilitate economic recovery post-COVID.

• Regulators need to provide greater certainty on spectrum availability to allow operators to plan their investment and activities to get new 5G services to the market in a timely manner.

2020 is expected to be the year of 5G. With leading carriers already launched 5G in 2019, the rollout of 5G was ramping up and new 5G-ready devices were in the product pipelines of major manufacturers. However, 5G’s momentum, like many other segments of the economy, has been impacted by the global COVID-19 pandemic. One of the key challenges for mobile operators is the availability of 5G spectrum. Mobile operators’ 5G rollout plans are often closely linked to the spectrum availability made by regulators. Unfortunately, the virus outbreak has led to some regulators putting planned spectrum allocations/auctions on hold due to health and financial reasons. Meantime, operators are also seeing a significant spike in mobile data services over the last two months. For example, in Spain, the telecom operators saw a 40 percent increase in IP traffic, a 25 percent increase in mobile data, and a five-fold increase in OTT messaging traffic (e.g., WhatsApp). Continue reading “5G Will Play a Key Role in Economic Recovery but Spectrum Availability is Key”

COVID-19: Edge Computing Can Help with Post-Crisis Recovery

Summary Bullets:

• GlobalData predicts that sales of edge computing infrastructure and services will grow by almost 14% in 2020, and will experience accelerated growth in the 2021-2024 period.

• As with 5G, edge computing can help with post-crisis economic stimulus efforts, creating new opportunities for businesses, while helping them operate in more efficient and adaptable ways.

Prior to the global outbreak of COVID-19, edge computing was widely perceived to be one of IT’s hottest new trends. However, the COVID-19 crisis has thrown industries and economies around the world into upheaval, with many businesses being forced to re-evaluate previous IT investment plans – including those that involve edge computing. Despite this, investments in edge computing technologies are expected to continue throughout the remainder of 2020, before picking up in 2021. This is because of the benefits edge computing enables, and the broad range of use cases edge computing technologies support. Together with 5G wireless networking and artificial intelligence (AI), edge computing can also help governments and businesses strengthen their digital infrastructures and support post-crisis economic recovery. Continue reading “COVID-19: Edge Computing Can Help with Post-Crisis Recovery”

COVID-19: Tech Providers Demonstrate Corporate Social Responsibility Leadership Now More Than Ever

R. Bhattacharyya

Summary Bullets:

  • The current pandemic has provided the opportunity to broaden the definition of corporate social responsibility (CSDR) and for technology providers to take even greater action.
  • A key question is whether these initiatives will pay off in the long run; the answer is likely ‘yes,’ but much will depend on a company’s track record prior to COVID-19.

The move toward greater corporate social responsibility (CSR) has been taking place for quite some time. Traditional activities that fall into this category are broad, including educational programs, investments in local or underprivileged communities, increased hiring of minorities, and initiatives to reduce carbon footprints or to support environmentally friendly projects. And the list goes on. The current pandemic has provided the opportunity for technology providers to take even greater action and possibly broaden what should be included in the definition of CSR. Continue reading “COVID-19: Tech Providers Demonstrate Corporate Social Responsibility Leadership Now More Than Ever”

IBM Think: IBM Rallies Global Coders to Help Battle COVID-19

Charlotte Dunlap – Principal Analyst, Application Platforms

Summary Bullets:

• IBM Call to Code program builds momentum via prestigious partners and 300,000 global coders.

• IBM Cloud and Watson (AI) services are available to coders via open-source software (OSS) tools.

The power of technology to help solve real-world problems is perhaps most eloquently illustrated through the three winners of the COVID-19-related applications associated with IBM’s latest coding contest.

IBM’s two-year-old Call for Code Global Challenge campaign was initially launched in 2018 seeking innovative applications to address climate change. The program was expanded recently to include COVID-19, which spurred a massive response, including 1,000 developer registrations in a single day soon after being announced. Presently the program includes 300,000 developers across 168 countries. Continue reading “IBM Think: IBM Rallies Global Coders to Help Battle COVID-19”

COVID-19: Banks Will Weather the Storm with Robust, Agile IT

C. Drake

Summary Bullets:

  • Efforts to bolster online banking and fintech apps in response to the COVID-19 crisis can significantly advance the digitalization of banking.
  • To help banks weather the COVID-19 storm, it is essential that they continue developing a supporting IT infrastructure that maximizes flexibility, agility, and efficiency.

Global banks currently face multiple challenges as a consequence of the COVID-19 crisis. However, it is vital that banks remain committed to ongoing digital transformation strategies. Many major banks have recently embarked on digital transformation journeys that involve the adoption of cloud-based IT architectures, fintech solutions, and the use of emerging technologies like artificial intelligence (AI) and blockchain. Although the COVID-19 crisis has created short-term disruptions to banks’ normal operations, banks should prioritize the continuation of key IT transformation projects with a focus on their long-term benefits, including cost savings, operational efficiencies, increased business agility, and the ability to leverage new tools and capabilities. Continue reading “COVID-19: Banks Will Weather the Storm with Robust, Agile IT”

COVID-19: Under the Coronavirus Strain, Will Blockchain be the New Supply Chain?

C. Dunlap
C. Dunlap

Summary Bullets:

• Coronavirus demands illustrate the brokenness of traditional supply chain

• Blockchain methods emphasize trust and data strengths, but innovations are in early stages

The latest examples of the brokenness of the current state of the supply chain market are illustrated by the global pandemic.

COVID-19 has exposed the inability to access and mange adequate supplies of ventilators and PPEs, including proper visibility into the quality of expired and damaged goods unknowingly being sent to hospital workers. The issue demonstrates the need for an evaluation of how current supply chain systems supply, track, and manage goods and services. At the same time, the momentum behind blockchain as the answer for serving as a modern day supply chain alternative should be considered, but won’t be entirely straightforward, considering its recent emergence. Continue reading “COVID-19: Under the Coronavirus Strain, Will Blockchain be the New Supply Chain?”

COVID-19: IT Services Providers’ Digital Transformation Initiatives More Important Than Ever

R. Bhattacharyya

Summary Bullets:

• Overall, the response by IT services providers (ITSP) to COVID-19 has been muted, though this is starting to change.

• Now is the time to promote digital transformation initiatives related to workplace virtualization, cloud migration, hybrid or multi-cloud management, IoT, adoption of advanced analytics and RPA, and cybersecurity.

Overall, the response by IT services providers to COVID-19 has been muted. At the onset of the crisis, most made the appropriate and generic statements that were expected. They expressed concern for the safety and well-being of employees and clients, and sought to reassure customers that they had the systems and processes in place to continue to service their customers without disruption. Continue reading “COVID-19: IT Services Providers’ Digital Transformation Initiatives More Important Than Ever”

COVID19: No City Gets Smart in a Crisis: Three Ways Tech Vendors Can Help

Ted Cuzzillo,
Principal Analyst – Data Analytics

Summary Bullets:

• Technology vendors should stay away from cities during the height of the COVID-19 crisis unless they’ve got a relationship already.

• Make sure your solution fits the city’s ecosystem and be ready to educate city staff.

The pandemic seems to some data technology vendors like as a great time to be heroes with the frantic staff in cities’ public health departments. But the advice from those close to the action is clear: If you don’t have a relationship with the city already, stay home for now — and get ready for what comes next.

For now, as one observer noted, city public health staffs are getting by on old-fashioned techniques that were first validated during the London cholera outbreak of 1854. Continue reading “COVID19: No City Gets Smart in a Crisis: Three Ways Tech Vendors Can Help”