IBM CEO Arvind Krishna: 80 Percent Of AI Opportunity Lies In Deployment, A Potential Partner Boon
Wade Tyler Millward
‘A lot of the attention right now is on the inventors. … The vast majority of that hundreds of billions [in revenue from AI] is going to be in the deployment, not in the invention. And that is where it’s important for everybody to understand—bringing it to life, to bring value to somebody’s business, is what most of you do. Eighty percent of that opportunity is going to lie kind of here, not with those who invent AI,’ IBM CEO Arvind Krishna told an audience of solution providers at the Best of Breed Conference.
While most of the early praise for new generative artificial intelligence has so far gone to the technology’s creators, IBM Chairman and CEO Arvind Krishna believes that 80 percent of the AI opportunity for partners is in deployment and bringing the technology to customers—a boon for those who meet the moment.
Speaking to an audience of solution providers at CRN parent The Channel Company’s 2023 XChange Best of Breed Conference—held through Tuesday in Atlanta—Krishna cited research that put global corporate profits growing up to $4.4 trillion a year thanks to generative AI, with the profits for technology businesses at around $880 billion.
“A lot of the attention right now is on the inventors. … The vast majority of that hundreds of billions [in revenue] is going to be in the deployment, not in the invention,” Krishna said. “And that is where it’s important for everybody to understand—bringing it to life, to bring value to somebody’s business, is what most of you do. Eighty percent of that opportunity is going to lie kind of here, not with those who invent AI.”
IBM partners are needed to bring GenAI to clients’ varying technology environments, whether they use public cloud or private cloud, and whether they turn to GenAI for cybersecurity, automation, sustainability, rewriting legacy programming languages into modern ones and other use cases, Krishna said.
“Our goal then is to work with partners to really go and help our clients in all the different domains and on the fly,” Krishna said. “Maybe an audit. Maybe in compliance. And then you have got to worry about sovereignty when you’re talking about some clients who want to keep the data on their own premises or certainly in their own nations.”
Customer service use cases will likely make up 20 percent of the total AI opportunity, he said. Code and digital workers will also be early use cases.
“I think those of you who don’t embrace AI for the fact of making higher quality and making work more productive will be disadvantaged compared to those who do,” Krishna said.
“I terms of writing new things, in terms of maintaining, in terms of deploying IT, it absolutely is going to come in the next six to 18 months. So that’s the task that I will tell all of you—get ready and get going.
And despite the world’s attention on AI, Krishna said that another cutting-edge technology—quantum computing—isn’t so far off.
“Cloud is probably in its fifth inning. … AI is in the first inning. … Quantum, probably getting into the minor leagues,” Krishna said. “But watch it because in another two or three years, it is going to be one of those that’s what AI is today. It will look sudden. But it’s not sudden. AI was not sudden. … It was … years in the making.”