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IBM CEO Arvind Krishna On The Colonial Pipeline Cyberattack, The ‘Worrisome’ Chip Shortage And The Future Of AI

“We’re going to look back at this time and probably declare 2021 as the year that we entered the digital era completely,” IBM CEO Arvind Krishna says. “The pandemic, as I’ve said before, took 10 years of digital acceleration and brought it in two years, those two being ’20 and ’21.”

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The news around hybrid offices, a global semiconductor shortage and a cyberattack on one of the largest pipeline operators in the country are reminders to IBM CEO Arvind Krishna that the complex problems of tomorrow his company wants to solve are arriving sooner and sooner.

“We’re going to look back at this time and probably declare 2021 as the year that we entered the digital era completely,” Krishna said this week at the IBM Think 2021 conference. “The pandemic, as I’ve said before, took 10 years of digital acceleration and brought it in two years, those two being ’20 and ’21.”

Some of IBM’s bleeding-edge technology is already here, partners tell CRN. Mark Wyllie, CEO of Boca Raton, Fla.-based IBM partner Flagship Solutions Group, uses Watson AI with Flagship capabilities to power an analytics platform for the Professional Fight League that measures fighters’ performance.

“That’s all happening right now,” Wyllie told CRN. “We’re taking in all the data in near real-time and the hope is to come out with actionable predictive stats.”

Within Merrimack, N.H.-based IBM partner Connection’s Big Blue line of business, Watson and AI leads demand for data management and insights, chief growth and innovation officer Jamal Khan told CRN.

“Companies looking at methods to collect, structure and extract value from data are the key drivers,” Khan said. “AI is still a nice to have but an area that is gaining traction, though in the early hype cycle. Modeling, data science and statistical modeling are more of the areas of growth, rather than true AI.”

And Boston-based IBM partner Ironside has invested heavily in growing with IBM’s AI and machine-learning tools through Ironside’s Rapid Viability Assessment tool, a two-week module to explore data quality and evaluate machine learning viability. “It’s a great door-opener for IBM sales executives to start the AI/ML conversation with their customers,” John Longmire, Ironside chief revenue officer, told CRN.

Here are five quotes from Krishna on where IBM is and where it’s headed in some of the more bleeding edges of technology.

 
 
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