June 19, 2024

Advancing Business Journey

Empowering Business Excellence

IBM Consulting Expands Capabilities to Help Enterprises Scale AI

6 min read


By Mohamad Ali | COO, IBM Consulting

May 21, 2024

The rise of generative AI is changing nearly every aspect of business, and nearly 60% of surveyed CEOs report they believe competitive advantage depends on who has the most advanced generative AI, according to the IBM Institute for Business Value’s newest annual CEO study. However, more than half (53%) of surveyed CEOs say they are already struggling to fill key technology roles needed to drive innovation.

To meet enterprise clients’ pressing need for expertise and a trusted partner in transformation, today we are excited to share how we’re expanding our generative AI skills and capabilities as well as deepening collaborations with our partners – with an open ecosystem and open-source approach at the heart of our strategy.

Unlocking the power of generative AI with an open-source approach

IBM is open sourcing our family of large-language Granite models, and Red Hat has released InstructLab, a new approach to advancing open-source innovation for LLMs, simplifying LLM training through community skills and knowledge submissions. Today IBM Consulting is announcing that we are planning to launch a practice to help clients create their own AI foundation models and LLMs using this open-source approach. IBM consultants will help enterprise clients leverage their proprietary data to train purpose-specific AI models that can be scaled to better fit the cost and performance requirements of an enterprise’s business needs.

These models will be wholly owned by the enterprise that creates them and will help accelerate performance and drive cost-efficiency with respect to RAG and fine-tuning tactics. They can be run in any hybrid cloud environment, including clients’ own hardware, with full life cycle management and governance. The new practice will use InstructLab, Red Hat® OpenShift® AI, an open-source artificial intelligence and machine learning (AI/ML) platform for the hybrid cloud and Red Hat Enterprise Linux AI.

As the number one global systems integrator for Red Hat, IBM Consulting is well positioned to bring the breadth and depth of our consultants’ knowledge to InstructLab, OpenShift AI and Enterprise Linux AI to advance open-source innovation. By bringing expertise from IBM Consulting data scientists and business subject matter experts in domains like customer experience and industries like financial services and telecommunications, we’ll be able to train and fine tune our clients’ models for enhanced efficacy.

Expanding IBM Consulting Advantage to consistently deliver value

Core to our open approach is IBM Consulting Advantage, our AI services platform that brings together a portfolio of Assistants, assets and methods that use technology from IBM and strategic partners to empower IBM consultants to deliver value for clients with consistency, repeatability, quality and speed. For example, with IBM Consulting Assistants, consultants can toggle across multiple IBM and third-party generative AI models to compare outputs and select the right model for their task. They can also use the platform to rapidly build and share prompts and pre-trained assistants across teams or more widely across the consulting organization.

We will enable IBM Consulting Advantage to consume InstructLab Models. In addition, we plan to rapidly expand IBM Consulting Advantage this quarter with new Assistants, assets and methods tailored to support specific consulting roles or client engagement types, including application modernization and management, data transformation and business process transformation. Next up on our roadmap will be IBM Consulting Advantage for developers, SAP consulting and marketing.

We’re continually adding new Assistants by role and domain to the platform – with over 2,000 Assistants now available and growing – and are curating them into packs such as one that supports tasks across software development lifecycle or one for consultants’ everyday tasks like project management or business case development.

It’s exciting to see the innovation that’s possible when our 160,000 consultants have the raw materials to create new AI-powered solutions that augment their existing expertise and creativity and bring them new data-powered insights. For example, consultants supporting clients on SAP projects can use the platform to support delivery on tasks like creating user stories, generating test scripts, training and change management content, and code creation and analysis.

IBM Consulting Advantage incorporates IBM Garage, IBM’s proven, collaborative engagement model that helps us align our work to business value drivers and scale impact for clients by 2x by tracking business value at each stage of transformation. 

Ramping up generative AI partnerships to foster innovation

IBM Consulting is also rapidly expanding our ecosystem capabilities with generative AI to better serve our clients:

  • Adobe: IBM Consulting and Adobe have partnered to revolutionize client experiences,while also streamlining our internal creative workflows with generative AI, including Adobe Firefly.
  • AWS: IBM recently launched 15 new IBM Consulting professional services and assets on AWS Marketplace, which are focused on data and application modernization, security services, and tailored industry-specific solutions – with generative AI capabilities included in select services. IBM watsonx.ai is also available on AWS Marketplace, another significant milestone for the collaboration.
  • Celonis: IBM Consulting and Celonis are working together to help enterprises unlock the full value of their data through generative-AI-powered process mining.
  • Microsoft: IBM Consulting just announced Microsoft Copilot Runway, a new offering led by IBM Consulting’s dedicated practice for Microsoft Copilot to help clients create, customize, deploy and manage Copilots across their enterprises.
  • Palo Alto Networks: As a preferred Managed Security Services Provider, IBM will drive a significant book of business in cybersecurity and AI security services with Palo Alto Networks platforms, and we also will train more than 1,000 of our security consultants on migration, adoption and deployment of Palo Alto Networks products. Palo Alto Networks’ solutions will also be accessible in IBM Consulting Advantage.
  • Salesforce: IBM Consulting was recently named as a systems integrator partner in the Salesforce Zero Copy Partner Network, helping clients integrate Salesforce Data Cloud to unlock previously inaccessible data.
  • SAP: IBM and SAP just announced the next era of our strategic partnership with new generative AI capabilities and industry-specific cloud solutions that can help clients unlock business value.
  • ServiceNow: We are deepening our collaboration with ServiceNow to help clients maximize the value of their digital workflow investments with generative AI solutions in all areas of their businesses.

Ready for the Automation platform of tomorrow

IBM today is also previewing IBM Concert®, a new tool powered by the IBM watsonx AI and data platform that will provide visibility and insight into the entire ecosystem of business applications, and the clouds, networks, and assets on which they are built. IBM consultants can help clients establish an integrated AIOps strategy including risk, compliance and certificate management, and apply IBM Concert and other technologies to combat IT complexity across hybrid cloud environments.

Skilling central to our generative AI momentum

IBM Consulting has taken a use-case led approach to helping clients scale AI, and we’ve rapidly built upon our initial three use cases of customer service, human resources and application modernization with new use cases like AI governance and data transformation as well as transforming front and back-office workflows with AI.

We’ve seen great traction in the market for our preconfigured solutions powered by IBM watsonx and partner technology and have supported hundreds of client engagements around business transformation fueled by enterprise-grade AI – from Dun & Bradstreet to Elevance Health to Water Corporation of Western Australia. For example, IBM consultants’ understanding, explanation and transformation of millions of lines of legacy code is key to realizing generative AI’s promise for clients who are embracing what simply wasn’t possible until the debut of IBM watsonx Code Assistant for Z.

IBM Consulting is proud to be the only major global consultancy that sits within a technology company at a time when technology is central to business growth and competitive advantage. In the past year alone, more than 50,000 of our practitioners earned generative AI certifications for IBM watsonx and strategic partner technology. We’re continuing to expand our services and boost our AI and hybrid cloud expertise through key acquisitions including several in the past year, like application modernization capabilities from Advanced, Agyla SAS and Equine Global. And IBM is doing its part in the AI skills race with its commitment to upskill two million learners in AI globally by the end of 2026 through SkillsBuild, AI Academy and more.

There is incredible opportunity ahead.

 

Statements regarding IBM’s future direction and intent are subject to change or withdrawal without notice, and represent goals and objectives only.

 

 

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