IBM uses Watson AI to redesign and speed up IT decision making

By: Chris Townsend

As their organizations grow, evolve, and anticipate the future,  IT leaders know they have to move fast to serve their customers and be competitive in their marketplace. But with so much at stake, they also have to put a great deal of thought and consideration into every IT planning and investment decision. Can they do both?

Better outcomes, faster

The importance and complexity of large scale enterprise projects resulted in the Request for Proposal (RFP) decision-making approach we have today. The RFP is a structured, back-and-forth process that—like the tortoise in Aesop’s fable—typically arrives at a positive outcome, but it takes a significant amount of time to get there. Time that businesses can’t afford anymore.

That’s why IBM Services is developing a new offering called Decision Advisor to accelerate the process and help clients get to better outcomes, faster.

Update, evaluate, keep moving

Existing processes are rigid and linear by design. They start with fixed technical requirements and, after repeated hand-offs for review, end in services and deliverables that match those months-old requirements.

We designed IBM Services Decision Advisor for co-creation, to enable a real-time discussion between the client and IBM that puts client objectives and ambitions front and center. With the client’s forward-looking goals as a starting point, instead of technical requirements, Decision Advisor helps them explore, evaluate, and compare IT strategy options tailored to their priorities in an accelerated timeframe. Working together, and guided by IBM’s Watson AI technology, the client and an IBM seller can see right away how effective any potential configuration of IBM services and solutions will be in getting their organization where they want it to be.

If goals and priorities change for any reason, clients can update and evaluate reconfigured IT strategies without stalling the process or going back to the starting line. 

Tell us about your priorities

We shared our prototype at Think 2018 in Las Vegas to preview how IT stakeholders can use Decision Advisor to picture the future they want for their organization, explore all the ways to bring that vision to life, and position themselves to make confident decisions quickly. There was great response to the demo, and we collected valuable feedback we’re using to help us refine our work.

Now we want to hear more from IT leaders about how you communicate priorities, how you determine progress against your goals, and how you make services planning decisions.

Contact us to share your IT services planning insights and experience with us or just to learn more about IBM Services Decision Advisor. Email the Decision Advisor team at so we can learn how to create a better, faster experience for you.

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About The Author

Chris Townsend

General Manager, Services Integration and Solutions IBM Services

Chris Townsend leads a team creating user-centric IT solutions for clients seeking competitive advantage. Common needs are hybrid cloud transformation, digital transformation, shift to ‘as-a-service’, and the use of cognitive, automation, and analytics solutions to optimize IT infrastructure. He also leads the IBM Design Thinking practice for IBM Global Technology Services to ensure that the... Read more