New IBM Services Platform Uses AI to Diagnose and Repair IT Problems

By: Jeff Bertolucci| - Leave a comment


A new IBM platform provides artificial intelligence (AI) capabilities that can not only predict and identify potential IT problems but also fix them autonomously, if necessary.

According to an IBM press release, the IBM Services Platform With Watson combines cognitive technologies with human insights to help businesses better manage their IT infrastructure, make data-driven decisions and keep operations running smoothly.

Providing Autonomous Tools

The IBM Services Platform’s preventative and autonomous tools are designed to equip businesses grappling with growing data streams from mobile and Internet of Things (IoT) devices. According to a recent IBM study, half of surveyed chief executive officers plan to incorporate cognitive computing by 2019 to improve their IT, sales and security functions.

Rather than simply executing basic instructions, the IBM platform can run diagnostics and preventative repair tasks that address the underlying causes of issues. It also processes unstructured data by reading emails and chats in natural language, using the resulting insights to fix problems without manual intervention.

Automation Empowers Sysco

The technology on which the new platform is based has already been put to the test by major enterprises. Starting in 2015, Sysco became one of the earliest adopters of IBM enterprise automation services. As the world’s largest food distributor, with some 65,000 employees in more than 270 locations, Sysco makes about 150,000 deliveries per day to business, health care and educational facilities. To support these operations, the company processes huge volumes of data in short periods of time, and even hold-ups of a few minutes can lead to costly warehouse overtime and delivery delays to customers.

“Through automation, we’ve been able to reduce the issues on our critical incidents by more than 89 percent in the last six months,” Frank Merli, Sysco vice president of infrastructure and cybersecurity, says in the video.

Danske’s Cognitive Delivery

Meanwhile, Copenhagen-based Danske Bank — a major financial institution in Northern Europe with more than 5 million retail customers — is using IBM services to implement a new cognitive delivery system. The platform enables Danske to better integrate existing systems and design and develop new financial services.

According to the IBM press release, the Danske-IBM effort aims to ensure uninterrupted banking operations and significantly reduce the number of incidents impacting end users and business-critical applications.

“After successfully testing the cognitive monitoring solution (IBM Operations Analytics Predictive Insights) that is part of the new platform, we saw a significant reduction of server incidents,” Jan Steen Olsen, Danske Bank executive vice president and chief technology officer, said in the statement. “Thanks to it, we will have a platform that can help us act before an incident occurs and move us closer to an integrated, automated and always-on environment.”

AI Across the Enterprise

Cognitive computing is showing promise elsewhere in the enterprise, including the corporate help desk. In April, IBM announced Workplace Support Services With Watson, a new mobile-focused program built to resolve IT issues faster by integrating with existing help desk automation tools.

Watson’s cognitive abilities play a big role here. For instance, it can detect nonverbal clues from the user — including clicks, time spent and task completion — to determine the accuracy and quality of the information and assistance it provides.

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About The Author

Jeff Bertolucci

News Writer

Jeff Bertolucci is a Los Angeles-based journalist specializing in technology, digital media, and education. His work has appeared in Kiplinger's Personal Finance, InformationWeek, PCWorld, Macworld, The Saturday Evening Post, The Los Angeles Times and many other publications.