How to choose a best-fit AI platform

By | 3 minute read | May 7, 2018

AI Platform, IBM Z Network, IBM z13

Early adopters are taking a strategic approach to enabling their enterprise with artificial intelligence (AI) technologies using an AI platform. They’re solving complex problems, infusing intelligent system capabilities into business processes and investing to create a new AI-enhanced future.

However, many other leaders seek a way to prioritize their initial investments as cognitive computing presents virtually endless possibilities across business processes and functions. For those who are just getting started, here are six key issues for your consideration.

Common AI challenges and opportunities

Issue #1: How to start a use case assessment

If you have limited or no experience with these technologies, then you’ll need guidance – useful information about lessons learned and best practices from the pioneers. Start by exploring potential use cases. Also seek out a vendor that provides a clear roadmap toward the full adoption of cognitive computing – function by function, across the enterprise, starting with a pilot project.

Issue #2: How to create a business case for a proof of concept (PoC)

An approved investment in AI is expected to yield significant competitive advantage and improved financial returns. But understanding the specific priorities for applying cognitive computing across and within business functions requires deeper analyses. Clients that lack the expertise in this field will value insights about the experiences of their peers who have been there and done that. Building a business case is much easier when you have prior knowledge.

Issue #3: How to staff an initial pilot project

According to the leading IT industry analysts, most organizations typically aren’t well-prepared for planning and implementing AI projects. They lack internal skills in data science, and plan to rely on external providers to fill the knowledge gap. Clients often need to augment their IT staff with vendor professional services in the beginning. This serves two primary purposes: Enabling a rapid assessment of AI application opportunities based upon a proven framework, and the transfer of vendor knowledge to the client’s most receptive IT and business leaders.

Issue #4: How to develop AI skills in IT and business roles

While staff augmentation can aid CIOs and CTOs respond quickly to requests for AI pilot project exploration, they also require longer-term solutions to ongoing internal staff skills development. Few vendors are equipped to address both the technical and business skills training requirements. Even fewer vendors are qualified to certify AI skills. Therefore, clients must carefully select the most capable vendor that meets all of the apparent learning requirements of their organization. Your success is dependent upon your talent.

Issue #5: How to select the best hybrid solutions

No two organizations have the exact same business and technical requirements, but there are some common areas where all would agree. Open innovation with open platforms is essential.

Most savvy CIOs and CTOs seek systems components that support the recognized open source software tools. Evolving from a traditional compute and storage systems environment to AI-ready infrastructure requires more than high-performance infrastructure. Co-optimized hardware and software must work for deep learning and AI. Clients need access to hybrid infrastructure options that support a best-fit cloud-based and/or on-premises based solution.

Issue #6: How to deliver superior AI-based innovation

Applied to innovation activities, AI helps organizations better formulate hypotheses, identify and validate new ideas, accelerate and deepen scenario envisioning throughout incubation, and make unexpected associations. When applied to information technology, cognitive computing can promote accelerated solution design and improved amplification of employee expertise. Organizations will benefit from a vendor that can actively assist them to attain all of their goals and objectives. Choose wisely, and you’ll benefit from your AI investment. IBM is here to help.

Learn more about intelligent system solutions

Start your journey to adopt artificial intelligence today. If you need assistance with an AI pilot project, then please reach out to an IBM representative or Business Partner to find out more about how you can get started with enterprise AI infrastructure.