IBM kicked off its annual Think conference in Boston, bringing together clients and IBM Ecosystem partners around the world to discuss how technology drives organizations to excel in a digital world. During the event, IBM senior executives, global business leaders, and industry experts will discuss significant advances in technology and issues such as sustainability, innovation and research, talent retention, and automation.
By IBM Corporation
"Technology is now the source of competitive advantage with digital transformation leading the way. Our clients and partners trust IBM to deliver the innovation behind hybrid cloud, AI, and consulting solutions that are helping to ensure their success," said Arvind Krishna, Chairman and Chief Executive Officer, IBM. "Our Think events will showcase how IBM is co-creating with an expanding ecosystem to make progress on the most pressing issues enterprises and society face today."
Major announcements from Think 2022 include:
Extending the Roadmap for Practical and Large-Scale Quantum Computing
Today's announcement showcases the expansion of IBM's roadmap to achieve practical quantum computing and deliver a 4,000+ qubit system in 2025. This roadmap lays out plans for new modular architectures and networking that will allow quantum systems to have larger qubit counts – up to hundreds of thousands of qubits. To enable these systems with the speed and quality necessary for practical quantum computing, IBM plans to continue building intelligent software to distribute workloads across quantum and classical resources, and abstract away infrastructure challenges.
- On the hardware front, the company will deliver three new scalable architectures to enable a new class of modular and networked quantum processors. The combination of these techniques, along with software innovations, will be leveraged towards IBM's 2025 goal: a 4,000+ qubit processor built with multiple clusters of modularly scaled processors.
- In tandem, IBM will progress on its goals to build a frictionless development experience with Qiskit Runtime and workflows built right into the cloud to bring a serverless approach into IBM's core quantum software stack and give developers advanced simplicity and flexibility. This approach will mark a critical step towards achieving the intelligent and efficient distribution of problems across quantum and classical systems, and lay the groundwork for an era of quantum-centric supercomputing.
- Originally announced in 2020, IBM's quantum roadmap has delivered on each of the targets on its timeline. This includes IBM Eagle, a 127-qubit processor with quantum circuits that cannot be reliably simulated exactly on a classical computer, and a 120x speedup in the ability to simulate a molecule using Qiskit Runtime, compared to a prior experiment in 2017. Later this year, IBM expects to unveil its 433-qubit processor, IBM Osprey, as well as IBM Condor, the world's first universal quantum processor with 1000+ qubits, in 2023.
For more information on IBM's expanded quantum roadmap, please visit the IBM Research blog: https://www.research.ibm.com/blog/ibm-quantum-roadmap-2025.
Global Insights from IBM Shows Steady Growth in AI and Sustainability Prioritization
IBM issued the Global AI Adoption Index 2022, which surveyed 7,502 senior business decision-makers and showed business adoption of AI grew steadily in the last 12 months.
- Today, 35% of companies reported using AI in their business, up four points from 2021; and 30% say employees at their organization are already saving time with new AI and automation software and tools.
- At the same time, responding companies that have not deployed AI are three times as likely to say that they have little to no confidence their company has the proper data management tools than companies with AI deployment, further evidence that effective data management and AI deployment go hand in hand.
- Additionally, while trustworthy AI is a priority for businesses, many organizations reported that they haven't taken steps to ensure AI is trustworthy and responsible, such as reducing bias (74%), tracking performance variations/model drift (68%), and making sure they can explain AI-powered decisions (61%).
- Other key findings include that C-suite interest in sustainability goals is now a key driver of AI adoption as two-thirds (66%) of organizations surveyed are currently or planning to apply AI to address their sustainability goals.
Business leaders' prioritization of sustainability on corporate agendas was further highlighted in a new IBM Institute for Business Value (IBV) CEO study which surveyed more than 3,000 CEOs worldwide.
- The annual study revealed that almost half (48%) of surveyed CEOs say sustainability is one of their highest priorities, and that growing pressures from boards and investors, along with a lack of reliable data insights and technology barriers, are hindering leaders' ability to take action.
- More than half (51%) of surveyed CEOs cite sustainability as among their greatest challenges in the near-term, a 59% jump since 2021.
Partnership Momentum Continues to Accelerate
As part of a long-standing partnership with SAP, IBM is undertaking one of the world's largest corporate SAP enterprise resource planning (ERP) transformation projects designed to better support clients and fuel its company growth.
- IBM is currently migrating to SAP S/4HANA®, SAP's next generation ERP system. The business-led project will ultimately move more than 375 TB of data from on premises and multiple cloud environments, accelerated by RISE with SAP on IBM Power on Red Hat Enterprise Linux on IBM Cloud.
- The major IT transformation, led by IBM Consulting, will eventually move more than 300 SAP instances and consolidate 500 servers with RISE with SAP on IBM Power on Red Hat Enterprise Linux on IBM Cloud. The SAP S/4HANA® migration is currently in progress across the company's $13B software business unit where it is now in production.
Tackling the Talent Shortage and Cybersecurity though Skills
Building on a commitment to skill 30 million people by 2030, IBM is addressing the talent shortage and cybersecurity crisis with new and expanded partnerships with six Historically Black Colleges & Universities (HBCUs), the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs and Specialisterne Foundation.
- The first six of more than 20 planned Cybersecurity Leadership Centers with HBCUs and HBCU systems include: North Carolina A&T State University, Southern University System, Clark Atlanta University, Xavier University of Louisiana, Morgan State University, South Carolina State University.
- These universities will have access to a customized multi-year cybersecurity experience with IBM, including online learning curricula, cloud access, and an immersive learning experience to expand HBCUs' capacity to develop top talent in the cybersecurity sector.
- IBM will also partner with U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs and Specialisterne Foundation to offer IBM SkillsBuild. Through this initiative, IBM is offering enhanced resources for transitioning Service members who are seeking job training and credentials through the VA to pursue customized learning paths and other accelerated, non-traditional job training for high demand technology careers. In addition, through IBM's work with Specialisterne Foundation, job training will be provided to the neurodivergent community across 13 countries (Australia, Austria, Brazil, Canada, Denmark, France, Iceland, Ireland, Italy, Mexico, Spain, UK, U.S.).
During his keynote today, Krishna will be joined on stage by three visionaries creatively applying technology to business to drive change. These "New Creators" include Bryan Young, Co-Founder & CEO, Home Lending Pal, who is using technology to make the homebuying process more equitable for underserved communities; Dr. Rania Khalaf, CIO & CDO, Inari, who is using AI to create a more sustainable future for the food system; and Kiersten Todt, Chief of Staff, U.S. Cybersecurity and Infrastructure Security Agency (CISA), who is using technology to reduce risk to the cyber and physical infrastructures Americans rely on every day. "New Creators" will be featured throughout the Think on Tour events. In addition, various "New Creators" will be featured in print, digital, out-of-home, and video marketing assets as part of IBM's "Let's Create" integrated brand platform.
Think Broadcast, produced with WIRED Brand Lab, can be accessed at www.ibm.com/Think and will air 10 a.m. ET – 12 p.m. ET May 10 and 11 in English, Spanish, Japanese, Korean, Portuguese, French, Italian, German, and Simplified Chinese. Replays of the onstage sessions from Think Boston will also be available on-demand the day of the event at www.ibm.com/Think.
Following the flagship event in Boston, Think on Tour will travel to more than a dozen cities around the world. For updates on confirmed cities, please visit: https://www.ibm.com/events/think/on-tour/.