IBM Watson takes on IT services with new automation platform

The IBM Services Platform with Watson helps provide more visibility into an IT environment and utilizes automation and analysis to more quickly resolve issues.

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The IBM Services Platform with Watson, announced Wednesday, brings the cognitive computing services of Watson to organizations to help manage and automate IT operations. While it will provide autonomous functionality, the goal of the platform is to have human intelligence complemented by the underpinning technologies, not replaced by it.

As reported by ZDNet, the new platform is built on IBM's cloud, and it is designed to help manage hybrid cloud infrastructure as well. As such, the IBM Services Platform with Watson aims to improve visibility across the entirety of a hybrid IT environment, the report said.

"The platform supports the entire managed services life-cycle, from designing to building, integrating and running services, with autonomic operations and augmented subject matter expertise," IBM said in its announcement.

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The new platform also relies heavily on data. According to the announcement, more than 30 years of IBM services data, along with other structured and unstructured data, will help provide insights into what is happening in a customer's business.

Those data-powered insights are also used to predict what could potentially happen within the customer's environment--giving users ideas about how to solve potential problems before they occur, the announcement said.

Automation will also play a key role in the new Services Platform, as users will be able to automate their compliance, governance, and services provisioning. The platform will also automatically detect any incident and resolve it, Gopal Pingali, director at IBM's Global Technology Services Lab, told ZDNet. If certain incidents haven't yet been automated, the platform will look at them and recommend a way to automate a resolution, Pingali said.

When humans do need to work with Watson to solve a problem, they will be able to do so conversationally, due to Watson's ability to understand natural language. That means that an IT helpdesk professional might chat with Watson to try to resolve an issue before bringing it to their superior, Pingali told ZDNet.

Potential customers don't need to be using IBM's cloud to take advantage of the platform. Major firms including Sysco and Danske Bank have already adopted the platform within their IT environments.

The 3 big takeaways for TechRepublic readers

  1. The IBM Services Platform with Watson helps provide visibility and automation in a given IT environment, augmenting human intelligence with data.
  2. The platform relies on 30 years of IBM data, as well as other sources, to provide analysis into key incidents and automate a response.
  3. Customers of other cloud providers can use the platform, and users can interact with Watson using natural language conversations.

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