No ad to show here.

IBM bets on AI to drive business transformation

At GITEX Africa 2024 in Morocco, a senior IBM executive made a full-throated case for companies to embrace artificial intelligence or risk being left behind by competitors.

Saad Toma, general manager of IBM’s Middle East and Africa operations, said in a keynote speech that three-quarters of global chief executives believe “the organisation with the most advanced generative AI will have the ultimate advantage.” He cited an IBM report that found 43% of CEOs plan to use the emerging technology to inform strategic decisions.

No ad to show here.

Mr. Toma’s remarks underscored IBM’s multibillion-dollar bet that artificial intelligence will profoundly reshape how companies operate and create new lines of business. The Armonk, N.Y., tech giant is pushing a platform called watsonx that allows corporate customers to develop and deploy AI models.

“To overcome these challenges, organisations must move to an AI-first approach, where AI is integrated into their business strategy across the lifecycle,” Mr. Toma said of barriers to AI adoption that include high costs and shortages of AI skills.

While many African firms have been slow to embrace AI, about half of the region’s CEOs expect to realise significant value from advanced AI and data analytics, according to IBM’s research.

Generative AI—tech that can create text, imagery, videos and computer code on command—captured public attention in 2022 and is now seeping into corporate settings. Businesses are experimenting with the nascent technology to increase workforce productivity. The World Economic Forum has projected AI could create $16 trillion of value worldwide by 2030.

At its annual Think conference earlier this year, IBM launched several open-source AI tools and initiatives to spur adoption of the technology, including a project called InstructLab in partnership with open-source software firm Red Hat Inc.

The efforts allow organisations to create customised AI models for use cases such as predictive maintenance and sustainable supply chains, IBM says. In Kenya, M-GAS, a premium liquefied petroleum gas provider, deployed IBM’s Instana software to monitor its business applications in real-time. This has provided M-GAS with granular insights across its tech stack, enabling rapid issue identification and resolution to ensure uninterrupted gas supply.

However, many enterprises have struggled to implement AI due to challenges such as soaring technology costs, talent shortages and concerns over ethical AI use. Mr. Toma said robust data governance programs and collaborations with AI services providers are critical for businesses to successfully deploy the emerging technology.

Read next: AI unlocks $15.7 Trillion opportunity, but hurdles await Africa

No ad to show here.



Sign up to our newsletter to get the latest in digital insights. sign up

Welcome to Ventureburn

Sign up to our newsletter to get the latest in digital insights.

Exit mobile version