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CIO Influence Interview with Manish Goyal, Senior Partner, Global AI and Analytics Leader at IBM Consulting

CIO Influence Interview with Manish Goyal, Senior Partner, Global AI and Analytics Leader at IBM Consulting

“Businesses today need access to a full technology stack that enables them to prepare, train, validate, tune, and deploy AI – including foundation models – across their organization with their own trusted data, speed, and governance.”

Hi, Manish. Welcome to the Technology Interview Series. Please tell us about your role at IBM.

I’m the Senior Partner and global leader of IBM Consulting’s artificial intelligence and analytics practice, meaning I lead the team of consultants that help clients apply and scale AI and analytics in their operations and transform their businesses. We bring an important mix of technology, industry, and consulting skills to help clients apply and scale AI responsibly.

Could you highlight IBM’s approach to innovating with generative AI tools?

AI is having this incredible “Netscape moment” where Foundation Models are doing for AI what Netscape did for the internet. The success of ChatGPT helped drive tremendous consumer interest, but it has also helped drive huge opportunity and interest with business leaders. CEOs are under tremendous pressure from their boards and investors to accelerate Generative AI adoption in their businesses. However, business leaders identify several concerns around data sources and security that could slow generative AI adoption. We believe that business AI applications have the tremendous potential to drive value for the enterprise – and that is where IBM’s value proposition shines with our combined technology and consulting capabilities.

Businesses today need access to a full technology stack that enables them to prepare, train, validate, tune, and deploy AI – including foundation models – across their organization with their own trusted data, speed, and governance. That needs to happen all in one place and across any cloud environment. IBM wants to ease current enterprise AI burdens and enable businesses to develop, tune, and deploy enterprise-ready and trustworthy AI more easily and at scale. That’s why we’ve built IBM watsonx, our data and AI platform powered by foundation models to provide businesses with accurate, scalable, and adaptable AI.

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Business leaders need a trusted partner to help them navigate the complexities of AI for the enterprise across industries and domains. That includes how to get real value from AI, mitigate risks around bias and data security, and address AI governance.

IBM Consulting has unique skills in IBM technology but also works closely with a diverse AI partner ecosystem, including Adobe, Amazon Web Services (AWS), Microsoft, Salesforce, SAP, open-source technologies, and more, to help make sure clients benefit from the technology solution that best meets their needs.

We’re working closely with some of the largest organizations in the world to help them identify the right use cases and technologies to adopt; source and maintain the data that powers those tools; train and customize foundational models using company and customer datasets; create customization and guardrails to address bias and brand voice; and enable integration with enterprise workflows to allow for value realization, scaling, and governance.

Which industries are most widely disrupted by Generative AI? 

There’s no doubt that generative AI is going to impact every industry. It is already transforming core business processes like HR and customer experience, and IT operations. It’s also helping create new business models. Take Mitsui Chemicals, which is using generative AI with IBM Watson to verify the discovery of new applications of Mitsui Chemicals products. With that said, we’ve seen a lot of momentum with AI in telecommunications, retail, healthcare, banking, and financial services.

For example, Bouygues Telecom is integrating generative AI into their customer relationship process.

Please tell us a little bit about your work with the FYI app. What was your experience working with a celebrity and a powerful AI platform such as watsonx?

Our newest collaboration with will.i.am is a great example of two innovative brands coming together to reimagine the digital user experience. In this case, it’s leveraging the power of secure and trustworthy generative AI to transform the creative process.

will.i.am and IBM Consulting expanded their partnership to integrate IBM watsonx with Focus Your Ideas (FYI), a collaborative platform explicitly designed for the creative community. We’re already seeing the influence AI is having on the creative community, and this next phase of innovation is designed to empower the next generation of creators.

Together, we’re enhancing the FYI platform by building AI-powered, automated workflows that will significantly reduce administrative tasks so that FYI users — artists, creators, and innovators — can dedicate more time to the branding and creative process. FYI is also collaborating with IBM iX, the experience design group within IBM Consulting, to design a more engaging user experience. FYI currently runs on IBM Cloud and is enabled by IBM technology to harness cryptography with secure messaging for projects from end to end. It also provides detailed traceability of contributions—every file added, every chat sent — making it clear where credit is due throughout the creative exchange.

Working closely with an entrepreneur and musician who shares our commitment to empowering people with great experiences offers unique opportunities for growth, design, and creativity and is immensely rewarding. It allows both IBM and the individuals we collaborate with to showcase our combined expertise to deliver new value to clients while reaching key audiences.

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How do you bring AI to the center of business with security and governance?

AI should benefit the many, not just an elite few. Achieving trust in AI is a socio-technical problem — you must look not only at technology but people and processes too. Cultivating a company culture defined by diversity, inclusion, and shared responsibility is imperative for building and managing AI and delivering real value for both business and society.

Ethical principles are critical not only to declare but also to put into practice. Organizations today recognize that it takes a holistic approach to manage and govern their AI solutions across the full AI lifecycle. That’s why IBM continually brings innovative, governed data and AI technology and approaches to the market built on explainability, fairness, robustness, transparency, and privacy.

IBM brings together the best of its products, consulting, systems, and research assets in solutions specifically designed to help businesses set and execute AI strategies that infuse trust into their existing AI systems, build new AI systems, and operationalize them across any hybrid, multi-cloud environment. For example, our watsonx platform offers watsonx.governance, an end-to-end toolkit encompassing data and AI governance to enable responsible, transparent, and explainable AI workflows. IBM Consulting guides clients through a holistic approach to trustworthy AI, including auditing and mitigating risk, implementing governance frameworks for AI ethics, operationalizing AI, education and guidance, and organizational change.

Please tell us a little bit about IBM Garage and how it brings cutting-edge technology to business processes.

IBM Garage is our proven model for accelerating digital transformation. It helps our clients generate innovative ideas and equips them with the experts, practices, and technologies to turn them into business value. Clients partner with IBM multidisciplinary experts to successfully adopt transformative technologies – on the way to becoming more nimble, resilient, and secure businesses with hybrid cloud and AI. When clients work with IBM Garage, it brings the customer pain points into focus. With IBM Garage for Generative AI, IBM consultants apply a proven, collaborative method to help clients fast-track innovation in the emerging category of foundation models for generative AI. That includes rapid use case ideation and prioritization, an open, multi-model approach to selecting architectures and training and fine-tuning and scaling models to unique business needs.

Can you share your predictions on the future of AI in the customer service industry that requires highly optimized and CX-driven workflow automation?

Customer service leaders face difficult challenges that AI can help solve – and in fact, is already helping to solve. They need to deliver consistent, seamless, and personalized customer service across channels and empower customer service agents to be more productive. IBM Consulting is working with clients across industries to apply AI to these challenges.

AI can create personalized responses to customer questions using natural language, gather more accurate customer feedback in a conversational and engaging manner, engage in multiple languages, and translate text in real-time. It can also help create customer profiles and segments by analyzing customer data and creating content like product descriptions, social posts, or website copy tailored to your brand voice and style. It can even help with customer retention – identifying pain points, predicting customers that might leave, and presenting customized recommendations to address that.

All of this can improve the customer experience and the experience of customer service professionals, reducing manual tasks and freeing up their time for the most important task – making the customer happy.

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Thank you, Manish! That was fun and we hope to see you back on cioinfluence.com soon.

[To participate in our interview series, please write to us at sghosh@martechseries.com]

Manish Goyal is a VP & Senior Partner and the Global Leader of IBM Consulting’s Artificial Intelligence & Analytics practice. In this role, Manish’s consulting practice is responsible for bringing the best AI & Analytics solutions to help enterprises transform their businesses and capture the tremendous value from the disruption AI offers. Manish works with clients across Banking, Insurance, Telco & Media, and Government helping them apply and scale AI in their operations. Prior to this role, Manish held various senior product management roles at IBM and has successfully launched several AI products to market. Manish brings a unique mix of product and consulting skills to help clients adopt and scale AI responsibly.

IBM

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