IBM Pushes the Pedal on Cloud, Big Data, Mobile Innovation

By Darryl K. Taft  |  Posted 2013-11-19 Print this article Print

Using IBM Analytics Talent Assessment, university students can gauge their readiness for public- and private-sector big data and analytics careers and gain guidance on ways to further develop and position themselves for these in-demand jobs through a simple online questionnaire. In addition to benefiting students and universities, talent assessments help organizations identify and hire the right candidate for the right job. They can also enable organizations to more accurately predict performance.

The new initiative was announced as part of a White House Office of Science and Technology Policy Big Data event held in Washington. The event is a response to the Obama administration's call for multi-stakeholder partnerships that harness the power of big data to spark advancements in key national initiatives, such as economic growth, education, health, energy and sustainability.

According to IBM, Gartner predicts there will be a need for up to 4.4 million jobs to support big data by 2015.

"Information is a powerful natural resource that will play an essential role in defining and creating the jobs of the future," said Mike Rhodin, senior vice president of the IBM Software Solutions Group, in a statement. "IBM is dedicated to advancing data-driven insights to transform the skills for our future workforce. By arming them with the necessary tools and resources, we will help enable them to become world-class analytics leaders who will transform industries around the globe."

Showing its cloud computing expertise, IBM also recently announced it had patented a technique that enables cloud computing data center operators to dynamically redistribute workloads to lower-powered or underutilized systems, thereby minimizing the environmental footprint and impact of cloud services.

IBM's patented cloud computing invention is similar to how energy utilities offer consumers ways to automatically access and pay for alternative energy sources such as wind or solar to reduce their impact on the environment. With this approach, a cloud will be tuned to automatically route service requests through network devices, systems and software that process the service while consuming the least amount of electricity.

IBM received U.S. Patent #8,549,125: Environmentally sustainable computing in a distributed computer network for the invention.

Finally, IBM opened its first research center in Africa with an inauguration ceremony at the facility in Nairobi, Kenya, featuring the country's president, Uhuru Kenyatta.

IBM's twelfth global research lab—supported by the Kenyan Information Communications and Technology (ICT) Authority and located at the Catholic University of Eastern Africa in Nairobi—will conduct applied and exploratory research into the grand challenges of the African continent by delivering commercially viable innovations that impact people's lives.

IBM said the 2,000-square-meter facility features one of Africa's most powerful cloud-enabled computing hubs, giving IBM researchers the ability to analyze and draw insight from vast amounts of data in the search for solutions to Africa's most pressing challenges such as energy, water, transportation, agriculture, health care, financial inclusion and public safety.

The lab's research agenda will include the development of cognitive computing technologies that integrate learning and reasoning capabilities, enabling experts to make better decisions in areas such as health care delivery and financial services.



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