Verdict: Large enterprises will naturally gravitate toward the type of analytics solution IBM can offer. Enterprise analytics requires considerable infrastructure and for those who can afford it IBM is a natural port-of-call.
IBM is something of an anomaly in the IT industry. It was around at the start of business data processing in the 1950s, and today it is still a premier supplier of IT solutions to large organizations. The most recent demonstration of IBM having its finger on the pulse is its heavy investment in analytics technologies. This has involved the acquisition of more than 30 companies since 2005 and building a team of 400+ researchers (not consultants) to advance their analytics capability. In many of the conferences I speak at, my advice for executives keen to know where the future of IT is headed, is simply to watch IBM. Yes I know it sounds partisan, but it happens to be true – their track record proves it.
What will be of interest to many large organizations will be the impressive portfolio of predictive analytics solutions IBM has developed for a diverse range of industries. This includes banking, telecoms, consumer retail, education, energy and utilities, government, health care, industry, insurance, life sciences, media, and transport. Behind these solution lies IBM’s infrastructure and technology capability – probably unmatched in the IT industry.
On the technology side IBM provides a plethora of predictive analytics options. SPSS is its flagship analysis tool catering for highly sophisticated statistical and data mining analysis, through to end user tools that allow marketing professionals to design and monitor marketing and sales activities. It also provides big data infrastructure and data mining capability through an array of products and services.
Predictive analytics requires infrastructure if it is to address enterprise needs. Once this is in place then all manner of point solutions can be added as needed – but infrastructure is where we start. IBM knows this and is one of only a handful of suppliers who can deliver the goods.