2018 will see enterprises adopting AI & Blockchain in larger projects: IBM’s Prashant Pradhan

After conducting various pilots in 2017, enterprises are adopting deep technologies like Blockchain and Artificial Intelligence for larger projects this year, Dr. Prashant Pradhan, Chief Technology Officer and Chief Developer Advocate, IBM India/South Asia told ETtech.

“Last year, we saw banks and other partners do a lot of pilots and experiments in areas like Artificial Intelligence, Blockchain, and the Internet of Things. However, most of these experiments are now complete and we will be seeing these technologies being adopted in larger production-ready projects” Pradhan said.

“What a lot of our legacy clients are recognizing is the fact that while they always had the advantage of having a lot of customer data, newer digital companies have done a much better job of anchoring the whole business on insights from that data. Hence, you will see a lot of AI workloads with what you do with enterprise data.” he added.

He added that sectors like financial services, telecom, and retail including supply chain intelligence, fulfillment and inventory management are among the key sectors primed for the adoption of these technologies with healthcare also gaining traction.

In January, IBM along with around 15 Indian insurance companies including ICICI Prudential Life Insurance, HDFC Life, SBI Life Insurance and Canara HSBC OBC announced a consortium to start a blockchain project that helps participants access information like customer KYC, claims history, medical records, and agent track records from each other in a secure manner. This helps companies save costs by not spending money on multiple medical examinations for a single person.

IBM also has a similar blockchain-based trade finance platform catering to India and South Asia.

“Education and law are also high potential areas for AI applications but they are much harder on the institutional engagement. Skills is another space where there is a lot of unstructured data in form of resumes and job descriptions” Pradhan said.

Another key focus area for IBM India is its Cloud Private offering that enables companies bridge the gap between private data centers and public cloud for building new apps or creating on-premises cloud capabilities to legacy apps.

“We are seeing our clients including large banks and telecom operators moving to this space. Hence, we will be doing a lot of work in this area in 2018.” Pradhan said.