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IBM warns of big-data skills gap, launches Cloud-based quantum computer

19/05/2016 by


Tech giant IBM has warned large corporations that the growing demand for big data and analytics could cause a notable skills gap in the near future because there are not enough people being trained to effectively keep pace with the mass of information generated by the Internet of Things (IoT).

Speaking at the World Manufacturing Forum this month, IBM’s global head and managing partner for strategic business development, Sanjay Brahmawar said that it would be increasingly “difficult” to analyse and manage all of the available data. It was a view echoed by SAP’s executive vice president, Tanja Rueckert, who revealed that the manufacturing sector could be particularly affected as it is currently experiencing a huge transformation due to the emergence of tech such as IoT, big data and self-driving cars.

The potential for enterprises to take advantage of and combine the use of data, devices and machines in order to drive better intelligence and value within their operations is significant, but doing so requires a skill set that is substantially different from the workforce operating today. Brahmawar added: “By 2020 we will have one million unfilled jobs in the IT sector. Primarily because the skills we have today aren’t the right skills for the future. The future is more about the business understanding and the data understanding.”

This month, IBM unveiled a new Cloud-based quantum computer, which could provide a step-change in how organisations process big data. It is being targeted at industries such as finance and healthcare. Tech platform IBM Watson is already using machine learning and natural language processing to deliver meaningful insights from large amounts of unstructured data to researchers and clinicians in the healthcare industry – and the quantum computer will make it even easier for them to accelerate innovations.

The focus on big data in business has also seen Apple collaborate with SAP to bring a new Cloud platform to iOS. SAP CEO Bill McDermott said the move would ensure that people would be able to access the data they require “wherever and whenever they choose to work.” The new native iOS apps will be built using Apple’s Swift programming language, make use of the popular SAP S/4HANA processes and integrate Apple features such as location services, Touch ID and notifications. SAP Digital Enterprise Platform president, Steve Lucas concluded: “We are approaching the building out of these apps entirely differently, largely due to the way Apple thinks about app design. I believe firmly they will fulfil mission of revolutionizing work on iPad on iPhone.”

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