IBM Launches watsonx: Powerful New Platform for AI Base Models
by Daniel Newman | May 11, 2023

The News: This week at its annual Think conference, IBM launched watsonx, a new AI and data platform. The platform, will bring advanced AI to the enterprise and will allow organizations to scale with speed. Eventually watsonx will include a design studio, data store, and toolkit for AI governance. Read the full Press Release from IBM here.

IBM Launches watsonx: Powerful New Platform for AI Base Models

Analyst Take: IBM’s announcement is proof that supporting generative AI is going to be big business in the coming years. Its solution is also a smart one: a full tech stack that can train, deploy, and support AI capabilities across any cloud environment. For businesses looking for ease and reliability, the IBM solution may be a great fit. It was just a matter of time. From the onset of the recent generative AI explosion, I have been positive about IBM’s prospects with its enterprise-centric approach to AI.

About watsonx

According to IBM, watsonx will feature three different components:, and watsonx.governance. The first is a design studio for base models, machine learning, and generative AI. It can be used to train, tune, and deploy ML models. That component is expected to be available to the general public in July. The second,, is all about analytics and AI workloads. After all, data is what helps AI learn and grow. The store is open, governed, and hybrid. It’s also expected to be available in July. The last piece, watsonx.governance, is geared toward enabling transparent and responsible AI and keeping data and AI workflows “explainable.” This piece—which is critically important at this point in AI’s growth—will not be available until October. I expect governance to be an incredibly important part of the stack and IBM’s building the tools to help its users build AI capabilities responsibly.

Building the Foundation

IBM is creating the foundation to make AI more widely accessible to the enterprise—any enterprise. Its tool features a model library (including a new collab with Hugging Face) where designers can access foundation models that have already been vetted and curated by IBM. And their models are considered robust among the open source community. They’ve already been trained on language, code, tabular data, geospatial data, time-series data, etc. One can be used to auto generate code through a natural language interface. Another can be used to help plan for natural disaster patterns, etc. Still one more can be used for industry-specific use cases and can be easily customized per enterprise needs. Essentially, it’s a huge toolkit. It’s still up to the enterprise to use it well and wisely.

In addition to the platform itself, IBM says it will be “infusing” models into its major product offerings. For instance, Watson Code Assistant (available later in 2023) will use generative AI to help generate code with English language commands. AIOps Insights will feature models that offer visibility into IT performance across different environments. Watson Assistant and Watson Orchestrate will use a model that improves employee productivity as well as customer service experiences. Environmental Intelligence Suite will feature a geospatial model that allows companies to create solutions that help alleviate environmental risks. Like I said: AI everywhere.

Other IBM AI Updates from Think

Although the launch of watsonx is pretty big, it wasn’t the only AI news IBM was set to deliver at Think. The company also shared a plan to include GPU-as-a-service infrastructure to support AI-intensive workloads, as well as an AI-powered Cloud Carbon Calculator dashboard that can help businesses track and manage cloud carbon emissions. Last but not least, IBM Consulting announced a new Center of Excellence for Generative AI that will see more than 1,000 generative AI pros who can help build and deploy watsonx for enterprise clients. With AI being a board level focus of enterprises around the planet, the full stack of tools, technology, and people will be required for enterprises to capitalize on its potential. I like IBM’s focus on enterprise, its collaborations with its ecosystem including ISVs, CSPs, and GSIs, and I see enterprise AI as the inflection that could drive its next wave of growth and innovation.

Disclosure: The Futurum Group is a research and advisory firm that engages or has engaged in research, analysis, and advisory services with many technology companies, including those mentioned in this article. The author does not hold any equity positions with any company mentioned in this article.

Analysis and opinions expressed herein are specific to the analyst individually and data and other information that might have been provided for validation, not those of The Futurum Group as a whole.

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About the Author

Daniel Newman is the Chief Analyst of Futurum Research and the CEO of The Futurum Group. Living his life at the intersection of people and technology, Daniel works with the world’s largest technology brands exploring Digital Transformation and how it is influencing the enterprise. Read Full Bio