At XPO 2018 we were proud to welcome IBM as our headline sponsor. After his presentation on ‘Data Storage; Digital Transformation and Multi-Cloud Software’, we spoke to Software Defined Storage Leader UKI, Matt Fordham IBM, to get his thoughts on artificial intelligence, machine learning and the future of flash.

“Customers are getting flash at a lower cost than ever before.”

What topics has IBM been discussing at XPO?

In my presentation I talked a lot around our customer win stories and some of the successes where we’ve applied our technology. I’ve also talked about our innovations in the world of storage; how IBM is investing billions of dollars into what we do and how we will shape the future of storage.

What are your key data predictions for 2019?

We will see the continued rise of more flash-based solutions, which is incredibly exciting. Customers are getting flash at a lower cost than ever before. Customers are able to radically transform their environments, get the performance they need and fix old legacy problems all by using flash. That is a real strength to the industry.  It’s helping customers to free up spend and look at other things they can do.

Those other things are going to typically include machine learning, artificial intelligence and things that are going to help them transform their business massively.

From a storage perspective, where I am, we will really look to use things like Flash and then longer term, cold data storage that will free up the money to go and do the really exciting things that will change their business.

It’s a bit of an ambiguous buzzword, but what does artificial intelligence mean to you?

Artificial intelligence to me and to IBM is much more than just a set of commands and responses to certain inputs. We’ve proven that it’s really possible to train machines to think about data sets. Quite often it’s quite similar to what machine learning is really all about; training machines to think for themselves and think through a set of data entries, but also to think about the problem that we are trying to solve.

It’s early days and you are still seeing smaller use cases out there. We are really working with some customers on some much, much greater things. Take autonomous vehicles for example, they are probably the most explosive industry in terms of machine learning and artificial intelligence. Having a car drive around and think for itself is a pretty scary prospect, but the efforts that are going into enabling that are huge amounts of data that they need to think for themselves and it’s about really thinking through those data sets, so much more than just a certain script that goes through. It is incredibly complex, but it is an incredibly exciting time ahead with those kind of applications.

How have you found XPO?

The XPO has been fantastic. I’ve had some great conversations, the session was well attended and it’s led on to some great discussions.

About Matt Fordham IBM
Sales leader and solution evangelist, for the IBM Software Defined Storage portfolio Spectrum Storage. Matt helps clients, and prospects, understand how to unlock greater value from their data to gain increased competitive advantage.
Matt has over 15 years distinguished IT industry experience, bringing IBM solutions to a successful conclusion with clients from broad range of industries.

Matt Fordham IBM

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By Katherine Murphy, content enthusiast