Cognitive computing powerhouse IBM Watson Health is adding novel offerings and entering new agreements in an array of healthcare arenas.
This week, IBM Watson Health announced a slew of solutions and partnerships aimed at improving healthcare decision making and delivery. The announcement, which was released during a major gathering for the health IT community--the annual Healthcare Information and Management Systems Society (HIMSS) conference--covers offerings focused on value-based care, medical imaging, and population health.
"Healthcare organizations are operating in a complex and fluctuating business environment, one in which the insights they need to succeed can be hidden amidst an avalanche of disparate and siloed data," Deborah DiSanzo, general manager of IBM Watson Health, said in a press release. She added, "Watson Health's extensive industry expertise informs how we deploy data, cloud, and cognitive computing to help clients make more informed decisions today and understand precisely what their organization should address to achieve their quality care goals and outcomes in a value-based care system."
Among the new products is the IBM Watson Health Value-Based Care solutions. Applications set to be released later in 2017 include solutions that help track and forecast value-based care performance indicators, monitor patient engagement, customize analytics, and tools that can help pinpoint areas of high cost.
IBM also unveiled IBM Watson Imaging Clinical Review, choosing to focus first on aortic stenosis. The offering is designed to alert clinicians to patients who may have aortic stenosis but haven't been identified as a candidate for cardiovascular follow up care, according to a press release. The platform is expected to eventually be expanded to nine more cardiovascular diseases, including cardiomyopathy, deep vein thrombosis, heart attacks, among others.
"Out of the gate, this type of cognitive tool may provide big benefits to hospitals and doctors, providing insights we don't currently have and doing so in a way that fits how we work," Ricard Cury, MD, director of cardiac imaging at Baptist Health of South Florida and chairman and CEO of Radiology Associates of South Florida, said in the release.
Cury's institutions are among the new members of the Watson Health medical imaging collaborative, focused on optimizing the applications of medical imaging. IBM announced in the imaging release that there are now 24 organizations in the collaborative.
Another agreement announced the same day will bring the more than 2000 healthcare providers of the Central New York Care Collaborative (CNYCC) onto a population health platform run on the Watson Health Cloud. The effort aims to cut Medicaid costs and preventable emergency room visits, as well as cut hospital readmissions by 25%, according to a news release.
"Central New York is leading the way for a national movement toward an effective, scalabe patient-centric approach to population health management and value-based care," Anil Jain, MD, FACP, vice president and chief health informatics officer, Value-Based Care at IBM Watson Health, said in the release.
IBM Watson Health also signed on to an agreement with a healthcare organization, Atrius Health. The collaboration will center around more information that can be used to facilitate shared decision making and Excellerate delivery of patient care in the eastern Massachusetts region covered by the healthcare organization.
"Atrius Health is committed to increasing the joy in the practice of medicine for our clinicians and staff," Steve Strongwater, MD, president and CEO of Atrius Health, said in a news release. "Working with IBM Watson Health offers a unique opportunity to help our Atrius Health clinicians make greater use of the mountains of digitalized information generated daily through our care of patients."
Of course, there's more to these new collaborations than the exciting potential of the technology. Forbes reported recently that a partnership between IBM Watson and MD Anderson has been paused, highlighting the important role that project management and finances--in addition to the technology--play in the success of such a joint effort.
IBM Watson Health already has an impressive list of collaborations under its belt, including with Quest Diagnostics, Medtronic, Johnson & Johnson, and Memorial Sloan Kettering. More partnerships seem likely, as IBM also debuted its Watson Health Consulting Services unit and new features for its Watson Platform for Health Cloud this week. These offerings echo IBM Watson Health's other priorities, with a continued focus on quicker, better insights, improved patient care, and value-based care.
"The launch of the new Watson Health Consulting Services unit is about helping our clients transform healthcare, in quality, improved access, patient satisfaction and lower cost in the cognitive healthcare era," Matt Porta, vice president and partner for IBM Watson Health Consulting Group, said in the release.
[Image courtesy of FRANKY242/FREEDIGITALPHOTOS.NET]
IBM shook up the digital health space Friday with the news that it is selling its healthcare data and analytics assets, currently part of the Watson Health business, to an investment firm. The sale price is reportedly more than $1 billion, although the companies are not officially disclosing the financial terms.
There are a lot of interesting factors to consider as we unpack this news, although some thought leaders say the divestiture did not come as a surprise.
“The Watson Health sale has been anticipated for quite some time. IBM was clearly not gaining much traction in the healthcare market while others such as Google and Microsoft have pulled ahead. Even Oracle has made a big splash in healthcare with its exact announcement to acquire Cerner," said Paddy Padmanabhan, founder and CEO of Damo Consulting, a growth strategy and digital transformation advisory firm that works with healthcare and technology companies.
IBM was one of the first big tech companies to dive into healthcare with its well-known Watson Health supercomputer known for defeating the greatest champions on “Jeopardy!" The platform created a lot of buzz back in 2011, and many people had high hopes for the platform's potential applications in healthcare. In exact years, however, that buzz has significantly died down.
"In the current competitive landscape, IBM would not be considered a significant player in healthcare. Selling off the data assets essentially means an end to the Watson Health experiment; however, it may allow IBM as an organization to refocus and develop a new approach to healthcare,” Padmanabhan said.
Assuming there are no regulatory snags, the deal is expected to close in the second quarter of this year.
“Today’s agreement with Francisco Partners is a clear next step as IBM becomes even more focused on our platform-based hybrid cloud and AI strategy,” said Tom Rosamilia, senior vice president of IBM Software. “IBM remains committed to Watson, our broader AI business, and to the clients and partners we support in healthcare IT. Through this transaction, Francisco Partners acquires data and analytics assets that will benefit from the enhanced investment and expertise of a healthcare industry focused portfolio.”
The agreement calls for the current management team to continue in similar roles in the new standalone company, serving existing clients in life sciences, provider, imaging, payer and employer, and government health and human services sectors.
“We have followed IBM’s journey in healthcare data and analytics for a number of years and have a deep appreciation for its portfolio of innovative healthcare products,” said Ezra Perlman, co-president at Francisco Partners. “IBM built a market-leading team and provides its customers with mission critical products and outstanding service.”
In 2016 IBM doubled the size of its Watson Health business through the $2.6 billion acquisition of Truven Health Analytics. Truven offers healthcare data services targeted at employers, hospitals, and drug companies, and makes software that can parse through millions of patient records. Truven's main offices are in Ann Arbor, MI, Chicago, and Denver. At the time of the acquisition, Truven had around 2,500 employees.
The Truven deal followed other major healthcare acquisitions in the company, including Cleveland-based Explorys, Dallas-based Phytel, and Chicago-based Merge Healthcare. The company paid about $1 billion for Merge.
IBM said the assets acquired by Francisco Partners include extensive and diverse data sets and products, including Health Insights, MarketScan, Clinical Development, Social Program Management, Micromedex, and imaging software offerings.
Padmanabhan said it will be interesting to see how the new owners are able to leverage those data assets.
“IBM’s decision to sell its data assets is an indication that it’s not just enough to have the data. Applying advanced analytics on the data to generate insights that can make a difference in real-world applications is where the true value lies. IBM had several missteps early on, especially in cancer care applications, that created significant setbacks for the business that they could not recover from.
In 2018, the Watson Health business went through a round of layoffs. The company declined to tell MD+DI at the time how many of employees were let go other than to say it was a "small percentage" of the global business, but online commenters on TheLayoff.com and Watching IBM, along with multiple news reports citing unnamed sources from within the organization painted a different picture of the situation. One Dallas-based commenter on TheLayoff.com said that "we all knew it was coming but nobody expected it to be this fast and rampant," while another commenter estimated that 80% of that same Dallas-based office was let go.
While we have seen a trend in exact years with big tech firms showing an interest in healthcare, some of those companies are finding those efforts to be easier said than done.
“IBM’s decision to sell the Watson Health assets is another instance of a big tech firm acknowledging the challenges of the healthcare space. Last year, Google and Apple had significant setbacks, and Amazon has acknowledged challenges in scaling its Amazon Care business," Padmanabhan said. "In IBM’s case, they have missed out on the cloud opportunity and have lagged behind peers in emerging technology areas such as voice. While IBM’s challenges with Watson Health may have been unique to the organization, the fact is that big tech firms have multiple irons in the fire at any time, and for some healthcare may just be too hard.”
Padmanabhan does not think, however, that IBM's decision to sell the Watson Health assets is an indictment of the promise of AI in healthcare.
"Our research indicates AI was one of the top technology investments for health systems in 2021," he said. "Sure, there are challenges such as data quality and bias in the application of AI in the healthcare context, but by and large there has been progress with AI in healthcare. The emergence of other players, notably Google with its Mayo Partnership, or Microsoft with its partnership with healthcare industry consortium Truveta are strong indicators of progress."
Padmanabhan is co-author with Edward W. Marx, of Healthcare Digital Transformation: How Consumerism, Technology and Pandemic are Accelerating the Future (2020), and the host of The Big Unlock, a podcast focusing on healthcare digital transformation.
This page shows the latest IBM Watson Health news and features for those working in and with pharma, biotech and healthcare.
old project with IBM Watson Health applying AI to real-world data to Excellerate insight on the expected outcomes of breast cancer treatment.
It’s a road whose signposts point strongly towards data, with the tech firms attending a two-day EMA workshop in November 2016 - among them IBM Watson Health and Google - having ... R&D, this time within psychiatric and neurological treatments, was in
IBM Watson Health/ Illumina. Partnership to integrate Watson for Genomics into Illumina's BaseSpace Sequence Hub and tumour sequencing process to expand access to genomic data. ... Novo Nordisk/Glooko. Non-exclusive collaboration to deliver
licence, collaboration. 167. Aimmune Therapeutics/ Nestlé Health Science. CODIT (Characterised Oral Desensitisation ImmunoTherapy), for treating life-threatening food. ... acquisition of 85.1% stake. 60. Broad Institute/ IBM Watson Health. reserch
If you ask 50 different people for a definition of digital health, you'd probably get 50 different views. ... The intersection of digital health, data and - hopefully - actionable insights was the focus of a particularly interesting deal Novo recently
IBM today is moving the code that underlies its WebSphere Liberty solution for development using Agile and DevOps methodologies to GitHub, where it will be available this week under the Eclipse Public License v1.
The Open Liberty project is working to create a new runtime for Java microservices that can be moved between different cloud environments, according to Ian Robinson, an IBM distinguished engineer and the chief architect of WebSphere. Open Liberty will be the basis the IBM’s continued development of its Liberty product – the codebase is the same — and will be fully supported in commercial WebSphere licenses. It can be downloaded at openliberty.io.
The Open Liberty code on GitHub will give developments the components they need to create Java applications and microservices, using the Java EE foundation from WebSphere Liberty and the work from the Eclipse MicroProfile community. MicroProfile defines common APIs and infrastructure to microservices applications can be created and deployed without vendor lock-in, Robinson wrote in his blog.
Along with being a founding member of the Eclipse MicroProfile project, IBM has collaborated with Google and Lyft on the Istio project to create an open service fabric for microservices integration and management, and would like to see MicroProfile integrate with Istio, Robinson said.
Further, IBM’s commitment to open source includes the contribution of IBM’s Java 9 VM to Eclipse as Eclipse OpenJ9, which – when combined with Open Liberty, Eclipse MicroProfile and Java EE at Eclipse – creates a fully open licensing model of a full Java stack for building, testing, running and scaling Java applications.
“We hope Open Liberty will help more developers turn their ideas into full-fledged, enterprise ready apps,” Robinson wrote in his blog. “We also hope it will broaden the WebSphere family to include more ideas and innovations to benefit the broader Java community of developers at organizations big and small.”
New Jersey, United States, Oct. 13, 2022 /DigitalJournal/ The Population Health Management Market research report provides all the information related to the industry. It gives the markets outlook by giving authentic data to its client which helps to make essential decisions. It gives an overview of the market which includes its definition, applications and developments, and manufacturing technology. This Population Health Management market research report tracks all the exact developments and innovations in the market. It gives the data regarding the obstacles while establishing the business and guides to overcome the upcoming challenges and obstacles.
Population health management refers to the process of improving the clinical health outcomes of a defined group of people through better coordination of care and patient engagement supported by appropriate financial and care models. The medical industry is rapidly transforming from a paper-based system to a digitized system, accelerating the demand for healthcare IT services. In addition, the growing demand for solutions that support value-based care delivery by healthcare stakeholders has resulted in a shift from fee-for-service (FFS) models to fee-based payment models. value (VBP). Increasing demand for effective disease management strategies is also expected to drive market growth.
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This Population Health Management research report throws light on the major market players thriving in the market; it tracks their business strategies, financial status, and upcoming products.
Some of the Top companies Influencing this Market include:IBM, Optumhealth, Cerner, Healthagen, Verscend Technologies, I2I Population Health, Epic, Orion Health, Forward Health, Change Healthcare, GSI Health, EClinicalWorks,
Firstly, this Population Health Management research report introduces the market by providing an overview that includes definitions, applications, product launches, developments, challenges, and regions. The market is forecasted to reveal strong development by driven consumption in various markets. An analysis of the current market designs and other basic characteristics is provided in the Population Health Management report.
The region-wise coverage of the market is mentioned in the report, mainly focusing on the regions:
Segmentation Analysis of the market
The market is segmented based on the type, product, end users, raw materials, etc. the segmentation helps to deliver a precise explanation of the market
Market Segmentation: By Type
Market Segmentation: By Application
Payers, Providers, Employers,
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An assessment of the market attractiveness about the competition that new players and products are likely to present to older ones has been provided in the publication. The research report also mentions the innovations, new developments, marketing strategies, branding techniques, and products of the key participants in the global Population Health Management market. To present a clear vision of the market the competitive landscape has been thoroughly analyzed utilizing the value chain analysis. The opportunities and threats present in the future for the key market players have also been emphasized in the publication.
This report aims to provide:
Table of Contents
Global Population Health Management Market Research Report 2022 – 2029
Chapter 1 Population Health Management Market Overview
Chapter 2 Global Economic Impact on Industry
Chapter 3 Global Market Competition by Manufacturers
Chapter 4 Global Production, Revenue (Value) by Region
Chapter 5 Global Supply (Production), Consumption, Export, Import by Regions
Chapter 6 Global Production, Revenue (Value), Price Trend by Type
Chapter 7 Global Market Analysis by Application
Chapter 8 Manufacturing Cost Analysis
Chapter 9 Industrial Chain, Sourcing Strategy and Downstream Buyers
Chapter 10 Marketing Strategy Analysis, Distributors/Traders
Chapter 11 Market Effect Factors Analysis
Chapter 12 Global Population Health Management Market Forecast
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Founded in 1911 as a Computing-Tabulating-Recording Company, International Business Machines (IBM) needs to keep its finger on the pulse of the development of information technology not to be ousted by younger tech giants like Google, Microsoft, Apple, and Amazon. With the advent of the internet, IBM needed to widen the spectrum of its products and services to retain its strong position in the tech field. Although the company lost its dominance, having only a 5% market share in 2021, as opposed to 68% shared by Microsoft, Amazon, and Google, it has many spectacular achievements to its credit. IBM holds more patents than any other technology company and takes pride in employees who have earned five Nobel Prizes, four Turing Awards, five National Medals of Technology, and five National Medals of Science. And it had been the top tech company for longer than any of the titans dominating the market now.
Also called “Big Blue,” IBM indeed has an impressive pedigree. After starting to produce hardware at the beginning of the last century, it thrived in this business for decades and became the leading supplier of mainframe computers worldwide. IBM’s gross income had inexorably grown in the last part of the twentieth century, expanding from $14.450 billion earned in 1975 to $71.940 billion made in 1995. The company’s revenue skyrocketed to the record level of $106.9 billion in 2011, after which it has steadily been declining amidst its transition into new technologies and lines of business. To move with the times and survive the competition from other tech titans, IBM gradually shifted its focus from hardware to software and services. It began to devote more energy and money to cloud-based services and cognitive computing. IBM focuses now on offering primarily network services, application services, cloud services, digital workplace services, business processes and operations, technology consulting services, and AI services. IBM Watson, a cognitive system capable of answering questions posed in natural language, has become the company’s high-visibility offering in the technology field. IBM has a strong faith in Watson, promoting the system as a benevolent digital assistant that would help hospitals, offices, factories, and farms. The company’s white paper referred to Watson as “the future of knowing.”
To see how well IBM has prepared for, what it calls, the new age of understanding, study the statistical data presented below.
Sources: IBM, Wikipedia
Once an unparalleled tech giant, IBM has been struggling for the last decade. It had to adjust to the changing world by selling its low-margin businesses and investing in high-margin ones. To implement its strategies, Big Blue sold IBM WebSphere Commerce to HCL Technologies in 2018 and a part of the Watson Health business at the beginning of this year. Although IBM’s earnings are still high, they do not reach the levels hit between 2006 and 2012. The company’s annual revenue skyrocketed to $106.9 billion in 2011, whereas it was only $57 billion last year. In the second quarter of 2022, IBM’s earnings dropped below expectations. IBM’s falling fortune is reflected in the table below:
IBM’s Annual Revenue since 2000 (in $US Billion)
|Year||Annual Revenue (in $US Billion)|
|2022 (Q1; Q2)||$14.2 billion; $15.5 billion|
Source: Statista; IBM
Big Blue has repeatedly changed the segment reporting to reflect its move away from being hardware, software, and service company towards becoming a cognitive solutions and cloud platform company. It changed its segment reporting in 2016, 2019, and 2021. The last change was dictated by IBM’s need to align its segment reporting with its platform-centric approach to hybrid cloud and AI. There are presently six segments in IBM’s business: Technology Services and Cloud Platforms, Infrastructure, Software, Consulting, Financing, and Other. In 2021, IBM’s software segment generated $24.14 billion of its global revenue of $57.35 billion. In 2022 so far, the Software division earned $5.77 billion and $6.2 billion, in the first and second quarters, respectively. The Consulting sector brought the company $4.83 billion in Q1 and $4.8 billion in Q2 of the current year. The revenue earned by the Infrastructure segment amounted to $3.22 billion in the first quarter and $4.0 billion in the second quarter. Revenues generated by IBM’s segments in the last two years are shown in the table below:
IBM’s Annual Revenue by Segment for 2020-2021 (in $US billion)
|Technology Services and Cloud||$25.00||$28.00|
In the second quarter of 2022, IBM’s Cloud Infrastructure had only a 4% share of the worldwide market, lagging behind Amazon, Azure, and Google Cloud. The spending on global cloud infrastructure services soared to $55 billion and thus brought the industry’s total for the twelve months to more than $203.5 billion. Outshining IBM, Amazon and Microsoft together accounted for more than half of cloud infrastructure revenues in the three months that ended on June 30.
These figures show how much Big Blue fell from grace because, in the past, it used to enjoy the leading position. In 2017, IBM reported cloud revenue growth of 33% year-over-year in its first quarter earnings. In that quarter, its cloud revenue jumped to $3.5 billion. IBM’s total cloud revenue over the past 12 months that year hit $41.6 billion and catapulted IBM to the top of the list in the field of enterprise cloud. In the first quarter of 2017, today’s winners were obliged only to trail behind with lower earnings: Microsoft with $14 billion, Amazon with $12.20 billion, and Google with $10 billion. The latest market share of the main providers of cloud infrastructure can be seen in the table below:
Worldwide Market Share of Cloud Infrastructure Providers in Q2 2022
Sources: Statista, IBM
Net income is defined as a company’s net profit or loss after it has accounted for all its revenues, income items, and expenses. IBM’s net income for the quarter ending on June 30, 2022, was $1.292 billion, which constituted a 5.06% jump year-over-year. The company’s net profit for the 12 months ending on June 30, 2022, was $5.588 billion, demonstrating an increase of 4.76% year-over-year. Last year, IBM’s annual net income reached $5.743 billion, a 2.74% surge from 2020. The first year of the pandemic brought IBM a net income of $5.59 billion, which was a whopping 40.73% drop from 2019. In 2019, IBM’s annual net profit was $9.431 billion, an 8.05% advance from 2018. The uneven trajectory of IBM’s annual net income is drawn in the table below:
IBM’s Annual Net Income since 2009 (in $US Billion)
|Year||Net Income in $US Billion|
IBM is the fifth largest employer in the United States. In 2021, the company employed 282,000 people worldwide. This year, the number of people working for Big Blue dipped to 245,000. As the company has lately been struggling, experiencing drops in its revenues, it is trying to restructure its business and be on par with such tech giants as Amazon, Microsoft, Google, and Apple. Hence the decline in the number of its employees this year. The table below shows how the number of IBM’s employees has changed over the years:
IBM’s Number of Employees Worldwide from 2000 to 2022 (in 1,000s)
|Year||Number of Employees (in 1,000s)|
As the world is facing a probable recession, analysts believe that the enterprise tech sector will still continue going strong. People who are tech-savvy will turn to IBM in these unpleasant times to help them survive in a tighter economic environment and use the company’s software, consulting, and infrastructure to work productively during an economic decline. Big Blue can definitely provide the products and services people will need in the near future. IBM’s Q2 2022 results signify that technology spending in such spheres as AI, cloud, automation and networking is steady. The company beat anticipated results in the second quarter and boasted its first double-digit quarterly revenue growth in more than a decade. Automatic calculations conducted at Coinpriceforecast.com inspire faith in the company’s future and the cost of its stock. At the beginning of the year, IBM’s stock price was $116.92. At the time of writing, IBM is trading at $118.81, thus demonstrating a 2% jump from January 2022. Coinpriceforecast.com foresees that by Christmas, IBM will surge to $138. In the first half of 2023, the price of the stock might advance to $145 and end the next year at $155, adding 30% to today’s price. Whether or not these predictions prove to be correct, IBM will surely continue pushing technology and innovation forward, as it has spectacularly done since the beginning of the twentieth century.
To determine the hospitals included on the Fortune/IBM Watson Health 100 Top Hospitals list, IBM Watson Health researchers evaluated 3,134 short-term, acute care, nonfederal U.S. hospitals. All research was based on the following public data sets: Medicare cost reports, Medicare Provider Analysis and Review (MEDPAR) data, and core measures and patient satisfaction data from the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) Hospital Compare website. Hospitals do not apply for awards, and winners do not pay to market this honor.
Fortune/IBM Watson Health 100 Top Hospitals 2020: Health Systems
Fortune/IBM Watson Health 100 Top Hospitals 2020: Teaching Hospitals
Fortune/IBM Watson Health 100 Top Hospitals 2020: Community Hospitals
To determine the hospitals included on the IBM Watson Health 15 Top Health Systems list, IBM Watson Health researchers evaluated 332 health systems and 2,492 hospitals that are members of health systems. All research was based on the following public data sets: Medicare cost reports, Medicare Provider Analysis and Review (MEDPAR) data, and core measures and patient satisfaction data from the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) Hospital Compare website.
Final rank is determined based on performance for all individual measures. Hospitals are ranked within their class definition group. Rankings (scores) within measure domain are relative to the winner class universe only. Lower numbers indicate the best scores.
Hospital measure domains
11 measures distributed across five domains.
There are six clinical measures used in the scorecard. Measures include (1) risk-adjusted IP mortality, (2) risk-adjusted complications, (3) health care associated infections,* (4) influenza immunization, (5) 30-day mortality, and (6) 30-day readmissions. *Health care associated infections are excluded for the Small Community Hospitals class. Rankings (scores) within measure domain are relative to the winner class universe only. Lower numbers indicate the best scores.
There are three operational efficiency measures used in the scorecard: (1) emergency department throughout, (2) severity adjusted length of stay, and (3) adjusted inpatient expense per discharge. Rankings (scores) within measure domain are relative to the winner class universe only. Lower numbers indicate the best scores.
The patient experience measure reflects the overall patient rating from the Hospital Consumer Assessment of Healthcare Providers and Systems (HCAHPS) survey tool. Rankings (scores) within measure domain are relative to the winner class universe only. Lower numbers indicate the best scores.
The financial health measure used in the scorecard is adjusted operating profit margin. Rankings (scores) within measure domain are relative to the winner class universe only. Lower numbers indicate the best scores.
Each hospital is defined within a class based on their bed size and teaching status.
Major Teaching: 207 Hospitals
Teaching: 560 Hospitals
Large Community: 270 Hospitals
Medium Community: 812 Hospitals
Small Community: 831 Hospitals
IBM, Watson Health and 100 Top Hospitals are registered trademarks of International Business Machines Corporation in the United States and other countries. FORTUNE is a trademark of Fortune Media IP Limited; registered in the U.S. and other countries.
Quantum computing will bring unimagined innovations to the world when it finally arrives in full glory. Still, quantum remains in the research labs at companies like IBM, Google, and Microsoft. While companies and research institutions are investing billions of dollars to increase the capacity of quantum systems, a time will come in the following years, or decades, when researchers will reach "quantum supremacy." But these large quantum marvels could also jeopardize the security of critical information systems. Researchers, including IBM are working to develop new security algorithms that will be resilient to these attacks.
While quantum can solve computing challenges far beyond what is possible today, its ability to find the factors of large prime numbers makes it the ideal cybersecurity safe cracker once quantum computing systems mature in their scale, quality, and speed. Every computer system and every bit of "secure" data could become vulnerable to attack from quantum-equipped nefarious actors. The World Economic Forum "estimate(s) that over 20 billion digital devices will need to be either upgraded or replaced in the next 10-20 years to use the new forms of quantum-resistant encrypted communication. We recommend that organizations start planning for this now.”
What constitutes "adequate size" might give us some false comfort: a 2019 study suggested that a computer with 20 million qubits would take eight hours to break modern encryption. Today's quantum computers are on the order of only 100 qubits. But while that implies that the threat is in the distant future, one must consider that a bad actor doesn't need to wait for the massive quantum system to materialize. The "Steal now, crack later" approach leads to a latent future security threat. Consequently, organizations should deploy quantum-safe security as soon as possible to minimize future risk.
Consequently, the National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST), a bureau of the U.S. Department of Commerce, has been conducting an ongoing search for quantum-safe security algorithms that are both secure and efficient. After all, we need our laptops, cars, and mobile phones to also be able to resist attacks from quantum-equipped bad actors. After four rounds of submissions, NIST selected four algorithms from a slate of 82 candidates. IBM Research had submitted 3 of the four chosen algorithms. All submissions have been subjected to research by industry scrutiny by government agencies, academic scientists, and mathematicians. This process is now reaching its conclusion; the NIST is expected to publish standards based on these 4 algorithms sometime in 2024.
The NIST contest covers the two aspects of security that could be vulnerable to quantum computing: public key encapsulation (used for public-key encryption and key establishment) and digital signatures (used for identity authentication and non-repudiation). For the former, NIST selected the CRYSTALS-Kyber algorithm. NIST selected three algorithms for signatures: CRYSTALS-Dilithium, FALCON, and SPHINCS+, with CRYSTALS-Dilithium as the primary algorithm in the signature category.
On September 29, GSMA announced the formation of the GSMA Post-Quantum Telco Network Taskforce, of which IBM and Vodafone are initial members, to help define policy, regulation and operator business processes to enhance protections of telecommunications in a future of advanced quantum computing. Since virtually all organizations and sectors conduct commerce on the internet, and the 800 providers whose pipes that carry all the internet traffic, the Telco industry is a good place to start. We expect other sectors to follow suit, perhaps starting with banking, government, and health care.
Given the magnitude of the potential risks, and the predominance of IBM Z systems in security-critical applications, IBM has included future-proof digital signature support in its latest z16 mainframe using CRYSTALS-Kyber and CRYSTALS -Dilithium algorithms selected by NIST. z16 implements this algorithm across multiple layers of firmware to help protect business-critical infrastructure and data from future quantum attacks. IBM has said it is also working to bring these new methods to the broader market.
In addition, IBM has developed a multi-step process to assist clients toward rapidly making institutions quantum safe. The company works with clients to identify where they are vulnerable to quantum-based cryptography attacks, assess cryptographic maturity and dependencies, and identify near-term achievable cryptographic goals and projects. The risks clients may face vary substantially based on the type of applications and data an organization handles and the state of its current cryptography.
Quantum computing's potential threat to global information security may seem to be a distant and abstract risk. However, the inevitable advances of quantum technology and the "Steal now, crack later" approach bad actors are undertaking to make quantum-safe a genuine and pressing matter for vendors and IT organizations. IBM wasted no time bringing that technology to market in the IBM z16. IBM Research has contributed three of the four algorithms the NIST quantum-safe contest has selected to be the most viable, secure, and efficient of the 70 techniques evaluated.
Beyond the NIST-approved algorithms, IBM Is working to provide “crypto agility”, helping organizations not only replace the soon-to-fail existing algorithms but also transform their security practices to remain resilient as new threats emerge in the post-quantum world. Creating crypto observability, enabling ongoing monitoring and actions on crypto-related security items, will help keep the world safer from bad actors with virtually unlimited computing capacity at their disposal.
More information can be found at here.
Disclosures: This article expresses the opinions of the authors, and is not to be taken as advice to purchase from nor invest in the companies mentioned. Cambrian AI Research is fortunate to have many, if not most, semiconductor firms as our clients, including Blaize, Cerebras, D-Matrix, Esperanto, FuriosaAI, Graphcore, GML, IBM, Intel, Mythic, NVIDIA, Qualcomm Technologies, Si-Five, SiMa.ai, Synopsys, and Tenstorrent. We have no investment positions in any of the companies mentioned in this article and do not plan to initiate any in the near future. For more information, please visit our website at https://cambrian-AI.com.
A four-year bachelor’s degree has long been the first rung to climbing America’s corporate ladder.
But the move to prioritize skills over a college education is sweeping through some of America’s largest companies, including Google, EY, Microsoft, and Apple. Strong proponents say the shift helps circumvent a needless barrier to workplace diversity.
“I really do believe an inclusive diverse workforce is better for your company, it’s good for the business,” Ginni Rometty, former IBM CEO, told Fortune Media CEO Alan Murray during a panel last month for Connect, Fortune’s executive education community. “That’s not just altruistic.”
Under Rometty’s leadership in 2016, tech giant IBM coined the term “new collar jobs” in reference to roles that require a specific set of skills rather than a four-year degree. It’s a personal commitment for Rometty, one that hits close to home for the 40-year IBM veteran.
When Rometty was 16, her father left the family, leaving her mother, who’d never worked outside the home, suddenly in the position to provide.
“She had four children and nothing past high school, and she had to get a job to…get us out of this downward spiral,” Rometty recalled to Murray. “What I saw in that was that my mother had aptitude; she wasn’t dumb, she just didn’t have access, and that forever stayed in my mind.”
When Rometty became CEO in 2012 following the Great Recession, the U.S. unemployment rate hovered around 8%. Despite the influx of applicants, she struggled to find employees who were trained in the particular cybersecurity area she was looking for.
“I realized I couldn’t hire them, so I had to start building them,” she said.
In 2011, IBM launched a corporate social responsibility effort called the Pathways in Technology Early College High School (P-TECH) in Brooklyn. It’s since expanded to 11 states in the U.S. and 28 countries.
Through P-TECH, Rometty visited “a very poor high school in a bad neighborhood” that received the company’s support, as well as a community college where IBM was offering help with a technology-based curriculum and internships.
“Voilà! These kids could do the work. I didn’t have [applicants with] college degrees, so I learned that propensity to learn is way more important than just having a degree,” Rometty said.
Realizing the students were fully capable of the tasks that IBM needed moved Rometty to return to the drawing board when it came to IBM’s own application process and whom it was reaching. She said that at the time, 95% of job openings at IBM required a four-year degree. As of January 2021, less than half do, and the company is continuously reevaluating its roles.
For the jobs that now no longer require degrees and instead rely on skills and willingness to learn, IBM had always hired Ph.D. holders from the very best Ivy League schools, Rometty told Murray. But data shows that the degree-less hires for the same jobs performed just as well. “They were more loyal, higher retention, and many went on to get college degrees,” she said.
Rometty has since become cochair of OneTen, a civic organization committed to hiring, promoting, and advancing 1 million Black individuals without four-year degrees within the next 10 years.
If college degrees no longer become compulsory for white-collar jobs, many other qualifications—skills that couldn’t be easily taught in a boot camp, apprenticeship program, or in the first month on the job—could die off, too, University of Virginia Darden School of Business professor Sean Martin told Fortune last year.
“The companies themselves miss out on people that research suggests…might be less entitled, more culturally savvy, more desirous of being there,” Martin said. Rather than pedigree, he added, hiring managers should look for motivation.
That’s certainly the case at IBM. Once the company widened its scope, Rometty said, the propensity to learn quickly became more of an important hiring factor than just a degree.
This story was originally featured on Fortune.com
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Investors this year increasingly turned away from dividend stocks in favor of the rising yields being offered on bonds. Given that investors can now earn a 4.3% return on a 2-year Treasury note, many prefer that guaranteed return to the risks of putting money into the stock market.
International Business Machines (IBM -1.44%) offers a dividend yield that exceeds that bond return. But with a bear market in progress, are investors better served to take a chance on the cloud stock or to take the 4.3% return at virtually zero risk?
IBM didn't participate in the bull market of the 2010s. The stock dropped as its tech businesses suffered a considerable growth slowdown. In an effort to change that, IBM pivoted into the cloud computing sector aggressively, in part via its $34 billion purchase of Red Hat in 2019. Grand View Research forecasts a compound annual growth rate of 16% through 2030 for the cloud industry. Growth like that could certainly help both IBM and its stock.
Also, IBM spun off its managed infrastructure business into a new public company, Kyndryl. This business was less of a fit with the parent company amid its pivot to the cloud. Separating it off should make it easier for IBM to grow its revenue.
Time will tell if these moves can help the stock price recover. Nonetheless, IBM currently pays its shareholders $1.65 per share every quarter, or $6.60 per share annually. At the current stock price, that adds up to a yield of 5.6% per year. Moreover, depending on your financial situation, the IRS may tax your dividends at a lower capital gains rate, which can offer an added advantage.
Additionally, IBM hiked its payout annually for 27 consecutive years, making it a Dividend Aristocrat. That status carries some importance as many income investors will be more inclined to buy and hold IBM stock because of this status. Also, since abandoning Dividend Aristocrat status tends to hurt a stock, management will probably prioritize maintaining it by continuing to raise those payouts.
Investors also can also reinvest their dividend payments into more IBM stock. However, such newly purchased shares will pay you the dividend yield at that time. The return will rise if the stock falls since investors can buy the exact cash return at a lower price. Conversely, cash yields will drop if the stock rises, but those investors still benefit since the stock has increased in value.
U.S. Treasury notes offer more stability than stocks such as IBM. Investors who purchase the 2-year Treasury note receive semiannual interest payments. At the current interest rate of 4.3%, investors will receive a 2.15% cash return on their invested amount in each of the subsequent three six-month periods. In the fourth period, when the note matures, investors receive the final 2.15% payment along with the return of their principal.
Investors should also be aware that bond values can fluctuate. If interest rates drop, the value of the bond will fall; the opposite will happen if rates rise. This affects investors if they decide to sell the bond early. Upon maturity, the note will return to its par (or nominal) value.
Additionally, bond interest payments are subject to federal income tax but exempt from state and local taxes. In some cases, this is higher than taxes on dividends. Still, bond issuers are obligated to make such payments. In contrast, IBM faces no legal obligation to continue its dividend.
Also, like with a stock, investors can reinvest their interest payments into more notes or other forms of Treasury bonds. However, those purchases will be subject to the prevailing interest rates at that time.
Investors who lack much risk tolerance should choose the Treasury note. Given its guaranteed return, they will not have to worry about volatility.
Nonetheless, for investors comfortable with buying stocks, IBM is a surprisingly strong buy. The cloud industry is in growth mode, which should propel IBM stock to a long-awaited turnaround. Moreover, IBM has repeatedly shown it wants to hold on to its Dividend Aristocrat status. This should give its income investors returns that are not only larger than the bonds offer, but also likely to increase in size.