The future of hybrid cloud and AI is here

5 Things You Need to Know About IBM’s Next Generation Cloud Pak for Data and New Data Fabric

Customers face an enormous challenge: how do they make the vast amounts of their distributed enterprise data more accessible for AI so they can develop informed business outcomes? And how do they do so cost-effectively?

Data quality and integration can become major issues when pulling from multiple cloud environments. Additionally, data silos typically complicate data integration, prevent centralized data management, and keep data from being easily accessible. Data complexities may also tax employee resources, escalate operational costs, and slow decision making as businesses try to figure out how to bring all their data together, make sense of it and make it usable.

Introduced three years ago, IBM Cloud Pak for Data gives enterprises the capabilities to apply AI to data across any hybrid cloud environment. Since then, clients such as Lufthansa, State Farm and UBS have leveraged these capabilities to extract value from their data and fuel their AI.

Today, IBM brings new AI-powered capabilities into a new intelligent data fabric in Cloud Pak for Data – including a breakthrough technology called AutoSQL (Structured Query Language). AutoSQL technology automates the access, integration and management of data for AI – regardless of where it resides – without having to move it. With the new data fabric and AI capabilities, IBM is delivering what we anticipate should be a significant differentiator for customers by automating the data and AI lifecycle – the potential to free up time, money and resources – and connect the right data to the right people at the right time, while conserving resources.

Here are 5 things you need to know about what’s new in Cloud Pak for Data and why it matters to business:

1. Automate access to your data with no movement necessary – across hybrid multiclouds

The new AutoSQL technology is designed to enable customers to automate the access, integration and management of data for AI – regardless of where it resides or how it is stored, and without having to move it. This is of critical importance for those looking to succeed in AI as our new Global AI Adoption Index 2021 found nearly 90 percent of businesses reported that being able to run their AI projects wherever the data resides is key to AI adoption, however 32 percent cited increasing data complexity and data silos as a major barrier to adoption.

2. Designed to query your data faster than previously

The new AutoSQL technology uses the same query engine across disparate data sources including data warehouses, data lakes and streaming data – without additional manual changes or data movement– saving businesses the time and resources that would typically go into moving data and maintaining multiple query engines. With the introduction of AutoSQL technology, IBM Cloud Pak for Data now includes the highest performing cloud data warehouse, on the market (based on our benchmarking study) and is able to tap into AI to help customers get answers to distributed queries as much as 8x faster than previously and at nearly half the cost of other compared data warehouses.

3. An intelligent data fabric that “weaves” together new AI-powered capabilities

Underpinning Cloud Pak for Data is our new intelligent data fabric that uses AI to automate complex data management tasks and “weaves” together new AI capabilities, including AutoSQL. It is engineered to discover and unify disparate data sources - be it a data lake, catalog, or warehouse - into one unified view so business users have a single point of access to find, understand, shape and utilize data throughout the organization. Traditionally, we have seen that businesses have cobbled together a data platform from different data sources had to manually integrate the data. The new data fabric is designed to remove the complexity of hybrid cloud and helps ensure that the data needed for business users can be accessed without jeopardizing privacy, security or compliance. 

4. Intelligent data fabric brings together new AI-powered capabilities to catalog and protect data

As part of the new intelligent data fabric, and complementing AutoSQL technology, AutoCatalog – is an AI-powered “brain” that automates how data is discovered and classified to maintain a real-time catalog of data assets from across disparate data landscapes – designed for teams across the business to easily find data. AutoPrivacy is a key aspect of the universal data privacy framework available within IBM Cloud Pak for Data. AutoPrivacy is engineered to use AI to intelligently automate the identification, monitoring  and subsequently the enforcement of policies on, sensitive data across the organization.

5. Advances “Watson Anywhere” strategy and reaffirms ability to bring AI wherever data resides

Today’s news further extends IBM’s Watson Anywhere strategy, as IBM is enabling customers to bring AI to their data, wherever it resides – vs. others.

At Think 2021, you’ll hear from business leaders at ING, CitiBank, Verizon among others, about their efforts to achieve AI success. While the transformative power of AI is undeniable, turning AI aspirations into business outcomes starts with a solid foundation that can address the complexity of today’s diverse data landscape.

See what clients are saying at Think 2021:

Ferd Scheepers, Chief Architect of ING Tech Group Services commented:

“We need a unified layer to take care of mapping data, using AI to understand what the data means, enforcing policies to prevent data moving across country boundaries where country laws prevent personal data leaving a country, and doing ideally 100% of all the work that we now have to build ourselves. This is exactly what the data fabric promises, active metadata driving what we can and can’t do with data, making data available in a consistent way across regions and clouds, so what the consumers of data can use that data where and how they need, without a year -long IT project to get to the data they need.”

Sal Maraccino, Head of Data Governance and Architecture at Verizon commented:

“Data is trapped in silos across enterprise and the traditional warehouse, data lake environment and not enabling us to combine the data at scale. So what we’re looking to do is introduce data fabric, to create a layer in which our folks can bring that together in one common platform. Now we can manage controls in a consistent way with the fabric layer which is allowing us to really get to scale… we’re homogenizing the controls across and simplifying access to our people.”

More information:

For more information about Cloud Pak for Data and new capabilities view this blog.

To hear more from these customers visit for the full schedule and livestream agenda, and to watch all of the programming.