Last week, I read with interest the announcement that IBM was opening up their Watson computing platform to outside organizations and developers to use to build upon the cognitive computing and natural language processing of the platform.
This is a big step for organizations of all sizes, but especially those in the small and midmarkets. The type of computing power offered by Watson is something that small and medium sized organizations could never hope to have access to on their own.
Along with the announcement, IBM released the names of three companies using Watson’s powerful computing capabilities. These three companies are all smaller organizations who would struggle to find access to a fraction of the computing power they now have access to with Watson.
I’ve argued in the past that big data can level the playing field for the small and medium business (SMB). SMB’s have been able to take advantage of the various resources available in the cloud for computing and storage, but they’ve rarely had access to computing power like Watson.
Imagine being a small business with an idea for a new product or service that requires an enormous amount of computing power to model the new service. Currently, you’d have to invest a great deal of money in hardware and/or cloud services to get started. Even with this investment, you may not have the full computing environment required to build your business.
That is where the power of the opening of Watson comes in. With a few API calls, you can access one of the most powerful computing platforms in the world. Imagine what that power can do for your business.
As a small or medium sized organization, you have to take every advantage that you can find to keep up with or surpass your larger competitors. The opening up of Watson adds just one more advantage to the SMB.
This post was written as part of the IBM for Midsize Business program, which provides midsize businesses with the tools, expertise and solutions they need to become engines of a smarter planet. I’ve been compensated to contribute to this program, but the opinions expressed in this post are my own and don’t necessarily represent IBM’s positions, strategies or opinions.