IBM expands technology expert labs in Markham to drive AI adoption and innovation

IBM has announced the expansion of its technology expert labs in Markham, to help tackle the artificial intelligence skills gap and data complexity across various sectors.

Aiming to accelerate the adoption of generative AI and other key technologies, IBM will build capacity and competency in generative AI, data & AI, automation, hybrid cloud, sustainability, cybersecurity.

A recent report by the Conference Board of Canada highlights the potential impact of generative AI, suggesting it could contribute nearly two per cent to Canada’s GDP.

However, despite this potential, there remains a lag in technology adoption at the organizational level. Barriers to AI implementation include skills gaps (41 per cent), data complexity (24 per cent), and high costs (24 per cent) as outlined in the IBM Global AI Adoption Index 2023.

The technology expert labs can help address some of the challenges as it will be comprised of a team of technical experts who will advise, architect, and deploy outcome-based client engagements that deliver value (or real return on investment) while minimizing implementation risks.

"The expansion of IBM’s technology expert labs in Canada is a significant milestone in our continued commitment to empowering businesses to harness the potential of technology including AI,” said Sanjay Pal, vice president, IBM technology expert labs. “We are dedicated to providing our clients with the expert guidance they need to successfully integrate AI solutions into their operations, accelerating their digital transformation journey.”

Drawing on example of Markham, Pal highlighted the role of AI in enhancing market research and operational efficiency for local small businesses, leveraging geographic and cultural insights.

Moreover, the expansion of IBM's technology expert labs presents new opportunities for professionals in burgeoning fields such as AI, cloud computing, automation, and cybersecurity, enabling companies to accelerate their digital transformation efforts.

Pal emphasized that AI's purpose is not to replace jobs but to create more opportunities in technology-driven roles, making work easier and more efficient.

As Canadian companies increasingly adopt AI, it's crucial to have the right skills and talent to integrate these technologies effectively.

“Consider your competitors,” Pal advised, “as those who embrace AI gain a competitive edge. Embracing AI, rather than fearing it, is key to staying ahead in today’s rapidly evolving landscape.”

Scarlett Liu, Local Journalism Initiative Reporter, Markham Economist & Sun