The Tech Top Gun: Geeta Gurnani Over the 25 years that Geeta Gurnani has spent in the world of technology across various industries, she's spent 20+ years with the International Business Machine, also known as IBM. Among all the technologies, IBM is one of the proactive giants in the space when it comes to AI

By Paromita Gupta

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Geeta Gurnani, IBM Technology CTO and Technical Sales Leader, India & South Asia

For aeons, Oscar Wilde's philosophy and work have inspired many and Geeta Gurnani is one of them. Wilde's "We're not nouns, we're verbs" philosophy is one which she has been practising in life, professionally or personally. "We are known for our character/ brand and not for the roles we do," she once shared on LinkedIn. Over the 25 years that Geeta Gurnani has spent in the world of technology across various industries, she's spent 20+ years with the International Business Machine, also known as IBM. She started her career as a Product Advisory Sales at IBM and now heads IBM India and South Asia as the Chief Technology Officer. Safe to say, she has experience when she advises on creating one's personal brand.

Presently, she's focused on large-scale adoption of strategic technologies such as artificial intelligence, cloud-native, hybrid cloud, data science, automation, blockchain, and edge computing. "Using our portfolio of AI, automation and hybrid cloud, underpinned by security, we are helping them leverage their data and drive intelligent workflows to make faster and smarter decisions, and respond to market disruptions in real-time," shares Geeta Gurnani, IBM Technology CTO and Technical Sales Leader, India & South Asia.

Among all the technologies, IBM is one of the proactive giants in the space when it comes to AI. In May, IBM launched watsonx, an AI and data platform aimed at helping companies develop and deploy accurate, scalable, and adaptable AI. "Our AI solutions are tailored for businesses' unique needs, at enterprise-scale and with a human-centred, principled approach," she shares. watsonx is built on four belief pillars- best open technologies, it is trusted, targeted for business domains and empowering value creators, not just users.

"watsonx addresses the critical need for developing and deploying accurate, scalable, and adaptable AI," Gurnani adds.

Since the launch, IBM has offered its watsonx to the likes of NatWest, Wimbledon, and NASA. By offering such models to businesses, the Big Blue is enabling businesses to be AI value creators. "For instance, we recently launched the watsonx Granite model series to advance the infusion of generative AI into business applications and workflows. They are custom-built for the specific requirements, which are much more focused than consumer AI and demand the highest levels of precision and accuracy," she adds. Gurnani explicitly has been vocal about AI governance at large and feels it should be an important part of technology skilling.

The US-based technology company robustly has been collaborating with educational institutions such as the Indian Institute of Technology (IIT), Bombay and the Indian Institute of Science (IISc.), Bengaluru, big players such as Amazon Web Services and Parle Products, and even government bodies such as the Ministry of Electronics and Information Technology.

So, with AI being adopted in companies at a rapid speed, what's her advice to fellow CTOs? Gurnani firmly believes that the role of the CTO/CIO has become integral to the success of a business. "This calls for them to expand their role beyond just technical expertise. They need to be more resilient in leadership so that they can adapt to evolving industry needs, they need to coach other leaders within their organizations to inculcate a digital mindset and finally participate in community learning to expand their knowledge base," she concludes.

Tech predictions for 2024:

•AI- the next year will see an increased focus on making sure AI models are trusted by integrating trust guardrails throughout the AI foundation models lifecycle and AI governance at the organizational level

•Hybrid cloud- the industry will witness the use of AI for development, deployment, and operations greatly expanded. This will result in developers experiencing greater agility and workload placement optimized for cost, performance, and security

Paromita Gupta

Features Writer with Entrepreneur India

Covering news and trends in AI and Metaverse segments. An avid book reader running her personal blog on the side. You may reach me at paromita@entrepreneurindia.com. 

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