October 20, 2022 By Alan Peacock 4 min read

IBM Cloud is dedicated to delivering innovative capabilities on top of a secured and reliant platform.

Whether customers are managing IT at a global financial institution, a multinational retail environment and/or navigating the daily demands of operating in a heavily regulated environment, one thing remains the same—they need to count on the reliability and security of their hybrid cloud infrastructure. IBM Cloud is designed to support clients looking to maximize their security posture on a reliable, flexible infrastructure.

IBM Cloud understands just how important it is for clients to be able to manage mission-critical workloads and business continuity at all times, and we are committed to delivering a superior cloud experience for our clients. To help enable this, we’re continuing to drive innovation by building a cloud foundation with embedded regulatory and security functions that are designed to help clients as they implement strategies to reduce risk and accelerate time to value.

At the heart of our strategy is a client-first approach—one that can help clients achieve their desired business outcomes at the rapid pace of today’s market demands. With IBM’s deep industry knowledge and domain expertise in middle- and back-office functions, we are dedicated to continuing to help clients wherever they are on their cloud journey—allowing their workloads to run where required or desired, be it on IBM Cloud, on-premises or at the edge.  

Designed for reliability throughout IBM Cloud

With a focus on reliability, IBM Cloud aims to provide high levels of resiliency for our customers across the globe at all times. The foundation of resilience is our global architecture of multi-zone regions (MZRs). In addition to high levels of security, IBM MZRs deliver high resiliency—designed for clients to continuously keep operations up and running. It is designed this way so a single failure event can affect only a single data center, rather than all zones. Clients hosting workloads on IBM Cloud MZRs can run mission-critical workloads at all times to keep business up and running. Our network is designed for low latency and high security, all while helping clients address their stringent data sovereignty and compliance requirements.

IBM builds on the resiliency inherent in our MZR architecture with three critical focus areas:

  1. Design and build improvements to the cloud infrastructure to reduce Severity 1 incidents
  2. Enhance our observability stack
  3. Improve procedures that can reduce the impact of changes. 

As part of this strategy, IBM Cloud has prioritized making key updates to our cloud infrastructure and our management of it, including building an aggressive currency strategy across all components, optimizing network paths and route policies aimed to reduce blast radius, making control plane configuration changes for high availability, enhancing operating procedures for auto-scaling services, continuing enhancements to deployment automation for safer code pushes and microservice restarts and testing resiliency to failure events.

The net effect of these improvements that we’ve observed is a 90% reduction in Severity 1 incident volume and an 87% reduction for disruption time over the last year (see image below). Overall performance in 2022 reflects a 90% reduction compared to the same period in 2021:

IBM Cloud aims to continue to prioritize reliability for clients in the coming months and years ahead by adding improvements to processes and technology. Some of these improvements include implementing new change management protocols, additional pre-implementation testing, review, and sign-offs, improving process rigor, and enhancing communications across internal service teams and to clients.

Delivering high levels of security in the cloud

As we continue to help clients drive innovation, we have built on the innovative capabilities of IBM Cloud for Financial Services and launched enhancements for Confidential Computing and DevSecOps. Our clients also have access to a rich and expanded IBM Cloud Satellite (distributed computing) catalog options, built on industry partnerships and more. We have a clear mission to be the most secure, most stable and most resilient cloud. These mission elements are what we believe to be the most important things for our clients. Yes, many of our clients want us to continuously add new features, but they also know those features need to be secured, stable and resilient—and we keep raising the bar on ourselves.

Keeping up with the constantly changing regulatory requirements in banking and other regulated industries in multiple geographies is challenging. The expectations of clients and regulators relating to security, service availability and resilience of those services are progressively increasing, and the bar is continuously rising. Cybersecurity is—rightfully so—a priority focus for most companies, and it’s a key focus item for regulators around the world.

We also strive to differentiate ourselves through our Security and Compliance Center product and IBM Cloud for Financial Services. They allow the client to migrate safely to the cloud knowing that a set of critical security and compliance functions are built into our offering. This can accelerate cloud migrations for clients and help address tasks typically required to manage security and compliance controls in regulated industries, such as financial services, government, telecommunications and health.

Another differentiator for IBM Cloud and its security is that we are also focused on helping address third- and fourth-party risk through the IBM Cloud for Financial Services Framework validation of ISV products on our cloud platform. This helps clients use the platform with accountability and transparency when deploying these products on IBM Cloud to address their control requirements.

IBM Cloud’s focus on delivering innovative capabilities on top of a secured and reliant platform have had a dramatic impact for our clients. IBM Cloud customer case studies provide more detail:

Our success is far from anecdotal: IDC recently published a broad-based report (over 2,000 respondents from 32 industries) called Industry Cloudpath 2022 in which survey respondents ranked IBM #2 in overall satisfaction among the leading CSPs.

We’re not done yet—on top of continuing to drive innovation in cloud-based security and regulatory compliance capabilities, IBM Cloud will continue to focus on design, process, tool and management improvements, and and seek to drive down incidents, impact, and response and recovery times. Above all, we prioritize reliability and security to help clients across the world—especially those in highly regulated industries like financial services—drive business success.

Statements regarding IBM’s future direction and intent are subject to change or withdrawal without notice, and represent goals and objectives only.

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