Cloud computing’s turning point: The innovation phase has begun

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Cloud computing turning pointIn the past, when I’ve spoken to clients about cloud computing, those conversations were mostly with line-of-business managers focused on cutting costs and getting new, customer-facing applications up and running quickly.

Today, the tide has turned, as chief executives and other line leaders want to know how cloud computing can help them transform their entire business, create new models and spur innovation.

While much of the attention in cloud has been focused on public infrastructure deployments, that is only part of the overall story. Now those conversations reflect an intense interest in digital transformation through open, industry-specific hybrid cloud solutions that deliver higher value with analytics and cognitive capabilities.

What business leaders want

Overwhelmingly, what we are hearing from clients and the market is the need for a clear path to extend the significant IT investments they have made by leveraging new, innovative cloud services, while ensuring their data is protected.

With hybrid cloud, business leaders don’t have to rip out and replace existing systems. They can focus on elevating their business value.

IBM has invested billions of dollars and secured key industry partnerships to grow our cloud platform and deliver unique capabilities to clients around the globe. We are mobilizing thousands of developers, many of whom are working on open cloud projects, to bring new innovations to market that deliver the visibility, control and security that enable enterprises to extend their existing IT with hybrid cloud deployments.

In a recent study, we found that companies cite their ability to extend into the cloud as a driving force. It gives them the power to expand into new industries (76 percent), create new sources of revenue (71 percent), and establish and support new business models (69 percent). While public cloud adoption continues to rise, almost half of computing workloads will remain on premises.

Solutions that work

IBM has answered the call by delivering solutions for cloud migrations that are both easy and automated. Here are a few examples:

  • We have partnered with VMware to tackle the daunting task of extending enterprise investments to the cloud. As a result, 1,000 joint customers now have the ability to seamlessly run their workloads on the IBM Cloud as if it were part of their own, on-premises environment. Global brands, such as Marriott and Clarion, are extending their VMWare environments to the IBM Cloud.
  • Today we announced the launch of IBM Cloud Object Storage, the industry’s first storage-as-a-service option for hybrid clouds. This will redefine how enterprises can store, manage and access their mounting volumes of digital information in the cloud with cross-regional security. Bitly has signed on as one of the solution’s first clients and will manage up to 500 terabytes of critical workloads on the service. With tools such as Data Connect and Aspera for high speed file transfer, getting data to the cloud has never been easier.
  • Our long-standing partnership with SAP has deepened and we are now co-locating resources in Germany and Silicon Valley. The companies are working on cognitive extensions, enhanced customer and user experiences and industry-specific functionality. These experiences will be available both on premises and in the cloud with SAP Business Suite 4 SAP HANA (SAP S/4HANA) software.
  • With the IBM Connect series of offerings, thousands of IBM WebSphere, MobileFirst, MQ, DB2, and mainframe clients are already connecting and extending their enterprise apps, transactions systems and data with the cloud. Developers can easily and quickly connect to and from the cloud to fully capitalize existing skills and applications and innovate with new services such as Watson, blockchain and analytics.

We are proud of the work we’re doing with some of the world’s most recognizable brands across a variety of industries, including 1-800-Flowers, ShopDirect, Anthem, Fleetcor and Halliburton.

Business leaders around the globe recognize that cloud computing can effect digital transformation in their industries, and for many, a hybrid strategy will be the key to unlocking all of that potential. 

General Manager, IBM Middleware

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