The trends fueling hybrid cloud management

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What a week at IBM Interconnect 2017. After a busy and productive week at our signature cloud event, I’d like to recap some of the key trends and directions that IBM is seeing in the hybrid cloud management space.

Not long ago, the cloud was seen primarily as a cost-cutting tool. Many saw it as means of improving agility through easy access to low-cost infrastructure. But today, the cloud is gaining traction for its potential to change the dynamics of innovation and digital disruption.

Unlocking more value in the cloud

One way to drive the new experiences clients are after is to bring together value from across the business. This can include a combination of existing data and applications with new methods of engagement in the form of mobile apps, APIs and microservices.

This approach leverages current investments while extending the reach of business right into the hand of their customers. Businesses can also augment internal data with external insights coming from social media, weather forecasts, and Internet of Things (IoT) devices to enrich customer experiences and interactions.

As companies move to more strategic consumption of the cloud, they often uncover opportunities to reimagine business processes and entire industry models. Cognitive services— artificial intelligence—can help businesses learn from individual customer interactions over time. They can adapt automatically to accommodate changing preferences, buying patterns and even understand tone-of-voice to tailor interactions to the person’s mood. On a broader scale, the ability to combine cognitive insights with cloud services can determine the course of industry leaders and laggards.

Setting cloud strategy today for long-term gains

The extent to which business leaders consider the implications of the cloud strategy they select today could have the greatest impact on long-term success. Is the strategy centered solely on scalable infrastructure? Is it adaptable to your business model and investment levels? Does it deliver higher-value business applications and industry functions? Will it enable game-changing business models equipped with blockchain, cognitive services and new data insights to optimize customer experiences?

One key factor in the race to outpace competitors is the ability to innovate with speed. Companies want to select the best of their capabilities and combine it with the latest of what’s available externally from vendors, partners and communities. That’s a critical benefit of using the cloud.

Public clouds enable companies to get new value outside-in from third parties, allowing for rapid adoption of new services, including data, applications, devops toolchains, or community innovations.

Private clouds help companies extract more value inside-out from their business, allowing them to securely extract and analyze data on their customers, transactions and products.

Combining public cloud and private cloud enables business advantage by driving business outcomes more quickly, more effectively and at lower cost. This is why multicloud environments are rapidly becoming the new norm for the enterprise.

Introducing IBM Cloud Automation Manager

The right multicloud strategy can allow companies to combine the delivery and consumption models that best suit their unique business and industry requirements. They can mix and match in a way that optimizes speed, flexibility and business value. To optimize the benefits of these diverse environments requires a unified cloud management platform.

This week, at InterConnect, we were thrilled to unveil Cloud Automation Manager, a purpose-built, cloud-agnostic, multicloud management platform created together with clients to provide significant business value. With Cloud Automation Manager, you can rapidly automate provisioning of cloud applications and resources on any cloud, while leveraging cognitive insights to manage your multicloud environment with ease.

Cloud Automation Manager includes pre-built automation packs spanning infrastructure to full stack apps and helps companies optimize workload placement without lock-in or loss of control. It combines speed, flexibility, control and intelligence so that IT operations managers can more easily and efficiently provision and automate workloads across multiple clouds. At the same time, they can provide developers and DevOps teams with self-service access to a catalog of cloud resources and applications—all from their cloud of choice.

To find out more, please visit our website. To get started with Cloud Automation Manager today at no cost, visit us at ibm.biz/tryIBMCAM.

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