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2 key observations from the Cloud and Cognitive Innovation Forum

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Last week, IBM hosted more than 100 clients at an event focused on applying cloud and cognitive technology to business innovation.

It was energizing and inspiring to visit with companies from dozens of industries across North America, all of which are challenged with delivering innovation faster. I came away from the event with two observations applicable to anyone on a journey to cloud.

Cloud and Cognitive Innovation Forum

1. Data growth and AI

Bryson Koehler, chief technology officer for IBM Cloud and Watson business, stated that early cloud — compute, storage and network — solved infrastructure challenges. Now, organizaitons are faced with the larger task of how to approach the nearly unfathomable rate of growth of data.

Several clients and partners came on stage to illustrate how IBM Cloud is providing them the AI platform they need for business innovation. The platform makes services accessible to their data. With a commitment to open source, it provides ultimate flexibility and nearly limitless applications to solve unique challenges.

For example, First Data is responding to clients who are asking, “What can you tell me about my data?” Box is putting AI on top of its data to analyze unstructured data such as images and audio files to provide new insights. Vanguard is applying data science technologies to improve its analytics, addressing the industry-wide issue that hard-to-find and highly paid data scientists spend 80 percent of their time searching for and preparing data, rather than deriving insights for the business.

2. The journey to cloud native

Koehler challenged attendees to think about where they will plant their flag, looking toward cloud native as a future state.  While that may be your ultimate destination for much of your business, there is much to do along the way to retrieve that flag.

It’s been said there is no setup.exe to simply “install cloud.” It is a process. Developers need help with starter kits. Operations needs help with orchestration and integration. Through the journey, architecture and approach matters. In terms of approach, I heard many companies talk about the pressure to build new apps on the cloud while at the same time modernizing traditional ones.

One key enabler to help companies drive enterprise transformation by modernizing existing applications is IBM Cloud Private. Highlighted at the event, this is a capability located behind a firewall that empowers both developers and administrators to meet business demands.

Developers can tap into a rich stack of built-in development tools and services so they can turn ideas into working code quickly. The operations team has access to a powerful set of enterprise-grade management tools to keep the platform secure and up to date. This is an industry-leading offering to help you do just that.

Thanks to our clients who invested their time in last week’s event.

If you’re interested in attending an upcoming Cloud and Cognitive Summit in New York or Dallas, I invite you to register.

Learn more about IBM Cloud Private and IBM Integrated Analytics System.

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