Why organizations should make strategy central to cloud transformation

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Cloud strategy Jim ComfortIn his conversation with General Manager of IBM Hybrid Cloud Services Jim Comfort, InformationWeek’s Joao-Pierre S. Ruth asked a big question: what sets IBM apart from other cloud services?

Throughout the interview, Comfort stressed that one of the key components is strategy.

“All of the large deals that we’ve done have had a business strategy, a recognition of the degree of the transformation, and a systemic approach to how to make it more of a business transformation than a technology exploitation,” Comfort said.

Other cloud providers offer services and products that don’t necessarily align with business goals that matter most, he added. With IBM, “Rather than a point product sale or massive project, you will recognize the problem that needs to be solved.”

Comfort went on to describe several areas in which cloud is changing how businesses operate: infrastructure architecture, application architecture, DevOps, development processes, capabilities, tools, culture, security and compliance.

“Each of those areas is a massive change, and for most clients, they don’t come together until they reach the CEO,” he said.

Because of the scope of those changes, “It doesn’t make sense to change everything overnight,” Comfort said. Organizations should focus on areas that drive topline performance first. He predicted that most organizations will likely keep about half of their operations on premises through 2020, with 30 percent on external infrastructure and 20 percent in software as a service (SaaS).

Comfort also discussed the planned IBM acquisition of Red Hat: “We want it to continue to be the foundation for hardening open source, the innovation around open source and the massive developer ecosystem they have. We don’t want to break or change the model.”

For more about cloud strategy, multicloud and Red Hat, read the full interview at InformationWeek.

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