Cognitive computing

Is open innovation the future of your business?

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A growing percentage of enterprise IT shops will be implementing open technologies over the next two to five years here in China as in other parts of the world. Why? Businesses want to respond to their customers in a faster, more agile way. By taking advantage of open technology, you can put new solutions and IT infrastructure into production more quickly than ever – resulting in faster time-to-market.

Open source operating systems such as Linux and open compute platforms such as IBM Power Systems offer performance, portability and scalability for innovative and emerging solutions. And innovation often comes quickly with open technologies because of the contributions made by open communities such as the IBM OpenPOWER Foundation.

Key considerations for adopting open technology

For companies considering a move to open source software and open technology, you need to determine what your business and IT needs are first.

  1. Know the business goal. Sometimes being swayed by technology alone is easy, but the primary consideration is what’s best for advancing the business.
  2. Balance the total cost of acquisition and the total cost of ownership. Because open source software is vendor-independent, it can also cost less at the beginning. But it also comes with a low level of support. You may need to hire new, skilled personnel to manage it.
  3. Have a trusted partner. With an experienced advisor, you can walk through the jungle of open source and open technology together. In this fast-changing world, expertise is important for weighing the pros and cons and choosing the open source package and related infrastructure best suited to your needs.
  4. Determine the right mix of traditional and open source systems. Many organizations are adopting a hybrid cloud model combining both on-premises and off-premises resources to make their IT environment highly flexible. For example, they can link core transactional systems in their data center to off-premises, open source technologies for rapid introduction of new online and mobile applications—while continuing to provide a stable core platform.

Case in point: Cloud-based consolidation

Hailiang Group, ranked 16th among China’s top 500 privately owned enterprises, is one of several clients moving to open source and a hybrid cloud infrastructure. Over the past 25 years, Hailiang Group has grown rapidly, and now encompasses a large number of different companies in a variety of industries.

This growth pattern has resulted in many small IT silos and numerous information silos among the companies Hailiang Group has acquired. The organization’s goals now involve combining those silos into consolidated systems using hybrid cloud, adopting open technology and scaling up systems in the most cost-effective way.

  • Trusted Partnership: Hailiang Group chose IBM as an experienced partner to help build the powerful, secure, open and scalable IT infrastructure it needs for the future.
  • Choice for Optimization:
    • The organization consolidated its storage systems into one large pool on IBM FlashSystem storage with a single, open source data-sharing platform. Industry-leading latency makes FlashSystem a well-suited platform for Hailiang’s hybrid cloud because it compensates for the performance slowdowns from making long-distance connections across the group of companies.
    • Hailiang also chose IBM Power Systems to provide strong computing capability for consolidating applications onto centralized servers running industry-standard Linux. These centralized servers allow a small IT staff to manage multiple applications and partitions in one system, and allow the staff to use open innovation to meet the different needs of companies within the organization.
    • Linux on Power Systems offers architectural choices to meet Hailiang’s scale-up requirements. And the combination of FlashSystem and IBM Power helps Hailiang Group speed up mission-critical applications, including SAP.

To learn more, watch Hailiang Group CIO Auto Yau and I discuss why an IT infrastructure built with an open ecosystem was the right business strategy.

Open up to new possibilities

In China and around the world, organizations are demanding solutions that allow them to benefit from open innovation. Thus, IT leaders must design an IT infrastructure with servers built with open technologies that enable enterprises to quickly adapt to changing customer demands and new applications.

One thing is certain: in order to compete today, organizations are changing what they do and how they do it. Download the Harvard Business Review’s “The Ecosystem Equation: Collaboration in the Connected Economy” report to see why companies like Hailiang Group are utilizing cognitive computing to innovate and collaborate.

Director, Client Technical Team, Systems Hardware, at IBM in Greater China

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