Reinventing IT infrastructure in the cognitive and cloud era

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IBM invests heavily in innovation for IT infrastructure as part of its overall innovation agenda. Why? Because we know that traditional IT infrastructure and systems won’t be enough to drive businesses forward — our business or yours.

As I discussed in a previous In the Making blog post, the role of IT leaders is changing. Roles are changing not only for CTOs but also for CIOs and other executives who are now charged with delivering innovation that produces business results. As we move further into the cognitive era — and organizations increasingly invest in advanced analytics — old ways of thinking about IT infrastructure aren’t going to cut it.

To design the future, you need a partner who invests in and pioneers the IT infrastructure that helps you unlock the next wave of business value and deliver a competitive advantage. That’s why IBM is focused on three key areas: cognitive computing to accelerate insight, open technologies to deliver innovation rapidly and hybrid cloud for seamless data movement and secure integration between on-premises and off-premises systems.

Accelerating insights with cognitive computing

Competing in the cognitive era requires acting at the speed of thought to turn faster insight into faster action. Achieving that agility requires compute and storage built for today’s world of unstructured data and designed for complex analytics and machine learning to accelerate analytics and help cut data analysis from hours to milliseconds.

To help organizations act at the speed of thought, we’ve built IBM Power Systems with POWER8 processor technology from the ground up for big data workloads, leveraging hardware accelerators and high-speed interconnects between the accelerators and the processor. Large amounts of memory and cache enable you to speed up the flow of data around the system. And to further accelerate insights, IBM Flash Storage delivers high capacity, low-latency data access.

What does all this mean for your business? Faster, deeper insights for rapid decision-making and differentiated services that drive superior customer engagement.

Delivering innovation through open ecosystems

Accelerated technology breakthroughs often require an ecosystem of like-minded partners collaborating. For that reason, we embrace open communities and ecosystems. With solutions based on open technologies, IT leaders can decide which services to run where, with choice in platforms, runtimes and deployment models on purposeful architectures.

For example, we’re collaborating with an ever-growing list of OpenPOWER Foundation members to bring new solutions to market faster than ever, resulting in several key analytics gains:

On another front, we are driving innovation as a charter member of The Linux Foundation’s Hyperledger Project to develop an open source blockchain platform. A distributed ledger such as blockchain reduces the time and cost of getting business transactions done. But our enterprise clients told us they wanted a more trusted, secure version. In response, we helped create an open blockchain platform complete with security options such as data encryption and digital signatures.

Unlocking the power of hybrid clouds

The dawning of the digital and cognitive eras has revealed a world covered by hybrid clouds and IT environments. IDG predicts, by the end of 2017, 59 percent of IT will be in the cloud, with almost half of that in private clouds, and 10 percent in true hybrid.  So, IT resource decisions are no longer stark choices between on-premises IT and off-premises public cloud services. Instead, those decisions are really about gaining the best of both worlds with seamless data movement and secure integration across on-premises systems and cloud platforms.

Hybrid cloud allows you to easily combine external data from social, Internet of Things (IoT) or other third-party data sources with enterprise data to gain more insight. Or you can safely connect on-premises data to cloud-native applications designed to maximize the web or mobile customer experience. For organizations with on-premises data residing on IBM z Systems, z/OS Connect provides a short, secure path to that data for building mobile applications.

With IBM solutions, you can automate the placement of data based on patterns and user demands — and then cost-effectively move data to put it in the right place at the right time. For example, IBM Spectrum Storage provides analytics-driven data management to help reduce costs by as much as 50 percent.

Generating value through innovation

So, what’s next?

At IBM we have always been at the forefront of innovation. We’re leading research around the next wave of computing — quantum computing. Our researchers and systems developers are looking at new ways to unlock problems in industries such as pharmaceuticals, oil and gas, and financial services that were previously out of reach of classical computing but can become solvable using a quantum computing platform.

Moreover, IBM has launched the IBM Quantum Experience representing the birth of quantum cloud computing. It offers students, researchers and scientists hands-on access to the IBM experimental, cloud-enabled quantum computing platform to run algorithms and test ideas.

Innovations such as these help us to continue delivering real value to you, our customers; so, you can better understand and act on your data, keep pace with new technology breakthroughs and accelerate time to market of new services.

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Director, Portfolio Marketing Strategy, IBM Systems

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