The best and the brightest: “Thinking big” in the cloud

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Greetings from Las Vegas at the first IBM Think Conference!  Although this is my first Think conference (and more about the differences later) I am a veteran of IBM Innovate, InterConnect and IOD among others.  The thing I enjoy most about these conferences is the chance to learn from SMEs and brilliant industry leaders who challenge your thinking and help you spark innovation in your own organizations.  Today I attended the core kickoff session for Z in the Cloud hosted by the VP of IBM Z, Ross Mauri, and I was not disappointed.

think session, Multi-Cloud Infrastructure

In the session titled “Accessing digital business transformation with the secure cloud data center,Bobby Cameron, VP and Principal Analyst with Forrester, set the stage for why companies are turning to multi-cloud infrastructures to connect digitally empowered customer to apps, data and devices.  With 60 percent of enterprises already relying on more than 3 different cloud platforms, he shared:

  • Digital businesses increasingly use cloud to connect everyone to technology.
  • Multi-cloud cost and agility benefits can outweigh greater management complexity.
  • Business execs primarily seek agility and ease of use from cloud software solutions.

He also talked about the obvious need for security in today’s business climate.

With the highest levels of security, the IBM z14 and IBM LinuxONE provide a secure cloud platform, protecting your most valuable data and core business transactions in a multi-cloud infrastructure to maximize your growth potential.

On that infrastructure, you have the best base to take your applications even further, especially with the capability to exploit a broad open source ecosystem. To maximize cloud benefits you must have:

  1. A collaborative model of tools and practices to plan, develop, test, deploy and operate across multiple platforms.
  2. The ability to expose and extend your applications with APIs, then evolve and restructure your application code, altering its internal structure without changing its external behavior with microservices.
  3.  Optimization of your development and operations environment, to respond to your business needs with increased agility.

a secure cloud platform in a multi-cloud infrastructure

We heard interesting stories from IBM customers ING and Fiducia & GAD IT AG, who are using IBM Z to drive increased revenues and delighting customers with innovative solutions.

Announcements were of course part of the session, and I’d recommend reading up on IBM Cloud Private and our new IBM Cloud Hyper Protect Services, a family of ZaaS that delivers:

  • Secure key storage by providing the Hardware Security Module as a Service.
  • Structured and unstructured data stores that are secure and private.
  • A secure platform to deploy Kubernetes workloads for faster go-to-market execution.

We are taking key technologies that underpin the IBM Blockchain platform and making them available as a service for general workloads to help clients feel comfortable about storing confidential information in the cloud without having to worry about encryption details.

Apple and IBM are also expanding their partnership to make application development even easier for Apple developers on the IBM Cloud.

In just 5 minutes, a developer can build and deploy a cloud native starter application using an experience curated specifically for development of applications for Apple platforms; it is fully functioning and provisioned – ready for customization and evolution.

Lastly, Ross Mauri talked about the latest IBM Z academic initiatives, as well as the Master the Mainframe winners, which was inspiring.  They had over 17,000 participants in the competition (co-sponsored with AngelHack) and the first female winner, Anna McKee, is from the University of North Texas, making me feel very comfortable that the future of IBM Z will be in the hands of the best and the brightest!

I am looking forward to listening to more Think Tank and client sessions, among the many activities available here to expand your horizons and skills.  If you are here, come visit me at the Z Cloud Interactive Demo table in the Expo Hall.  I look forward to chatting with you!

Not at Think? Learn more about these exciting initiatives.

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