Cognitive computing

Top IT predictions for 2016: Cognitive is here to stay

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What will the near future of IT look like?

At IBM Systems, we strive to help IT leaders become trusted service providers by mastering hybrid cloud for digital transformation in today’s cognitive era. Recent trends in cloud and cognitive are driving innovation for many organizations, and IBM Systems is helping companies to evolve their IT infrastructure to embrace these changes.

As we move into 2016, some of our IT leaders have shared their predictions on cloud, on cognitive, and even on the data storage solutions of the hybrid cloud era. Here’s what they have to say:

More business will shift to cloud-enabled business models
Sanjeev Sharma, CTO, DevOps Technical Sales and Adoption, IBM Distinguished Engineer

In 2016, more businesses will be shifting to new cloud-enabled business models. They will become much more creative about managing data security. For example, examining security for data in motion versus data that’s stationary. As they become more innovative in managing data security, they will simultaneously need to adapt their business models to remain competitive.

The bar continues to be exponentially raised on the innovative products and services businesses offer and how easy it is for their customers to access them. This shift will require businesses to reinvent their business models based on customer feedback and leverage the cloud for speed. Businesses following an IBM DevOps approach to support this type of shift are already seeing results. Take Tangerine Bank. They changed the status quo in banking by offering innovative products to Canadians with excellent customer service and technology. They are now a cloud-enabled business with technology solutions that provide the ability to gain customer feedback very rapidly. They can redirect resources toward innovative projects versus status quo work.

In 2016, I would like to see all businesses, not just those on the cutting edge, come up with new ways to adapt their business models to leverage services that are made possible by the cloud. They need to work toward becoming a cloud-enabled business rather than just use the cloud as a money saver. Consider the owners of a corner latte shop who come up with an application leveraging cloud services that will benefit their customers first and then figure out how to support it. I’d like to see all businesses start to think that way—coming up with a business model first and then figuring out how to support it. IBM has been helping businesses with this type of shift, which includes becoming cloud-enabled businesses to support new ways to deliver business value to their customers that they could not have done before the cloud.

As more companies adopt hybrid clouds, they’ll have to think about where to efficiently locate data and applications for the best performance and most rapid insights—all without sacrificing security.

Software-defined storage will be THE storage of the hybrid cloud era
David Vaughn, Information Infrastructure Platform

According to IDC, 80 percent of enterprise IT organizations will commit to hybrid cloud architectures by 2017. This has huge implications for storage and the way those organizations think about managing data. The days of putting data in the “box” are coming to an end. Only a software-defined storage infrastructure will provide the agility and efficiency needed for the hybrid cloud era. Data has to seamlessly move in and out of the cloud as needed. IBM offers the most complete family of software-defined storage offerings, which when combined with leading flash, hybrid, tape and integrated infrastructure solutions, deliver a storage infrastructure perfectly tuned for hybrid cloud deployments.

And how about cognitive computing? This year IBM announced the cognitive era, and the near future will inevitably mean lots of development in the ways artificial intelligence is shaping business outcomes.

Cognitive will drive business processes and decisions
Irene Lyakovetsky, IBM Smarter Process

“By year-end 2018, customer digital assistants will recognize individuals by face and voice across channels and partners,” according to Gartner predictions. Hence the need for cognitive business operations—business processes and decisions that can self learn and adapt at each client interaction and go beyond digital transformation to act upon newly available data for better customer engagement.

Cognitive capabilities will shape IT operations
Paul Kraeger, Network Management Portfolio

As seen in 2001: A Space Odyssey, we want to be sure that HAL opens the pod bay doors when they are supposed to be open. In the near future, I see such cognitive capabilities being available to help IT operations out-think IT outages. After all, a great day in the life of IT operations is a day when nothing uneventful happens. You know, a day that you leave work on time, don’t get interrupted: on a date, in a pub with your friends, at the golf course, from sleep in the middle of the night, or from a family event. To let cognitive do its thing, we’ll have to establish the appropriate trust in the system to allow it to take action, and this requires good service management for the cognitive era.

Systems that can understand, reason and learn are making their mark and will continue to do so as we move into the next year and beyond.

Advancements in mainframe technology will help deliver greater trust in cloud security
Mike Dickson, System z

In a survey conducted by Gartner, “security and privacy concerns” is the top adoption inhibitor for cloud services across all industries. This will continue be a top concern as cyber attacks become more prolific and sophisticated. However, fear about cloud security should no longer be a show stopper with z Systems mainframes at the heart of hybrid cloud.

IBM z Systems mainframes are a securable server with a highly scalable architecture and centralized security paradigm. z Systems’ EAL 5+ rating can give businesses the assurance that public and private cloud environments remain isolated and helps to ensure that data cannot be compromised. IBM z Systems fine-grained access control methods are highly configurable and auditable. z Systems’ integrated encryption enables application transparent encryption of data in flight to ensure that communication over open, unsecured networks between public-cloud hosted services and on-premises hosted applications and data sources is protected.

In 2016 and beyond, z Systems mainframes are positioned to be a backbone of highly secure cloud environments, helping to keep customer data secure and organizations out of the headlines.

Undoubtedly, 2016 will meet and exceed our expectations in these ways and many more, as we work to inspire the IT breakthroughs of tomorrow. Please stay tuned, and join us in Las Vegas for Interconnect 2016!

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