IBM, everything revolves around the Open Hybrid Cloud

IBM, everything revolves around the Open Hybrid Cloud


The road to the cloud is paved with good intentions, but having a good compass will be essential these days for all companies that intend to invest in this direction. All the more reason a good vision of the right horizons is essential for companies, such as IBM, which in recent years have bet heavily on this front and at the end of a year of change find themselves taking stock of the situation on their offer.

IBM: the cloud, 2020 and everything to come

In meeting IBM and explaining what the heart of this confrontation was, we need to start from an apparently superficial premise: 2020 changed everything. The banality of this shared consideration arises from the fact that it is a completely obvious evolution in hindsight. It is also now clear to everyone that the great acceleration of the pandemic on digital transformation has been a turning point for the business world and, therefore, for anyone who develops digital solutions at the service of the world of production. What does not appear obvious or banal, however, is the intuition that was upstream in the IBM world.

It was Alessandro La Volpe, Vice President of IBM Technology Italia, with whom he was It is possible to retrospect the role and strategies that IBM has pursued over the last three years. Hence the importance of the aforementioned premise: IBM had anticipated everything that today appears to be a superficial consideration through a series of operations that had completely shifted the group's center of gravity on two cornerstones that proved to be forerunners of what would happen: Hybrid Cloud and Artificial Intelligence.

The emergence of the pandemic and all its consequences did nothing but concentrate in a two-year period a transformation that IBM expected within the next decade, but in fact the company was already positioned exactly where it wanted to be. Everything else simply came as a consequence, including the acquisitions concluded in 2020 to accelerate this path which, however, was already widely mapped out.

IBM's steps

Decisions are were hired at IBM well before the world began to deal with Covid-19. The bet was clear: hybrid cloud and AI while the industry was betting heavily on the public cloud. A strategic and visionary positioning, which led the group to become a leader in the sector in a short time and to find itself, three years later, to close the circle with what was the Red Hat operation. That moment did not represent a turning point in itself, but it was the fulfillment of an evolution that had already begun and that needed an additional piece to complete the overall picture: Red Hat OpenShift represented exactly the element on which the group could have built its future based on what the recent past had been. So it was.

Today the transformation process has led IBM to a better structure that will take shape in a spin-off (which will be realized within the year) with which the front of the infrastructure with respect to Global Technology Services. The goal is clear: to allow the two legs of the group to be able to move independently with greater agility, increasing the overall speed of growth thanks to the freedom that mutual independence allows.

IBM, today and tomorrow

Today the group must be imagined on a four-level structure:

We start from the infrastructure front, with a wide range of areas including Public Cloud and all that summarized in terms of “Edge” (where telecommunications and manufacturing exposure is growing). However, the diagram highlights how the basis on which both the software offer, the Hybrid Cloud Services and Business Transformation offer, and the Red Hat Cloud Platform - born directly from Red Hat Open Shift and in the meantime already enriched by many additional elements that embody IBM's growth effort.

The importance of having a single hybrid platform lies in the possibility of being able to offer unique software and services, regardless of what the chosen application context will be (IBM Cloud, Public Cloud, IBM Systems, Enterprise Infrastructure, up to the Edge). The conclusive point is the "natural" one of Artificial Intelligence: it is so in terms of predictive needs, relying on the accumulation of data available and on the type of management possible to make these data effectively ordered and usable ("without the hybrid cloud all this would make no sense "). The data are therefore defined by La Volpe as "the new resource from which to start over", but the great proliferation of the data itself, coming in companies also from a multiplicity of external interactions, requires drawing on AI to understand which data is actually useful and refined to the point of being transformed into value.

A fundamental layer in this overall design is that of security: from management policies to identity defense tools, up to tools that allow an end-to view -end, represent an essential weapon to defend the platform and the data of companies. In this sense, IBM uses a "zero trust" approach, starting from the assumption that every single element can be vulnerable and therefore everything must be understood from a "confidential computing" perspective to guarantee cyber security at a structural level.

The founding feature of the Red Hat Hybrid Cloud Platform is that it is an open platform. According to La Volpe this is absolutely the central element of the whole strategy:

Everything we are doing is based on the concept that, to win a positioning as a platform business, you have to be open and you have to attract ecosystems .

“Open” means speed, it embodies the acceleration lever in the medium / long term. This allows partner companies to be able to work on their businesses freely, without forcing, fueling their dynamics and creating virtuous elements that consolidate the platform itself. This is yet another assumption useful to confirm the clarity of IBM's vision in the acquisition of Red Hat and in the opening of a large construction site on the basis of Red Hat Open Shift: it is the hub of the entire strategy, the key to understanding able to explain what happened before 2020 and what will happen in this long "then".

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