Cloud computing is revolutionising the way business is done. For the companies that have taken up this technology, the insights that are being extracted from the data they have spent years collecting are creating efficiencies and inspiring innovations that were impossible before. For the companies that are yet to take advantage of the cloud, the question is not ‘should we do it?’ but ‘when can we do it?’.
While all cloud providers may seem similar, the reality is very different. Far more than just moving processes to a remote provider, the cloud represents a complete overhaul and reorganisation of data and systems. Even if any version of a cloud platform facilitates the capture, analysis and creation of insights, only a well-designed, scalable and adaptable cloud architecture maximises the value delivered from the data to the business
Drawing on decades of experience as a technology and solutions leader, IBM Cloud focuses on three tenets that put business clients first: enterprise strong, data first, and cognitive at the core.
With an enterprise strong cloud, businesses can focus on achieving a state of continuous innovation. IBM Cloud is designed from the ground up for industry applications, with data centres that are consistent worldwide and able to comply with varying security and regulatory requirements. An insurance company and an airline have vastly different needs, which is why IBM Cloud provides a mix of public and private clouds that will meet their requirements. IBM Cloud is also continuously upgraded with new technologies and capabilities, like Blockchain and trends analysis, enabling businesses to solve problems they never knew they had, or could not have anticipated before.
Yet, the cloud is only as good as its data. Prioritising data first acknowledges that a business’ data needs to be both accessible and controlled in order to enable extraction of information and insights to influence decision-making and competitive advantage. IBM Cloud embraces data diversity, and has the tools to ingest and cleanse a multitude of different data formats, from video to text, and ultimately make sense of it. Data is also strictly controlled, ensuring that a business’ knowledge is stored securely and not exposed, or shared with competitors.
Prioritising data first acknowledges that a business’ data needs to be both accessible and controlled in order to enable extraction of information and insights
Finally, IBM Cloud has cognitive systems built into its core. IBM’s cognitive system, Watson, can read and analyse data to provide the insights needed to support critical decisions, and provide recommendations to accelerate decision making. It does this using human-like senses; it can see images, listen to speech almost as accurately as a person, read 12 languages and ‘feel’ through sensors embedded in hardware. Businesses are able to see and make sense of their operations using massive amounts of data previously inaccessible or hidden.
Bound for the Cloud
In order for businesses to take full advantage of cloud technology, IBM has developed the Cloud Innovate methodology for guiding transition journeys. Speaking to The New Economy, Shankar Kalyana, IBM Fellow and Cloud CTO at IBM Global Business Services, explained that Cloud Innovate takes a complete view of an organisation’s systems before moving to the IBM Cloud.
“We looked at Cloud Innovate as giving that kind of end-to-end perspective — taking the time to look at the entire journey, from advice to operating, from the cloud to a lifecycle perspective, and across the entire solution stack of business applications”, Kalyana explained. No two cloud journeys are ever the same, so Cloud Innovate considers a business’ unique needs.
Cloud Innovate also addresses business systems as a whole, rather than as individual elements. Kalyana explained that a business’ software systems could be imagined as fitting into a two-by-two grid. One axis is the lifecycle — the path from idea to scaling-out — with the other being the solution stack — the business processes that run on the platform. With a large portfolio, a business’ individual systems will be at any number of spots within the grid. “Traditionally, what has happened from a client perspective and an enterprise perspective is that very rarely has someone actually looked at the entire two-by-two and its entire spectrum and continuum”, Kalyana said. This complete perspective of a business’ systems mean that all systems are moved to the cloud with forethought put into how they will interact once the journey is complete.
With IBM Cloud, businesses in sectors ranging from airlines to cement manufacturers are demonstrating tremendous depth of insight. Addressing crowds at IBM InterConnect 2017 in Las Vegas, John Granger, General Manager for Cloud Application Innovation at IBM Global Business Services, turned the spotlight on leaders at Kone, Etihad Aviation Group and CEMEX that have used IBM Cloud to make previously impossible developments a reality. The presentation is available online, and includes valuable insights about what the IBM Cloud is capable of achieving in different fields.
For organisations making the move to the cloud, in search of ways to influence how they make decisions that will help them gain a competitive advantage, IBM Cloud can help businesses tackle the transformations needed to take them into the future.
Join this webcast to learn more about IBM Cloud Innovate.