How cloud can help businesses experiment, innovate, and improve agility
IBM’s David Curbishley discusses where technology is having the most transformational impact on businessesShow transcript
Businesses are continually evolving to better serve their customers and stakeholders. Higher competition means an even faster pace of change. IBM’s David Curbishley says that no industry is immune to disruption, so investing in technology to drive innovation and differentiate your business is very important. Doing that on the public cloud is a lot easier than on-premise – and while the journey is to the public cloud, a hybrid cloud strategy is the best fit for many businesses today. Learn more at ibm.com/cloud/yourcloud.
David Curbishley: So, many businesses are looking at the cloud to help them transform and drive innovation more quickly.
No industry is immune to disruption, so getting those differentiated capabilities out quickly is very important.
Doing that on premise is hard; doing it in the cloud is a lot easier. People can experiment more easily, they can get access to new technologies. And they can learn very quickly – and they can fail quickly, too. So, failure’s okay, but you need to fail quickly and move on. So, not spend several years developing something, put it in the market place, and find out that the opportunity you were looking for has moved on.
And equally out there you can get access to new technologies that you wouldn’t have on premise. AI, machine learning, deep analytics. And you can use those to embed new capabilities into applications, and use those applications in new ways and innovative front ends to applications.
The New Economy: The common wisdom is to do all of this experimentation on the public cloud, to move as many workloads as possible there. Is that the trend you’re seeing?
David Curbishley: The journey is to the public cloud, there’s no doubt about that. But it should exist today as a pillar of a hybrid strategy. Some businesses I work with – typically large enterprise organisations, financial services, and people like that – they still have certain workloads which are best placed in their own data centres or in co-hosted data centres. Primarily for legacy reasons or latency requirements or data privacy requirements. And they’re not quite ready to put all of that stuff in the public cloud.
And I think very much it’s a workload conversation that needs to be taking place. You need to understand the characteristics of the workload and decide to place it where it most makes sense for speed, agility, cost, and all those sorts of things.
Business innovation comes from the business’s understanding the challenge they want to solve
and the outcome they want to drive.
Public cloud is a big part of that, but it’s not the final answer yet today.
The New Economy: For businesses that understand they’re on a journey, how can they make sure that the work they’re doing today is still going to be relevant in the future?
David Curbishley: So they can start to build cloud native applications. And by cloud native I mean, small things like micro-services, they’re very small, discrete pieces of work, they’re built in a continuous delivery type of model, they are disjoint from understanding the infrastructure underneath them, so they’re readily portable. And they’ll then start to lead to a whole, completely new culture in the way that you develop and deliver applications to marketplace. And maintain them over time. So, these things can be more easily updated and moved forward in that respect.
They need to embrace open standards, to start having flexible architectures. By having flexible architectures, taking the cloud as one piece of the overall story, they can start to decide where the placement needs to be for the right workloads.
Vendors have a place to play in that conversation too; you know, we have a responsibility to embrace open standards, embrace open initiatives. Things like the open container initiative. So we can help people decide what their ideal placement for their workload is.
That said, data is a key part of understanding any business. And the volumes of data we see now in the business is growing exponentially. So investing in machine learning, deep analytics, artificial intelligence technologies – which are all available in the cloud – will allow companies to understand the insights behind those data, and start making better business decisions, or driving better business performance.
Opening up that data too – in terms of APIs that they can put out, and expose either internally for people to access, or externally – they can start to build into ecosystems. So many CEOs now I’m seeing are more receptive to opening up those APIs, opening up part of their business, and working as part of an ecosystem to drive innovation forward; rather than just sort of trying to go their own way.
The New Economy: David, thank you very much.
David Curbishley: Thank you.