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IBM is helping organizations build a smarter enterprise with its hybrid cloud offerings

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In an interaction with Express Computer, Suresh V. Jayanthi, zStack Leader, IBM z & LinuxONE, IBM Technology Sales, India/South Asia, outlines how IBM is helping business organizations build a smarter enterprise with its hybrid cloud offerings. He further highlights the unique capabilities of IBM Z16 Systems that help speed up the digital transformation journey of enterprises.

Q. We have witnessed digital adoption getting expedited in the last couple of years. How closely IBM has worked with its customers to accelerate their transformational initiatives?

Typically, clients go through three phases in their digital transformation journey, starting with Design, Build and Run or Operate. The Design phase is the most critical as this is where customers decide and define what are the must-haves and the good to have elements of their project. This requires a thorough understanding of the domain, a specific understanding of the organisation and its trajectory, as well as its technology directions.

IBM has worked closely with customers across the various phases of their digital transformation journey. Starting with the Design phase, IBM has architected the blueprint of their digital transformation projects and built the foundational technologies that allow them the flexibility to meet the changing demands of the competitive marketplace and their varying needs over the period of the project.

A very important player in the Indian financial system wanted to migrate out of their legacy UNIX systems to Linux as part of their multi-year digital transformation plan. They chose LinuxONE for the availability and flexibility it offered. One of the driving factors was also the lower Total Cost of Ownership (TCO). IBM helped them complete the entire migration of the infrastructure and supported the application teams to test and port the applications to the new infrastructure.

There are several organizations across verticals that have leveraged IBM’s technologies and products – IBM Cloud Pak for Integration, IBM Cloud Pak for Automation, IBM Cloud Pak for Data, and other open source technologies on IBM Infrastructure Platforms such as the IBM LinuxONE to create a stable and yet flexible platform to meet their transformational objectives.

Q. How is IBM helping business organizations build a smarter enterprise with its hybrid cloud offerings?

A smarter enterprise is responsive to market demands, stakeholders’ needs and is poised to scale as per shifting business trends. IBM hybrid cloud strategy focuses on helping customers modernize their IT infrastructure, predict the future state of their IT infrastructure, automate the management and the response to the changing workload patterns and lastly secure all touchpoints at all times assuming zero trust.

The IBM LinuxONE platform supports Kubernetes containers (IBM Cloud Paks, Red Hat OpenShift Container Platform), other open source technologies, and traditional COTS software like OracleDB, etc. IBM LinuxONE offers unmatched scalability, flexibility, and availability, with a lower TCO.

For example, a large insurance company was building a green field application to manage one of the key lines of its business. They only had a view of its volumetrics and not the system load that these transactions would generate because the application had not been even written yet. The solution sizing needed the flexibility to address future demands while keeping the costs within control. The IBM LinuxONE formed a key part of the solution because its inherent flexibility to redeploy resources between workloads on the fly without downtime allowed the application vendor to make design decisions along the way without being constrained by the infrastructure that was purchased.

Q. As enterprises are navigating the new age of digital disruption, how is IBM helping them tackle the challenges related to modernizing their infrastructure for a hybrid cloud environment?

Digital transformation is about managing a large volume of transactions with speed and agility. Modernization does not necessarily mean migration, but that enterprises need an IT infrastructure that is innovative, flexible, scalable, manageable, and secure. This core system is termed as “systems of record” that presents the single source of truth. Enterprises are looking to transform their data into insights using AI including real-time detection and prevention of fraudulent transactions, known as “systems of Insight”.

IBM’s hybrid cloud strategy is grounded in the power of choice for our clients and supports mission-critical workloads, our software portfolio runs anywhere: on-premises, at the edge, and on any cloud, from any vendor- using Red Hat OpenShift. Our mainframe remains a critical component of enterprise operations for clients in mission-critical and regulated industries, and IBM zSystem – is the technological backbone of global industries and economies.

The IBM LinuxONE, with its unique two-level virtualization, allows both “systems of record” and “systems of insight” workloads on the same physical server – enhancing performance and providing TCO advantages.

Q. What sort of unique capabilities does IBM Z16 Systems carry that help speed up the digital transformation journey of enterprises across industries?

Today, fraud detection models are only run on less than 10% of high-volume transactions due to latency, cost, and customer friction issues, which means significant amounts of fraud go undetected. The time lag between the transaction and the discovery of a fraudulent transaction costs organizations a lot of money. To help close this fraud detection gap, IBM z16 with the IBM Telum processor – an on-chip accelerator for analytics brings real-time AI to enterprise workloads like credit card, healthcare, and financial transactions at scale – allowing for real-time detection of fraudulent transactions.

IBM z16 is the world’s first system with the computing power and intelligent infrastructure to prevent fraud in real-time at scale. It also has the ability to analyze and process more than 300 billion high-value transactions with just one millisecond of latency.

IBM z16 allows our clients to fully embrace the hybrid cloud by empowering developers to modernize existing data and applications (that reside on IBM z16) with new digital services across complex, multicloud environments.

Q. With IBM Z Systems, how can your customers leverage their investments in and the strengths of their existing IT infrastructure, clouds, and applications in a seamless way, while giving them the flexibility to run, build, manage and modernize cloud-native workloads on their choice of architecture?

As enterprises increasingly adopt a hybrid cloud approach to modernize and protect their workloads, the speed, security, and performance of cornerstone technologies like the IBM zSystem is a critical component of a hybrid cloud approach – especially for organizations in regulated industries like banking, healthcare, finance, and more, who are navigating more complex operating models than ever before.

IBM zSystems is an open, agile platform where clients choose to run their trusted workloads and are a vital part of our hybrid cloud and AI strategy. As I have mentioned earlier, IBM zSystems and its Linux-only variant, the IBM LinuxONE supports COTS software like Weblogic, Oracle DB, Websphere, IBM DB2, IBM MQ, etc, and also cloud-native technologies like IBM Cloud Paks, Red Hat OpenShift platform and a variety of open source technologies.

It is the backbone of our client’s infrastructure, providing a reliable and secure platform for innovation. As cloud computing has grown, IBM has strategically invested to help clients modernize their mainframe applications to more easily access data without moving off the platform. IBM z16 takes this a step further, delivering AI capabilities that identify business insights in real-time.

With IBM’s ongoing investments in infrastructure management, application observability, and management, customers can build solutions that are flexible, scalable, and highly available to meet the challenges of the new digital era.

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