IBM’s software can now be delivered as pre-integrated solutions together with a unified and intuitive dashboard, called Cloud Paks. It is critical because clients today demand one common operating model and common set of services – including identity management, security, monitoring and logging –to improve visibility and control across clouds. The first five IBM Cloud Paks focus on Data, Applications, Integration, Automation and Multicloud Management. In an extensive interview with Express Computer, Viswanath Ramaswamy, Vice President, IBM Cloud & Cognitive Software & Services, IBM India/South Asia, describes the significance of the IBM Cloud Paks to the overall cloud ecosystem.
Some edited excerpts:
What is the significance of a solution like IBM Cloud Paks to the overall cloud ecosystem?
The adoption of cloud has been a central feature in developing new, digitally driven business models. Though 90 percent of companies globally were “on the cloud” by 2019, only about 20 percent of their workloads have moved to a cloud environment. These workloads have usually been microservices that are native—that is, born on the cloud. The next 80 percent of the cloud opportunity focuses on shifting core business applications and workloads to the cloud and optimizing everything from supply chains to sales. This next chapter of the cloud requires executives to invest in hybrid multicloud platform strategies and capabilities. As clients embark on their Cloud journey, they are struggling with harnessing the full capabilities of their cloud environments.
The challenges are multifold, firstly, to build new cloud-native applications and to modernize existing applications to support cloud environments, organizations need an open interoperable platform leading to improvement in time to value while avoiding lock-in. Secondly, beyond containers and Kubernetes, enterprises need to orchestrate their production topology, and to provide management, security and governance for their applications. Thirdly, the ability to collect, integrate and analyse data enabling data engineers and scientists to help application developers infuse AI into applications without adding complexity and cost. All of this to run in an environment that is high performing, scalable and reliable.
IBM Cloud Paks helps address these challenges. IBM Cloud Paks are enterprise-ready, containerized software solutions that give clients an open, faster and more secure way to move core business applications to any cloud. They are portable and can run on-premises, on public clouds or in an integrated system.
Can you elaborate on the features and benefits of IBM Cloud Paks for data and applications?
On a daily basis, organisations collect massive data that requires constant analysis for real-time updates. And with the ongoing digital transformation, organisations are looking for both modern AI driven platform to work on the data and a solution that lets them unleash its operational capabilities. That is what IBM Cloud Paks for Data and applications does for enterprises. It lets them accelerate their journey to AI driven cloud, manage data, build new apps, reduce costs and maximise Return on Investment (RoI).
To tell you more about the two solutions, IBM Cloud Paks for Data helps unify and simplify the collection, organization and analysis of data. Through this solution, enterprises can turn data into insights using an integrated cloud-native architecture. It is extensible and can be customized to a client’s unique data and AI landscapes. From data management, DataOps, governance, business analytics and automated AI, IBM Cloud Paks for data helps eliminate the need for costly, and often competing, point solutions while providing the information architecture needed to implement AI successfully. It runs anywhere and connects data everywhere.
Similarly, IBM Cloud Paks for Applications helps accelerate the modernization and building of applications by using built-in developer tools and processes. This includes support for analyzing existing applications and guiding the application owner through the modernization journey. In addition, it supports cloud-native development, microservices functions and serverless computing. The IBM Cloud Pak for Applications reduces development time to market by up to 84 percent by reducing the compute required and by accelerating throughput of the continuous integration continuous delivery (CICD) pipeline, and reduces operational expenses by up to 75 percent through increasing IT admin efficiency and reducing related labor costs.
IBM Cloud Paks are a major part of our clients’ digital transformation journey as both the solutions enable a pay-as-you-go capacity model and dynamic scaling for computing, storage and network resources. Moving to cloud is a journey, we are helping our clients in faster adoption of cloud solutions through our cutting-edge IBM Cloud Paks.
How successful has been the adoption of IBM Cloud Paks in a market like India?
In Q3 2020, IBM reported total cloud revenue of $6.0 billion, up 19 percent. At $24.4bn our cloud revenue was up 22% over the last 12 months. The response for IBM Cloud Paks has been very positive across sectors, especially in the BFSI, Auto, Manufacturing and Retail.
Can you give us some examples of how enterprises have adopted various IBM Cloud Paks, and what have been the possible benefits?
SBI, one of the largest Public Sector banks in India has collaborated with IBM for their end to end digital transformation from infrastructure to data warehousing, re-imagining banking the Digital way. The bank has been running one of the largest and complex Enterprise Data Warehouse solution, a collaborative information sharing platform, helping it provide the right information to the right people at the right time, thus giving them the ability to take informed, intelligent and timely decisions across the enterprise. The bank is now expanding their current technology footprint/platform by implementing a NextGen Data Warehouse & Big data Lake solution, along with IBM Cloud Pak for Data – a fully-integrated data and AI platform, to modernize the collection, organization and analyses of data and infuse AI throughout their organization and hence transforming the customer banking experience.
iKure- With only one cardiologist for every 6,000 patients, there are not enough specialists to address India’s most pressing health concern: heart disease. Leaders at Kolkata-based health tech company iKure realized they could fill that critical gap using wearable technology and machine learning. IBM Cloud Private for Data facilitated the development and deployment of a predictive model for cardiac care for iKure by using patient clinical and demographic variables and physician feedback with the added benefits of rapid model development, publication and iteration.
Century Textile and Industries a leading textile, cement, paper manufacturing and export company needed to provide electronic waybills when shipping high-value goods across the country after the introduction of Goods and Services Tax (GST). CTIL Cement Division uses IBM® Cloud™ Integration solutions to automatically register e-waybills with government systems—as well as creating a platform for enterprise-wide integration and traceability. CTIL Cement Division (with the help of Business Partner Cateina Technologies) automated the e-waybill process by enabling the company’s ERP system to communicate directly with government systems, using IBM Cloud Integration solutions. The firm has got 60% time savings on e-waybill creation with paperless processing. It has automated e-waybill management at each of CTIL Cement Division’s 192 sites.
How are you collaborating with the ecosystem players in India to accelerate the adoption or implementation of IBM Cloud Paks?
GSI partners count on IBM to continually bring the best technology and industry expertise to market. Many of our GSI, ISV partners are leveraging Cloud Paks to help clients modernize workloads with Red Hat OpenShift for any cloud environment. In the month of August 2020, globally, IBM committed $1 billion into cloud ecosystem initiative over the next 3 years.
Our collaboration with Tata Consultancy Services (TCS) to establish an IBM Enterprise Cloud Architecture Unit, which will include technical professionals from both companies. TCS and IBM plan to co-develop solutions designed to help clients migrate workloads across applications, analytics, data estate and platforms using IBM Cloud Paks, enterprise-ready containerized software solutions running on Red Hat OpenShift.
Similarly, Persistent System over the last year have extensively trained more than 2,000 Persistent engineers and technical professionals on critical containerization and Kubernetes skills needed to deliver value in multi-cloud environments, especially those leveraging IBM Cloud Paks on Red Hat OpenShift. Persistent also has a new IBM Cloud Pak deployment practice to help organizations migrate and modernize IBM workloads across all cloud environments, including IBM public cloud and IBM Cloud services.
What is the overall market opportunity for IBM Cloud Paks for a country like India?
We see tremendous opportunity for all IBM Cloud Paks as it helps address the specific needs of customers in India. IBM Cloud Paks are an open, faster , more reliable way to build, deploy and run applications on hybrid Cloud. These solutions can help organizations advance digital transformation with data insights, prediction, security, automation and modernization, across any cloud environment.
We believe the next chapter of the cloud requires business executives to invest in hybrid multi-cloud platform strategies and capabilities. IBM Cloud Paks are a natural extension of our hybrid cloud portfolio and go-to-market strategy. Our strategic focus on IBM Open hybrid cloud platform coupled with AI capabilities is set to accelerate our growth and better position us to seize the $1 trillion hybrid cloud opportunity globally.
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