Alternative Text Chris Booker | 06 May 2020 |

The New Essential Technologies for Business – IBM Think 2020

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IBM Think Digital 2020 Keynote Review

“Technology platforms are the basis for competitive advantage in the 21st century. They will determine how quickly you can pivot to new market opportunities, how well you serve your clients, how much you can scale, and how fast you can respond to a crisis like the one we’re facing today.”

Let’s look at this quote from IBM CEO Arvind Krishna during his Think Digital conference keynote in more detail.

The core component that all businesses need to be able to do is serve their clients. That’s the basis for any successful enterprise, but a focus on that alone isn’t enough.

A business that stagnates, ultimately will stop being able to look after the needs of their clients, customers, and users. Evolution and transformation is crucial whether underpinned by the need to scale, enhance internal efficiencies, or respond to new market opportunities for example. Your technology infrastructure and platform is the essential means to do this.

This rings true at any time, but now more than ever.


An unprecedented time of rapid digital transformation

With the current Covid-19 pandemic we’re facing a critical turning point. In history and in the lives of many businesses. History will look at this moment as the one where digital transformation suddenly accelerated to lay the groundwork for the post-Covid-19 world.

More and more businesses are facing key digital transformation decisions enforced by Covid-19 – whether moving to remote workforces or pivoting to a direct to consumer (DTC) offering for example.

Key questions are being asked about the resilience of supply chains, which IT tasks can be automated and what should be moved to the cloud.

Many businesses are asking themselves this now as we’re all currently facing an unprecedented time of rapid digital transformation. And there are two dominant forces driving this transformation. Hybrid cloud and AI.


The four key imperatives of hybrid cloud

During his keynote, Krishna focussed on the four key imperatives of hybrid cloud. They are:

  1. History – every business has its own unique past
  2. Choice – relying just on one infrastructure unnecessarily locks you in
  3. Physics – physical proximity still plays its part
  4. Law – where you are based in the world matters in terms of legalities and regulations such as GDPR for example

Let’s touch on the key point of history here. Businesses don’t start from scratch. The right digital transformation solutions meet you where you are at in terms of IT infrastructure and where you do your computing.

Pivoting, scaling, and creating a competitive advantage can’t be done without technology solutions that slot into and enhance your existing infrastructure and operations. Hybrid cloud solutions promise this, enabling you to digitally transform in a way that aligns with your business plans, requirements, and potential trajectory.

But, what’s next? During the keynote, Krishna announced a number of key IBM innovations.


IBM Cloud Satellite

IBM Cloud Satellite provides the ability to use IBM Cloud anywhere, whether on premises data centres, colocation centres, or the edge.

Customers have the flexibility to run their applications where it makes sense while still leveraging all the security and ops of public cloud. Enterprise applications can run in close proximity to their data stores, reducing latency and increasing data security. Specifically, it enables you to do the following:

  • Run workloads where it makes the most sense. By running workloads, data, and services across any environment you can achieve consistent application operations and improved performance across your environments.
  • Access a rich catalogue of cloud services. API-driven cloud services are at the click of a button, deployed to any environment.
  • Simplify service availability and control. You can employ a single dashboard, common identity and access management, and centralised observability across all your IBM Cloud Satellite locations. This helps to achieve end-to-end security where data and workloads reside.

By running your workloads where it makes sense you can increase their agility by automating deployment and management of native services across all their computing environments for both development and operations.

This could become essential to enhance your internal operations, enabling you to scale, pivot and respond.


5G and Edge Computing

With computing done in so many places on public and private clouds and now increasingly at the edge, the challenge for businesses is to connect all the different dots and elements into a cohesive platform that enables agility and rapid delivery of these new features and services.

Businesses need capabilities that allow them to globally deploy features, functions, and security patches consistently everywhere computing is done.

They also need to apply increased levels of automation to make everything efficient, scalable, and secure. And that’s before you focus on the expectation from both consumes and business customers for the products they use to improve continuously and get better over time.

New IBM solutions, services and partnerships announced yesterday will help businesses make the most of the opportunities presented by 5G and edge computing. With new offerings built on Red Hat OpenShift, enterprises can autonomously manage workloads across a massive volume of edge devices.


Every company will become an AI company

It was once said that “every company will become an internet company”. Krishna followed this up in his keynote by stating that “every company will become an AI company”. And “not because they can, but because they must”.

The reason why they “must” is that they will be able to respond to customers, competitors, regulators, and partners 50% faster than those that are not using AI.

To assist with this, IBM announced IBM Watson AIOps a new offering that uses AI to automate how enterprises self-detect, diagnose, and respond to IT anomalies in real time. Unforeseen IT incidents and outages can cost businesses in both revenue and reputation.

Watson AIOps enables organisations to introduce automation at the infrastructure level and is designed to help CIOs better predict and shape future outcomes, focus resources on higher-value work and build more responsive and intelligent networks that can stay up and running longer.


Application Modernisation and AI

In addition to this and as part of the rollout, IBM also announced the Accelerator for Application Modernisation with AI, with the Cloud Modernisation service. It’s designed to reduce the overall effort and costs associated with application modernisation, through a series of tools designed to optimise the end to end modernisation journey, as well as accelerating the analysis and recommendations for architectural and microservices options.

Specifically it leverages continuous learning and interpretable AI models to adapt to your preferred software engineering practices, staying up-to-date with the evolution of technology and platforms.


Shaping the future of your business

Yes, technology platforms are the basis for competitive advantage. Understanding the new technology available and how it could enhance your business operations, customer connections and ability to respond to new market challenges should underpin your transformation journey.

That’s when new technology becomes essential for your business.


Contact the team to discuss the benefits of using Cloud Technologies and AI for your organisation.



by Chris Booker – check out my LinkedIn page here and say hello 👋
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