If you think of cloud computing as that nifty solution that lets you be a data-hoarder (without the inconvenience of buying more storage hardware), you would be correct. But you would also be selling yourself short. Yes, what’s known today simply as “The Cloud”, allows you to easily sort out your digital stuff. This is however, still not even the tip of the proverbial iceberg when it comes to the possibilities it offers. Today, we live in the era of hybrid cloud computing (a secure combination of both private and public networks), and you might already be benefiting from it.
According to IDC Futurescape, in its Worldwide Cloud 2018 Predictions, more than 90% of enterprises will use multiple cloud services and platforms, so chances are you’ll be on the bandwagon soon enough. To get to the meat of it, here are three ways cloud computing can improve your business.
1. Delivering workload-targeted infrastructure
Cloud Native Applications constitute the biggest growth area in the application space in enterprises today, bridging the previously parallel worlds of applications and data. Today, Infrastructure, Data, AI and Applications are increasingly fused together and constitute what’s known as an integrated stack. Enterprises need an architecture and infrastructure designed to effectively manage this current reality. For example, in response to enterprise clients' needs, IBM has developed the IBM One Architecture for IBM Cloud & Watson platforms to enable robust, secure, scalable and elastic business innovation. “This is what IBM stands for: building and providing cloud for businesses, that’s ready for AI applications from day one,” says IBM ASEAN Chief Technology Officer, Kalyan Madala.
Big Data and AI are among the fastest-growing workloads in enterprises today and are likely to continue to be growth areas in the near future. IBM has created infrastructure offerings both on Cloud and On-Premises to help enterprises manage these workloads in a secure, cost-effective manner. IBM Power AI capabilities, which deliver nearly 4 times better performance than the closest competitors, are positioned to help clients accelerate the benefits of adopting Big Data and AI solutions. Madala highlights unique IBM capabilities such as NVLink with CAPI as a case in point.
Alongside Big Data comes the need for security, as the WannaCry ransomware attack last year demonstrated. Of course, implementing a simple patch would have mitigated much of the damage caused, but the attack illustrated the power of encryption. Cyber-security is thus of paramount importance for any enterprise. Pervasive encryption without any application changes and negligible overhead with IBM Z systems position clients better to protect the crown jewels of their enterprises, which is the data they own!
Today's enterprise needs to cover a range of computing models from Bare Metal to Virtualized servers (VMWare, PowerVM) to Cloud Foundry to Containers and Serverless apps. IBM has brought all of them together into an integrated fabric and is making those capabilities accessible to clients both on the Cloud and On-Premises. While that makes IBM a unique provider with the broadest range of capabilities, IBM has done one better, providing the ability to move workloads seamlessly between Cloud and On-Premises as well as other vendors’ clouds.
2. Blending Public and Private Networks
Today's enterprise needs to be able to blend Public, Dedicated, On-Premises Cloud and Traditional Infrastructure models to deliver business services in an agile, elastic and secure manner.
Infrastructure offerings in Public, Dedicated and On-Premises models are essential, and not mutually exclusive. Any provider needs to be able to offer everything, and then some. The IBM On-Premises model, for example, includes Cloud and traditional infrastructure models.
You will also find the ability to bring together the various infrastructure components in a manner suitable for enterprises of different sizes. To illustrate this point, take a look at the example of a fast-growing bank in Vietnam. Chester Gorski of Techcombank, Vietnam, explains the reasons behind his company’s move from a generic distributed computing system to two IBM LinuxONE Emperor II systems, IBM GDPS for high availability, and applications including Temenos T24 core banking. “From a financial standpoint, the LinuxONE platform had an incredible business case. The features and capabilities were sufficient that I would have gone forward (with using the platform) regardless, but (IBM) returned more than 40% of the total cost of ownership differential as a result of migrating to the platform.”
IBM's investments in Open Standards, OpenSource and Enterprise-focused innovation ensure that the clients’ investments in IBM solutions are protected and are the best-in-class. It is worth noting that in the example of LinuxONE Emperor II, there is obviously an OpenSource component.
3. Accelerating innovation
IBM has built Cloud offerings with flexible commercial models such as pay-as-you-go to better serve start-ups as well as facilitate innovation initiatives within enterprises. The infrastructure is designed to enable the ‘experiment, learn, fail fast, fail forward mentality’ required to succeed in today's world of innovation at speed and scale.
IBM has built offerings such as VMWare on IBM Cloud, and SAP on IBM Cloud to enable clients to move workloads to the cloud with minimal change, overhead and risk. For example, VMWare on IBM Cloud enables enterprises to use IBM Cloud-based infrastructure as an extension of their own data centres and allow users and administrators to leverage the tools they familiar with and without having to worry about where the infrastructure physically resides.
Find out more about cloud computing and other cutting-edge business solutions at Think ASEAN — a gathering for the innovative, curious and persistent.