Doubling down on hybrid cloud ecosystem investments: Top IBM executive
New Delhi, Feb 4 As IBM focuses on its open hybrid cloud platform, which represents a $1 trillion market opportunity, a top company executive has said that the tech giant is doubling down on its ecosystem investments in 2021 to support partners and help clients with high-value skills, solutions and expertise that are needed to be competitive and resilient.
Hybrid cloud refers to the combination of public clouds, private clouds, and on-premises IT.
IBM, which relies on the ecosystem to bring scale and innovation to clients, said it has deepened its partnerships with the Indian business partner ecosystem over the decades.
"Over the past year we have further strengthened our relationship with our ecosystem partners like Infosys, Tech Mahindra, Wipro , TCS, HCL, LTI, Persistent Systems and Intellect Design, which are an integral part of our IBM hybrid cloud ecosystem," Bob Lord, Senior Vice President, Worldwide Ecosystems, Cognitive apps and Blockchain, IBM, told IANS in an interview.
"In fact, many of our major GSIs (global systems integrator) are headquartered in India, with a strong global reach, and a significant part of our $1 billion ecosystem investment will go to these GSI's to co-create and co-innovate for client success," he said.
IBM recently announced a $1 billion investment to further develop its hybrid cloud ecosystem -- including incentives for third-party software providers to build on the IBM open hybrid cloud platform.
Lord said that the pandemic is a startling reminder about why legacy cloud computing strategies are unsustainable.
"As the shift to the cloud accelerates, businesses face growing interoperability problems, as enterprises seek to securely deploy, run and manage data and applications across a sprawling estate of on-premises, private, and public cloud environments," he said.
"What these enterprises are clamouring for is the best technology for the job and the freedom to leverage innovation from a host of different providers."
Lord said that IBM is working with Red Hat to remove the interoperability barriers between computing platforms.
"Together both companies are accelerating innovation and shifting clients' mission-critical workloads to the cloud by offering the only true hybrid cloud platform, built on open source technologies," he said.
IBM completed the acquisition of 'Red Hat' in 2019 for $34 billion.
The technology giant on Thursday also unveiled a specialised "Hybrid Cloud Build Team" to support the migration and modernisation of ecosystem partner products, services, and other offerings across open hybrid cloud environments.
This team concentrates on helping partners update their workloads for deployment on premises, in the cloud, or any environment of their choosing.
A recent IBM Institute for Business Value (IBV) study that included responses from over 5,000 executives globally across industries, found that the adoption of hybrid cloud is expected to grow by 47 per cent in the next three years and the average organisation will be using six hybrid clouds.
"In the space of 18 months we have grown IBM cloud revenues to $25 billion, amassed over 2,800 hybrid cloud clients, continued to grow Red Hat revenues (up 17 per cent this past quarter alone), and added many new partners to IBM's hybrid cloud ecosystem," Lord said.
In India, for example, Bharti Airtel has selected IBM and Red Hat to build its new telco network cloud, designed to make it more efficient, flexible and future-ready to support core operations and enable new digital services.
"Airtel will build its next generation core network, analytical tools and new consumer and enterprise services on top of this cloud platform based on open standards," Lord said.
"Last year, Vodafone Idea Limited achieved its major production milestone with IBM and Red Hat for its Open Universal Hybrid Cloud for Network and IT workloads using a single common cloud architecture which provides significant optimisation for operating expenses, capital expenditures, automation investments and skills across IT and network," he said.
IBM is separating its managed infrastructure services business to focus on its hybrid cloud strategy.
The separation is expected to be completed by the end of 2021.