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An Agile Infrastructure Can Help Meet Your Organization's Needs

IBM Power Systems Offering Management Vice President Steve Sibley on how organizations can meet evolving business needs.

"IBM Perspective" in white letters against a navy background.

As I sat down to write this month’s IBM Perspective, my thoughts are, of course, focused on the challenges we’re all facing in light of COVID-19. Every day, I hear stories about how people around the globe are adapting to changing circumstances and working together to sustain digital operations. Our clients have been working tirelessly to ensure business continuity for their organizations—including rapid scaling of network capacity; enabling remote work; creating new processes to keep data centers up and running; protecting essential staff; and identifying and deploying the right solutions to respond to changes in business needs. 

I recently spoke virtually with 10 of our top clients—including some of the largest banks, pharmacies and retailers in the world—to understand how their infrastructures have responded to the surges and shifts in compute requirements. Each of these companies has been on the forefront in modernizing their IT infrastructure with flexible compute capacity and automated processes to handle spikes in demand. Because of this, they’ve been able to handle the surge in online orders, demand on their supply chain systems and increases in loan processing or trading requirements. They’ve also been coping with the shift in workload from branch banking to online banking and the need to address customer needs in new ways.  

Modernization Enables Agility

In times like these, we all realize the importance of an IT infrastructure focused on business continuity and agility. Many of our clients have been able to respond quickly to the current situation as a result of ongoing efforts to modernize their IT infrastructure. In today’s dynamic environment, change is inevitable, but having the right infrastructure in place can help organizations respond to new developments with speed and agility. 

At IBM, our teams work to provide the best and most innovative solutions to help our clients prepare for today’s needs as well as tomorrow’s unknowns. Hybrid cloud computing is central to our efforts on this front—in particular, helping our clients build the best hybrid cloud environments that will provide the flexibility they need to respond to change, while maintaining the high levels of security and reliability associated with their on-premises infrastructure. The question for most of our clients is: How do we strike the right balance? 

Meeting Emerging Needs

As our clients evolve their infrastructure into hybrid cloud environments, I see several critical needs emerging:

  1. Achieve cloud-like agility and economics with leadership business continuity and security
  2. Simplify and automate management with consistent skills and processes 
  3. Seamlessly extend to hybrid cloud with flexible capacity, hybrid cloud management and leadership with Linux® container support

We will be enhancing the flexibility clients have in acquiring and managing the capacity of their Power® infrastructure. While Power has been a leader with Capacity on Demand and Elastic Capacity on Demand, we will be taking that to a new level with more granular monitoring and dramatically increased automation. 

Red Hat is bringing tremendous capability and ecosystem influence to IBM and to you, our clients. Everyone knows about Red Hat’s leadership in Linux OSes with RHEL and Linux containers with OpenShift®. But I’m just as excited to team up with Red Hat to bring the Ansible® automation platform for Power Systems. This will be transformative in how clients manage their AIX®, IBM i and Linux on POWER® environments.  

In addition, we’re continuing to build out Power capability in the IBM Cloud™ to give you more options to leverage enterprise-class capabilities in new ways.  

I will address these topics in more detail, including a preview of new IBM Power Systems offerings, during a session at IBM Think 2020—our new, virtual conference.  

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