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BW Businessworld

The Hybrid Cloud Market Opportunity Is Expected To Grow Substantially

IBM supports its clients to increase productivity with automation and derive a new level of intelligence with AI through our Cloud services.

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In conversation with BW Businessworld, Lingraju Sawkar, General Manager, Global Technology Services, IBM India / South Asia, informs about how it has been digitally transforming companies through its digital and cloud services along with future prospects of digital dependency of the companies.

An overview and history of the business

Clients are facing an unprecedented pace of change due to the advancement in technology and it is only going to accelerate further. Our client’s dependency on digital is increasing exponentially which is also increasing the use of data. This digital transformation is changing the game for enterprises and IBM Services is enabling clients to drive that change with a clear focus on outcomes. In fact, in a recent IBM survey, we saw that 89% of IT leaders expect to move business-critical workloads to Cloud –all driven by the growth in digitisation. IBM supports its clients to increase productivity with automation and derive a new level of intelligence with AI through our Cloud services.
 
Global Technology Services (GTS) is a business group under IBM; offering end-to-end IT consulting and technology services supported by an unparalleled global delivery network. We provide our clients with innovative technology solutions that help them improve their business processes and outcomes. GTS includes two distinct service areas: Infrastructure Services (IS) and Technology Support Services (TSS) which offers a set of modular IT services –mobility, resiliency, network and systems. TSS offers IBM hardware and software support as well as multi-vendor services covering support for both IBM and third-party products. Through TSS, IBM offers a one-stop shop for client IT support which includes multi-cloud services integrator, management of the IT services and underlying infrastructure in an integrated and unified way, in a way modernizing clients’ IT environments to address the increasing demands of their customers. 


How is GTS doing in the IBM India business? 

GTS remains the market leader with close to 18% market share for the past many years in India. Our technology services run the infrastructure that powers 80% of the banking industry’s daily card transactions, 61% of the automobile industry’s production of passenger vehicles and nearly half of the mobile connections worldwide. The 4th quarter of 2018 was great as we had 16 transactions over $100 million each globally. In summary, as clients proceed on their journey to get more business value from the cloud, we are seeing a requirement for increased services help from digital design, to app modernization, to native app development to management of hybrid cloud environments.
 
How is IBM incorporating IBM Multi-cloud Management Technology?

We continue to evolve our cloud platform to simplify how enterprises bridge to the cloud by addressing the needs at every point of their journey -- from accelerating the migration of existing workloads to the cloud, to modernising and extending existing apps to delivering the right tools and build cloud-native apps from grounds up. This helps client’s leverage IBM Cloud as the gateway to AI, Blockchain, IoT and even next-generation technologies like Quantum Computing. As a game changer, IBM has built its $18.5 billion annual cloud business by focusing on becoming the cloud for enterprise workloads across public, private, hybrid and multi-cloud environments.  

 Features and benefits of IBM's new Multi-cloud Manager include:

  • Increased visibility across clouds –operations and development teams get visibility of Kubernetes applications and components across different clouds and clusters via a single control panel;


  • Improved governance and security–using the integrated compliance and rules engine, organizations can be sure that their Kubernetes applications support their enterprise compliance policies and security standards;


  • Consistent application management –designed to simplify IT and app operations management of the users. They can also orchestrate and manage their Kubernetes environments with the click of a button.

How does technology for business transformation needs to evolve to better suit customers? 

The emergence of advanced technologies is changing the roles of our clients. Business leaders must elevate their role from focusing on managing IT to focus on sponsoring innovations that deliver business results. As they navigate through thousands of new devices and services available, it is critical to integrate services efficiently and provide service to business leaders and to enable their enterprise to innovate faster.

To do this, they need more personalized IT solutions that transform how they consume IT and enable them to deliver it as a service. And to handle the complex demands of various IT solutions and services, they increasingly require a hybrid cloud environment.
  

  • Hybrid Multi LR Cloud is our opportunity for growth. Nearly every enterprise must transition to a mix of cloud and traditional infrastructure to flexibly meet their customers’ growing and more complex demands.
  • In our survey of 500 IT decision makers worldwide, 7 out of 10 report they will always have a blend of traditional IT and cloud. (Source: “Growing up hybrid: Accelerating digital transformation,” IBM Center for Applied Insights, Feb 2016).
  • The hybrid cloud market opportunity is expected to grow substantially –at 31% average annual growth rate through 2019, compared to 10% decline in traditional IT segment.

A key element to our transformation from systems to services integrator is our brokerage services, which speeds and eases the purchase and management of computing and software capabilities across hybrid cloud environments. With our current brokerage portfolio, we are the only major IT company to provide complete supply chain-like experience for companies to easily plan, buy, operate and manage IT services based on their needs. We are enabling companies to capitalize on the choice and agility that the cloud provides without sacrificing control or abandoning existing investments and lower operating costs by as much as 30 percent.

What are the recent digital transformation projects taken up by IBM?

IBM is leading the digital transformation journey for companies, including large public sector banks and steel companies. It is also witnessing demand across different sectors, including automotive companies looking at connected car solutions while helping them predict behavior of the car and the driver.

IBM is continuing to innovate from a “practitioner run / technology assisted” method to the “technology run / practitioner assisted” method which is required to deliver peak performance.

Through this approach, we expect to benefit our clients from 10M incidents processed by the automation system. This continues to accelerate, adding almost 1M (really 800k) incidents per month. Client’s quality automatically improves reducing resolution time by 90%. 

What are the common requirements and demands that you’ve come across from your customers in BFSI, manufacturing, retail and auto sector? 

Irrespective of industries, several things stand out as common requirements from IT. Some of them include IT services that enable a system of engagement to transact and co-create with partners and clients seamlessly; a platform that enables flexibility to deploy, remove, redeploy business services to experiment and innovate; 24 X7 availability of business services with optimum performance; IT security; agility in provisioning IT services to business; masking of IT complexity to end-users; superior end user experience in availing services;  a complete control on IT cost and assets and constant service quality improvement.

Your comment on the $33.4 billion Red Hat acquisition and its possible implications for India? 

As the largest acquisition in IBM history by a large margin, and the largest tech acquisition of 2018 - this deal represents a landmark moment for both companies and is a major step forward in IBM’s ongoing focus on high-value business; transformation of our portfolio, and our leadership in the emerging era of AI and cloud. With this acquisition, IBM will become the world’s leading hybrid cloud provider.
IBM has been reshaping its business for this moment with significant progress in cloud across the portfolio. This includes IBM Cloud, IBM Cloud Private, Cloud Migration Factory, Cloud Managed Services, Cloud Application Innovation and launch of IBM Multi-cloud Manager.
 
How does IBM differentiate itself against the homegrown competition? 

It has been more than 25 years since IBM re-established its presence here in India. We are the leaders in the IT infrastructure services in India with close to 18% market share. As the Services Integrator and a differentiator in the marketplace, GTS collaborates closely with other IBM Brands and pulls together the full power of IBM for our clients.

Since most enterprises are digitizing their businesses and infrastructure, they need a cloud partner that can assist them with a multi cloud approach while incorporating the most innovative technologies. With Cloud making up the majority of our opportunity by 2020, client demand remains strong and the market opportunity continues to increase. We support 10 of the largest global banks, 9 of the top 10 retailers, and 8 of the top 10 airlines as service clients. 

Our key growth areas revolve around multi cloud/hybrid cloud, multi-vendor services, security and digital workplace transformation. We are strengthening our delivery capabilities with AI and Automation. In fact, we recently announced new Watson solutions and services pre-trained for a variety of industries and professions including agriculture, customer service, human resources, supply chain, manufacturing, building management, automotive, marketing, and advertising. 

With the launch of IBM Services Platform with Watson, engineers from the GTS Labs in India have played a leading role in developing this game-changing platform hand in hand with their GTS and IBM research colleagues across the world.


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