At the recently held IBM Outthink Forum in Bangalore, the discussion was all about how cloud technology is heralding the new era of cognitive computing. The benefits it can bring to the businesses. So Bill Hartwick, VP, IBM Cloud, IBM talks about how the transformation is happening and how IBM is leveraging its Cloud technology to offer customers what they want. Excerpts:
IBM Cloud is unique, how?
IBM Cloud helps realise new value. IBM Cloud is unique because it enables cognitive computing as we move to the new era of business. Cognitive is our sweet spot, the starting point where we leverage from, because data and what you do with data in terms of analysis is really going to drive the new world opportunities. So our world is around cognitive, our solutions are based around that. It is based on cloud for agility, and it is around industries. Cloud and digital transformation is really opening up opportunities to look at everything. You have businesses looking at user experience, looking at different ways to enhance customer experience; bring to customers things they have not done before. And this is what cognitive in cloud does.
Cloud is expected to bring in a change, how?
Cloud and disruption is giving chance to businesses to go back and look at everything and look at it in different ways. There are three catalysts that are driving the change. First its data – data is going to be the new currency, the new gold. It is the new resource and how you deal with it will define the way ahead. That is where cognitive comes in. Then it is the cloud. Cloud is the most incredible thing in the world today. It enables so many things. It gives you access to any resource, anywhere and anytime. Cloud is an enabler and accelerator. Finally it is focussing on new systems of consumer engagement. So all of these things combined make for really great recipe for fuelling new era we are talking about.
Cloud is bringing in digital transformation, how?
Let’s think about cloud where we are and where we are going, and this is why IBM cloud is unique. Cloud is about being able to get access to compute storage and use it as you need. It is not really a new concept. Service bureaus have been around for a while now – the whole idea there was you didn’t have to own the machine and you could rent the space and the machine. But it wasn’t easy to do. It meant a bog commitment. So what the cloud pioneers did, what IBM did was to figure out a way to consumerise this thing; to enable self-service. To provide a scalable infrastructure where you can use what you want, try, experiment, scale up if it works and throw it away if it doesn’t. That was about 10 years ago. We are now done with the earlier notion of low cost infrastructure. Now it is about, what do I do with this cloud to make it really useful? So now people are looking at platform as a service, at Bluemix, at Devops, at applications, how to deal with applications, how to integrate new developments with existing applications? The next phase is all about innovation, about how to make all this stuff work. That where we are right now, but we are moving quickly to the next era of business value. It is great to have all this infrastructure, but now what are you going to do to generate value. In an era where you have to compete in ways you have never before, you’ve got to thrive in areas you’ve never thought before. Because now you want to go out there and really leverage the cloud to help you to do that. To help you to get at all that data, to help you to do things that you could never do before. Cloud really truly does unshackle you. It enables you to do anything, it’s fantastic.
IBM is innovating on the cloud, how?
Now think about the elements you are going to need to leverage the cloud and make it work for you. Couple of elements – one thing IBM learnt over the years is that customers want choices, they want openness, they want the ability to use what makes sense to them, so we made some bold moves and invested in Linus, Java, Open Source. So our platform BlueMix, a combination of soft layer, Bluemix, Bluebox in a single platform, it is very innovative and the next generation platform where we use design thinking technique. What we have done is looked at what is the way people want to interact with the cloud to be able to do their development and use their resource to do whatever they want. That is what BlueMix cloud, the BlueMix experience has been designed to do. Now let me mention Open it is very critical because it provides flexibility, it provides agility and it provides acceleration of the market. It enables other people to build on what you are doing and create more. I want warn you against the new era of proprietary, you don’t want to be locked in. That is why Open makes sense. Now to use cloud to your advantage you need to understand and apply some kind of methodology to that. Now again using design thinking we created a methodology called BlueMix Garage Methodology. It allows you to take a problem, look at it, break it down, and dissect it to understand where customer value is. With this technique you find the right answer. So the BlueMix Garage Methodology is about how to apply the cloud most effectively to be able to experiment, to be able to do what you envisioned. So BlueMix Garage Methodology combined with Open and BlueMix platform provides this rapid innovation prototype.
IBM Cloud fuelling cognitive computing, how?
It is in the phase three, where we are moving into, is really where the cognitive stuff comes in. IBM has specifically picked point which is about innovation, which is about finding solutions for the business value era. Now when you come to cognitive era, it is about data and how you use it. Think about the combination of public, private and partner data which are put together in meaningful ways, then you leverage the cloud and use services like Watson Health, Watson IoT. So IBM Cloud and Watson really fuels it all and enables you to take full advantage of cognitive computing.
Bio: With over 30 years of experience, Bill Hartwick, Vice President, IBM Cloud heads the Cloud Market Intel, Competitive and Analyst Relations function across the entire Cloud Business Unit at IBM. He has extensive experience in development, marketing, sales, product management and program management.