As we move into the era of advanced technologies such as AI, ML, IoT, and Blockchain, data has become abundant.
The abundance of data has given a boost to storage, compute, security and the pace at which the systems can operate.
According to Viswanath Ramaswamy, Executive Director - Systems for Cloud & Cognitive, South Asia at IBM, it is this growth of data which is the biggest opportunity IBM systems. The IT giant and pioneer of enterprise computers, IBM's product portfolio spans across all cutting edge technologies today.
"IBM systems are cutting across all three aspects of enterprise IT infrastructure, compute systems, storage and software," says Ramaswamy.
“The Red Hat acquisition is an exciting game changer for us. With the acquisition, we have capabilities that will complement further to our already strong cloud portfolio stack and also expand our base in enterprise grade clients for cloud.”
The importance of AI and cognitive in the coming years
In recent years, businesses have been pondering how much AI they can infuse into a project to get a robust outcome as compared to human intervention. With its portfolio of products and research it has carried out for decades, IBM leads all the way to powerful AI such as IBM Watson.
Similarly another IBM initiative to enhance the development of AI is the Power AI framework which can be used across all platforms at free of cost. Using IBM's Power AI server, companies can write AI algorithms on top of it which is open source in nature. The Power AI open source framework can talk to Google Tensor Flow, Torch, Caffe and other open-source AI platforms.
"Today, there is a huge demand for advanced AI that can help clients make better decisions and reach out to the market much faster than competition. So, AI is going to be the default standard moving forward in almost every element of a business across all verticals, be it banking, insurance, commercial segments, SMBs, manufacturing, and more. Our Power9 series is built on the fundamental design of the AI era and can serve as the backbone for a multi-cloud environment, AI-era data analytics and core-apps that clients can run," says Viswanath Ramaswamy.
Security is at the core of all technologies
According to Ramaswamy, security is critical for all emerging technologies such as AI, IoT and blockchain. "Organizations today are reaching out more and more externally in the digital space. For example, blockchain is completely external where the transparency is very high and this warrants for a very high level of security. Other technologies such as IoT, you have constant critical data coming in from sensors and again security becomes a critical parameter.
"Data privacy regulations such as GDPR have themselves set security as the default standard across all industries. So, be it GDPR, be it AI, blockchain or IoT, all these are driving the growth of data across organizations and making security very critical," elaborates Ramaswamy.
When it comes to security, IBM's mainframes have been equipped with 100 percent pervasive encryption which makes them ultra secure, says Ramaswamy. It is the core reason why majority of big banks have deployed these systems.
"You wouldn't hear mainframes being hacked. When you hear about organizations in India and abroad getting hacked, that is because they are not using IBM mainframes. With our mainframes, we have brought in 100 percent pervasive encryption at all levels. Most of the cyber hacks are internal to an organization. The data which is written on a mainframe is completely encrypted and even an insider will not be able to decode as it does not allow unencrypted data. This feature of IBM mainframes is free of cost no matter what operating system is run on the machine," according to Ramaswamy.
IBM is also big on blockchain initiatives
IBM is the one of top players when it comes to enterprise use. With Hyperledger, it has gained huge partners across all verticals which are testing the blockchain on IBM systems for use cases including supply chain management.
We have seen more and more industries including banks, insurance, logistics, and healthcare going into this era of blockchain. In India itself, we have done a lot of blockchain pilot projects with the opensource Hyperledger on IBM systems, especially in the banking sector. Before blockchain can become a core process for enterprises, there has to be a regulatory framework and a governance model which is to come in for how blockchain is going to be infused in the country," explains Ramaswamy.
Red Hat acquisition is a game-changer for IBM cloud business
At the end of October, IBM announced that it is acquiring Red Hat at a whopping cost of 34 billion USD and has been IBM's largest ever acquisition deal so far. According to Ramaswamy, taking over the Red Hat Enterprise Linux is a game-changer and will add great value to IBM's overall cloud portfolio.
"The Red Hat acquisition is an exciting game changer for us. With the acquisition, we have capabilities that will complement further to our already strong cloud portfolio stack and also expand our base in enterprise grade clients for cloud," states Ramaswamy.