The business world is changing. Has changed. The COVID-19 pandemic drove companies to transform three times faster in 2020 than in previous years, with 66% shifting to more cloud-based business activities. As enterprise clients undergo rapid change in a turbulent business environment, they need guidance. They may find it at the upcoming IBM Think 2021 virtual event, which promises to teach attendees how to “navigate change through transformation, automation and modernization.”
Business resiliency is the number one attribute required to thrive in the post-pandemic economy, according to market intelligence gathered by International Data Corp. Cloud provides the flexibility to scale operations up and down, allowing businesses to adapt fast to market changes. Add artificial intelligence and machine learning to the cloud model, and the ability to analyze incoming data provides a business with the insights it needs to make course corrections and stay competitive. Yet, wholesale lift and shift to the cloud is not a practical strategy for most companies. Eighty percent of enterprise workloads are still on-premises, and some of them need to remain there.
“Enterprise clients must balance the imperative to digitally transform with the need to ensure critical data is kept secure and remains compliant with industry and regional requirements. For this, we need hybrid cloud,” Jason McGee, IBM fellow, vice president and chief technical officer of IBM Cloud told theCUBE.
The rising importance of hybrid cloud and artificial intelligence is the focus of IBM Think 2021, scheduled for May 11 in the Americas and May 12 for Africa, the Asia-Pacific region, Europe and the Middle East. During the event, theCUBE, SiliconANGLE Media’s livestreaming studio will discuss the future of hybrid cloud and AI and how it is becoming the bedrock for smarter business as industry navigates digital transformation, automation and modernization. (* Disclosure below.)
AI and IBM go hand in hand
Automating routine business transactions was the purpose of IBM’s first incarnation, the snappily named Computing-Tabulating-Recording Company. Going from punch-card tabulation to intelligent data analysis was a journey that took close to a hundred years. IBM’s Deep Computing Institute was founded in 1999 shortly after the company’s first foray into artificial intelligence — the chess computer Deep Blue inspired a media frenzy by beating grandmaster Gary Kasparov. Deep Blue evolved into Watson, which once again brought AI into the spotlight by becoming the first non-human Jeopardy champion. But Watson was more than a game-playing gimmick. After the success of its game show win, IBM doubled down on expanding Watson’s intelligent capabilities to benefit business and humanity.
“I am truly inspired by our ability to apply science and technology to solve real-world problems,” said Kareem Yusuf, general manager of AI applications and blockchain at IBM. “Our purpose in being essential to our clients has always resonated with me because what it manifests itself is looking at the problems of the day, like sustainability, thinking about the technologies that we can bring to bear, and providing meaningful real-world solutions to our clients that they can use at scale every day.”
The key to hybrid cloud
The underlying purpose of digitization is to create business value. But that value can become lost in the complexity of managing data and applications across public and private clouds, on-prem, and out to the edge. In an unprecedented, pre-pandemic move, IBM’s 2019 purchase of Red Hat Inc. merged traditional tech and cloud native to create a company that holds the secret of simplifying enterprise hybrid operations: open hybrid cloud.
“With the rapid shift of business, operations and IT infrastructure, AI and hybrid cloud provide the adaptability and innovation needed to guide businesses forward and drive success. And IBM, our partners and our clients are charting that course and leading the way,” said Erin McElroy, program director, digital and event innovation at IBM.
“With the acquisition of Red Hat in 2019, IBM became the leader in the new era of hybrid cloud,” according to McGee. “By building solutions that enable our clients to leverage the benefits of open architectures like Kubernetes in a way that enables enterprises to take advantage of security in a fully managed environment, clients can access the benefits without the complexity,” he told theCUBE.
But Red Hat isn’t IBM’s only notable acquisition. This month the company announced plans to purchase both Italian process mining software company myInvenio Srl and Boston-based intelligent application resource management provider Turbonomic Inc. Both acquisitions are an affirmation of IBM’s commitment to simplifying its customers’ hybrid workflows by infusing them with AI.
“IBM’s acquisition of Turbonomic represents a logical next step to deliver aggregated value to enterprise IT leaders seeking to accelerate cloud migration and value gains,” Gartner analyst Chirag Dekate told SiliconANGLE in an email.
Sustainability is a business imperative
COVID-19 is stealing the headlines as the driver of global digitization, but over the past few years, businesses have been impacted by more than the pandemic. According to the “Global Supply Chain Report 2020,” businesses could lose up to $120 billion over the next five years due to supply chain disruptions from climate change. And a Global Business Council article cites business costs of almost $3 trillion over the past decade in damages and losses due to natural disasters linked to climate change.
Putting AI to work on developing sustainable solutions is one way in which IBM is working with its customers to help save the planet. Sessions from ocean plastics collection and monitoring company the Seabin Project and groundbreaking Air Protein, which uses NASA technology to grow meat substitutes from air, will highlight how they use hybrid cloud and AI in their creative ecological initiatives.
During IBM Think, co-founder of the Center for Humane Technology, Tristan Harris, will speak about using tech for good, and climate activist and youth director of Earth Guardians, Xiuhtezcatl Martinez, will share his vision for the future of the planet. Keeping on the social theme, trust and AI in the digital age will be addressed by Rachel Botsman, trust fellow at Oxford University, and Baratunde Thurston will bring a “racial reckoning” to the tech industry in his keynote.
With hundreds of sessions from beginner overviews to technical deep-dives accessible on a global schedule, plus educational and certification opportunities, participation in Think 2021 promises to be an enlightening experience for anyone on the digitization path.
Hybrid cloud and AI may be “bleeding edge” technologies, but they are mature enough to have a proven record of bringing benefits to both newly digital businesses and those still in the process of modernization.
“What I’m most excited about is we’re going to talk about real-world examples of the hybrid cloud and AI,” IBM president Jim Whitehurst said. “I highly encourage you to come and see how these technologies are manifesting themselves in real-world tangible impact for our clients.”
Livestream of IBM Think
IBM Think is a livestream event, with additional interviews to be broadcasted on theCUBE. You can register here to access the live event. Plus, you can watch theCUBE interviews here on demand after the live event.
How to watch theCUBE interviews
We offer you various ways to watch the live coverage of IBM Think, including theCUBE’s dedicated website and YouTube channel. You can also get all the coverage from this year’s events on SiliconANGLE.
TheCUBE Insights podcast
SiliconANGLE also has podcasts available of archived interview sessions, available on iTunes, Stitcher, and Spotify, which you can enjoy while on the go.
Guests who will be interviewed on theCUBE during IBM Think include IBM’s Jim Whitehurst, president; Rob Thomas, senior vice president of software, cloud and data platform; Seth Dobrin, global chief AI officer; Brian Hoffmann, chief operating officer of Global Financing; Andrew Coward, general manager of software defined networking; and Robin Hernandez, vice president of hybrid cloud management and Watson AIOps.
TheCUBE will also speak with Kumaran Siva, corporate vice president, strategic business development at Advanced Micro Devices; Caroline Cappell, research director at Analysys Mason; and Mirko Novakovic, chief executive officer of Instana.
Other guests on theCUBE include IBM’s Cameron Art, managing director, AT&T; Ed Lynch, vice president of Business Automation; Madhu Kochar, vice president of offering management, data and AI; and Jerry Cuomo, fellow, vice president and chief technology officer of automation
Stay tuned for a complete list of speakers.
(* Disclosure: TheCUBE is a paid media partner for IBM Think. Neither IBM, the sponsor for theCUBE’s event coverage, nor other sponsors have editorial control over content on theCUBE or SiliconANGLE.)
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