IBM: Cloud Innovation Is More Important Than Cost

By: Jeff Bertolucci| - Leave a comment

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In the battle for cloud supremacy, Amazon Web Services (AWS) has the edge: A recent Synergy Research Group study shows AWS has more than 40 percent of the burgeoning public cloud services market, with Microsoft, Google and IBM sharing 23 percent. A mix of smaller players splits the rest.

Can the AWS juggernaut be slowed? Absolutely, Amazon’s competitors claim, and cloud innovation will help them do it.

That’s according to Willie Tejada, IBM’s chief developer evangelist, who recently told ZDNet that the cloud computing space is entering a new phase where value matters more than size.

Beyond Cost

The first phase of cloud computing focused on cost savings, Tejada argues. Organizations were determined to find new ways to bring agility and elasticity to their IT strategies — and to save a few bucks. The next phase will focus on cloud innovation.

The shift may evolve in numerous ways and embrace many emerging cloud technologies, including artificial intelligence (AI), data science and cognitive platforms like IBM Watson.

To achieve and maintain a leadership position, cloud providers must make sizable and ongoing investments in their infrastructure and menu of services, develop strong credibility in the enterprise sector and execute effectively, according to Synergy Research Group.

Cloud Innovation Partnerships

To expand its cloud footprint, IBM is stepping up its engagement with developers. For instance, the company launched its Digital Business Group in 2016 as part of an expansive effort to train the next generation of developers focused on AI and data science.

To reach future technologists, IBM sponsors Girls Who Code, a nonprofit organization dedicated to closing the gender gap in science, technology, engineering and mathematics professions. And last month, IBM announced a partnership with Galvanize, a tech education and training organization, to develop new cognitive, cloud and data science training initiatives delivered through Bluemix, IBM’s cloud platform.

The IBM Cognitive Course, a self-directed, four-week online program led by Galvanize and hosted on Bluemix, covers an introduction to machine learning and AI, as well as business problems solved by these cognitive technologies. Other topics include prototyping cognitive products with IBM Watson APIs, emerging software development and management roles and the challenges of building a cognitive system, according to ZDNet.

New Cloud Markets

To showcase its cloud cred and distinguish itself from the competition, IBM is developing partnerships beyond its traditional enterprise user base. The recently announced that Footters, an online streaming provider that broadcasts amateur soccer games, selected IBM Cloud Video to power its video platform and provide cognitive capabilities.

“IBM’s cognitive technology sets them apart and offers our platform features that can help extract data from a soccer game,” said Footters CEO Julio Farina in a statement from IBM. “For example, we plan to provide statistics such as how often a player has run up and down the wing and how many times he has passed the ball.”

But as ZDNet points out, cloud computing can’t solve every IT management issue, such as the need to maintain legacy applications that must stay in-house.

According to Synergy Research, quarterly public cloud infrastructure service revenues have topped $7 billion and are growing at nearly 50 percent annually. Factor in managed private cloud services, and quarterly cloud revenues exceed $9 billion.

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About The Author

Jeff Bertolucci

News Writer

Jeff Bertolucci is a Los Angeles-based journalist specializing in technology, digital media, and education. His work has appeared in Kiplinger's Personal Finance, InformationWeek, PCWorld, Macworld, The Saturday Evening Post, The Los Angeles Times and many other publications.