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Business From the Cloud

Almost a decade ago, some vendors implored users to get “to the cloud.” As sloganeering goes, it was catchy, but if anything, it oversimplified and undersold the potential of this transformational technology. These days, cloud is a ubiquitous presence in IT. In a 2019 survey of 800 companies, Flexera Software, a provider of IT assessment management solutions, reported that 94% were using some form of cloud computing.

Moreover, hybrid multicloud environments have become commonplace. The same Flexera report notes that 84% of enterprises have a multicloud strategy, while 58% are planning a hybrid cloud strategy. At the same time, as enterprises grow their public cloud footprints, they continue to invest in private cloud as well as existing on-premises infrastructure—this according to a recent Forrester Consulting survey of 350 global IT enterprise decision-makers.

So yes, undisputably, we did get to the cloud. Of course, just getting there was never the point. For enterprises that rely upon IBM Power Systems hardware, the point is about modernizing enterprise computing environments and applications. The point is about more efficiently managing mission-critical workloads and providing the capability to run new applications and services. The point is about leveraging the capabilities of AI to improve analytical outcomes and platforms like blockchain to enhance operational security.

Continuing the Cloud Journey

Now that they’ve gotten here, Stephen Leonard, general manager for IBM Cognitive Systems, believes that Power Systems clients are just getting started.

Leonard notes that, at this stage, clients are keeping it simple. In general, they’re either running simple workloads that are easy to manage and maintain, or they’re working with client-facing applications in the cloud. But he adds that this activity represents only a small percentage of clients’ overall workloads. To take the next step and truly reap the benefits of cloud, clients must break from this comfort zone.

“People are experimenting with the simple and straight-forward,” he says, “but ultimately, we’re talking about moving from that experimentation to this next level of very complex, highly strategic applications, many of which are the backbone of operations. The next wave of innovation is stitching all of these capabilities together over multiple public clouds, private clouds and traditional on-premises IT.”