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10 Things IBM Business Partners Learned At IBM Think Digital

New IBM leaders CEO Arvind Krishna and President James Whitehurst introduced themselves to partners at the company’s flagship conference—turned virtual due to the coronavirus crisis—and shared their vision for Big Blue’s growth in the years ahead.

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Hybrid Cloud Market Exploding

“When we look at the size of this market going forward, it’s billions and billions,” Whitehurst (pictured) told IBM Business Partners of the hybrid cloud market.

And the company Whitehurst led until recently, Red Hat, which IBM bought for $34 billion, is the key to unlocking that exploding market. Red Hat OpenShift is the platform that will deliver IBM a unique hybrid position.

IBM is the only company working to deliver hybrid cloud with a single architecture that allows applications to run anywhere—from the data center to any public cloud to edge computing environments, Whitehurst said.

A cohesive hybrid platform frees enterprises from locking themselves into any public cloud provider’s innovation cycles, said Krishna is his opening keynote.

IBM’s strategy hinges on allowing enterprises to choose their infrastructure through Red Hat’s consistent and cloud-agnostic platforms, as customers never start their digital transformation journeys from scratch.

“Hybrid cloud is about meeting you where you’re at in terms of the infrastructure choices you made,” Krishna said. That approach supports existing systems—and whatever transformation road map lies ahead.

A new product will advance IBM’s hybrid reach. IBM Cloud Satellite, soon to be released in beta, offers a control plane that eases extending workloads running on IBM’s public cloud into on-premises and edge environments. That solution will also be delivered through OpenShift.

“It’s a very shrewd move from a marketplace perspective, viewing OpenShift as an operating system that goes across cloud providers, essentially turning public cloud into commodity,” said Ironside’s Kreytak.

“You can build capabilities on OpenShift, they can be deployed anywhere,” he said. “It prevents vendor lock-in.”  

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