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May 11, 2018
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December 9, 2018

Hybrid' Cloud: IBM's Big Bet: Will It Work? It’s a Wait and Watch scenario

IBM is already betting big on the next emerging cloud market the “hybrid” multicloud which recently announced about the model at the recently held Bangalore Tech Summit 2018. From our understanding, it is a dynamic computing environment that combines multiple cloud providers and clouds via public, private and in turn acts as a Software-as-a-Service model.

That’s the reason IBM is paying big bucks to acquire Red Hat. The open source technology company will bring to IBM an innovative hybrid cloud platform, and a vast open source developer community. And for the IBM developer community at large it is another feather in the cap.

From our understanding we believe that IBM’s strategy begins with the premise that most companies view the cloud opportunity as incorporating it with their on-premises facilities either via private clouds or public clouds.

But having worked with thousands of enterprises across the world, IBM knows that a 'One-Cloud-Fits-all approach doesn't work," as reasoned by Steve Robinson, General Manager, IBM Cloud Labs.

Instead, we are seeing clients take a hybrid multi-cloud approach that allows them to choose multiple cloud providers and clouds or shall we say a mix of public, private, Software-as-a-Service model that best meets their different needs.

This gives enterprises open capabilities, security and flexibility to migrate critical workloads to the cloud, but also ensures they can tap into new innovative services such as AI, Blockchain and analytics at ease. This is not an unusual move adds Mr. Joseph S Jayakumar, Director - Amstar Technologies an IBM Business Partner. We have seen IBM is in AI/Machine Learning race with Microsoft & AWS. While IBM took the branding lead with Watson, they have lagged behind in transitioning to a cloud model and thus this expansion was planned systematically if you ask him.

Will the bet pay off? It depends on a couple of things

One of them is the validity of IBM’s premise followed by is the cloud market really moving from “Public” to Hybrid?

Some analysts think so. Stephen Elliot, Program Vice President, IDC, is one of them. "The old idea that everything would move to the public cloud never happened," says Elliot. Instead, the cloud market has evolved to meet the needs of clients who want to maintain on-premises systems while tapping a multitude of cloud platforms and vendors. The challenge for this approach is integration and reskilling where we have a strong foothold.

Although many IT companies have been talking about multicloud till date, the user experience has been fragmented. IT leaders are looking for multicloud capabilities that reduce risks and deliver more automation through their cloud journeys. The challenge for this approach is a phase wise integration. IT decision makers are looking for multicloud capability that reduces risks, and deliver more automation through their cloud journeys.

Another key factor to determine whether IBM’s big cloud bet will succeed is the size of the multicloud market.
--How Big is the Market?
--IBM estimates it to be $1 trillion by 2020 while Statista estimates the market to be a fraction of that, $91.74 billion.

Questions arise as to whether IBM is well-positioned to seize the opportunity as it is not just about having the cake and eating it too. Although The “IBM” brand gives IBM a high amount of leverage in this particular market, but functionally, it won't take much for them to compete on support.

IBM can find a place in the enterprise market quickly if they focus on enterprise support. In the end, only time can tell whether IBM’s bet on a futuristic technology trend will work this time around successfully.

We are all waiting. Keep watching this space for more updates

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