The Red Heart of Big Blue
March 22, 2023
IBM’s Cloud Paks are proving to be a vital component in business’s journey to the Cloud. I explore how the dream partnership with Red Hat has accelerated Cloud-Native architecture and levelled the playing field for Big Blue.
For me, science class was a traumatic experience. With every lesson came more laws, principles, and equations to wrap my limited brain cells around. I coped by translating each law into a language that anyone could understand. For example:
Newton’s 2nd Law of Thermodynamics:
“…the total entropy of an isolated system never decreases”
“…everything always gets more complicated”
“… the number of transistors on an integrated circuit doubles every two years”
“The pace of change increases exponentially”
It is not a massive leap to apply these laws to the recent history of the IT industry. I still remember the euphoric pleasure of directing a “snake” around a small mobile phone screen. Yet today, my kids are streaming Netflix programmes over 5G to their iPhones in UHD, complaining that ‘ridiculously’ I’ve capped their data at 30GB/month.
Although a fantastic technological success story, Netflix were not “born on the Cloud” as many assume. Until 2010 they were posting rental DVDs to people, a postal ‘Blockbuster’ if you will, however, at around the same time Netflix then introduced their first streaming service. Soon, as if governed by some law, everything became more complicated; the rate of change increased exponentially and they responded, adapted and transformed themselves to meet the challenge.
Netflix continuously invents, re-invents and dares to be different. While their story is unprecedented and difficult to replicate, the need to accelerate innovation alongside modernising applications is something that many organisations share. The luxury of a practically blank canvas allows for completely out of the box thinking, but this is not the norm. Instead, most organisations have existing applications that need to be maintained, modernised and moved to the Cloud whilst servicing their core business. This process can be as daunting as that final science exam. The technology has been moving too fast for the textbooks to keep up and unfortunately one cannot simply stream the “Solution for Digital Transformation” Season 1 on Netflix.
Whilst one may be forgiven for casting an eye to the brightest pupils and feeling somewhat inadequate, it is a surprising fact that only 20% of applications have been migrated to Cloud. Many organisations are just beginning their journey, but their initial hesitation in setting foot on the ‘road to Cloud’ may well have played in their favour. As the scientific laws around development for Cloud have taken shape, major vendors have stepped up to offer enterprise-ready solutions that acknowledge the principles adopted by Netflix, allowing for the modernisation of existing applications and the implementation of new solutions, which are based on Open Source and are Cloud-Native technology.
We have learned a great deal about transformation since 2010, the pubescent Cloud is much more mature and the attitude of organisations are softening towards it, as it blossoms into adulthood. Hybrid Cloud and Multicloud architectures are now de rigueur, Open Source has proven not to be just an outlet for wayward science geeks, but actually a facilitator to innovation which can be secured and managed effectively.
Whilst organisations seeking to transform digitally can learn from Netflix, they also need to look to modern principles when designing their own solution. Any successful solution delivered today needs to exhibit the following attributes:
Hybrid Cloud: Enables the enterprise to work across public, private, and traditional environments.
Multicloud: Facilitates multiple Clouds, as the reality is environments are heterogeneous.
Open: Built open by design, enabling rapid innovation & reducing vendor lock-in.
Secure: Provides reliability and continuous security.
Management: Offers consistent support and management across the Cloud estate.
Words like “Open” and “Multicloud” are now used regularly by larger vendors who traditionally were associated with quite different principles. With a $34Billon investment in Red Hat, IBM for one has signalled a change. The majority of their traditional software products now run out of the box, in containers. Containers which on an OpenShift platform are enterprise-ready, Cloud vendor agnostic, and both secure and scalable. Even Big Blue is undergoing a digital transformation and is reinventing itself.
This isn’t a law you’ll find in a science textbook …
“The only constant in life is change” – Heraclitus
… but when you run an IT company that is over a hundred years old, this needs to be your abiding principle.
If you are currently or are planning to invest in an IBM solution, first familiarise yourself with their Cloud Paks.
Prolfiics are working with IBM to deliver award winning digital transformations using IBM Cloud Paks today.
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