Over the past year, IBM has made clear its intention to evolve in support of a transformed digital enterprise market.
2018 saw the company reach a few notable benchmarks in its multi-year digital transformation, including its promising first signs of revenue growth in more than 20 quarters.
IBM’s cloud business grew 12 percent to a total $19.2 billion in 2018, expanding the company’s gross profit margin to 49.1 percent.
While a snowballing cloud market remains dominated by its big three providers — Amazon Web Services Inc., Microsoft Azure and Google Cloud — traditional information technology vendor IBM considers itself uniquely positioned to address the transitional challenges faced by legacy enterprises in need of custom, often multicloud based, modernization strategies.
Equipped with a new open-source angle on its hybrid strategy through the company’s recent Red Hat Inc. acquisition, will IBM be able to provide the much-needed bridge between on-premises and cloud environments?
Looking to answer these and other questions, SiliconANGLE Media Inc. is at IBM Think 2019 in San Francisco with exclusive commentary and interviews from our roving news desk, theCUBE. TheCUBE coverage will begin on Monday, February 11, at 10 a.m. PT and ends on Thursday, February 14.
Though IBM is rooted in bare metal, the veteran IT leader’s history in artificial intelligence innovation has proven a successful springboard for participation in a digital economy burdened by an overwhelming amount of data. The company’s cognitive software arm, which boasts AI platform Watson, surpassed analysts’ expectations with its most recent report of sales at $5.46 billion. This growth comes after a series of AI-backed initiatives within the company.
Projects like the AI OpenScale platform for bias identification and the Nvidia Corp.-backed converged system for greater value extraction in AI workloads illustrate the potential IBM has to offer in a market where AI is only becoming more relevant.
Key to IBM’s reinvigorated cloud and AI strategy is its acquisition of open-source provider Red Hat Inc. The $34-billion grab is a historic one for IBM, signifying a tangible pivot to microservices and hybrid cloud. The containerization software now available to IBM via Red Hat and its flagship offering OpenShift gives the company relevance within a new developer audience through its direct line to Kubernetes, a significant force in hybrid cloud simplicity.
The newly acquired asset is intended to bolster cross-platform processes through IBM Cloud Private, a service that delivers digital infrastructure and AI data analytics to various custom enterprise environments.
“Cloud is absolutely a big piece of it. IBM’s real positioning today is multicloud,” said Stu Miniman, an analyst with Wikibon Inc., SiliconANGLE Media’s sister market research company. “The reason for buying Red Hat is multicloud. Do they have their own cloud? Sure. But they ultimately want to tie you into their cloud, rival clouds, and your own data center.”
Will IBM be successful in leveraging its mainline to the world of open source and Kubernetes in a future driven by microservices, machine learning, and multicloud? All this and more will be explored at this year’s IBM Think.
Speakers at IBM Think include Ginni Rometty, chairman, president and chief executive officer, IBM; Joe Montana, legendary NFL Quarterback; Tony Hawk, legendary skateboarder, entrepreneur and founder, The Tony Hawk Foundation; Tiffany Pham, founder and chief executive officer, Mogul; Arvind Krishna, senior vice president, hybrid cloud, and director of IBM Research; and Dr. Kate Darling, research specialist, MIT Media Lab & Harvard University.
Other event speakers include Jim Whitehurst, president and chief executive officer, Red Hat; Taylor Richardson, astronaut, StarBright; Michelle Peluso, senior vice president and chief marketing officer IBM; Rodney Mullen, legendary skateboarder and entrepreneur; Marc-Antoine Auger, master product owner, National Bank of Canada; and Bridget van Kralingen, senior vice president, IBM global industries, clients, platforms and blockchain.
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