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IBM makes a huge bet on hybrid cloud in India

CIO Insider Team | Wednesday, 10 June, 2020
CIO Insider Team

Tech giant IBM is betting big on hybrid cloud in India while clients embark on their artificial intelligence (AI)-led digital transformation journeys.

“We want to ensure IBM leads in the two major transformational journeys of cloud and AI our clients are pursuing. IBM has already built three key platforms – mainframe, services, and middleware. The fourth one is hybrid cloud," said Sandip Patel, general manager, IBM India & South Asia.
“Clients, however, need more than just a platform. They need deep industry expertise. This is why the services that clients rely on, to build and manage the hybrid cloud platform, is a massive opportunity for IBM. It's nearly half of the $1.2 trillion hybrid cloud opportunity," Patel said.

IBM acquired Red Hat in 2019. Now, the former believes together they hold a “unique opportunity" to ace the hybrid cloud market. “We can make Red Hat OpenShift the default choice for hybrid cloud in the same way Red Hat Enterprise Linux is the default choice for the operating system.

We can provide the end-to-end solution that only the two of us can build," said Patel.

Things lining up in their favour in India, top telecom players Vodafone Idea and Bharti Airtel have recently signed up with IBM to build and modernise their telecom network cloud. “Our work together with clients like Vodafone Idea and Airtel to help them prepare for 5G by embracing edge computing and hybrid multi-cloud will redefine how businesses operate," said Patel.

Not just the telecom sector, clients across industries in India, including Honda, Maruti, National Stock Exchange, State Bank of India, Berger Paints, and Amul, have implemented IBM’s cloud in some form as part of their digital transformation journey.

“As of now, only 20% of the easy workloads have moved over to the cloud but the majority of mission critical workloads for enterprises still reside within the enterprises' firewalls. So, the opportunity is huge," said Patel.

More so, IBM is also working with the Indian government in diverse areas as it digitally transforms to deliver services to citizens. Few of the many instances; the National e-Assessment Centre of Income Tax Department has deployed artificial intelligence (AI) and machine learning (ML) in the tax assessment process which is built on IBM technologies including IBM Cloud Private, application platform for developing and managing on-premises, containerized applications.
Andhra Pradesh Government’s, the National Health Mission has collaborated with IBM to deploy a “virtual agent" to provide covid-19-related information for citizens on the state’s national health portal. The Watson virtual agent, known as Watson Assistant for Citizens, on the IBM public cloud brings together different technological capabilities to understand and respond to common questions about covid-19 in different dialects like English, Telugu and Hindi.

Similar to most other technology enterprises, IBM has withdrawn its 2020 guidance in the wake of the covid-19 crisis. Nevertheless, IBM’s cloud business continued to grow as total cloud revenue stood at USD 5.4 billion, up 19 percent y-o-y for the first quarter ended March.

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