This post is sponsored by IBM
As IT professionals, creation is what we do. Every day developers are writing new code to make it easier to run our business, or writing (creating) code to maintain existing systems. DBAs are creating new databases and structures, as well as creating new ways of making sure vital corporate data is available all the time, every day and in multiple ways. And data scientists and analysts are using the data in those databases to gain a deeper understanding of the business, discover heretofore unknown trends, and create new ways to gain competitive advantage by transforming their business. And when you put them all together with IBM technology and services, there are virtually no limitations to what you can create.
In my experience as an IBM partner, creation using IBM solutions for hybrid cloud, AI, and data fabric delivers unparalleled capabilities for modern, useful systems.
It is important to understand that on-premises and cloud computing must co-exist to deliver the highest value to most organizations. Large enterprises like banks, insurance companies, airlines, and retailers have billions of lines of code invested in applications that run their business. And they are not going to simply jettison that investment to re-write everything in the technology du jour. But it is possible to continue to benefit from existing workloads while modernizing them.
A hybrid cloud approach is the standard method for creating modern enterprise systems and applications. With a hybrid cloud approach, you can choose what makes sense for each component, task, and project that you tackle. Building applications that mix and integrate on-premises systems with cloud capabilities enables new platforms to benefit from the rich heritage of existing systems and integrate them with new capabilities and techniques as appropriate.
This means you can integrate the capabilities of existing on-premises applications, such as those running on IBM Z and IBM Power Systems platforms, with the secure, flexible hybrid capabilities of the IBM Cloud. Creating useful applications and content on all platforms is easier when you embrace your legacy applications and many organizations are embracing digital transformation to create new ways to benefit from existing systems, by extending their IBM Z and Power workloads to the IBM hybrid cloud. Creating in this manner enables organizations to nimbly modernize their systems on the IBM Cloud while continuing to benefit from their long-time core applications running on IBM’s proven hardware.
As all IT professionals know, it is not enough to build applications, but they also need to be supported. Assuring development and operations to support what is developed is the reason the whole DevOps movement is flourishing. IBM provides the tools needed for managing and deploying your hybrid cloud applications. On the dev side, IBM Red Hat OpenShift, which is the leading multicloud container development platform, provides microservices frameworks, serverless support, continuous integration and delivery (CI/CD) integration, and more. And on the ops side, IBM Cloud Schematics brings the power of both Red Hat Ansible and Terraform to IBM Cloud users for automating the end-to-end deployment of cloud infrastructure and applications.
Turning our attention to data, it is undeniable that data is the underlying lynchpin of IT. In all cases, data is required to create business value whether you are performing analytics, coding applications, running machine learning models, or even just generating a report. None of it can be done without data.
But all too frequently data is not treated as the valuable corporate asset – required to drive the business – that it is. Data typically exists in silos, managed independently, and perhaps not documented as well as it could be. What is needed is a data fabric that delivers the data management services required to discover, curate, govern, and orchestrate your data regardless of where it is deployed — on-premises, or in the cloud.
And IBM provides a data fabric solution, IBM Cloud Pak for Data, that can improve creativity by improving your data health and management. Using IBM Cloud Pak for Data you can define and connect your disparate data where it exists across your hybrid cloud, integrating data and creating a catalog of re-usable data assets. And when you know where your data is, it makes it easier to provide business users with the data they need to improve customer experiences, as well as to enforce data usage and access policies. All while leaving the data in place, without having to move it to make it accessible. With a data fabric in place, you can unite, govern. and secure your data for faster, more accurate insights.
Furthermore, the data fabric powers and enables the adoption of AI, which most organizations are utilizing to create modern applications and systems that deliver valuable insights. AI needs data, without it, there isn’t much that can be accomplished, because trustworthy AI relies on accurate data for models and decision-making. With a data fabric in place, your managed, useful corporate data becomes available to data scientists for AI projects.
IBM delivers the solutions to help you infuse AI into your creations. Your data scientists and analysts will use IBM Watson Studio, which works with IBM Cloud Pak for Data for building, running, and managing AI models, and building AI applications for optimizing decisions based on your data anywhere throughout your organization.
Additionally, people can interact with your creations using natural language with IBM Watson Assistant, which uses AI that understands users in context to provide fast, consistent, and accurate answers across any application, device, or channel. You can create a highly-intelligent, AI-powered virtual agent for your application(s) without writing a single line of code.
Putting It All Together
Imagine this: a hybrid cloud application accessing data on-premises from Db2 for z/OS and Db2 on Linux, as well as data in Db2 on the IBM Cloud. IBM Cloud Pak for Data is in place creating a data fabric such that your data is clearly defined and governed making it accessible to all. You’ve used Red Hat OpenShift and Ansible to ensure that the application is delivered and managed in a simple, intuitive manner.
Because you’ve integrated Watson Assistant into this system all of your users can interact with it using natural language, so nobody has to learn a cumbersome new interface.
And best of all, you can use these services and tools from IBM solutions to create any applications you need in the hybrid cloud.
So, what are you waiting for? Let’s create incredible, practical new systems that integrate our existing and valuable resources with all these useful technologies from IBM. And then we can experience the true power of modern computing!