IBM’s Strategy For Hybrid Cloud Growth In India

In a bid to accelerate its hybrid cloud strategy in India, IBM recently launched Cloud Satellite. Available across locations, the Cloud Satellite offers a standard set of cloud services complete with toolchains, databases, and AI. 

In related news, IBM has received full Cloud Service Provider empanelment from the Indian Ministry of Electronics and IT (MeitY), allowing the tech giant to work with government agencies and other public sector undertakings.

To wit, IBM is making inroads into India with its hybrid cloud strategy.

IBM Cloud Satellite

“With the launch of Cloud Satellite, we are giving clients in India, across telecommunication, financial services, government, healthcare, retail, and more, access to a consistent and secure set of cloud services, wherever their workload resides. Clients can now meet essential data requirements such as data sovereignty and privacy, delivered via the IBM Cloud,” Shailesh Agarwal, vice president, sales and industry business development, IBM India and South Asia said.

IBM’s cloud satellite would help organisations to deploy and run apps across platforms–on-premise, edge computing, and public cloud from any vendor. It delivers cloud services, access policies, security control and compliances, and APIs. IBM Cloud Satellite can also help address data privacy issues for telecommunication, healthcare, and government with its secure and unifying cloud services across environments. Edtech and remote work also stand to benefit for the same reason. 

IBM has partnered with enterprise technology company Lumen to integrate the Cloud Satellite with its edge platform connecting up to 180,000 clients. The clients will have access to hybrid cloud services and can build innovative solutions at the edge. They would also be able to deploy data-intensive applications across distributed environments.

What Is IBM’s Hybrid Cloud Strategy?

IBM has listed the core components of its cloud strategy in a white paper.

Working with open source: Open source is at the core of IBM’s operations. The company has made several investments in open source technologies such as Linux, Hadoop, Kubernetes, Helm, and Spark. IBM, in the last five years, has been transforming its public and private cloud platforms based on open-source standards.

Foundation based on Kubernetes: Kubernetes is arguably the most popular container orchestration system. IBM has based both its public and private cloud on the same Kubernetes orchestration because it is optimised to support all infrastructure platforms — from mainframes to virtual machines. IBM also benefits from Kubernetes’ expansive ecosystem of tools and services.

Security: IBM’s cloud platform includes certified IBM security services ready to be implemented. The services make sure all the disparate operations and functions operate within this multi-cloud environment without much hassle. IBM has also created a set of built-in security capabilities that can be leveraged across hybrid and multi-cloud environments, including visibility across the cloud, data protection, and access management.

Multicloud Manager: It is a platform designed by IBM to manage workloads across hybrid and multi-cloud environments. It is a command and control service that manages Kubernetes deployments. Multicloud Manager offers governance, policy management, and security in a hybrid environment.

Distributed Data Management: IBM has built several artificial intelligence and machine learning capabilities throughout its platform to address the challenges of managing, ingesting, and analysing data from various sources. 

India Plans

IBM views India as a high-growth market. An internal study by the company revealed that 17 percent of the surveyed organisations said they were willing to increase their expenditure on the hybrid cloud to 49 percent by 2023. The study also said the majority of cloud budgets are allocated to hybrid cloud platforms.

However, only about 20 percent of the workload has been moved to the cloud. “This leaves us with a massive untapped opportunity wherein hybrid cloud is positioned to become a dominant force for driving digital transformation for enterprises,” said Viswanath Ramaswamy, VP – Cloud & Cognitive Software & Services, IBM India/South Asia in an earlier interview.

In particular, IBM’s engagement with Indian IT companies accelerated after Arvind Krishna was appointed as the CEO. In India, IBM is already working with Infosys, Tata Consultancy Services, and Wipro to move their client’s workloads to the cloud. In 2020, the Big Blue pledged to invest $1 billion over the next three years to expand its cloud ecosystem in India.

IBM is also looking to target public and government agencies. “We are committed to India’s growth journey. The launch of IBM Cloud satellite and IBM Cloud accreditation enables us to further strengthen our collaboration with organisations and the government/public sector,” a company spokesperson said.

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Shraddha Goled
I am a technology journalist with AIM. I write stories focused on the AI landscape in India and around the world with a special interest in analysing its long term impact on individuals and societies. Reach out to me at shraddha.goled@analyticsindiamag.com.
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