IBM launches new Mainframe model, aims to regain lost ground

Despite the cost-saving benefits and ease of sharing resources, only 25% of enterprise workloads have been moved to the cloud.

International Business Machines dominates the mainframe market with a 90% share. Now, the tech giant has announced the launch of a new model of IBM Z series mainframe. It is expected to hit the markets either in the first or second half of 2022, said IBM in its recent Q4 earnings call.

One cloud to rule them all

The Covid-19 pandemic accelerated the adoption of cloud. Enterprises woke up to the need for distributed cloud-based solutions in lieu of a single-vendor approach. Thanks to cloud, companies can now optimise workloads, share resources seamlessly and cut down on data centre overheads.

IBM had a delayed start in cloud computing compared to tech giants like Amazon, Microsoft and Google. The major portion of the former’s revenue came from consulting and selling hardware devices. So instead of playing catch-up with rivals like Amazon and Microsoft in the public cloud space, IBM decided to bet on hybrid cloud and artificial intelligence.

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Despite the cost-saving benefits and ease of sharing resources, only 25% of enterprise workloads have been moved to the cloud. The main concerns organisations have around shifting to cloud include the pain of migrating legacy systems, integration issues, and data sovereignty problems. IBM’s hybrid cloud offering is designed to address such concerns and drive enterprise cloud adoption.

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AI adoption

Organisations have identified AI and automation as the sine qua non to remain competitive in a post-pandemic world. AI adoption in at least one function is up from 50 percent in 2020, according to a Mckinsey & Company report. The survey results suggest that AI adoption has increased most at companies headquartered in emerging economies, including China, the Middle East and North Africa. Across regions, the adoption rate is highest at Indian companies, the report added.

Companies had to take the digital route to meet new business challenges brought on by the pandemic. As a result, the organisations are heavily investing in areas such as automating IT and processes, building trust in AI outcomes and understanding the language of business, said Rob Thomas, Senior Vice President, IBM Cloud and Data Platform.

IBM is currently working on a ton of AI automation tools to help enterprises leverage AI. For instance, Cloud Pak for data uses AI to answer distributed queries and gives results 8x faster and at nearly half the cost compared with other data warehouses. Watson Orchestrate, a new interactive AI-powered tool made by IBM, boosts the productivity of business professionals across departments.

Two-pronged approach

IBM’s Hybrid cloud (powered by AI) approach aims to overcome the existing bottlenecks arising from being tied to a single cloud vendor. At the same time, increased AI adoption among organisations will engender demand for powerful machines capable of storing and processing huge volumes of data. This is where IBM’s new model of mainframes comes in. The model offers a complete end-to-end cloud solution for the enterprises’ computing needs. IBM has let go of its low margin managed infrastructure business by spinning off it into a new business unit called Kyndrl

In sum, with its new hybrid cloud and AI offering, combined with the mainframes series, IBM is committed to taking back its long lost clout in the technology space. 

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by Vijayalakshmi Anandan

The Deep Learning Curve is a technology-based podcast hosted by Vijayalakshmi Anandan - Video Presenter and Podcaster at Analytics India Magazine. This podcast is the narrator's journey of curiosity and discovery in the world of technology.

SharathKumar Nair
Sharath is an ardent believer in the ‘Transhumanism’ movement. Anything and everything about technology excites him. At Analytics India Magazine, he writes about artificial intelligence, cybersecurity and the impact these emerging technologies have on day-to-day human lives. When not working on a story, he spends his time reading tech novels and watching sci-fi movies and series.

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