“Platforms are only as good as the use you inspire of those platforms, and the biggest area to do that is through the ecosystem,” said Bob Lord, senior vice president-worldwide ecosystems and blockchain at IBM.
The company has put in place a new go-to-market strategy, where it will work closely with IT services firms on bringing their clients onto the OpenShift platform. “Each of these partners have a particular angle on the market – some are big in telecommunications, some in financial services, and IBM comes in as a horizontal infrastructure platform,” said Lord.
Earlier this year, IBM announced that it would be investing $1 billion to expand its cloud ecosystem.
On Tuesday, IBM and Tech Mahindra Ltd. announced that they would collaborate on a $2 billion opportunity presented by 5G technology, cybersecurity and cloud. IBM is also working with L&T Infotech Ltd. to create a solution to help insurance agencies leverage social media reviews of businesses to help identify potential risks of insuring those companies, which will be made available to clients in the second quarter of 2021.
Lord said he expects adoption to be faster in regulated industries like financial services and insurance, as well as the government sector, especially given the increase in cyber attacks. Last year, IBM launched its Financial Services Cloud where it currently has 73 partners on board, and over 35 partners for the Telecommunications Cloud.
“In areas like software and networks as a service, there’s a major transformation happening in the telecommunications world,” said Lord. Even in regulated areas like healthcare, financial services or insurance, there are a lot of issues like data privacy, and this will be a big growth area for companies.
While the pandemic has hastened the cloud shift for most businesses, Lord also sees some businesses taking a pause. “Companies are reassessing their whole infrastructure…asking ‘do I have the infrastructure that’s going to accelerate me as I come through the pandemic? Am I going to be ready on the other side of this?’,” he said.
Last year, IBM announced that it was splitting itself into two to focus on growth potential offered by the cloud. It expects hybrid cloud to be a $1 trillion opportunity given that only about 20% of workloads have moved to the Cloud.