COVID-19: IBM’s New Normal Shaped by a New Virus Culture

Charlotte Dunlap – Principal Analyst, Application Platforms

Summary Bullets:

• IBM’s GBS leads provide COVID-19 response experiences noting cloud adoption is critical for embracing the “new normal.”

• Key technologies leveraged include analytics, blockchain, supply chain and cloud platforms

Not surprisingly, IBM is looking to re-architect its product strategy’s eventual “new normal” through the might of its global professional services group, Global Business Services (GBS). GBS cloud, systems, and software experts are soldiering in the trenches of the current COVID-19 battleground alongside clients struggling to maintain business continuity in the midst of the global pandemic.

IBM GBS executives revealed this week specific areas of its technology that are receiving the most traction and being refactored to meet the immediate needs of customers. These same solutions will eventually result in new product offerings that will support client engagements after the COVID-19 crisis resolves. The technology segments include analytics, blockchain, and supply chain. IBM envisions a time, once the world gets back to some semblance of normalcy, whereby employees are given greater guidance between remote workplaces and office facilities where workers will have access to more confined individual space and the use of virtual agents or messaging assistants for providing timely health and company information. Additional client needs being addressed during the crisis include security, IT resiliency and reducing operational costs, and increased efficiency and agility through cloud.

Jesus Mantas, managing partner, global strategy offerings, platforms and innovation for IBM GBS told GlobalData that dealing with the challenges of the current pandemic is a practical and opportunistic way to plan for what will become our new normal. That begins with cloud adoption he said to help support CIO’s immediate need for unified communication and unified collaboration to having the flexibility and scalability to support app modernization efforts.

These solutions will be fulfilled through key efforts IBM’s invested in over the past 12 months. These include achieving initial integration with Red Hat OpenShift (e.g., IBM Cloud Paks) and delivery of IBM’s software via cloud native capabilities addressing customers’ app modernization and operational provisioning needs through automation.

In addition to preparing customers for a shifting business landscape, IBM has made its flagship analytics/data management platform and quantum computing solutions available to global government and health organizations. (Please see COVID-19: The Vendors Harnessing Technology to Lead the COVID-19 Battle , April 1, 2020)

Forward-Looking Customer Recommendations

• Technologies which will see greater adoption velocity resulting from COVID-19 and benefiting enterprises beyond the crisis include public/hybrid cloud, digital commerce/blockchain, AI-injected application platforms including low-code and newer intelligent process automation platforms.

• CIOs and operations teams will be challenged to do more with less resources in these uncertain times, and should therefore search out those app development tools and platforms which don’t require professional developers and data scientists. Instead, business users should have access to low-code platforms in order to play a key role in app modernization projects.

• IBM Garage and other vendors’ equivalent professional services are a good starting point for on-ramping new advanced solutions and services as well as helping train key personnel within organizations. As part of new initiatives, enterprises are tasked with reducing costs and returning to growth as quickly as possible.

• AI technology will remain at the heart of numerous application modernization and cloud platforms. This technology is especially important to development and operations teams solutions post COVID-19, because analytics including machine learning takes the repetitious and monotonous work out of new app development requirements.


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