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The Key to Cloud



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Few organizations have been exempt from the relentless pace of the past few years. Business models are changing fast, due in large part to the transformational possibilities behind emerging technologies like cloud, social, mobile, big data and analytics. For the first time, many CEOs now rank technology as a major factor influencing the success of their businesses and the leading force driving business innovations.

CIOs in turn are increasingly being asked to improve the agility of the IT organization to adapt to changing business models. Organizations must prove they can quickly deploy customer- and partner-facing applications and services to keep pace with the competition. IT must scale when business expands—but costs must also scale in line with demand. They must achieve greater efficiency while simplifying the IT lifecycle to speed the pace of innovation.

Many of these organizations are approaching cloud as a path for delivery. Based on the experience of more than 9,000 cloud engagements, IBM has designed a client-focused cloud pathway to more effectively address these imperatives. With this pathway, enterprises using private clouds can transform their organizations with speed and agility, and cloud service providers (CSPs) can utilize cloud for new revenue models and business opportunities. Examining the advantages of IBM PureFlex* System, IBM Flex System* and IBM SmartCloud* Entry reveals their combined role in successful cloud delivery transformations.

The Journey to Cloud

For most IT organizations, moving to cloud is more difficult than adopting a new technology. A cloud-enabled IT organization needs to transform its processes and procedures as well as its relationship with end users and CSPs. IT must evolve from a monolithic service provider to an entrepreneurial business focused on providing high-value, low-cost capabilities in pace with mercurial business requirements. Most of these challenges are not technological, but the technology must provide an easy way for operations to move to this model.

While an organization’s path to cloud depends heavily on individual business and technical requirements, a best practice is to start with a solid foundation. An integrated systems foundation designed to meet cloud requirements with reliability, optimized performance and simplified management can fundamentally change both the experience and economics of IT. At its most basic, integrated systems combine core elements like compute, storage, networking, virtualization and management into a single infrastructure system that can be quickly deployed. For enterprise IT and managed service providers (MSPs) alike, integrated systems for cloud offer multiple benefits, including faster time to value and fewer resource requirements. Integrated systems also offer the capability to reduce the focus on components, enabling operations to focus on the end-to-end experience.

At the heart of IBM’s roadmap to cloud computing, expert integrated systems like the IBM PureSystems* platform are based on “patterns of expertise,” which represent the collective knowledge of thousands of deployments, established best practices, innovative thinking, IT industry leadership, and the distilled expertise of business partners and solution providers. The IBM PureSystems platform fulfills the promise of integrated systems by delivering significant and immediate benefits. From reduced total cost of ownership in footprint, energy use and maintenance to higher revenue and profit, IBM PureSystems offerings can help organizations realize immediate value from cloud computing.

Frank DeGilio is an IBM Distinguished Engineer and a Chief Architect for Cloud.

Steven Hunter is an IBM Fellow, vice president and PureFlex System CTO.

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