First published on November 3, 2016 on IBM Systems Blog: In the Making
By Lief Morin, CEO of Key Information Systems
Innovation is the goal. It’s critical to remaining relevant in an era of digital disruption. But how do you get there from here?
From banking to manufacturing, retail to healthcare, organizations across industries are under tremendous competitive pressure. They need to create new products, services and experiences to meet the evolving demands of customers.
For some of our Key Information Systems (Key Info) clients, however, keeping up with change is not enough. They want to be disrupters — those who change their industry. Innovation might mean completely rethinking how services are delivered to their customers or how their supply chains operate. And while no single path to innovation exists, we find that the journey increasingly involves two elements: open technology and cloud computing.
Invest in the right technologies
Innovation requires investment. We’ve found that the clients who invest the most in information technology (IT) infrastructure often see the greatest success over the long term. Many organizations clearly understand the need to commit budget and people to technology to foster business innovation. Major financial institutions, for example, have built software development teams that are larger than most software companies because they want to disrupt their marketplace.
Of course, the investments that organizations make should be the right investments. When organizations decide to work with Key Info, we help them find the right solutions to match their needs today while also charting a path forward. All IT investments must not only bring value to your business, but also to clients.
Adopt open technologies
Open platforms are among some of the best investments that organizations can make. At Key Info, we typically define open platforms as those that are community funded, community developed, or supported by an industry group or consortium. The industry shift toward open platforms is a real change from the proprietary software and hardware of the past. That change is positive for everyone involved.
Why are open platforms so great? First and foremost, open platforms are the result of collaborative innovation. Open projects bring together people and ideas from a wide range of sources in a way that a single vendor cannot. That collaboration can often yield better results than what a single vendor can produce.
In addition, open projects can bring new technologies to market faster than individual vendors working on proprietary solutions. Organizations consuming those new technologies can use them to gain a competitive edge.
Open projects can also help promote the development of robust and growing ecosystems that can benefit both participants and organizations adopting the solutions. They gain greater choice and flexibility than if they were to choose proprietary solutions.
The IBM Power Systems platform is a prime example of an open platform. IBM offers an open source version of firmware to members of the OpenPOWER consortium to facilitate collaborative innovation and expand the IBM POWER ecosystem. The consortium helps create the development of modern Linux-based applications for Power Systems as well as enhanced management solutions through OpenStack to help simplify the client experience.
Enhance flexibility with a hybrid cloud
Our clients don’t typically wake up in the morning craving a hybrid cloud. They come to us looking for ways to offer new services to their customers or expand IT resources to support the development of innovative software. And they often have a sense that a cloud solution is the way to go.
After working with our clients to identify their most appropriate workloads for the cloud, we often land on a hybrid approach, which allows the client to move to the cloud incrementally. A client might start a cloud journey with Disaster Recovery as a Service, then progress toward backup and recovery. That approach might lead to discussions of infrastructure as a service for certain applications or creating a cloud environment for DevOps. A hybrid approach enables our clients to make the most of existing investments — such as their existing infrastructure — and continue to meet requirements for latency and security while starting to realize the benefits of the cloud.
Key Info has a range of hybrid cloud offerings and managed services that help simplify the transition to the cloud. We use IBM Power Systems and IBM Storage as the foundation for our cloud environment so that our clients can capitalize not only on the cloud, but also on the open innovation that IBM platforms deliver.