IBM Envisions Enterprises Without Borders Through Cloud Computing

May.21.08 | About: International Business (IBM)

IBM (NYSE:IBM) Vice President for Enterprise Systems Rich Lechner took the stage at the Forrester Research IT Forum on Tuesday to explore the definition of new enterprise datacenters that will enable new levels of business innovation.

Factors buffeting the definition of the new class of datacenters include globalization, a rising tide of information and need for expanded flexibility and adaptability for business models.

To compete, companies need to operate without borders, and become a globally integrated enterprise. "There are huge resource pools emerging around the world ... with new ideas and creativity," said Lechner. It's more than outsourcing, he said, it's about integrating these resources.

The tide of data and devices, resources, and assets will continue to explode. How can you best use the data that flows all around you?

New business models will evolve, said Lachner. The impact of social networking and peer influences on buying decisions is just beginning to be felt.

Virtualization will remake the landscape IT, as will cloud computing, virtual worlds, and high new levels of scaling when it comes to compute power, said Lechner.

Cloud computing allows an unbounded aspiration of the best user experiences. "It provides anytime, anywhere access to IT resources delivered dynamically as a service," he said. Cloud computing expands capacity almost indefinitely.

IBM's cloud initiatives are allowing technology incubation, data-intense workloads, government-led initiatives and new types of software development support.

IT plus cloud computing can enable change. How to get started? Simplify using virtualization, share infrastructures via SOA, and create a dynamic ability to access data and knowledge, said Lechner.

The world is changing to enterprises without borders, unbounded IT infrastructure, and huge more data sets, and a need for collaboration that increasingly crosses many organizational and sourcing types, he said.

Additionally IBM is learning a lot from Google (NASDAQ:GOOG) and vice versa when it comes to cloud computing, said Lechner. Cloud computing allows its practitioners to isolate compute units and make their use far more efficient economically via dynamic provisioning.

For data security, users can physically isolate data using partitioning. IBM for years has been hosting multiple companies on single mainframes with no data protection or privacy issues. The technology exists to leverage the economics of cloud computing while protecting data, said Lechner.

"It's about removing IT has an inhibitor," he said.