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IBM hails ‘composable business’ as future of IT and cloud

Collaboration, hybrid cloud and automation will accelerate business development, claims Big Blue

Cloud computing

IBM has fleshed out its "composable business" vision, which it claims will help companies make better use of cloud and other business technology investments.

Erich Clementi, SVP of global technology services at IBM, introduced the concept during a keynote at Big Blue’s Pulse 2014 conference in Las Vegas.

Clementi explained it as “a new collaboration model between IT, line of business and development teams”.

“Historically, these three groups have operated somewhat independently of each other…[but] we are beginning to see the lines blurring...partly out of business necessity and partly because of advancements in technology,” Clementi said.

He argued that people from IT, line of business and development are coming together to find the appropriate ‘building blocks’ to assemble into an application or programme that can meet the needs of the company, hence the term composable business.

“The nuance of composable business is in the business focus. We are now talking about addressing real business opportunities in new ways and we are mixing things at the line of business level much, much faster,” he said.

Sitting underneath this notion of the composable business, for IBM, is Dynamic Cloud.

This is largely Big Blue’s term for hybrid cloud, but also focuses on optimisation and visibility within that type of mixed cloud environment.

Speaking at the opening keynote of the second day of the conference, Deepak Advani, GM of cloud and smarter infrastructure at IBM Software Group, said: “The path to composable business is Dynamic Cloud. Hybrid environments and Dynamic Cloud really give you that…real-time agility, that responsiveness to business needs so you can optimise your environment.

“That’s what a Dynamic Cloud is and that is key to a composable business.”

Sitting under that is automation, which, according to Advani, is the enabling technology for Dynamic Cloud and its composable business vision.

Standing this up is policy-driven orchestration, Advani said.

“When you look at Dynamic Cloud, [at the core of it is] the ability to be responsive to business needs and take the right actions…[using] policy-driven orchestration where you define…the patterns - what should happen with the workload not only when you deploy it, but over the lifecycle,” he said.

Advani concluded by saying this was an ongoing process of continuous improvement of both cloud infrastructure and the apps that run on it.

“We don’t believe that in this new world of composable business [and] dynamic cloud you can achieve some of your aspirations unless you really get onto this continuous delivery lifecycle – get things out to market quick … it doesn’t have to be perfect and then … you can refine it and improve it as you go [using analytics and automation],” he said.

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