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IBM Power: Continued Innovation with Refreshed Leadership

IBM Power: Continued Innovation with Refreshed Leadership

The News: In a recent blog post Tom McPherson, the recently announced general manager for the IBM Power business, laid out his vision for the business in the months ahead. Read the full blog post on the IBM website.

IBM Power: Continued Innovation with Refreshed Leadership

Analyst Take: Over the past decade, the enterprise UNIX market has declined as organizations have increasingly shifted toward Linux and cloud-based solutions, leading to a contraction in traditional UNIX deployments. However, IBM’s sustained investment in its Power systems has provided a lifeline to the UNIX community, ensuring a vibrant ecosystem through continuous innovation and modernization. The company’s commitment to AIX and the robust capabilities of IBM Power systems have enabled legacy UNIX applications to persist and integrate with contemporary hybrid cloud and AI strategies, maintaining relevance in a rapidly evolving IT landscape.

IBM’s strategy has been consistently aligned with the twin pillars of hybrid cloud and AI, aiming to leverage the strengths of their Power systems to facilitate digital transformation for its clients. The recent address by the new IBM Power general manager, Tom McPherson, offers a clear trajectory that respects the legacy of his predecessor, Ken King, and underscores IBM’s unwavering commitment to these strategic areas.

The focal points of the address can be distilled into several key advancements and strategies that align with IBM’s broader goals:

  • Innovations in IBM Power Operating Environments: IBM continues to invest in the AIX, IBM i, and Linux environments to enhance their robustness and security. The recent updates to IBM i Technology Refresh and the release of AIX 7.3 TL2 indicate IBM’s dedication to business continuity and high availability. These improvements are strategic, ensuring that IBM Power remains at the forefront of hosting critical business workloads that demand exceptional reliability and security.
  • SAP HANA on Power: Recognizing the impending 2027 deadline for the end of mainstream maintenance for SAP’s legacy enterprise resource planning (ERP) systems, IBM Power offers flexible infrastructure solutions to assist customers at various stages of their business transformation journeys. Whether through on-premises Power10 systems or cloud-based solutions, IBM enables a seamless transition to SAP S/4HANA, vital for maintaining competitive business operations. IBM’s hybrid cloud consumption model further allows clients to balance on-premises and cloud investments, demonstrating IBM’s nuanced understanding of diverse enterprise needs.
  • Industry Modernization and AI Integration: IBM Power10’s powerful core is tailored to support the integration of AI into business processes. The example of a Thai hospital chain utilizing IBM Power10 for AI inference highlights IBM’s strategy of embedding AI-driven insights to improve operational efficiency and outcomes. This strategy aligns with IBM’s ambition to harness AI to transform industries and enhance decision-making processes.
  • Power as a Service and IBM Expert Care: The move toward offering power as a service and enhancing the Proof of Concept (PoC) experience shows IBM’s recognition of the market’s shift toward as-a-service models. Providing high-availability/disaster recovery solutions and tiered support models such as IBM Power Expert Care demonstrates IBM’s strategy to simplify CX and offer a more efficient, client-centric service model.
  • Hybrid Cloud Commitment with Red Hat: IBM’s doubling down on hybrid cloud through its collaboration with Red Hat, with Red Hat OpenShift running natively on IBM Power and Red Hat Ansible Automation Platform components being supported. This commitment reflects a strategy focused on flexibility and cross-environment support. It exemplifies IBM’s understanding that future enterprise computing will be diverse and hybridized, requiring solutions that transcend traditional infrastructure boundaries.

IBM’s roadmap for Power systems is rich with initiatives poised to enhance the power portfolio’s core attributes and align them with the evolving landscapes of hybrid cloud and AI. This vision is not isolated; it is part of a larger narrative where IBM is positioning itself as a leader in a market that increasingly demands agility, intelligence, and seamless integration between on-premises and cloud environments.

The strategic direction outlined by McPherson is a testament to IBM’s recognition of the need for a holistic approach to digital transformation. IBM is responding to market trends and actively shaping them by integrating advanced technologies into its core offerings, enabling its clients to leverage the full potential of hybrid cloud capabilities and AI-driven innovation.

Looking Ahead

As articulated in this strategy, the future of IBM Power resonates with the broader industry direction, where computational power, cloud agility, and intelligent analytics become the cornerstones of enterprise IT. As IBM Power continues to evolve under this strategic vision, it will likely set a precedent for how technology giants can navigate and lead in an era where adaptability and forward-thinking are crucial for success.

As IBM Power looks ahead, the focus remains on client-centric innovation, expanding as-a-service options, and creating more pathways for workload mobility across hybrid environments. The roadmap indicates an exciting journey ahead for IBM Power and by extension, for its clients navigating their own paths through the digital landscape.

Disclosure: The Futurum Group is a research and advisory firm that engages or has engaged in research, analysis, and advisory services with many technology companies, including those mentioned in this article. The author does not hold any equity positions with any company mentioned in this article.

Analysis and opinions expressed herein are specific to the analyst individually and data and other information that might have been provided for validation, not those of The Futurum Group as a whole.

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Author Information

Regarded as a luminary at the intersection of technology and business transformation, Steven Dickens is the Vice President and Practice Leader for Hybrid Cloud, Infrastructure, and Operations at The Futurum Group. With a distinguished track record as a Forbes contributor and a ranking among the Top 10 Analysts by ARInsights, Steven's unique vantage point enables him to chart the nexus between emergent technologies and disruptive innovation, offering unparalleled insights for global enterprises.

Steven's expertise spans a broad spectrum of technologies that drive modern enterprises. Notable among these are open source, hybrid cloud, mission-critical infrastructure, cryptocurrencies, blockchain, and FinTech innovation. His work is foundational in aligning the strategic imperatives of C-suite executives with the practical needs of end users and technology practitioners, serving as a catalyst for optimizing the return on technology investments.

Over the years, Steven has been an integral part of industry behemoths including Broadcom, Hewlett Packard Enterprise (HPE), and IBM. His exceptional ability to pioneer multi-hundred-million-dollar products and to lead global sales teams with revenues in the same echelon has consistently demonstrated his capability for high-impact leadership.

Steven serves as a thought leader in various technology consortiums. He was a founding board member and former Chairperson of the Open Mainframe Project, under the aegis of the Linux Foundation. His role as a Board Advisor continues to shape the advocacy for open source implementations of mainframe technologies.

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