AI & Data: IBM gears up for increased server tech demand

March 25, 2021 1:30 AM

With some large Indian clients, IBM’s global push for hybrid cloud and AI is set to impact even more Indian businesses and developer communities

Ravi Jain, Director, Server Sales, India South Asia, IBMRavi Jain, Director, Server Sales, India South Asia, IBM

By Srinath Srinivasan

The new ways of working post the Covid-19 pandemic have increased data generation and consumption. According to a recent report from Tech Sci Research, the India server market is expected to grow at 10.27% between 2021-2026. “With the Covid-19 impact, demand for servers went up significantly as enterprises sought out technologies to keep the companies functional and help employees work remotely,” says Ravi Jain, director, Server Sales, India South Asia, IBM. He believes that rapid digital adoption necessitates scalable and secure platforms that can host these digital applications. “In 2021, we will expand the IBM Systems landscape by enabling more digital transformation and AI workloads,” says Jain. IBM will also bring in Red Hat offerings on IBM Systems, which are industry-focused and ready-to-deploy solutions at the client’s location.

Today, in India, IBM Servers have a strong presence in both public and private sector banks where 13 out of top 22 banks are on IBM for the core infrastructure. IBM also facilitated increased transaction load and managed customer experience following the government’s announcement to merge 10 PSU banks into four mega banks in 2019, without any disruption. “When it came to bank mergers, assuring the IT infrastructure’s functionality was critical as it either directly impacted the customer interface tools like net banking or dealt with highly sensitive financial transactions,” says Jain.

Of the four resultant entities which emerged out of the merger, three banks are running their core banking systems, and all four banks run their mission-critical workloads on IBM Power Systems. In addition to the BFSI sector, IBM also has presence in four PSU Maharatnas. Seven large format retailers, nine top 10 automobile manufacturers in India are on IBM Systems.

In order for organisations to get started on hybrid cloud and AI, Jain says, “we are helping clients across industries to build intelligent applications by infusing AI into their core business processes such as hiring, supply chains and customer service. When it comes to data and AI, trust is paramount.”

As per an IBM Institute for Business Value survey, organisations in India will spend nearly half of their cloud budget on hybrid cloud over the next three years. According to Jain, clients are looking for deep domain and technical expertise. IBM’s Systems AI community is at the core of developing scalable, secure platforms to host client applications.

“Digital customer experience, supervising manufacturing shop floors, demand-supply optimisation, risk underwriting, automated inward cheque clearance, video based KYC and screening tools to assist in diagnosing diseases are some examples of use cases that can be addressed using the work coming out of Systems AI community,” adds Jain. IBM India has close to 20 solutions, which are on IBM Power Systems made possible through the IBM AI community. Some of these include, automated inward cheque clearance for banks, risk underwriting for insurance, credit cards and leading firms and AI powered video surveillance. “AI community is a platform for the customers to engage directly with the Independent Software Vendors and IBM partners,” explains Jain, talking about the functioning of the community. Once customers join the community, they are given free AI consultation by IBM domain experts and can have a holistic view of their digital transformation journey.

While filling in the skill gap addresses client concerns to some extent, Jain says data security and data privacy are bigger concerns. These get amplified when there is an interplay of multiple cloud environments. “Also, the security is not just about intrusions into one’s environment, but there is always a risk of ‘insider’ threats. We are providing technology that aims at securing data even from insiders,” shares Jain.

A hybrid cloud is not just the presence of on-premise cloud and multiple public cloud environments, but it is the capability to use all of them as one. “It is extremely important for organisations to have the decision and execution control of when and where to keep a particular workload. That controlling ability helps to achieve the real benefits of cloud,” states Jain.

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