IBM: COVID-19 accelerated digital transformation

“There is no question that this pandemic is a powerful force of disruption and an unprecedented tragedy,” said Arvind Krishna, CEO, IBM, at the technology company’s annual “Think” conference, which was held online. “But it is also a critical turning point. It’s an opportunity to develop new solutions, new ways of working, and new partnerships that will benefit your company and your customers, not just today, but for years to come.”

Krishna outlined the effects of the pandemic to businesses and how emerging technologies would be able to help reverse lost opportunities at his inaugural keynote address as the company’s newly minted CEO.

COVID-19 has forced lockdowns that affected the global economy. Movement limitations have allowed the digital economy to thrive. It means enterprises need to either begin or ramp up their digital transformation.

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Krishna highlighted how AI and hybrid clouds become essentials when enterprises decided to adopt emerging technologies like 5G and edge computing.

“I’m predicting today that every company will become an AI company, not because they can, but because they must,” Krishna said. “Hybrid clouds as a major force in technology is here to stay.”

Hybrid cloud

Krishna outlined the advantages of adopting a hybrid cloud saying that it will allow enterprises to migrate its existing network without having to make a major change in infrastructure. The flexibility of a hybrid cloud gives companies the option to maintain different vendors for different services.

Krishna announced several new offerings from IBM that are hoped to aid enterprises as they navigate the new landscape of business operations.

IBM’s AI for IoT running on Watson AIOps will allow CIOs to automate IT infrastructure reducing cost in network operations cost while building resiliency.

IBM Cloud Satellite

Krishna also unveiled a program that independent vendors and SaaS providers can use so they can meet the compliance, security and technical requirements to operate on IBM’s financial services-ready public cloud.

IBM Cloud Satellite is aimed at helping IBM clients scale their business when 5G and Edge become a necessity.

“The 5G and edge computing generation is coming quickly and is poised to have as much impact on enterprise computing as mobile phones had for consumers,” Krishna said.

“History will look back on this,’’ Krishna said, “as the moment when the digital transformation of business and society suddenly accelerated.”