IBM’s top cloud exec details how it’s partnering with a slew of software companies and trying to differentiate its Wall Street-focused cloud from competitors like AWS, Google, and Microsoft


IBM senior vice president for cloud Howard Boville

Summary List Placement

IBM’s cloud is ready for primetime. 

The tech giant’s cloud offering announced a wide release of its IBM Cloud for Financial Services on Wednesday. Built for banks and other financial institutions, the IBM Cloud has standardized compliance, security, and confidential computing tools alongside more traditional cloud tech.

It also puts the tech giant in position to capitalize on what Howard Boville, the head of IBM’s hybrid cloud, previously told Insider was a $1 trillion market for cloud adoption within enterprise-sized firms.

Now, IBM’s “really moving at a much quicker pace in terms of meeting the specific needs of the marketplaces that we’re facing into,” Boville recently told Insider.

And while building out the foundation of a cloud offering is one step in the battle to compete with the likes of Amazon Web Services, Microsoft Azure, and Google Cloud, that’s only half the battle. It’s the tools built around the cloud that really set it apart, Boville said. 

“There’s no real inherent competitive advantage of building a cloud architecture. Twelve years ago that was the case, but no longer anymore. It’s the enrichment that you provide to that,” he continued.

That’s why IBM has nabbed more than 90 partners to work with its cloud service, including one big name also announced Wednesday: SAP. Other collaborators include Adobe, Infosys, and VMware, among others.

It’s the latest step in a project that IBM began in 2019 and has only accelerated under the new leadership of Arvind Krishna, who became CEO of IBM last April, and Boville, who also joined the firm a year ago after serving as Bank of America’s chief technology officer.

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IBM’s first major partnership was with Bank of America, but the company has since expanded into other markets and established new relationships in finance, including BNP Paribas (the second-largest lender in Europe), Japanese giant MUFG, and Blackstone-owned Luminor Bank.

Cloud adoption across large and small financial firms

Boville said that IBM’s approach to cloud adoption within financial services globally has been, in part, driven by geography — chiefly because of the local nature of compliance and regulations governing the usage of data.

To that end, the partnership announced last July between IBM and BNP Paribas represents an inroad into financial services in Europe.

IBM refers to BNP as an “anchor partner,” or a major firm whose adoption of IBM cloud tech will drive others in the space to do the same. To date, BNP has migrated …read more

Source:: Business Insider

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