IBM is all in on hybrid cloud, and its new cloud modernization center wants to help you be, too

The IBM Z and Cloud Modernization Center will help companies interested in mainframe-cloud hybrid setups get 2.5x the value derived from a single cloud vendor, IBM said.

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IBM has made it clear that it views the future of the cloud as a hybrid one. Its latest announcement, a new IBM Z and Cloud Modernization Center, makes it even more clear that IBM wants to position itself as THE source for companies looking to adopt a hybrid cloud strategy. 

"In today's current business environment, you would be hard pressed to find an organization who can't benefit from a hybrid cloud approach," said Barry Baker, VP of IBM Z product management. Baker also said that IBM's philosophy when it comes to the public cloud is that mainframes are an inseparable part. "It's not about cloud or mainframe – the data shows that cloud and mainframe are better together," Baker said.

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The IBM Z in the Cloud Modernization Center name is the mainframe component: The Z series are IBM's mainframes that use its z/Architecture mainframe system. Lest you think mainframes are an outdated concept, IBM continues to deploy software updates for IBM Z mainframes, and Baker said that startups "born in the cloud" have started turning to mainframe-cloud hybrid solutions to better secure customer data, as one example. 

Better data security isn't the only reason for adopting a hybrid cloud solution, though. IBM's own studies show that 71% of executives cite mainframe-based applications as central to their business strategies, and it also found that "the value derived from a full hybrid, multicloud platform technology and operating model at scale is 2.5 times the value derived from a single-platform, single-cloud vendor approach." 

What IBM Z and Cloud Modernization Center users can expect

IBM's new CMC is designed for current IBM Z clients, particularly those that "depend on IBM Z for mission critical applications that require security, reliability and enterprise AI capabilities," Baker said. Many of those are banks, insurance agencies, the public sector and healthcare. Anyone "that processes and secures highly sensitive data, or that has high volume transaction needs."

IBM describes the goal of the CMC as "assessing the client's IT and business objectives, modernizing existing apps and data to extend them to the cloud, including IBM Cloud and third-party hyperscalers, and developing new cloud native apps and integrating them with existing apps and data already on IBM Z." 

In short, the goal is to move your apps to the cloud, all while keeping that sensitive, valuable data tucked safely away on-site. 

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The CMC journey includes three main "zones" for businesses using IBM Z mainframes and looking to modernize. First is domain-specific IBM expertise, where customers can find consulting assets, IBM methodologies, demos, workshops, accelerators and other technical assets and solutions. Second is a partner center where major companies like Deloitte, Fujitsu, MuleSoft and others will have offerings to help IBM Z customers that work with their software. Finally, IBM Z CMC also has additional resources like a learning hub, reference center with use cases, analyst papers and other resources that can help businesses looking to move to the hybrid cloud. 

Baker said that there's not a one-size-fits-all approach to the hybrid cloud, so every organization's journey through the CMC will be different. "Some workloads may be best suited for the cloud … others will want to keep some data and applications on premises. Ultimately, we want our clients to choose the best platform for a particular workload," Baker said. 

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