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IBM Aims To Help Cloud Developers Unlock IT Value

Duncan MacRae is former editor and now a contributor to TechWeekEurope. He previously edited Computer Business Review's print/digital magazines and CBR Online, as well as Arabian Computer News in the UAE.

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IBM launches ‘connect’ offerings for IBM Cloud, unlocking existing data and applications for easy discovery and use in cloud apps

IBM is extending its pervasive software platform to the cloud to help clients connect to data, application or transaction systems.

The company hopes this will make it easier for developers to unlock valuable data, knowledge and transaction systems, such as supply chain, inventory management systems and detailed customer records, at the heart of global business.

Integration

According to IBM’s Center for Applied Insights global study of 500 cloud decisions makers, businesses are increasingly integrating cloud resources with traditional IT to accommodate dynamic needs and specific business priorities. The mix will continue to shift as companies grow their use of private and public cloud to manage dynamic and increasingly digital business priorities, according to IBM.

success in the cloudA report from IDC also states that more than 80 percent of enterprise IT organisations will commit to hybrid cloud architectures by 2017.

Developers are integral to these transformational shifts – a population expected to top 25 million by 20203, who are charged with building new cloud frameworks and coding new products, apps and services.

New cloud services increasingly depend on integrating on-premises data and applications. To meet these demands, IBM has unveiled a new series of ‘connect’ offerings for IBM Cloud that will fundamentally transform how enterprise clients extend their existing IT investments and capabilities to the Cloud. To allow for this strategic transformation, IBM’s software is now available on the cloud via public, private or on-premises delivery models. Delivered as an “easy to consume” cloud service, IDM says developers can connect applications and data sources together, no matter where they reside.

Core to this announcement is IBM WebSphere connect, which extends IBM’s industry leading WebSphere portfolio to the cloud. With more than 200 million global licenses of WebSphere, IBM’s middleware portfolio is the leading platform for Java EE.

IBM believes this news will make it easier for the estimated 13 million Java developers worldwide to connect their apps to the cloud, and continue to extend WebSphere to a whole new community of node.js and Swift developers4.  Moving forward, WebSphere clients can access new features from the IBM Cloud.

Marie Wieck, general manager, IBM Cloud Application Services, said: “Businesses are adopting cloud based applications to accelerate innovation, but they are still struggling to combine those cloud native services with existing apps and data which reside on-premises.

“Our objective is to drastically simplify how developers discover and connect disparate apps and services, so enterprises can unlock the value of their existing IT and more rapidly capture the value of the cloud. This helps enable developers to discover and re-use the best capabilities, where ever they reside.”

For example, the Expert Tech MobileFirst for iOS app built by IBM helps field service technician solve complex problems or tough questions on the spot. While the app is very simple to use, it can draw on 12 existing back-end systems, such as content management, customer relationship management, vehicle management and inventory management, that can run on WebSphere to provide the necessary information.

For the average developer, such as one fresh out of college or university, a data source or system that might provide the customer with a better experience or help them to gain a better answer, needs to be easily discoverable and usable. With today’s announcement, IBM says it is making data or systems easy to consume over the cloud, whether it actually resides on the cloud or not.

Starting immediately, the enterprises currently using IBM’s on-premises software can use these new offerings as on ramp to hybrid cloud, to realise the immediate benefits and new value from their existing investments.

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