IBM’s… Back to Kicking Butt

I’m ex-IBM myself and it gives me great pleasure to see my old firm do well. Well this quarter they didn’t disappoint with significant improvement in their new business initiatives, which are just short of 50 percent of revenue. You remember the mainframe, that platform that supposedly was dead back in the 1980s? Well, once again IBM showcased there is evidently life after death because that puppy grew more than a whopping 70 percent year over year. Let’s talk about IBM’s results and why IBM, after 100 years, is again able to perform at the top of their class. To read the complete article, CLICK HERE NOTE: This column was originally published in the Pund-IT...

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CA Wants To Be The One (DevSecOps) Throat To Choke
Nov30

CA Wants To Be The One (DevSecOps) Throat To Choke

Whether it’s via a perfect storm, product onslaught or the ‘disrupt or be disrupted’ times, CA Technologies appears to be making steady, if slow, progress from its mainframe roots to the app-fueled digital transformation world where trust, AKA cybersecurity, is essential. Changing a $4-billion company is proving challenging, especially when you consider that the bulk of your business is tied up with a mainframe environment synonymous with slow and steady, as befits the platform that holds between 70-80% of corporate data and affects 70% of enterprise transactions. The software developer may be pushing the ‘software factory’ theme together with fast and agile DevOps, or the newer handle, DevSecOps, but that doesn’t mean it’s customers are comfortable with rapid changes. Not that they have much choice: only 12% of the Fortune 500 survived the period between 1955 and 2016, and up to 50% of the S&P 500 ranks are expected to be replaced over the next 10 years. So disruption is the name of the game, and CA is doing its best to change its spots and become the essential go-to partner for fast and agile DevSecOps where ‘everyone is responsible for security with the goal of safely distributing security decisions at speed and scale to those who hold the highest level of context without sacrificing the safety required.’ That’s a mouthful, but the stakes are mind-boggling, with the potential to take CA’s total addressable market from mainframe billions to DT/DevSecOps trillions. “The ability to manage change, respond to new inputs or insights and pivot has never been more important,” said CA Technologies CEO Mike Gregoire in his opening keynote . “Our entire portfolio is designed around the pillars of the Modern Software Factory to increase the velocity, security and performance of the solutions and the apps that are critical to our customers’ businesses.” He said the company is on a “deliberate journey”, balancing creation and execution and morphing from a solutions company to one that is focused on “accelerating business values.” Operational efficiency isn’t enough, Gregoire added. “First among the tools to confront these challenges is your Modern Software Factory. It ensures that your company is built to change and can adapt to an accelerating digital world.” We may be app-driven, but without security, you’re looking at a world of pain. With DevOps, CA helped break down the barriers between development and operations but “we don’t think about security,” said Gregoire in a media scrum following his keynote. The application is the weakest link in your chain, he said, so you need security involved right from the start, with the coder. However, rather than best-of-breed standalone tools, customers are...

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CA: Connecting the DoTs

To help address the emerging multi-trillion-dollar app-driven digital transformation business phenomenon, CA Technologies made more than 20 new and enhanced product announcements at CA World ‘17. That might seem like a lot, but not when you consider that even after decades of consolidating and rationalizing its software portfolio, the ISV still lists 192 separate products on its website (courtesy of the approximately 70 companies acquired since opening its doors as Computer Associates back in 1976). While its efforts to expand the non-mainframe portion of its business — 65% of total revenues last quarter — seem to be taking longer than expected, CA’s emphasis on four pillars, or what Ayman Sayed, President & Chief Product Officer, called patterns — 1-making the products simpler to use and driving faster time to value; 2-SaaS availability; 3-openness, i.e. any infrastructure, any platform; and 4-AI — figured prominently in the innovation onslaught. Innovation was repeated often in the keynotes and one-on-ones. ”Most everyone in our industry is operationally efficient… but that’s not enough,” said CA CEO Mike Gregoire. “Our job is to break down barriers between technology and innovation,” referring to the event’s ‘No Barriers’ theme. Whether it’s built internally or bought, the company’s promise “and the holy grail” is to take innovation, integrate it with its other offerings and make it a “force multiplier”, he said. The innovations were intended to help address some of the impacts customers are confronting, he said. There has been a shift from building products to providing and supporting business outcomes. Customers are also demanding more intelligence, and security is becoming a bigger concern and a challenge, he added. Customers were another focus for CA, and as important as the announcements were, the “most exciting” news were the “170 customers joining us to talk about using our products to transform themselves,” said Sayed. Then he talked about the products, including the company’s latest artificial intelligence initiatives. CA combined the up and coming technology with its mainframe roots with solutions that ‘help customers speed time to resolution by 5X, reduce insider threats and cut operational expenses by 25%.’ “Through A.I. and machine-learning powered intelligent automation, CA’s new mainframe solutions enable increased insights across broader sets of data,” said CA’s Ashok Reddy, GM, Mainframe, in a prepared statement. It’s not a new concept or term, but as part of its security focus CA is pushing the concept of DevSecOps. In announcing new tools that integrate security throughout the software development lifecycle, Sayed said this approach is “critically important”, and the tools are now available across the company’s Automic, Veracode, and Continuous Delivery portfolios. “Companies that embrace DevSecOps deliver better and...

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Will Cloud DevOps Re-Energize ‘Big Iron’?
Oct05

Will Cloud DevOps Re-Energize ‘Big Iron’?

Not only has ‘Big Iron’ shrugged off its naysayers — suffering neither Monty Python’s ‘flesh wounds’ nor Mark Twain’s ‘reports of my death’ — the mainframe appears to be poised for a renaissance, one that software developer Compuware hopes to accelerate with its recent DevOps announcement for Amazon’s popular AWS cloud platform. “We’ve made Topaz [its flagship solution for mainframe Agile/DevOps] into what customers are evaluating and incorporating as a force multiplier,” said CEO Chris O’Malley. “The next step is bringing Topaz to AWS,” he told IT Trends & Analysis, accelerating DevOps availability to “minutes instead of months. In some cases, it can take more than a year for competitive products.” The mainframe, or at least IBM’s version, has been a staple of IT for more than 50 years, and it shows no signs of disappearing. The numbers speak for themselves: 55% of enterprise apps need the mainframe; 70% of enterprise transactions touch a mainframe; and, 70-80% of the world’s corporate data resides on a mainframe. However the installed base appeared to be shrinking as newer, less-costly alternatives proliferated. Annual mainframe system sales have declined from a high of about $4 billion earlier this decade to $2 billion in 2016, accounting for just 3% of IBM’s total revenue (although the associated hardware, software and technical services accounted for nearly 25% of IBM’s sales and 40% of its overall profit last year). Apparently Big Iron is back in vogue. According to a new study, the global mainframe market is expected to see a compound annual growth rate of 2.58% between 2017-2021. In March it was reported that mainframes had reached an inflection point where they will either continue as a revenue-supporting mechanism or evolve into a revenue-generating platform. “IDC believes that the mainframe has a central role in digital transformation; businesses that do not take advantage of its broad range of capabilities are giving up value and, potentially, competitive advantage,” the research company stated. ‘The mainframe is not going away, but the way that you use it will change,’ noted Robert Stroud, Principal Analyst, Forrester, in a blog entitled DevOps And The Mainframe, A Perfect Match?. ‘Containers and microservices are coming to every platform, including the mainframe. Gradually breaking large monolithic applications into smaller services will help you transition to a containerized future that promises faster application delivery, greater scalability, and better manageability – regardless of the platform.’ A month ago IBM refreshed its z series mainframes with the LinuxONE Emperor II. “LinuxONE is a highly engineered platform with unique security, data privacy and regulatory compliance capabilities that doesn’t require any changes to developer or open source code, combined with...

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Better Together: Vantara Plots IoT Success
Sep28

Better Together: Vantara Plots IoT Success

Last week Hitachi ($81 billion annual revenues and more than 800 subsidiaries, with products including consumer appliances, electric power generation as well as IT) announced it was combining its former storage/IT business unit Hitachi Data Systems (HDS), together with Pentaho (BI software) and Hitachi Insight Group (IoT products and services), into a new unit focused on the operational technology (OT)/IT/IoT space. The new venture, Hitachi Vantara, also unveiled a number of products, services and partnerships focused on most of IT’s — and business’ — hot buttons, including Big Data and analytics, cloud, containers, appliances and converged infrastructure. So was this a bold move to combine assets that have a lot more potential upside in a US-based, IoT-focused business, or a desperate attempt to pump new life into stagnating segments? HDS may be the dominant member of the IoT troika, but with only a tiny share of a barely growing enterprise storage market, the grass looks much greener in an IoT market expected to reach between $1.2 to $2 trillion by 2021, with double-digit compound annual growth. The research data varies wildly, but it is certain that IoT is going to be a huge opportunity for the foreseeable future: –73% of executives are either researching or currently launching IoT projects; -manufacturing-based IoT connections grew 84% between 2016 and 2017, followed by energy & utilities (41%), transportation and distribution (40%), smart cities and communities (19%) and healthcare and pharma (11%); -the retail IoT market is forecast to surpass $30 billion by 2024; -the manufacturing IoT market is forecast to surpass $150 billion by 2024; -the IoT platform market (i.e. Vantara’s Lumada) is expected to grow 35% per year to $1.16 billion by 2020; and, -project-based IoT services represented the highest percentage of market opportunity in 2016, and will gain nearly one point of market share to 56.7% by 2021, approaching $30.8 billion, with the Americas (52.2%) and EMEA (34.4%) substantially outperforming Asia/Pacific (13.4%) last year. It would appear to be very good news — at least potentially — for Hitachi, because it’s name was nowhere to be found in key players in the Persistence Market Research study. The featured vendors were: IBM, Microsoft, AT&T, Apple, Google, General Electric, Samsung, Comcast, Intel, Cisco Systems, Oracle, Hewlett Packard Enterprise, Fujitsu, Qualcomm Technologies, Honeywell International, Accenture PLC, ARM, Amazon Web Services, SAP SE, Zebra Technologies, and Texas Instruments. From Data Storage to Business Outcomes Vantara represents a change in how Hitachi, or at least some of its IT assets, are presented, said analyst George Crump, StorageSwiss. ‘It does not want to compete with Dell and HP for storage deals. It wants to compete with...

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