We embody the idea of Make in India: IBM India MD


Would people be reskilled, or would there be new hirings?

We already have a workforce that is skilled in many of our focal areas that remain core for IBM and NewCo [Kyndryl]. I cannot get into numbers, but it is a materially sized set of workforce that already has these skills. So, from that perspective, the workforce that sees NewCo [Kyndryl] as a new entity, they have their own level of excitement about the prospects that it will offer.

Reskilling is nothing new for us. IBM continually remixes skills—our clients expect no less as they look to IBM to help them in their hybrid cloud and A.I. journeys. Our workforce decisions are made to best support our clients on their journey to adopting an open hybrid cloud platform and A.I. capability, and we are reinvesting in our business. We continue to make significant investments in education and skills development for IBMers to better meet our clients’ needs and we continue to hire depending on client and market needs.

In 2020, we saw active participation from IBMers as a part of our ‘Your Learning’ programme, with over 85% of IBMers in India completing 40 hours of learning. IBMers in India earned a total of 174,457 badges, an increase of 56% YoY and the top 5 badges were in the areas of emerging technology and trends—automation essentials, enterprise design thinking, agile explorer, cloud and cognitive. The total number of learning hours by IBMers in India was over 9.5 million, an increase of close to 20% year-on-year. The number of classes and training sessions that were conducted across emerging technologies like cloud, A.I., quantum for IBM India employees was over 11 million.

What are the cutting-edge technologies that you are bringing to your clients?

So, let me start by providing a little bit of context. We are today living in an era of extreme digitisation, and particularly with the pandemic, it has accelerated the pace of digital transformation for every enterprise, whether it is small, or a large enterprise. And this transformation is happening in every dimension of the business from the way products and services are experienced by customers to how they are sold, to how they are developed. And the currency in this era of transformation, is clearly speed and agility. And this is what makes the whole focus on cloud and other exponential technologies really, really relevant.

I want to distinguish between just the notion of cloud versus hybrid cloud. And this is for a very specific reason. I think what has happened is that all enterprises have woken up to the notion of cloud more as a way to gain speed, agility, cost efficiencies, a lot more efficiencies around their infrastructure and so on.

But until now a lot of that has been migration of simple applications and workloads to the cloud. Now, the majority of the workloads, particularly mission critical ones, they are yet to move. As enterprises consider the next phase of cloud migration, what is happening by its very nature is they are choosing multiple cloud providers and platforms, which are best suited to meet their business and unique workload needs. But, at the same time, as they do this, they want the flexibility of running these workloads seamlessly across any platform without having to rewrite everything as they go. And this is where hybrid cloud becomes really relevant.

As an organisation, we have taken a series of important actions to redefine our future as a hybrid cloud platform and A.I. company. This is where we are focussing the bulk of our efforts, time, and investments.

The opportunity in hybrid cloud and A.I. is enormous. In fact, clients find that choosing a hybrid cloud approach is 2.5 times more valuable than relying on public cloud alone. Benefits are across many areas: business value acceleration, developer productivity, infrastructure cost efficiency, cost of regulatory, compliance and security.

According to a recent study from IBM’s Institute of Business Value, customers in India currently have 17% of their IT spend allocated to cloud at present and as part of the cloud budget they plan to increase the share of spend on hybrid from 42% to 49% by 2023.

Let me talk about a few things that we are doing to make our foundation strong. We see the hybrid cloud opportunity at $1 trillion, with less than 25% of workloads having moved to the cloud so far. To move the rest, our approach is platform centric. We know that a platform-centric strategy requires a fundamentally different way of doing business. This is why our operating model is being quietly but substantially reshaped. These decisive moves are all aimed at creating value through greater focus on our portfolio, our operating model, and the needs of our clients.

Our hybrid cloud approach is differentiated by a vast software portfolio modernised to run cloud-native applications and our GBS [Global Business Services] expertise, which plays a key role in driving consumption and is currently helping hundreds of major clients on their own hybrid cloud journeys. We are successfully leveraging Red Hat as a unique platform to address what our global, complex, and highly regulated clients need: a hybrid cloud platform that is open, flexible, and secure.

We’re also making good headway in our focus on industry clouds, which are designed to tackle the specific needs of mission-critical and highly regulated industries with our IBM Cloud for Financial Services and IBM Cloud for Telecommunications offerings—we are witnessing many clients and partners working on PoCs [proof of concepts]. We have recently launched IBM Cloud Satellite that includes support for satellite locations on AWS, Azure, and Google Cloud. IBM Cloud Satellite extends secure and open IBM Cloud services to any environment where data is being collected, processed, or shared thereby giving clients across multiple industries—especially those in highly regulated industries such as telco, financial services, healthcare, and government the flexibility and efficiency of cloud in a secure manner.

Furthermore, we want to be the trusted partner of clients for data and A.I.: the opportunity in A.I. is massive while the current enterprise deployment rate is in the single digits. Clients are now at the point where they are moving from experimenting with A.I. to deploying it at scale. More than 40,000 clients globally have turned to IBM to unlock value from their data. IBM’s A.I. platform is differentiated by automation, natural language processing (NLP), and trust.

To strengthen our hybrid cloud and A.I. portfolio, we have announced 10 acquisitions since Arvind took over as CEO and seven acquisitions just since October. We are confident that we have the right strategy for our clients and for IBM. We are leading our clients in their next chapter of transformation, as they build agile organisations fuelled by data, guided by A.I. insight and able to work in any cloud environment.


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