LAS VEGAS–While moving apps and services to one cloud from a data center can be a major project for a lot of older enterprises, moving to more than one can be an almost overwhelming concept.
At its Interconnect 2017 event here at Mandalay Bay, which continues through Wednesday, IBM is showing through real-world examples how it can handle the hardest part of any such project–the integration of bringing together enterprise data and applications across on-premises, private and public cloud environments.
IBM Cloud Integration, unveiled March 20, enables clients to access and use actionable business data from sources that include cloud services, messaging platforms or application software, regardless of the environment in which they reside, using APIs (application programming interfaces).
The markets are pointing to a growing need for services of this kind, industry researcher IDC reports. About 85 percent of enterprises worldwide will invest in multi-cloud architectures that include a mix of public cloud services, private clouds, community clouds, and hosted clouds by the end of next year (2018).
For its part, IBM’s Cloud Integration toolset provides an option for enterprises that want to share data in a multi-cloud environment by providing integration of cloud applications with current infrastructure; a link to critical enterprise and cloud data and services to support new business intelligence-related solutions; and the ability to manage APIs across multiple clouds.
In one common use case, online retailers can provide a consistent buying experience while maintaining real-time inventory insights and identifying market trends at the same time. With IBM Cloud Integration, those retailers can integrate data coming from sales and inventory applications in the cloud, regardless of where they reside. They can use the platform to match this data with information from other public cloud sources–such as third-party market tracking services–to gain a complete view into what’s trending and how quickly they can make the most of their existing inventory and prepare future purchases.
The three components of the integration package are as follows:
IBM Cloud Product Insights: Extends new hybrid cloud capabilities to IBM software products so that IT administrators or capacity planners can view, track, and report usage metrics in a single dashboard. Through this dashboard, it is possible to track products across the enterprise, get usage reports to help optimize environments and integrate to other hybrid cloud services or cloud patterns.
IBM Digital Business Assistant: Brings together hybrid cloud, data/machine learning and process automation to boost individuals and team productivity. This is done by proactively watching for complex situations across multiple clouds, alerting users to actions, taking action on their behalf, and learning from past interactions to provide recommendations on the best action to take.
IBM Cloud Automation Manager: Uses Watson analytics as a trusted advisor to make informed decisions and manage multi-cloud environments with automated provisioning, orchestration, and governance. Cloud Automation Manager is designed to work with cognitive capabilities and a marketplace of pre-built automation blueprints to accelerate application deployments and simplify lifecycle management.