IBM Think 2022 – Embracing the Present, Preparing for the Future

By Charles King, Pund-IT®  May 18, 2022

Annual technology customer and user conferences take on any number of shapes, but their underlying structure typically indicates the subjects and themes that are closest to the host vendor’s heart. In most cases, new commercial products and services take pride of place. In fact, it is common for companies to save-up special announcements for conferences. In others, major customer and partner wins enjoy the brightest spotlights. Virtually all are used to clarify and amplify vendors’ strategic goals, a sensible exercise when you have an interested, attentive audience at your disposal.

Last week’s IBM Think 2022 conference contained many of these points, but the company used much of its time and energy to highlight forward-looking strategies and efforts in hybrid cloud, AI/automation, quantum computing, blockchain and ESG (Environmental, Social, and Governance). Why that makes sense and how well it worked are worth close examination. Continue reading

Dell Technologies World Day 1 – Data-Driven Innovation and Sustainability

By Charles King, Pund-IT®  May 11, 2022

Annual customer and partner conferences have long been vehicles for host vendors to introduce latest/greatest products and services, but equally important are the central themes that highlight those achievements. Last week at Dell Technologies World 2022, founder, chairman and CEO Michael Dell focused on concepts uniting technology and innovation, as well as the company’s new data-driven solutions and its global sustainability efforts.

As Dell pointed out in his keynote on the conference’s first day, “The twin engines of human inspiration and technology together drove innovation and human progress and improved lives on a global scale. Over the past two years, technology has become even more important, even more essential.”

Let’s consider those points and how they underscore Dell’s latest offerings. Continue reading

Reputation Dynamics – Kyndryl Announces New and Updated Strategic Partnerships

By Charles King, Pund-IT®  May 3, 2022

The value of reputation is pretty much indisputable. As Warren Buffet noted with great clarity, “It takes 20 years to build a reputation and five minutes to ruin it.” That truism has been proven time and again when people and organizations falter or fail and lose the credibility, respect and accord of those who once honored them.

But since reputation is essentially granted or denied by others, what can an individual or organization do when their reputation no longer entirely fits or fully reflects what they have become? That is a point worth considering in the case of Kyndryl and how the company is steadily and effectively evolving its reputation and market position with the help of strategic business partners. Continue reading

IBM and Fast Company – The Future of Hybrid Cloud

By Charles King, Pund-IT®  April 6, 2022

Evolution proceeds so incrementally that individual steps are usually difficult to discern except when unexpected, often life altering events occur, like extreme weather events or a new virus like Covid-19 emerges fundamentally altering the way billions of people live and work.

While disastrous, those events also have a way of sparking new opportunities and solutions that can enable more adaptable species to survive and thrive. Pandemics can force individuals and organizations to seek new ways of living and working that once would have seemed improbable or impossible. These changes also impact foundational business infrastructures and processes, like hybrid cloud computing.

IBM and Fast Company recently hosted a virtual leadership summit, The Future of Hybrid Cloud, that explored the latest developments in hybrid cloud, data usage, business insights, and how to use and integrate those technologies to become a catalyst for innovation. Let’s consider some of the takeaways. Continue reading

IBM’s New IBM z16 – Meeting and Anticipating Critical Enterprise Requirements, Again

By Charles King, Pund-IT®  April 5, 2022

The past two decades have been a time of revolutionary technological change in virtually every region and sector, but it is hard to think of any area where things have shifted more radically than in enterprise data centers. Consider that in 2002, large businesses could choose between over half a dozen discrete server architectures and CPUs. While x86-based systems were on the rise, most were aimed at lower-end applications and workloads. Today, only three of those platforms are still being actively developed: IBM zSystems mainframes, IBM Power Systems and x86.

The massive popularity of x86 servers inspires regular questions about how and why IBM solutions continue to thrive and dominate their target markets, particularly IBM zSystems. There are good technological answers to that point, including IBM’s continual evolution of mainframe features and capabilities, and its sometimes-counterintuitive investments in new areas, like Linux and open source. But focusing on technology alone overlooks a vital factor—the degree to which IBM understands its customers’ current business needs, anticipates new challenges and develops zSystems mainframe solutions to address those points and concerns.

The new next generation IBM z16 solution announced this week is a great example of how this dynamic works. Continue reading

IBM’s Sustainability Accelerator: Empowering Non-Profits Assisting At-Risk Populations

By Charles King, Pund-IT®  March 30, 2022

“Sustainability” is not a new concept, but over the past decade or so, the word has become a catch basin for a wide range of environment and climate efforts. Those include everything from hands-on habitat conservation and restoration projects to business strategies aimed at reducing organizations’ carbon footprints to government programs designed to positively impact millions of people.

However, the importance of sustainability efforts has grown as the literal challenges and dangers of climate change have become better understood. For example, the latest report by the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC), the United Nations body that annually assesses science related to climate change, concludes that 3.3 to 3.6 billion people globally live in settings that are “highly vulnerable” to climate change. The report also notes that 32 million is the lower estimate of additional people who could fall into extreme poverty by 2030 due to climate impacts without adaptation.

While individuals and groups should be lauded for the time and resources they are devoting to sustainability projects, can businesses do anything to speed or enhance broader climate-related initiatives? During the first quarter of 2022, IBM made several announcements in this area, including the acquisition of Envizi and the recent launch of the company’s new Sustainability Accelerator. Let’s consider how these efforts demonstrate IBM’s focus on sustainability and its intention to improve the work of climate-focused organizations. Continue reading

Dell’s Latitude 5430 Rugged – Redefining the Extremes of Mobile Computing

By Charles King, Pund-IT®  March 30, 2022

It is safe to say that mobile devices, including laptops, convertible 2-in-1s, tablets and smartphones have revolutionized and fundamentally changed the ways that businesses utilize computing. However, while many mobile solutions are more or less interchangeable in terms of form factors, features and functions, some are designed to address singular applications and use cases.

Ruggedized laptops, like Dell Technologies’ new Latitude 5430 Rugged, are excellent examples of this. Though the Latitude 5430 Rugged is obviously not the product for every business situation, it is also one of the few solutions that organizations can use to address some specific situational and environmental challenges. Let’s consider why this is the case and what Dell’s Latitude 5430 Rugged brings to the table. Continue reading

Lenovo Introduces Infrastructure Solutions for Midsize Businesses

By Charles King, Pund-IT®  March 16, 2022

Business computing hardware launches are usually pretty straightforward. After considering markets, talking with customers and partners, and analyzing component characteristics and availability, vendors develop and launch new products with features they believe will address specific business scenarios, requirements or opportunities. But you can observe this process from another viewpoint: where new solutions reflect how a vendor perceives or understands its commercial customers.

That is an issue worth considering in the new ThinkSystem V2 solutions Lenovo recently announced for midsize companies. Continue reading

Kyndryl Charts a Clear Course with Strategic Partnerships

By Charles King, Pund-IT®

In the tech industry, strategic partnerships are often layered with nuance. Some aim to enter or capture market opportunities that the partners have recognized or targeted. Others subtly shift the stance or terms of long-established relationships. A formalized deal between long time competitors likely reflects negotiations and horse trading that went on for weeks or months ahead of the announcement.

In most cases, partnerships help the respective companies to be seen or perceived in a new light but in certain circumstances, that issue can be vital. One example is Kyndryl which since its spinoff from IBM last November has moved aggressively to ink new or expanded partnerships with IT industry stalwarts, including Microsoft, VMware, Google Cloud, Pure Storage, Nokia and AWS. Those last two provide insights on what customers and investors can expect from Kyndryl as an independent entity. Continue reading

IBM Accelerates Application Modernization with Cloud-Based z/OS aaS Offerings

By Charles King, Pund-IT®  February 23, 2022

“Legacy” systems don’t get a lot of love in the tech industry, mainly because of the way that some vendors derogate the term while hyping their own shiny new products as replacements. But any time that a new server or other data center solution is deployed it becomes, for all practical purposes, a legacy system. Most enterprises understand this and don’t abandon compute platforms without good reason.

Like what? Perhaps the most important point is how and how well vendors adapt well-established systems to support customers’ changing business needs and requirements. The recent announcement of new cloud-based programs and solutions designed to help developers modernize IBM Z applications is a good example of this dynamic and process. Continue reading