‘Make in India for India and the world’

‘With nearly double the market share of our nearest competitor, we are shaping the digital transformation journey of close to 1,000 clients in India.’

For 2020, IBM India’s research and development centre emerged as the second highest in terms of filing patents where Indian engineers and researchers filed 930 patents.

Also, the recently launched IBM cloud satellite, a significant play in its shift to being a company focused on hybrid cloud, data and artificial intelligence, saw important contributions from India.

Sandip Patel, managing director, IBM India-South Asia, tells Shivani Shinde about IBM’s changing business focus, impact on India and rising importance of IBM India’s research centre.

How will the restructuring at IBM impact India globally?

IBM India is a microcosm of IBM global.

We have all our investments that we have around the world — brands, global mission, software labs, hardware labs and research labs — in India too.

We have been a proponent of the thought that we are in India with the agenda of make in India for India and the world.

We have our India business, but we also have a lot of global missions in India.

So, the global restructuring that the company is undergoing will have a replica image in India as well.

Globally, once the spinoff is complete, IBM will be a $59 billion firm and NewCo will be a completely focused infrastructure services company with a revenue of $19 billion.

As a matter of fact, there is a great deal of excitement among employees in India.

NewCo will be a standalone entity with a well capitalised balance sheet, and business.

For a company that is more than 100 years old, how significant is this shift?

Our strategy, with this spinoff in focus, is to be the leading hybrid cloud and AI player in the world.

We have been talking about hybrid cloud being a big opportunity.

We see this opportunity at $1 trillion, with less than 25 per cent of workloads moving to cloud so far.

To move the rest, our approach is platform-centric.

This is where our acquisition of Red Hat also comes into play.

We are 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 are also making good headway on industry clouds, which are designed to tackle the specific needs of mission-critical and highly-regulated industries.

How important is India in IBM’s cloud-focused strategy?

According to a recent study from IBM’s Institute of Business Value, customers in India currently have 17 per cent of their IT spend allocated to cloud at present.

As part of the cloud budget, they plan to increase the share of spend on hybrid from 42 per cent to 49 per cent by 2023.

India is a huge IT services market for IBM.

With nearly double the market share of our nearest competitor, we are shaping the digital transformation journey of close to 1,000 clients in India.

IBM has also been engaged with both the central and state governments for years in key digitisation projects, leveraging technologies like hybrid cloud, IoT (Internet of Things), data and AI, and security.

We are partnering the ministry of education and NITI Aayog on samShiksha, a first-of-its-kind virtual university.

As the technology partner, IBM is applying its enterprise design thinking framework and leveraging tech to design and build a secure, unified platform.

It will bring together quality content from multiple governments and private content providers.

samShiksha has the potential to scale up to become a ‘single-point’ source for higher education in India.

This is also a great example of ‘Glocal’ — bringing the best of global education, to India, for India.

Today, 11 out of the 13 public sector banks are running their mission-critical workloads on IBM power systems.

With the amalgamation of 10 public sector banks into four megabanks, all four banks run their mission-critical workloads on IBM power systems.

How is India’s IBM team contributing to the company’s cloud foray?

Globally, IBM is the leader with 9,130 US patents in 2020 and India continues to be the second-highest contributor to IBM’s patent leadership with 930 patents granted to inventors from India.

India labs are closely aligned to our strategy and pioneering work from these labs is integrated into IBM products, solutions and services.

For instance, recently we announced the launch of IBM cloud satellite.

The India Software Labs had made some key contributions.

The labs team was responsible for delivering IBM cloud satellite features that enabled automated deployment of solutions on IBM and other cloud service providers.

Using well-known automation technologies like terraform, developers can now quickly deploy satellite services faster.

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