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Thought Leaders In Cloud Computing: Pat Toole, CIO Of IBM (Part 2)

Posted on Thursday, Jul 29th 2010

By Sramana Mitra and guest authors Pablo Chacin and Saurabh Mallik

SM: We talked with several CIOs last year, and they all highlighted collaboration as one of their primary areas of focus. In fact, they’ve stressed video conferencing and telepresence as key areas within collaboration. What else?

PT: We rolled out the CIO Develop/Test cloud last September, so that’s a big focus area. We support the Power and x86 platforms, with over 500 provisioning transactions to date. Our GTS group implemented it with the Smart Business Test Cloud method. Provisioning transaction times went from a five-day service level agreement (SLA) to just over an hour. We expect to cover 80% of our develop/test activity with this method within this year.

SM: Do you have concrete metrics of cost savings from
these projects?

PT: Yes, we do. We’ve reduced IT labor cost by 50% in configuration, operations, management, and monitoring by implementing the Develop/Test cloud. We’ve also improved capital utilization by 75%, thus significantly reducing license costs. We’ve reduced provisioning cycle times from weeks to minutes. We’ve improved quality, eliminating 30% of software defects. We’ve reduced end-user IT support costs by up to 40%.

SM: Wow, so real, concrete business benefits. It looks as though your IT organization structure is also changing since the support needs are going down by such a high degree. So we’ve covered three towers so far. How about we do one more?

PT: We have moved over 1,200 users in our China Development Labs into a private desktop cloud. IBM Call Center teams are moving roles to desktop clouds, with initial group migrations this year in the United States and India. Our estimated savings opportunity ranges from 20% to 30% of the current client provisioning costs. That’s probably about $90 million to $100 million, and with additional security benefits.

Also, we face YTY growth rates of nearly 25% in our file and block storage spaces. We’re working to drive higher utilization and storage management automation through a storage cloud.

Finally, IBM is assessing its production portfolio for applications that can take advantage of cloud characteristics. So far, about 1,000 applications have been identified from our portfolio that are suitable for a cloud environment, and plans are in place to move number of those into a cloud environment this year. That would be our production cloud.

SM: Pat, we talked about a variety of different things. I want to spend a few minutes clarifying those points, and then we are going to talk about your view of entrepreneurship opportunities in cloud computing. Before we go there, though, you mentioned earlier that there are six towers of cloud adoption within IBM, and I picked up that these towers are aligned based on areas in which IBM has significant product offerings of its own. Is that a reasonable conclusion? You said you were big on analytics, and you were building that cloud capability around Cognos – I just wanted to double check with you that this is the correct conclusion that I drew.

PT: That’s true.

This segment is part 2 in the series : Thought Leaders In Cloud Computing: Pat Toole, CIO Of IBM
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