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Cloud Exchange 2022: IBM’s Victor Brown on why clouds are part of your enterprise

The enterprise still exists, says IBM’s Victor Brown. Third-party cloud services are a part of it, just like an agency’s own data centers. That’s the mind...

IT modernization doesn’t have to mean either the cloud or the mainframe (aka, on premises), according to Victor Brown, vice president and chief technology officer for the U.S. public sector and federal markets at IBM.

As technology has continued to evolve, agencies have the power of choice, which means the best of both worlds optimized based on the workload, wherever it resides — on premises or in the cloud.

Speaking at Federal News Network Cloud Exchange 2022, Brown cautioned against the so-called rip and replace approach to IT modernization.

Agency IT staffs, he said, “move it and say, ‘We moved it to the cloud.’ They haven’t modernized it. They haven’t optimized it. They don’t know, in a lot of cases, if the environment is actually suitable to run that workload.”

Brown advised modernizing applications so they are deployable in a hybrid cloud environment to avoid vendor lock-in. That means planning the application’s dependencies with the actionable insights you’d like to get from the data in mind. It’s wise to include vendors in the planning, he said, knowing they have sufficient services in common required to offer infrastructure as a service.

Build once, deploy anywhere’

“I always talk to clients about hybrid cloud architectures and leveraging hybrid cloud platforms that allow you to actually build once, deploy anywhere,” Brown said. “You then also have the capability and flexibility to integrate new cloud deployments and specialized open source hardware, like the modern mainframe, as part of a larger IT system that delivers the best performance based on the workload, wherever it resides. It’s the best of both worlds.”

Ultimately, Brown reiterated that with today’s modern mainframe, the mainframe and cloud are not either-or propositions. They can be seamlessly intertwined in delivering cutting-edge enterprisewide agility and capability. Agency IT staff must reframe IT modernization, focusing instead on better understanding management and performance of their data as part of an integrated hybrid cloud approach.

“You have to think about how an application actually has to work across an entire ecosystem from end to end,” he said. “And that ecosystem includes cloud, on premises, edge and mobile.”

Check out all the sessions from the Federal News Network Cloud Exchange 2022.

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