IBM z15 brings enterprise-grade, automated and compliant data management to systems of engagement

IBM expects prominent mention in Chapter 2 of the cloud

IBM asserts with some legitimacy that incumbents have an advantage when it comes to disrupting markets. They possess the account knowledge, have working capital, and, more importantly, have data in their core systems and databases. To build an ecosystem, these enterprises have to unlock the power of that data and distribute it beyond the core platform and into a hybrid multicloud environment, which IBM envisions as Chapter 2 of the cloud.

IBM asserts Chapter 1 of the cloud consisted of experimentation and then scaling of new systems of engagement applications while mission-critical systems of record and their multiple dependencies within enterprises remained firmly ensconced behind the firewall for increased data protection. Chapter 2, in IBM’s thinking, will enable these existing investments to participate in hybrid cloud to leverage business data in inside-out fashion alongside emerging mission-critical systems of engagement.

In historical context, if Chapter 1 of the cloud correlates to IBM’s ill-fated 9370 hardware launch, then Chapter 2 should be on par with IBM’s successful launch of the AS/400 minicomputer, which lives on today in junior and large enterprises and is ripe for modernization and migration to the cloud.

At the very least, that is the bet IBM hedged with its $34 billion Red Hat acquisition, which is still being thoughtfully rationalized with the venerable Z platform as midsize and large enterprise consumption patterns merge in a hybrid multicloud world enabled by the growing popularity of multi-enterprise business networks underpinned by IoT, blockchain and AI.

Success in the data economy rests on ecosystems with low-risk data velocity

New with the z15 is what IBM calls Data Privacy Passports, which enable policy-based data management. Passports act as a data proxy. Queries go to the Passports controller rather than to the database itself. The permissions stay with any copies that are made, and the permissioned access can be modified or revoked at any time. IBM highlights the success of Passports in complying with General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) requirements, allowing enterprises to control the data even without physical custody of the data.

The net benefit of adopting z15 flows from future-proofed risk mitigation. Enterprises and policy makers continue to evolve data privacy regulations. A software shell that allows for policy-based data management that can quickly convert domain knowledge into automated procedures can ensure continued compliance in the rapidly changing regulatory environment around data utilization. The lower risk likewise accelerates data velocity beyond the core enterprise platforms in a prudent and trusted manner.

IBM’s (NYSE: IBM) development efforts position the latest refresh of its flagship Z offering, the z15, to become the premier enterprise data controller in what the company considers Chapter 2 of the cloud. Namely, the z15 product launch represents a continuation of the engineering, development and customer engagement that IBM has messaged for 50 years in the rapidly developing hybrid multicloud environment. The product is purpose built for enterprise-grade applications and has evolved in line with demand for new iterations to meet changing needs and use cases. If z14 brought data protection to mission-critical systems of record by delivering pervasive encryption, then z15 delivers enterprise-grade data privacy provisioning via software control planes to protect data when it leaves the Z platform for use among emerging cloud-native, mission-critical systems of engagement.

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