When IBM announced the acquisition of Red Hat, it raised lots of questions.
To help businesses see the merit in the coming together of the two tech giants, IBM commissioned an interesting Economic Impact study by Forrester. The study spells out how the combination of IBM and Red Hat technology and skills are driving down cost and accelerating progress in organisations’ transformation journeys.
In the study, Forrester identified three critical drivers that push companies towards transformation and modernisation:
Infrastructure Issues – Legacy architecture needs to be overprovisioned to deal with peak requirements and requires large, inflated IT teams to handle performance and availability issues.
Skills Gaps – Legacy architectures require a host of niche skillsets to be managed. Finding the people with the skills is difficult, time-consuming and can be expensive, and if you settle for second best, systems and performance are compromised.
Impaired Agility – Running and maintaining a legacy architecture is a full-time job for large IT departments that are usually stretched just to keep the lights on. These monolithic systems prevent progress and development.
There is no cookie-cutter approach to how companies utilise IBM and Red Hat technologies to best effect. Still, the common denominator of the combination is how, together, they are accelerating business transformation and modernisation with a host of tangible benefits.
Driving Down the Cost of Infrastructure
Using powerful IBM servers (as opposed to commodity white-box servers) means that fewer servers can power more virtual machines. This not only saves on energy and rack space, but it also drives down software licensing costs. IBM’s commitment to containerisation with Red Hat has also helped companies reduce their expenditure on the cloud as well as hardware expansion.
IBM and Red Hat’s joint customers witnessed reductions in hardware spend of up to 44%, reductions in software license spend of around 50% and resource utilisation improvements of 30%.
Accelerating Workforce Productivity
IT departments and DevOps teams are under tremendous pressure to do more with less, faster. IBM and Red Hat create environments that require fewer niche skills in favour of modern skillsets like containerisation and Kubernetes, which make recruitment and staff stickiness far easier to achieve.
At the same time, teams become more productive – spending more time creating, developing and scaling applications rather than maintaining them. Forrester’s research showed IBM/Red Hat customers materialised a 66% improvement in development cycles.
It’s All About Business Outcomes
None of this means anything if it doesn’t affect business outcomes. IT transformation underpins business modernisation for sure, but if it’s not strategically thought through, you can’t assume the business outcomes will be as desired.
The IBM commissioned study was compelling in this respect. Increased application dependability can help businesses eliminate user downtime, while accelerated application release frequency enables them to meet the demands of rapidly changing markets. Perhaps most important is application performance, which allows them to deliver better customer and user experience at scale.
The questions over IBM and Red Hat coming together can be answered by looking at results. The combination of what both companies bring to the table unlocks rapid modernisation of the most complex legacy environments.