Eduardo Gutiérrez
President and CEO
IBM Mexico
/
View from the Top

Cloud-Based Solutions for a Competitive Digital Transformation

By Miriam Bello | Tue, 11/16/2021 - 13:18

Q: What are the main challenges that companies in Mexico face in terms of digitalization and what has been IBM’s role in improving operations?

A: The pandemic propelled the digital transformation in all sectors. Every company realized its strategies for digitalization could not wait any longer. Eighteen months later, Mexican companies continue to adopt e-commerce, automation and AI.

The IBM Institute for Business Value analyzes information to create insights that integrate results from multiple proprietary surveys of consumers and executives. From studying Mexico, we concluded that the business sector had radically changed in the post-COVID-19 landscape. The pandemic was a wake-up call for many companies. In the race for competitive advantages, it is imperative that organizations react in real time to emerging events. Mexican companies need to take action in three critical areas to survive and flourish. First, they must lead, engage and enable the workforce through trustworthy leaders and flexible job options. Second, companies should boost the skills of their workforce through the active use of AI, automation and other technology-based tools. Third, companies must improve their operational scalability and flexibility by using tools such as hybrid cloud.

With Mexico accelerating its digital adoption, IBM has tried to put the country on the cloud innovation map by embedding good tech in everything and leveraging the power of new age technologies like AI and cloud computing.

Q: What advantages can IBM’s hybrid cloud services offer in Mexico’s digital transformation journey?

A: According to an IBM study, 74 percent of CEOs believe that cloud computing will be the most helpful technology for their organizations in the next two to three years. To support the industry, IBM improved its services and created specific clouds for different sectors, such as one for financial services and another for telecommunications. These tools aim to ease the adoption of the cloud among clients that work in highly regulated industries by reducing workloads. With the addition of Red Hat, IBM became a leader in hybrid cloud with full stack capabilities, including AI and a portfolio that has been re-tooled with open technologies.

IBM exports its hybrid cloud software through Cloud Paks, which is a fundamental pillar of our strategy. These were designed to help companies set up their cloud infrastructure faster by offering detailed software with capabilities that clients can build once and run from anywhere to manage security, data analytics, automation and organization, among others.

IBM’s Hybrid Cloud software portfolio is unique because it is open and has embedded AI. It is designed to run anywhere from any cloud in any render thanks to Red Hat’s OpenShift. In this platform, AI is the key app for functionality.

One of our largest differentiators is the knowledge of each of the industries in which we operate. We are not only selling the technology, we are selling solutions that are entirely different from one another as they are personalized. The market has welcomed our solutions. About 83 percent of the world’s telecommunication companies are IBM clients, including AT&T and Verizon.

Q: How does IBM tailor its cloud systems to promote its clients’ digitalization?

A: IBM’s clouds are designed according to the unique requirements of operators, clients and our partners’ ecosystems. For example, IBM launched a cloud satellite built on Red Hat OpenShift to enable data collection from billions of mobile devices and sensors that process data. This tool allows IBM clients to modernize for 5G. It integrates security across IT and automates operations with management visibility.

Telefonica, for example, chose IBM to implement its cloud-native 5G network platform, designed to provide low latency, high efficiency and an advanced network. This core network platform was built in IBM Cloud Pak, Red Hat OpenShift and the Juniper network.

Q: As all sectors move toward digitalization, what new solutions and approaches for the banking and retail industries are trending in the market?

A: Generally, banks were unwilling to move their mission critical networks because their platforms had not been built in line with specific regulatory compliance and security needs. In November 2019, IBM set out to solve the challenges of this industry and, subsequently, we announced the cloud for financial services in collaboration with Bank of America.

For decades, IBM has been supporting the transformation of the financial services industry. Thanks to our leadership in hybrid cloud, we can modernize our clients’ technologies, improve efficiency, promote hybrid cloud environments and ensure mission critical workloads are integrated. Most importantly, we ensure that security and resilience are provided through our services.

Our policy framework is embedded into the IBM cloud for financial services, which eliminates a significant hurdle for financial institutions. If a bank in Mexico wants to move to the cloud, it needs the approval of the National Banking and Securities Commission (CNBV). Our cloud complies with its regulations, not just in Mexico but around the world.

Q: What incoming trends and opportunities will IBM explore in the Mexican market?

A: Although Mexico has a great challenge in AI adoption, momentum is shifting due to the increasing need to adopt AI solutions. Mexico needs to join this trend. IBM’s market research found that 57 percent of Mexican companies are exploring the adoption of AI. Half of Mexican IT professionals say that because of the pandemic, AI is necessary to get the right information and understand what customers are looking for. AI is already changing the way that businesses operate, from how we communicate with customers to how we are automating all the workflows and managing network security.

IBM surveys have found that significant investments in AI are planned for company growth. About 43 percent of IT professionals say that the company plans to invest in AI in the next 12 months. With the pandemic’s digital acceleration, the way businesses choose to automate has changed and 68 percent of Mexican IT professionals report that their companies are choosing automation software or other tools.

We also found that 90 percent of Mexican IT professionals say that transparency is key. If these professionals are unable to obtain an explanation of what an algorithm is doing, they do not feel comfortable. As every industry joins the digital transformation, training becomes critical, so IBM is also offering solutions that meet those reskilling needs.

 

IBM is a leading cloud platform and cognitive solutions company. Restlessly reinventing since 1911 serving clients in 170 countries. With Watson, the AI platform for business, powered by data, we are building industry-based solutions to real-world problems. For more than seven decades, IBM Research has defined the future of information technology with more than 3,000 researchers in 12 labs located across six continents.

Miriam Bello Miriam Bello Journalist and Industry Analyst