Hardware remains king in the virtual world, claims IBM

The road to the cloud

IBM is betting big on cloud for its future strategy, but don't expect it to shy away from its hardware history anytime soon.

The first is because the virtual world's success is reliant on physical infrastructure for the foreseeable future and, secondly, because hardware still represents big business for IBM.

Cloud is a $250 billion market opportunity and one that IBM definitely wants in on if recent acquisitions and announcements are anything to go by. However, it hasn't forgotten what matters in all this, according to execs.

"In a physical world, if you want to get the outcomes that are important to you, and make sure you get scale, reliability and performance. For all of the attributes that are essential to power today's world, you have to think about infrastructure. Infrastructure does matter," said Steve Mills, senior vice president and group executive of IBM's software and systems group.

"Infrastructure is essential to support the kinds of capabilities that all of you are responsible for in the businesses that you serve... There's a very important infrastructure element to ensuring you get the ability and scalability and performance you're looking for.

Infrastructure is what makes the world work today, especially in the things we take fore granted, according to Mills.

Fellow IBMer Steve LeBlanc concurred when asked a similar question during a Q&A session at IBM's Impact event in Las Vegas this week.

He said that the firm, nor anyone else, had worked out how to run software without hardware as yet.

Maggie Holland

Maggie has been a journalist since 1999, starting her career as an editorial assistant on then-weekly magazine Computing, before working her way up to senior reporter level. In 2006, just weeks before ITPro was launched, Maggie joined Dennis Publishing as a reporter. Having worked her way up to editor of ITPro, she was appointed group editor of CloudPro and ITPro in April 2012. She became the editorial director and took responsibility for ChannelPro, in 2016.

Her areas of particular interest, aside from cloud, include management and C-level issues, the business value of technology, green and environmental issues and careers to name but a few.