New IBM President wants to help businesses transition to the cloud

Nick Rose

IBM is extending a helpline to companies and their IT departments as cloud services move to the forefront of modern-day work. The tech giant will host its “Think Digital 2020” streaming event from May 5-6, which aims to provide solutions for businesses struggling to cope with the demands of post-lockdown life.

“We have 3X the number of participants we normally have... and I should say that was true of Red Hat summit last week. I think enough people are at home, and they have some free time that they're actually coming to learn,” IBM President Jim Whitehurst told Yahoo Finance.

The latest polling data from Gallup shows 62% of employed Americans have worked from home since the start of the COVID-19 pandemic, a number which, they claim, has doubled since mid-March. The sudden change has brought-on a host of new challenges for both workers and their employers.

“There's a short term... which is, how do you enable people to work well from home?” Whitehurst said. “So a ton of work with clients to make sure they have the capacity to be able to support a massive number of workers working at home... that opens up a whole set of security related issues.”

Former Red Hat President and CEO Jim Whitehurst, gives a press conference on the second day of the Mobile World Congress (MWC) on February 27, 2018 in Barcelona. (LLUIS GENE/AFP via Getty Images)

Whitehurst took a new role as President of IBM on April 6, the same day Arvind Krishna began as the company’s new CEO. Since then, they have focused on pushing IBM’s capabilities in cloud computing paired with its A.I. technology.

“What we're doing is basically taking the power of A.I. and the learnings that IBM has had running, massive data centers, and a lot of instances around the world and bringing that to enterprises to our clients in a way that they get the benefits of all of that learning in the intelligence that we can embed with A.I. to be able to run their operations more efficiently, effectively, and certainly more reliably. The cost of an outage is $260,000 an hour roughly. And so being able to avoid those is hugely valuable,” Whitehurst said.

Nick Rose is a producer for Yahoo Finance.

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