Predictions Week Highlights: Interview with Howard Boville, IBM

The second day of our Predictions for 2022 and Beyond event focussed on sustainability, and I had the pleasure of interviewing Howard Boville, senior vice president of IBM Hybrid Cloud. As someone who understands enterprise operations well and who’s responsible for directing IBM’s global network of cloud data centres, Howard was able to outline IBM’s significant role in helping organizations expand the scope of what they’re doing with cloud technologies.

In our discussion he provided some insights into how IBM is spearheading improved sustainability in the company’s cloud operations and effecting change for good. Crucially, Howard outlined specifically how the company is helping organizations to broaden their scope with cloud services to gain business savings and more sustainable and greener outcomes.

A notable approach to IBM’s efforts is the company’s commitments to renewable energy. IBM has set out 21 ambitious environmental commitments that feature the company’s approach to sustainability and the steps it’s taking to get to its goal of net zero emissions by 2030. These commitments include pledging that 75% of electricity consumed will be from renewable sources, diverting 90% of waste from landfills, requiring suppliers to set emission-reduction goals, and more. This year marks the 50th anniversary of IBM’s first environmental policy statement, which was published just five months after the creation of the US Environmental Protection Agency.

One example of the way IBM is addressing the energy consumed by cloud operations is by advising clients how to use cloud resources in the most efficient way. Doing so minimizes the need for additional capacity, and so avoids unnecessary carbon emissions. It’s a strategy that underpins IBM’s approach to building data centre capacity that supports dedicated workloads for industries such as telecommunications, financial services, government and healthcare.

During our interview we also discussed how under CEO Arvind Krisha’s leadership, IBM has made hybrid cloud and artificial intelligence central to its strategy. Howard offered further detail on the vital importance of the company’s architectural expertise and its strength in consulting services in helping to drive operational efficiencies for clients’ mix of cloud and on-premises systems. We also talked about how IBM is helping its customers create more-efficient and sustainable business operations —for example, with its Environmental Intelligence Suite, which runs on a multicloud architecture including IBM Cloud.

Finally, we examined how the cloud is regularly seen as a platform for innovation by software developers, especially in helping them deliver solutions that transform the experiences and engagement of their customers. Howard highlighted the potential of emerging technologies like quantum computing, particularly in processing the complex calculations needed in reducing emissions and tackling climate change. For example, ExxonMobile and BP have joined IBM’s Quantum Network to explore ways to promote efficiencies and reduce carbon emissions. IBM is not only investing in advancing the technology, but also in providing the tools and environments that ease development of quantum applications, making the technology accessible to a broad range of developers.

I hope you enjoy my discussion with Howard as much as I did!

You can watch the interview here:

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