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IBM and Adobe Partner to Digitally Transform Regulated Industries
by Daniel Newman | July 22, 2020

The News: Adobe (Nasdaq: ADBE), IBM (NYSE: IBM) and Red Hat today announced a strategic partnership to help accelerate digital transformation and strengthen real-time data security for enterprises, with a focus on regulated industries. The intent of the partnership is to enable companies to deliver more personalized experiences across the customer journey, driving improved engagement, profitability and loyalty. Read the full press release.

Analyst Take: Over the past several months, IBM has aggressively moved forward with its ambitions in regulated industries. Financial Services and the company’s Financial Services Ready Public Cloud have been the early focus, but I believe we are in the infancy of a revolution of cloud offerings that will dive into the needs of highly regulated industries including not just financial services, but health care, public sector and others.

The most recent announcement is focused on taking the current offering and expanding it to deliver Adobe’s highly touted Experience Manager platform, which is part of the Adobe Experience Cloud and having it run on Red Hat OpenShift.

The key market deliverables with this announcement focused on the following: (Per the release)

  • Flexible Deployment (Hybrid Cloud): Adobe, IBM and Red Hat aim to enable brands to manage and deliver their content and assets within any hybrid cloud environment, from multiple public clouds to on-premise data centers. By certifying and delivering Adobe Experience Manager 6.5, part of Adobe Experience Cloud, to run on Red Hat OpenShift, the industry’s leading enterprise open source container platform, IBM will offer clients the flexibility to host, access and leverage data in the environment of their choice.

Take: This is the meat and potatoes of the offering. Being able to leverage OpenShift and run Adobe Experience Manager essentially in the cloud of choice is an important capability that will not only be good for IBM Cloud, but for deploying the solution across a multitude of clouds, which is gaining momentum as multi-cloud strategies are iterating the hybrid architecture that has become the choice strategy for enterprise IT.

  • Adobe Enabled for Financial Services: Adobe joins IBM’s partner ecosystem as a strategic partner providing CX solutions for the IBM Cloud for Financial Services. Using the IBM Cloud for Financial Services, IBM will extend Adobe Experience Manager to professionals in this industry with the aim of helping them as they meet their security and regulatory requirements when delivering personalized experiences to their customers.

Take: IBM has a rich history of delivering secure services to the most highly scrutinized industries. This partnership provides a level of validation that can give IT leaders, CMOs and those responsible for compliance in regulated industries the confidence that this solution has been vetted and can be deployed safely.

  • Adobe and IBM Services: IBM iX, the business design arm of IBM Services, will extend their offerings across all of Adobe’s core enterprise applications. With broader, integrated support for clients across Adobe Creative Cloud, Adobe Experience Cloud, and Adobe Document Cloud, IBM iX will accelerate how global brands use data to design, implement, and scale personalized customer experiences to instill trust across every corner of their business.

Take: While validated designs and certification provide a level of confidence for IT and compliance, the other side of this is the development of meaningful customer facing solutions that deliver business results. To scale this partnership with meaningful results, a strategic focus on design and delivery will be paramount. I will be looking for and expecting success stories to emerge to further validate the investment and value of this partnership.

Overall Impressions of Adobe and IBM’s Partnership

The first wave of focus for the IBM Financial Services Ready Public Cloud was on meeting the demanding regulatory environment that would enable financial institutions to benefit from the flexibility of cloud. We saw this with Bank of America and the partnership with IBM. The next wave of innovation will focus on scale up and scale out applications that leverage vast data across on-prem and cloud to enable regulated businesses to deliver best in breed customer experience within these industries.

Adobe has proven to be one of the preeminent players in CX and this partnership furthers both companies ambitions to deliver market leading CX in the hybrid cloud environment, which is the preferred architecture across large enterprises as the debate between public and on-prem has been largely settled with hybrid architecture being the undisputed path forward for IT.

This partnership is a winner for Adobe, IBM, Red Hat and more importantly for users looking to leverage the cloud to deliver CX in the highly regulated financial industry.

Futurum Research provides industry research and analysis. These columns are for educational purposes only and should not be considered in any way investment advice.

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Image Credit: IBM
Daniel Newman
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