Welcome to the Cloud Wars Minute — your daily cloud news and commentary show. Each episode provides insights and perspectives around the “reimagination machine” that is the cloud.
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00:31 — There’s a new product from IBM, watsonx Code Assistant for Z. watsonx is the umbrella for all of IBM’s AI innovation. IBM Z is a family of enterprise-class mainframe computers, used to run critical applications like banking, financial services, healthcare, and telecommunications. Some have estimated that COBOL, around since the 1950s, handles, at least in part, between 60-80% of all business transactions today.
01:22 — That doesn’t mean the full application stack is COBOL. Most companies have a hybrid approach. The problem is that the availability of programmers and other IT professionals who can maintain and operate those systems is dwindling. As more companies move to the cloud, they’re looking for ways to move those mission-critical systems off COBOL and onto modern frameworks, which means Java.
02:28 — What IBM has done is create a generative AI tool called watsonx Code Assistant for Z to greatly reduce the time and cost of getting that code migrated. There are similar code assistants already from other companies like Microsoft’s GitHub Copilot.
03:00 — This is a great move from IBM. They know that those legacy systems are ultimately going to have an expiration date. If these customers are going to modernize anyway, it’d be better to help them do it and keep them on IBM Systems and IBM’s cloud.
04:02 — I first reported on IBM’s watsonx AI products back in the spring after attending the IBM Think conference. I was excited about what IBM talked about there, and I’m excited now to see it continue to roll out new innovations in that product line.