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Tech eases digitalisation pain points

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Kathy Gibson at SUSEcon, Prague — Digital transformation is a reality for companies around the world. However, some critical pain points threaten to derail the journey.
A critical pain point that IT has to deal with is the explosion of data.
“On its own data is pretty much useless,” according to SUSE chief technology officer Thomas Di Giacomo.
All systems produce data, he points out, but real value lies in cleaning, processing and analysing this data.
SUSE contributes to this through its involvement in a number of projects, including new initiatives around machine learning and its application in IT development and operations.
“Machine learning can automatically predict and improve systems without our explicit intervention,” he says. “This can help companies improve operations and system efficacy.”
The good news is that open source is at the forefront of innovation enabling machine learning, Di Giacomo says. “We are already working on it.”
Long-time SUSE partner SAP is extending its Leonardo machine learning environment and Cloud Platform to SUSE.
SAP’s Stefan Weitland explains that SAP Cloud Platform is a PaaS offering to help customers through digital transformation.
Cloud Foundry is at the centre of the architecture, surrounded by services relating to business, platform, data and storage; as well as the relevant tooling to support development.
“The platform enable customers to quickly create new functionality by extending to the back end, to integrate different data sources, and quickly build new solutions on top of the platform,” Weitland says.
The SAP Cloud Platform can be hosted in a multi-cloud environment as well as on SUSE OpenStack.
DevOps is another buzzword that IT has to deal with. Organisations believe it will deliver innovative new applications – but there are some serious challenges in implementing the model.
The reality is there is still a wall between developers and IT operators, with both groups focusing on different outcomes that are often at odds with one another
Ralf Flaxa, vice-president: engineering at SUSE, points out that all organisations, including SUSE, face the same challenges. “At SUSE we have to deliver predictable, stable enterprise products while delivering innovation.”
He believes the answer to this could be continuous integration.
SUSE provides products that help enterprise customers to this — and there is also a wealth of free services available that developers can use for continuous integration.
Public cloud systems tend to change a lot more frequently than on-premise data centres, and this could cause problems with how the operating system or application behaves.
In theory, changes on the public cloud should require a version update to much of the underlying platform systems — which introduces its own problems.
Modules in SUSE Enterprise Server enable continuous integration where new features or updates are limited to packages and applications that are affected by new public cloud services.
“We provide the products and the tools to make it happen for customers,” says Flaxa.