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IBM CEO Arvind Krishna Keynotes IBM Think Gov Digital 2020

Krishna and other leaders discuss the need for business, society, and governments to respond to change with agility and unity

IBM CEO Arvind Krishna delivered a keynote presentation at IBM’s Think Gov 2020, a digital event, to more than 1,000 US leaders, technologists, and developers from local, federal and state governments. Krishna’s keynote focused on the opportunity to lead change through innovation and the acceleration of transformative business opportunities during the COVID-19 pandemic.

Krishna called hybrid cloud and AI “the two dominant forces driving digital transformation,” and said the IBM public cloud has been reengineered to be the best destination for regulated workloads like the data demands of government clients.

“We give clients the ability to retain control of their own encryption keys and the hardware security modules that protect them. This isn’t even a differentiator. It’s unique. And I know how important security is for the government.”

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Krishna, who was the driving force behind last year’s $34 billion acquisition of open-source software leader Red Hat, said the combination of the two companies “is a game-changer” that allows clients to build mission-critical applications once and run them anywhere.

Krishna added, “More than 20 years ago, experts predicted that every organization would become an Internet organization. I’m predicting that EVERY organization will become an AI organization – not because they can, but because they must.  AI is the only way to scale innovation, insight, and expertise.”

“Moments of crisis almost always carry lessons and if there is anything the COVID-19 pandemic has taught us, it’s the critical importance of technology solutions that enable speed, flexibility, insight, and innovation.”

“As difficult as these times may be, we at IBM see plenty of light at the end of the tunnel. There is no question that this pandemic is a powerful force of disruption and an unprecedented tragedy.  But it is also a critical turning point.  It’s an opportunity to develop new solutions, new ways of working, and new partnerships that will benefit your organization and the people you serve — not just today, but for years to come.”

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Krishna also disclosed that IBM has made more than $200 million in global donations of money and technology during this global health crisis, including joining the White House and the U.S. Department of Energy to spearhead an unprecedented consortium of supercomputing power to accelerate scientific discovery. IBM has also made more than 80,000 IBM patents free of charge to researchers fighting the pandemic.

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