It is not about the destination, it’s about the Journey

By Sreekanth Iyer,

1037-06.tif.jpgMy primary role when I joined IBM in 1999 was to develop and support IBM Java Development Kit (JKD) and Virtual Machine (JVM) on Unix platforms. At that point when most of the competition were supporting Java on couple of platforms, IBM was releasing Java on 18+ different platforms and flavors. This provided me the opportunity to work on multiple infrastructure platforms running AIX, Linux, Solaris and Windows.

During the next 5 years, I saw Java becoming the ubiquitous choice as the programming language for the inter-networked world. Big online retailers, banks and telecom companies started leveraging the power of Java to build their online presence and started serving their customers online. We were a proud team in Java Technology Center (JTC), because IBM WebSphere which was powering thousands of businesses online was using our JVM at the core. Apart from putting to use my Unix and C skills, I picked up Java programming, JVM internals, Web Application Servers and problem determination skills at JTC.

The next few years saw the web portals and workplaces gaining traction and the integration of processes on the glass and making the staff productive was the top priority for CEO/CIO at that time. I had the opportunity to learn the basics on application architecture and explore the IBM architecture method to delivering workplace solutions for different process industries.

For businesses, their next major challenge was how to deal create technical solutions that kept pace with rapidly changing business landscape and processes. Around the same time, I joined the Services Oriented Architecture (SOA) technology practice team. That job gave me the opportunity to build first of a kind SOA and Business Process Management (BPM) solutions for IBM’s top customers and pick up key industry knowledge across government, telecom, banking, energy and utilities.

Soon I also realized SOA may not the golden hammer for all the customer problems. We had to look at other architecture styles. I had the opportunity to work on an incubation project to explore event driven architecture. I added few patents to my invention portfolio and co-authored an IBM Redpaper- A Conceptual Model for Event Processing Systems.

By then enterprises started looking to reinvent and transform themselves by building new dynamic business processes blurring the digital and physical worlds with cloud, analytics, mobile, security and social (CAMSS) technologies. The “pay-as-you-go” and elasticity features of Cloud was making it more a business imperative than a technology shift of interest. The experience to architect a private cloud internally for the lab and the step by step learning of cloud technologies got me the job with the WW Cloud Services team. This provided me the opportunity to work with several WW customers across US, Canada, India and ANZ to build their private cloud environments powered by IBM & Open source technologies.

Security still remains the top inhibitor for customers to adopt cloud. Seeing cloud security as an opportunity rather than an inhibitor provided me opportunity to devise few innovative solutions. Building microservices based foundation capabilities to secure the platform, virtual machines, containers, and applications running on IBM Cloud becomes the next phase for me in this wonderful journey.

I don’t think there is any other company or school in the world that can provide all of these learnings under one roof. In the last 15 years journey, skilling and reskilling for each era with the opportunity to learn and apply these various technologies and tools has been the most rewarding experience for me. Looking forward to more excitements with this rapidly transforming and innovative company. Come join me on the journey.


Sreekanth Iyer is an Executive Architect with the IBM Cloud (CTO Office) team and works on defining the security architecture for IBM Cloud offerings. He has over 20 years of industry experience of which over 16 years are with IBM. He had led several WW client solutions for Telco, Electronics, E&U, Govt, BPO & Banking industries. He is an expert on Cloud Computing, Information Security, Service Oriented Architecture, Event Driven Architecture, Business Process Management and Java Technologies. He is an Open Group Certified Distinguished Architect, IBM Master Inventor, Certified Ethical Hacker and Member of IBM Academy of Technology.


To hear more from Sreekanth, take a look at his blog here.

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