Tuesday, May 21, 2013

IBM Impact 2013 – Scores again

By Rich Ptak
IBM’s Impact 2013 event had over 8,500 registrants; add some 24,000 unique Livestream page views (first three days) and the level of sustained interest in the event is clear. A few weeks ago, IBM Pulse2013 focused on “Optimizing the World’s Infrastructure”.  For Impact 2013, the theme, “Business. In Motion.” made clear that this week, the focus was would be on putting technology to work to drive enterprise and business transformation. The clear message: today’s IT is about using technology to drive growth and facilitate business success.

IBM led with their mantra, ‘The Planet is Getting Smarter’ as more data is generated every day, as network interactions (of all types) are increasing and as devices proliferate and connect to the global network.[1] However, the enablers are the technologies that underpin, provide and drive opportunity – to wit: Big Data, Cloud, Mobile, Social and the ‘Internet of Things’.[2]

IBM explained why and what kinds of new systems, i.e. Systems of Interaction, are necessary to exploit these technologies. They detailed their efforts, products and services that make access and use of these faster, easier and more effective.  All to be accomplished, while leveraging and integrating the existing Systems of Engagement, Systems of Record and Internet of Things; which wrap around Cloud-based services to provide a continuously extraordinary client experience and leverage the partner value chain. IBM bases all this on an Open Cloud-based architecture, which was described at a consumable level (with more details available in breakout sessions).

IBM identified five imperatives that businesses need to initiate to succeed in this environment. They come from the experiences of IBM, its clients and customers at successful attempts to resolve the emerging business and enterprise challenges. These imperatives are:
1.     Put Mobile First – provide information to customers and partners when and where they need it with multi-platform mobile apps
2.     Reinvent your Business Design and Processes – integrate, automate, collaborate to improve end to end business operations
3.     Adopt a Flexible and Secure Integration Model – to unlock back office capabilities for seamless cross channel interactions
4.     Be Insight and Data Driven – use new and emerging data types and content to drive innovation and improve decision-making
5.     Build on Open Architectures – to simplify development to support more and different application types

IBM detailed products and solutions used with customers for these initiatives. They announced or enhanced over 50 new products and processes to aid in implementing the initiatives. Some examples of the products supporting the initiatives include:
  1. Put Mobile First – IBM Worklight => mobile app analysis and testing to improve the user experience based on cross-device testing of mobile behavior.
  2. Reinvent your Business Design and Processes – IBM Business Process Manager=> a platform that increases visibility and control of business processes for optimization and to act as agents of change. IBM Blueworks Live=>  tools that help business people to discover and document the everyday processes, decisions, rules and policies of business
  3. Adapt a Flexible/Secure Integration Model – IBM MessageSight=> an appliance providing massive capacity for secure, real-time connectivity from the enterprise edge to mobile devices and smart sensors.  IBM CICS Transaction Server for z/OS=> a hi-performance enterprise app server making it easy for interaction between CICS and Java workloads.
  4. Be Insight and Data Driven – a new PureData system for Hadoop=> run DB2 10.5 with BLU acceleration for 8 to 25X faster reporting and analytics, ‘create, load and go’ implementation simplicity. IBM PureApplication System v1.1=> becomes the first pre-integrated application platform to support both Windows and Linux, and now offers cross-site disaster recovery for applications setup in 5 clicks.
  5. Building on Open Architectures – IBM API Management=> API’s can be created, managed and socialized for use by groups inside or outside the parent organization – API becomes a service platform. IBM Websphere Application Server=> provides customers and ISV with a simpler app platform for development, test, run suitable for and able to support lightweight, as well robust applications.

However, the really interesting and a major focus of the event was the successful APPLICATION and USE of those technologies on behalf of real businesses and organizations. Almost 400 external (to IBM) speakers participated in or presented during more than 600 separate Technical Program sessions. IMPACT2013 TV has lots of videos[3].

Demonstrations and presentations illustrated and detailed the results of implementing the initiatives and acting on IBM’s recommendations. Examples were presented for each imperative with many discussions led by the client involved. Many of the sessions were conducted with line-of-business managers or operations managers, sometimes with IT staff and sometimes not, underscoring the strong interaction and partnerships formed with IT staff.

The last statement points to an evolution in how technology projects are being driven and implemented in this new environment. Today, it is true that IT still has the responsibility for identifying and promoting the application of technology. However, if IT is neglectful or tardy in that task, increasingly they are finding projects being initiated by staff, outside of IT. The risk for IT is that their relevance and contribution is being called into question and they end up with the thankless task of rescuing a poorly conceived and/or implemented technology project that was introduced by an external group. Impact provided plenty of examples of successful projects undertaken and completed based on the noted imperatives.

During corridor conversations and breaks, we spoke with customers and partners of IBM. Many were impressed with the vision as presented, as well as the messages they heard from IBM and the customer presenters. They saw the sense and potential in the technologies and imperatives, and were very interested to hear more from IBM on how to move forward. Most indicated they would leave the event with new ideas and information that they would be able to apply to their home organizations. Good news for them, as well as IBM.

Publication Date: August 29, 2013

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[1] Someday we’ll discuss the transformation of volumes of data from innumerable and knowledge, insight and wisdom.
[2] All those devices, modules, individuals pushing data onto the global network..