Friday, December 6, 2013

IBM 2013 Software Analyst Insight - II

By Rich Ptak 

Deepak Advani, GM, Cloud and Smarter Infrastructure (the expanded Tivoli software portfolio) teamed with Chris O’Connor, Vice President of Strategy and Engineering to provide an overview of IBM”s new way of thinking about service delivery and management, which are the result of advances in cloud management, smarter infrastructure, increased access to analytics and pervasive adoption of standards driving vendor interoperability. The combination will exert its impact across multiple enterprise functions, and most especially, IT. As a result, IBM is rethinking and redefining how it designs, delivers and promotes its solutions. Let’s examine some of the thinking and how that influences the group’s solutions.

At the event, there was considerable discussion devoted to delivering the overarching message that IBM understands why, what and how the enterprise needs to transform itself for success.  IBM points to its own transformation. And, they provided examples of a significant number of enterprises they successfully helped to identify, select, implement and benefit from transformation opportunities. At a management level, IBM is working hard to establish itself as the preeminent trusted advisor and partner for successful enterprise transformation.

But that message alone is insufficient. Ultimately, a successful transformation depends upon the practitioner, who has the responsibility for implementation and ongoing operations. The enterprise practitioner role has traditionally been filled by some portion of the IT function, typically a combination of developers, operators, administrators, etc.

Increasingly today, a critical element in decision making and implementation includes someone from outside the IT function. It can be or include a Line of Business manager, a sales team member or a representative of another business function. Taking their cue from consumer experiences where new technologies, proliferation of smarter infrastructure, pervasive availability of mobile devices provide opportunities that were previously unimagined and unimaginable, these ‘practitioners’ look for and make decisions from the extraordinary performance and experience of consumer IT. Crossing functions, these practical ‘practitioners’ look for opportunity and inspiration based on interactive experiences.

PowerPoint presentations, sweet speeches and promises alone are no longer trusted. With those, everything is wonderful until the service is unavailable or crashes while exposing confidential data to the Internet. It’s the reality of experience and interaction that makes the sale. IBM has to demonstrate they are the best, not only at delivering services (IaaS, PaaS and SaaS) and solutions for transformation, but also that they offer the most effective, educational and innovative user experience to creatively apply and utilize them.

That is where Deepak’s team is focused. Their task is to provide practitioners personalized service portals for adaptive, seamless access to resources. Practitioners want access to functions, data-based insight, guidance and predictive problem avoidance as they strive to achieve enterprise goals.

Of course, Cloud and Smarter Infrastructure team will provide solutions. After all, IBM”s objective is to creatively combine all of the broad, extensive power of the technology (i.e. cloud, Big Data/Analytics, cognitive computing, virtualized, smarter infrastructure, etc.) with the extensive experience gained in customer engagements to create an interface for the user that makes using it easier, more intuitive, more effective to leverage the solutions, products and services that IBM provides. That is the new, critically important component that is driving Deepak and his team today.

We believe that IBM has a unique, insightful vision that is significantly different from and advances well beyond feature/function obsessed competitors. They are doing the hard work of integration, process creation and refinement to put together role- and responsibility-based access to the power of technology. The more enterprise workers that understand and comprehend what can be done, the more the enterprise (and IBM) will benefit.

To that end, Deepak and his team will demonstrate (not just say) that IBM is the partner that can help them to effectively and efficiently exploit the capabilities inherent in cloud, mobile/endpoints, Big Data/Analytics and smarter infrastructure. From the glimpses they provided, we think their efforts will be enlightening, informative and appreciated by all parties.