The month started out with the Business Partner Leadership Conference in Los Angeles and then was filled with a slew of announcements in hardware, software, services, acquisitions, and strategic alliances. The list of announcements made during the month is below. One of the most interesting things IBM did in May was to release a Global CEO Study. Being the largest information technology solutions provider in the world, it is imperative for IBM to have a keen understanding of the priorities of the top management of it’s clients. The idea is to stay ahead of the curve and have the skills and resources in place to meet upcoming demand. IBM sent senior people to interview 1,130 CEO’s from 40 countries to capture insights on how the challenges CEO’s face today will impact the future of business.
It was the largest study of chief executives ever conducted — spanning 32 industries. This was not SurveyMonkey — it was face-to-face interviews. The study revealed that 83 percent of CEO’s expect substantial change in the future, and are optimistic they can successfully manage change. The catch is that the CEO’s report that their ability to effectively manage change is increasing at a far slower pace. The gap between the rate of change and the skills available is growing. This is bad news in some respects, but certainly good news for IBM which increasingly gains it’s revenue and profits by filling skill gaps for clients.
A somewhat surprising insight from the study is that CEO’s believe that the most important changes are occurring within their existing customer base. Two kinds of customers are emerging. First is the ‘information omnivore’ who craves knowing everything about everything and spends a good portion of their time (maybe most of their time) online. The other customer is the ‘socially-minded’ customer. This type of person can’t get enough of providing and retrieving information about where they are, where their friends are, what they are doing, what their favorite things are, and arranging a rendezvous in both virtual and real world places. The CEO’s plan substantial increases in investments to reach both of these customer types. This spells opportunity for IBM. Take a look at a YouTube video clip [3:08] with more insight about the CEO Study.
Speaking of CEO’s, two of the technology industry’s finest got together on stage at the Business Partner Leadership Conference in Los Angeles. Eric Schmidt of Google and Sam Palmisano of IBM have more in common than you might think. Eric cut his teeth on IBM’s largest scientific computers and has been a devotee of advanced computing architecture throughout his career. Sam has a conviction about the role of information omnivores and social computing. The common ground is cloud computing. The two companies announced an initiative to promote new software development methods which will help students and researchers address the challenges of Internet-scale applications in the future. The goal is to improve computer science students’ knowledge of highly parallel computing practices. IBM and Google are teaming up to provide hardware, software and services to augment university curricula and expand research horizons. The University of Washington was the first to join the initiative but the program is spreading to other leading schools around the world. The project combines IBM’s historic strengths in scientific, business and secure-transaction computing with Google’s complementary expertise in Web computing and massively scaled clusters. It seems very likely that the IBM-Google collaboration will change the way large-scale computing is exploited over the years ahead. Here is a YouTube video clip [49:26] of what Eric Schmidt had to say at the Los Angeles meeting.
List of Announcements for May 2008
IBM publishes Global CEO Study
IBM raises bar with self checkout system
IBM delivers pre-packaged solutions for enterprises
IBM, Lockheed Martin team for FBI program
IBM boosts performance on BladeCenter servers
IBM unveils Insurance Operations of the Future
IBM tool identifies new growth opportunities
IBM expands BlackBerry services
IBM increases High Performance Computing capabilities
IBM, Hertz expand business partnership
IBM introduces “Software for a Greener World”
IBM unveils carbon management analysis tool
IBM expands Tivoli software offerings
IBM announces Telelogic portfolio enhancements
IBM unveils new x86 servers
IBM opens Global Delivery Center in India
Link not available.