IBM says it’s time to rethink IT
Subscribe now for $100 (23 issues) and save more than 37% off the cover price!
Get the latest news from Computerworld delivered via email.
Sign up now
After IBM paid homage to the late Steve Jobs at the opening of its annual Impact conference in Las Vegas, for a moment you could be forgiven for thinking it was about to try and steal Apple’s clothes.
Big Blue wheeled out Steve Jobs biographer Walter Isaacson to warm up the 8500 strong audience for the opening keynote speech. After relating a number of anecdotes describing how Jobs would get people to meet seemingly impossible deadlines by staring at them and saying, “don’t be afraid, you can do it,” Isaccson handed over to Marie Wieck, IBM general manager of application and integration middleware, to take up the theme.
“Are you able to innovate in your business, your industry or even your country? Don’t be afraid - get out there and do it,” she said.
Wieck said that IBM surveys of CEOs had consistently shown that technology was being regarded as increasingly important by business each year, but the technology itself was now changing business.
“For the last 50 years we have really been directing business from the enterprise out, focusing on controlled applications, business processes – information that we managed – but those barriers are really breaking down. Technology has created a new set of external stakeholders that are critical to your business, that demand a collaborative dialogue with you. And we need to be able to respond to those connections and leverage new capabilities - like cloud, like mobile, like social - for business advantage. As we have said, it’s time to rethink IT and reinvent business.”
Wieck said that an estimated US$5 trillion worth of core applications were now running on IBM systems but they were changing.
“These apps are moving from the back office to the front office and they are driving new connections to over nine billion devices. And that’s expected to grow to 20 billion by 2015, just a couple of years from now. Everything from smartphones to sensors, to telemetry applets. And it’s not just about creating a sexy mobile app — if you can’t connect those apps to the rest of your business and do it at internet scale and deliver them quickly through the cloud, then you may be left behind.”
IBM announced two “ecosystems” that it claims will radically simplify the development and deployment of applications in mobile and datacentre environments.
The new offerings fall into two product strands. The first, Mobile Foundation, is a new platform based on IBM’s recent acquisition of mobile software company Worklight. The second strand consists of extensions to IBM’s datacentre-orientated PureSystems family, which was announced in April. Together, the two product families will consist of around two dozen separate software and service elements that IBM will release over the next three months.
Steve Mills, IBM senior vice president of software and systems, said that the PureSystems family was aimed at streamlining the set up and management of hardware and software resources through deeper automation and sandboxing.
Mills said that IBM’s research had shown that a consistent 70 percent of global IT expenditure was “non-asset related.”
“In other words that means labour, labour and more labour. As computers have reduced in cost the setting up remains expensive. We haven’t been able to reduce labour costs.”
The extensions to PureSystems are designed to help software companies and businesses create what IBM calls “patterns of expertise” which can be embedded into PureSystems machines to automate a wide variety of manual and administrative tasks.
Such patterns will be able to be created and tested through IBM’s SmartCloud sandbox and deployed as re-usable and downloadable packages.
IBM says the PureSystems environment will be available to developers for 90 days on a free trial. According to Wieck the SmartCloud environment will allow developers to build and test a prototype mobile application, for example, without requiring financing or infrastructure permissions.
“We’re offering them a chance to get their hands dirty,” she said.
IBM used Impact to show off its PureSystems hardware appliance which had been announced two weeks prior to the conference. The appliance, which outwardly resembles a mainframe computer, is designed to allow rapid installation and integration as well as providing a high degree of fault tolerance. IBM showed a time-lapse video which showed an appliance being unpacked, installed and put into operation in less than four hours.
The PureSystems appliance comes pre-loaded with the DB2 database and IBM middleware, and while it is optimised for zLinux it can also run non-IBM software or other operating systems according to company technicians.
The appliance is shipped with built-in “expertise patterns” for network, application and hardware integration which have been developed by IBM specialists, however a developer kit will also allow IT departments to design and run their own patterns.
IBM says its Mobile Foundation platform is targeting a US$22 billion market that is expected to grow to US$36 billion by 2015, according to the company’s own studies.
I stopped reading right there...
Posted by Anonymous at 13:05:51 on May 24, 2012
Posted by Anonymous at 13:10:35 on May 24, 2012
Posted by Anonymous at 15:57:47 on May 24, 2012
I stopped reading too. (yawn...)
Posted by Anonymous at 14:14:51 on May 24, 2012
My goodness "Fron-de" (what a useless rename of synergy) must be desparate for business
Posted by Anonymous at 9:43:45 on May 24, 2012
Posted by Anonymous at 8:20:25 on June 11, 2012