LAS VEGAS — In a darkened room, a single light focused on a white Ford Fusion with Robert LeBlanc, SVP of the IBM software group, and Vijay Sankaran, Ford Motor Company’s director for application development, inside. They got out of the car and walked to the stage to kick off the IBM Impact 2013 global conference. “It’s not a car; it’s a data center,” LeBlanc said, beginning an interview with Sankaran. There are 16 million lines of code in the new Fusion model, according to Sankaran, who explained how software development has changed the way the automaker thinks and designs new vehicles.
“From a product perspective, there are many impacts,” Sankaran said. By integrating technology into vehicles, companies can provide connected services and tools, such as driver safety and vehicle monitoring services. “We want to build a more personalized experience for customers,” he said.
With this show, IBM aimed to call attention to its five new business imperatives:
- Put mobile first (social is mobile, and clients are seeing this as a prior contact point and a starting point for new business models);
- Reinvent business design and processes (to make sure they are very modular because we don’t know how things will connect in the future);
- Adopt a flexible and secure integration model (to be sure companies can integrate business end-to-end, including security);
- Be insight- and data-driven (there’s so much information and a lot of goals are needed to drive a business based on data); and
- Build on open architectures (because a company shouldn’t be tied to just one).
During the conference’s keynote sessions, several speakers highlighted the importance and impact of big data, mobile, cloud computing, social media and the Internet of Things. “Everything is getting built in an open world, on an open cloud architecture. The opportunities to lead the business are huge, and we want to help you to understand the change,” LeBlanc said.
Indeed, the research firm Gartner calls social, mobile, information and cloud the “new nexus” that is changing the way we look at business. This nexus is the convergence and mutual reinforcement of these four technologies that drive new business scenarios.
Gartner claims that the future of computing is social, mobile, information and cloud, and companies are doing pieces of it correctly today. But the real advantages for vendors, consumers and corporations will be realized when these forces are brought together.
IBM representatives said several times during the Impact 2013 event that IBM is focusing on putting together tools so companies can embrace all five of the business imperatives listed above. The company presented new features and enhancements to its existing portfolio as well as launching new solutions to complete and improve its portfolio, including releases that follow recent acquisitions. IBM aimed at showing that it has the business process and integration software, and services that will enable global organizations to accelerate the adoption of big data, cloud, mobile and social business.
“New technologies present opportunities for business,” stated Marie Wieck, general manager for the application and integration middleware business unit in IBM Software. “Companies need to integrate big data, cloud, mobile, social and the Internet of Things.
Changes require technology and infrastructure to bring those together,” she said, noting that IBM is releasing several new products, including new products focused on the smarter planet technologies of MessageSight, MQTT Standard—Oasis, IBM Worklight v6.0 and mobile cloud services.
At last year’s Impact event, IBM launched a portfolio of products and services designed to help organizations capitalize on the proliferation of mobile environments named Mobile Foundation. At that time, the company said it was targeting a $22 billion market opportunity which is expected to grow to $36 billion by 2015.
Editor’s Note: IBM provided travel costs to attend its Impact 2013 in Las Vegas.