by Susan Eustis
Robert LeBlanc is Senior Vice President, Middleware Software, for IBM Software Group. He has global responsibility for the strategy and management of IBM’s industry-leading middleware portfolio. This includes Application and Integration Middleware, Information Management, Rational, Tivoli, and the newly-formed IBM Security Systems Division. Mr. LeBlanc also chairs IBM’s Technology Team, a senior executive team responsible for setting IBM’s technology agenda.
According to Robert LeBlanc who spoke at the IBM Innovate conference today, the IBM CEOs report is very revealing as to what it says about the need to leverage software and systems. According to Robert, in the IBM every two year state of the technology survey, it was revealed that “If the CEO’s fail to anticipate a huge technological step, they fear going out of business.” The CEOs are concerned about keeping up with the latest technology that enables business improvements.
Technology risk is a primary concern of the C level executives. Technology is used at a basic level to automate process. More and more process is able to be automated. Robots are being used in a variety of ways to create more automation of process. Technology provides the way to support the planning process by providing insight achieved through analytics. Technology is used to achieve process implementation. The need is for process to add value to the business. This implies that technology is used to achieve growth. Innovation has value; it is key to achieving new ways of delivering services that are increasingly useful and drive users to send money.
The only way to grow is to innovate. Just staying static means that the business risks withering. When competitors are offering next generation products and services, there is an increasing focus on skills. Time to market depends on the skills being available. Software development is used to make an impact on the business. Compelling business benefits accrue from achieving flexible business systems from software.
Challenges are on the planning side of the business. Delivery and application challenges are on the test and deployment side of technology implementation. Analysis of which software activity is most valuable in building out the ability to achieve modernization depends on interviewing users and integrating that into the software design models. Mobile collaboration in the cloud is facilitated by building models that facilitate the capture and description of an entire project.
The profound effect of analytics is sometimes visible and sometimes not visible. Analytics are part of software model building, contributing to knowledge about current use of offerings to create new features that improve the functions in areas of highest use. Innovative collaboration is a key aspect of model building. Creativity is part of innovation, as is interviewing users. Communication needs to occur with users and between members of the software team.
Innovation depends on pulling together insights to create new applications that go across industries and draw upon knowledge from a variety of different people. The most important external force impacting business is technology. It is #1, it has more impact than market factors. The role of technology is critical. According to Robert LeBlanc, technology is able to leverage man and woman power to create more value from effort by creating automated process. Technology employed to engage customers and partners is able to give significant competitive advantage in any industry.
Technology is being used to create next generation systems that are in tune with business imperatives. Technology is used for empowering employees, partners, suppliers, and customers. Technology is used in application development. Development is most useful because it facilitates collaboration. Code design, build, and deployment occur in a collaborative manner. Customers then use software to achieve collaboration.
Customers differentiate between good code and bad code. Customers are beginning to realize that code that facilitates integration between systems is more valuable than code that does not. LeBlanc is describing software that permits IBM customers to get product to market in days, not months or weeks as previously was the case. Days in which to achieve a product cycle yield significant competitive advantage. The aim is to optimize the value chain to achieve delivery and deployment in one continuum.