Shift Happens: Engaging With 52 Million IBM Edge Contacts

LAS VEGAS: IBM Edge is supposed to be about infrastructure and , the tools that make the software and services run, but in barely a minute of her presentation on Day 2, Maria Winans, VP, WW Industry Cloud Solutions, put everything into perspective. She was talking about CAMS (cloud-analytics-mobile-social plus security, so technically CAMSS, or CAMS+S) and the shift to a people-centric engagement
 business model, and said that IBM had tracked 52 million people ‘touched’ with Edge content in the last 24 hours.

For a with just over 5,000 attendees, impacting more than 50 million people globally in just one day brings a whole new meaning to “reach out and touch somebody”. This isn’t about a Justin Bieber or Mayor Rob Ford (sorry Toronto) viral storm, it’s about using data to maximize your business opportunities.

IBM is able to now demonstrate customer after customer, at enterprise scale, that has successfully deployed this comprehensive IBM solution, said Rob Enderle, Principal Analyst, Enderle Group. He said Edge is mostly about showcasing these successes and helping other companies achieve similar results, but to get to this point “IBM has been undergoing one of the most massive structure and organizational changes in its entire life”.

This massive change is not an IBM-only phenomenon, said Mark Peters, Senior Analyst, Enterprise Strategy Group. “IT was – generally – in balance, but now it is not. This is why there’s so much talk of ‘next generation IT’ or the like….something has to give/change; and it sure as heck isn’t going to be user expectations and needs! IBM’s focus is therefore both logical and encouraging as its overall systems capabilities have the potential to support CAMS better and faster than many other vendors.”

According to a recent ESG study, only 7% of IT respondents rated their IT group as a competitive differentiator for their organization. Excerpts from a new IBM/ study provide a similar view of this gap between supply and demand, with 70% of organizations recognizing that ‘IT infrastructure plays a significant role in enabling competitive advantage and generating revenue’ but less than 10% are ready for it.

Parting Shots

The following are some of the other interesting facts, factoids and comments gleaned during the conference.

There is a shift transforming IT and business, said Chris O’Connor, VP of Strategy and Engineering, IBM Cloud and Smarter Infrastructure, a shift that will need to bring together the cloud-enabled world and the cloud-first world. “It’s not about doing what you were doing faster…”

People are a huge part of this shift, said Snehal Antani, CIO, GE Capital. “The challenge isn’t technology, it’s culture.” Looking ahead, he said it was about how do you deliver insights and ensure speed, consistency and repeatability to achieve business outcomes.

Data is the basis for new value, and that’s currently worth $17 trillion, said Arvind Krishna, GM, Development and Manufacturing, IBM Systems & Technology Group. However, most of that data is historical, and we need to be looking forward, not backward to tap into that opportunity.

Author: Steve Wexler

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