In Conversation with IBM’s Ed Walsh…

At the recent IBM Think conference I managed to find some time to sit down with Ed Walsh, the GM of the storage division at Big Blue. As one of the company’s senior revenue-production-responsible executives, this 8 minute interview provides not just some crisp commentary on the division he runs but also some fascinating insights into the contemporary approach to business at IBM. If you would like a more wide-ranging summary from the event then you can find a blog from my colleague Scott Sinclair HERE, plus my blog and a joint ESG On Location Video HERE. My thanks to Ed for doing this by the way – not many execs would be so amenable at around 8pm on the last evening of a Long Vegas week. To read the complete article, CLICK...

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Mainframe Renaissance Accelerates
Apr05

Mainframe Renaissance Accelerates

For the better part of 40 years I’ve been updating the mainframe’s obituary, but like Monty Python’s infamous ‘flesh wound’ skit, it has continued to linger on. Now – even with the accelerating skills shortage – it appears that Big Iron is back with a vengeance, gaining more new customers than are moving off the venerable platform, attracted by its brute power, flexibility and security. It seems cloud, mobility and customer empowerment are all better on the mainframe. Mainframe software ISV Compuware has been seeing the growth in the market, and it’s recent survey provided empirical proof, said CEO Chris O’Malley. He told IT Trends & Analysis that everyone who was using “a hope-and-pray strategy that the mainframe would go away” are being disappointed. Not only are organizations “walking away from trying to shift from the platform,” but the mainframe is growing in popularity. “We’re also seeing things like mobile and analytics causing new workloads to be moved to that platform.” This mainframe renaissance is atypical of the IT industry, where vendors are always searching for new, better and different, and dumping commodity hardware. It wasn’t that long ago that rumors surfaced that like its PC, printer and server businesses, Big Blue’s mainframe unit was up for sale. But that was then, and now, Big Iron is once again big. “You remember the mainframe, that platform that supposedly was dead back in the 1980s,” recently asked analyst Rob Enderle, Enderle Group? “Well, once again IBM showcased there is evidently life after death because that puppy grew more than a whopping 70 percent year over year.” Not only is the mainframe alive and kicking, it’s also drawing interest from unexpected quarters. IBM’s “Master the Mainframe” annual contest designed to teach students to code and build new innovations on the mainframe drew almost 17,000 students this year. “A look at the demographics of this year’s event reveals some real eye-openers: 80% of the registrants were new to the program; the average age was 22 – with participants as young as 13 and as old as 68; and 23% of participants were female,” noted analyst Billy Clabby, Clabby Analytics. The Compuware study, conducted by Forrester Consulting, found that 72% of customer-facing applications are completely or very dependent on back-end mainframe workloads, and users are running more of their critical applications on the platform – 57% of enterprises with a mainframe currently run more than half of their business-critical applications on the platform — with that number expected to increase to 64% by 2019. “Before the advent of Linux on the mainframe, the people who bought mainframes primarily were people who already had...

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THINK-ing about IBM (includes video)

The month of March in the US signifies its eponymous “Madness” (it’s big college basketball tournaments for those of you reading from places it does not reach); perhaps to give a nod to that, IBM did a few things to create its own madness at its “Think” event in Las Vegas. There was the frustration type of madness with the registration system for a unified-and-therefore-very-big event…there was the amusing type of madness from seeing IBM execs trying to look comfortable in jeans…and there was the messing-with-our-minds type of madness from seeing a truly cohesive story, and event, and wondering if it actually was dear old IBM that we were witnessing! Putting humor and minor frustrations aside, this was a very slick and well-orchestrated showcase by and for IBM. It started on a high, with a keynote from CEO Ginni Rometty – no PPT to speak of, no smoke and mirror Vegas stuff, just a quality speech and fascinating user stories – that was uplifting, compelling, and optimistic for IBM, for IT, for business, and indeed for society. I have seen a lot of keynotes – this was top-notch. So what, beyond cool technology capabilities, was the “hook”? There were really two parts to the key thesis: the power of data, and the opportunity for “incumbent disruptors” – that’s IBM of course and many of its clients – to be at the forefront since such established, big organizations have so much of the available data, which is key to the digital age and which therefore actually gives them a competitive advantage as long as they grab the opportunity. To read the complete article, CLICK...

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NVIDIA GTC: Recreating…

I’m at NVIDIA’s GTC conference this week and I’ll be damned if their CEO Jen-Hsun Huang didn’t replicate one of the coolest technologies in the Black Panther movie. No, it wasn’t the Vibranium Armor, though that’d been really cool too, no it was the VR remote driving car technology. You recall the scene where the Black Panther’s sister, off in Wakanda, was able to take over remotely a Lexus driving it from a special remote capsule which made it feel like she was actually in the remote car? Well Jen-Hsun showed that in NVIDIA’s lab they have created one of these things. They also showcased the car render around the driver and the driver being able to remotely drive the car. What was kind of interesting was the car that was rendered was a Lexus, and the car that was driven was a Ford. Kind of implies one of the ways to save money in the future would be to buy a cheap car but have in rendered as an expensive car. Ford would be OK with that, Lexus not so much. But I think this suggests some really interesting things in our future. To read the complete article, CLICK HERE NOTE: This column was originally published in the Pund-IT...

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CISO Perspective on the RSA Security Conference

I’ve spent a good amount of time talking to CISOs over the last few months to learn about their current priorities and how their jobs are changing. Of course, many of these security executives will be attending the RSA Security Conference in a few weeks. Based upon my meetings, here’s a sample of what CISOs will be looking for in San Francisco: To read the complete article, CLICK...

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