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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New Dell PCs – Predictable Evolution and…

The concept of “law” means different things to different people. For some, laws are rules defining conventional/unconventional behavior. For others, they are immutable strictures or even barriers begging to be tested. But I’d argue that the most important (and, ironically, the least discussed) aspect of law is its predictability. That is, laws clearly delineate expectable outcomes with certain events or behaviors. You “can’t drive ‘55”? Don’t be surprised by a traffic ticket and hefty fine when you’re caught. Feel like scamming strangers, neighbors or family members? Maybe a change of scenery for the next 5-10 years would do you good. Rush hour traffic frustrations might make road rage seem reasonable. But in real life with the cops on hand? Not so much. Which brings me to Moore’s Law—the best remembered contribution Intel co-founder Dr. Gordon Moore made to his company and industry. As with more prosaic laws, some in IT considered Moore’s observation to be somehow immutable even though he himself, along with Arthur Rock, understood that economic reality would eventually overtake and erode its value. But the larger benefits of Moore’s Law were found in the predictable insights it provided semiconductor partners and resellers, as well as potential buyers. If you’re thinking of purchasing a new PC or system, how do today’s products match what you can reasonably expect in 12 to 18 months? Do you really need latest/greatest features and performance? Are those qualities needed by a select few or are they important to mainstream users, too? Those points are reflected in Dell’s latest PCs based on Intel’s latest 8th generation “Coffee Lake-H” Core processors. Interestingly, the new solutions’ benefits are designed to touch a wide range of mobile PC customers, including consumers, business people and gamers. To read the complete article, CLICK HERE NOTE: This column was originally published in the Pund-IT...

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IBM THINK 2018 and the Era of Man + Machine

Computing “eras” are a common concept among those who work in or focus on the IT industry. One progression starts with the mainframe era (late 1950s to the present) and the client/server era (1980s to present). However, the notion breaks down a bit in the third era which is variously called the digital, information and Internet era due to the inclusion of divergent ecommerce, cloud computing, mobility, analytics, IoT and other essentially web-enabled processes. That confusion isn’t especially surprising since the first two eras are associated with specific systems or platforms that fundamentally altered the way enterprises and other organizations operated. In contrast, web-enabled compute processes tend to be squishier in terms of the platforms they require which continue to undergo massive evolutionary changes. That touches on a key point of IBM’s THINK 2018 conference last week in Las Vegas. During her keynote, IBM CEO Ginni Rometty and guest commentators described how the company is working with global customers and partners to embrace a “new era of man + machine, an era of data and AI (artificial intelligence).” That’s a fascinating idea, especially given the growing interest and investments in AI, advanced analytics and associated machine and deep learning processes. But are we really at the cusp of a new computing era or was Rometty engaging in mere cheerleading? Plus, if the former is true, how well positioned is IBM to provide its customers and partners the tools and technologies they need to succeed in the era of man + machine? To read the complete article, CLICK HERE NOTE: This column was originally published in the Pund-IT...

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Automation: Coming Soon To Your Network
Mar29

Automation: Coming Soon To Your Network

One of the latest industry buzz words is automation and while network automation is considered to be essential for digital transformation, the dominant trend in IT and Industry 4.0, it is neither new, nor as simple as the marketers would have us believe. Network automation – along with intent-based networking (IBN) and Intent-based analytics (IBA) – is just part of the evolving and expanding software-defined networking (SDN) market, said Scott Raynovich, Founder and Chief Analyst, Futuriom. ‘The [SDN 2.0] goal (of operators, including service providers and cloud network managers) is to remove manual networking configuration from their operations, reducing the cost of operating the network,’ he wrote recently. ‘Service providers, in particular, see SDN 2.0 as a key driver of automation.’ Forrester reported that 80% of IT operations time is spent performing maintenance on the existing network. And with close to half of all network outages are due to manual misconfiguration (Gartner), it’s no wonder the automation market is hot: -the datacenter automation market is projected to grow at plus-18% CAGR through 2022 -68% of automation projects are commissioned to ensure network availability; -the network automation market is expected to grow from $2.32 billion in 2017 to $16.89 billion by 2022, at a Compound Annual Growth Rate (CAGR) of 48.7%; –intelligent automation services – Gartner’s umbrella term for a variety of strategies, skills, tools and techniques that service providers are using to remove the need for labor, and increase the predictability and reliability of services while reducing the cost of delivery by 15-25% annually – so that when 70% of the workload is dealt with by IAS, only 30% of the staff will remain. This month marks the one-year anniversary of the ONAP project (Open Network Automation Platform) and community, which has become the de facto mobile network automation platform for 60% of the world’s mobile subscribers. ‘What ONAP brings to the table — a unified platform for closed-loop automation — is built on years’ of collaborative efforts across open source projects and communities’, stated the Linux Foundation on Tuesday. ‘ONAP is the first open source project to unite the majority of operators (end users) with the majority of vendors (integrators) in building a real service automation and orchestration platform.’ Networking’s 800-pound gorilla is actively pushing automation and SDN, and last month rolled out its Crosswork Network Automation software portfolio. Targeted at service providers with really big networks, the portfolio is designed to ‘offer greater network visibility at scale (mass awareness), data-driven insights (augmented intelligence)and outcome-based automation (proactive control)’, and will typically deliver a 70% improvement in operational efficiency, 30% revenue uplift and a 40% improvement in customer satisfaction, according...

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