Impact Recap: Five imperatives to put your Business In Motion
Delaney Turner 270003RQ8K Delaney.Turner@ca.ibm.com |
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You know things are changing when a half-hour discussion of a new car mentions neither horsepower nor handling.
The new Fusion sedan from Ford served as the centerpiece for the opening conversation at IBM Impact 2013. This year’s theme is “Business. In Motion.” Kicked off amid a raucous chorus of drums and fanfare of brass, IBM clients and executives alike provided numerous examples of how companies - some nearly a century old - are now marching to an innovative new beat.
First amid this fanfare flew a flurry of facts and figures. For example:
The Ford Fusion on stage embodied many of these points. Yes, it has four wheels and a stereo and will still fit in your garage. But according to Ford’s Director of Application Development Vijay Sankaran, its standard equipment also includes 70 microprocessors and 16 million lines of code governing its safety systems, climate controls and other critical functions. All of these deliver an owner experience that’s setting Ford apart in one of the world’s oldest and most competitive industries.
Ford has made massive investments in technology and innovation over the least five years, said Sankaran – so much so that it’s as much a technology company as it is a car maker. And by that logic the Fusion is as much a rolling data center as it is a family sedan.
Broadly defined, Systems of Interaction refers to the confluence of three processes and systems at work in the modern enterprise: Systems of Engagement, Systems of Record and the "Internet of Things."
Typically, these systems operate in legacy systems and organizational silos. However, LeBlanc observed, organizations can now harness them to re-energize their value propositions, extend their infrastructures beyond the firewall and revitalize their revenue streams through new open standards, data-driven insights and integrated security. The result? Organizations can put their businesses in motion to meet their stakeholders’ ever-changing and ever-escalating user expectations.
Ford's Fusion is a case in point. Sankaran explained how all customers now demand superior design, increased safety and features that are easy to use. To deliver on these demands, those 16 million lines of code coursing through the Fusion's system make the driving experience safer through voice-driven navigation and hands-free parallel parking; further, Ford engineers are now looking to improve the experience by integrating real-time traffic information, socially enabled route sharing into the driving experience and even beyond, into the systems governing the owner’s home, all through onboard and mobile applications.
In short order, the Fusion won’t just be the new car in your driveway; it will be the hub and control center for your digitally connected lifestyle.
The Fusion is just one example of how organizations can – and must – take advantage of the new opportunities emerging from these new Systems of Interaction and enabled by the vast capabilities of the IBM Software portfolio. Every industry is being buffeted by these changes, said LeBlanc, and to respond, organizations must embrace five new imperatives. They are:
Think Mobile First: It’s not matter of adding an app or exposing your data center after the fact, said LeBlanc. Putting mobile at the front of your business means looking at your processes and your face to the market from the customer’s perspective. Once you commit to mobile first, you’ll look at your processes and customer interactions differently.
This is indeed the focus of Bharti Airtel, a major mobile provider in Africa. Here, where 90 percent of all phones are mobile and expected to process $200 billion in money transfers by 2015, the company sees mobility as the starting point for an entirely new business model.
Reinvent your Business Design and Processes: You can adopt the newest and fastest technology, said LeBlanc, but without redesign you’ll simply get the same inefficiencies to happen more quickly. Also, he said, make sure the processes and systems you do invent are modular. “You don’t know how things are going to connect down the road. And someone inevitably will invent a new service that you’ll want to connect with.”
In Mexico, micro lender Financiera Independencia took this to heart by integrating its customer data and streamlining the systems in its approvals process to shorten approval times from days to mere hours.
Adopt a Flexible and Secure Integration Model: You can’t continue to think in terms of off- and on-premise infrastructures, said LeBlanc. “You need to think end-to-end.” Security is now an executive-level concern.
For leading retailer Target, integration meant unlocking its back-end system to create re-usable services to deliver a consistent and integrated experience across a customer’s online, mobile and in-store experiences. Now, Target customers can build shopping lists, online, check product availability in the store and even purchase with their phones.
Be Insight- and Data-Driven: The technology exists to turn those exabytes into insights. There’s so much information out there, and a lot of it is gold,” said LeBlanc. “Are you really taking a look at the information you have? Are you really driving your business with the right information?”
For Desert Research Institute (DRI), IBM PureData and PureApplication Systems helped their more than 500 scientists worldwide add a third dimension to their fluid dynamics modeling research models and perform increasingly complex calculations a full 10 times faster than before. And, they did it all in nine months. Closer to home, DRI is using the power of PureSystems to explore ways Las Vegas can diversify its economy beyond tourism and develop a workforce of the future.
Build on an Open Architecture: "There are fundamental architecture decisions that you need to make," said LeBlanc. "One of those is to stay on an open cloud architecture. You don’t know where the next service is coming from, and you don’t want to get tied into legacy applications that don’t let you adapt. We still spend too much time integrating and not enough innovating.” This was certainly the case for Cincom, who used the IBM Liberty profile to fix errors and change redeployment times in their apps from 7 minutes to 7 seconds.
Tomorrow's general session theme is "Impact. In Motion." I'll be summarizing it as well. In the meantime, keep abreast of the all the news from Impact 2013 by following the #ibmimpact.