The future from IBM and Microsoft–Part 1

I finally got around to my first BLOG post last week (thanks both of you for reading it! Smile) regarding why we’re supporting the IFB2014 event in Liverpool over June and July.

I thought what may be interesting was to share some of the things we picked up from our first couple of events from IBM and Microsoft, two really good events which provided useful insights in terms of direction and strategic considerations from two of the most influential IT companies on the planet…possibly THE  two as far as business is concerned.

There was so much good stuff, I’ve realised i have to do this as a two parter! – Here’s part one!

We were joined by a number of influential speakers from both organisations, Doug Clarke, Jacqui Davey and Ben Shrive from IBM and James Akrigg from Microsoft, all to share technology and strategy focus from these two behemoths of the IT industry.

What was high on the agenda for both? CloudComputing and of course why wouldn’t it be? Cloud computing should be very high on the agenda of all IT strategy makers, business should have a cloud strategy even if the strategy is not to use cloud, it’s at least a strategy.

Cloud computing is certainly a disruptive technology from the big end players such as IBM and Microsoft and their competitors at Amazon and Google, to the consumer tools from Apple, Facebook, Netflix or the frivolity of Angry Birds, these services and the way we are now consuming them on any device, from anywhere, is something all in the IT industry should understand.

Doug Clark from IBM (who can be found @cloudstuff on twitter) discussed how this disruptive technology and change in the way we look to consume our services both business and personal has lead to the view that the “Composable Business” is the future, or at least it would be if we knew what one was.

Doug Explained it’s a business that;

  • Restlessly reinvents and innovates
  • make data decisions with real time insights
  • accelerate their time to market
  • integrate systems across the enterprise

According to IBM, The way to deliver this is the use of Dynamic Cloud, seamlessly extending the enterprises IT with on-premise and cloud services working in conjunction with each other to deliver agile, flexible and scalable IT resources to meet ever changing business needs. This for IBM included their SoftLayer offering (You can read more about that here).

Doug also covered a theme that would be explored further by James in the Microsoft session, technology is certainly changing the way we work, James challenged us to then look at how technology would now Change the Way we Do Business.

How does cloud do this?

Doug brought to us the idea of IBM “as a Service” and how this approach was the tool that business needed to help us to innovate.

How? well what stops a business quickly delivering innovative solutions? infrastructure is often the answer, be that technical infrastructure, process, man power etc.  Well cloud is certainly an enabler for that – the ability to quickly and cost effectively deploy IT infrastructure can be a huge differentiator for a business over its competitors.

The final point from IBM was how the future I.T. Manager will architect his estate, one of the favourite statistics we see I.T. infrastructure companies use is that somewhere between 70-80% of IT budget is spent on maintaining what we currently have, leaving only a small proportion of budget left to innovate and drive new technology that can deliver competitive advantage. Solutions such as SoftLayer and Microsoft Azure are designed to remove much of those costs, with many of the time and money consuming parts of running an infrastructure offloaded to your cloud provider, freeing your technical teams to spend time innovating and working on higher value solutions to support their organisations, a win-win then, happier motivated teams engaging in higher value work, providing more efficient, effective and agile technology to their organisations.

Is that the case? well for me, no doubt cloud technologies and the importance of flexible and effective technology is critical for businesses, to not take advantage of the technology wave that is cloud would seem ludicrous, but that doesn’t mean been all in or all out, personally I think it means, strategically understand where an agile infrastructure can benefit your business and then go and look at how you deploy it.

In part two, I’ll share some of the things that Microsoft added to the debate and look at some of the future tech Microsoft is going to deliver.

If you’d like to take place in the debate that our IFB events are stimulating, check out the website and come and join us.

10th July – The Future of your infrastructure- with Julian Wheeler of NetApp

17th July – CIO Forum – The Challenges of todays CIO – CIO’s from Novartis, Stobart Group, Jaguar Land Rover and Merseyside Fire and Rescue, share their experience.


First Post–Supporting International Festival For Business

I’ve been meaning for ages to start up a bit of a BLOG

Why? Well one of the real plusses of my day to day job is getting to meet lots of interesting people both customers and suppliers to look at interesting problems and help to deliver solutions and often I’ve thought, I should start a BLOG and share some of that with…well anyone who wants to have a read, be that nobody, one person or a few, doesn’t really matter.

But where do you start? Well really I wanted this BLOG to be about stuff I do that interests me and would hopefully interest others as well. So one of the things filling my time at the minute is the international festival for business that is currently being held in Liverpool.

Why’s  that interesting? well as a Liverpool based business, for us it’s important we support local initiatives wherever we can and the International Festival for Business is a huge undertaking across the City throughout June and July ( bringing business leaders and businesses together to look at developing new ideas, gaining investment and new contacts, all of the things that make the wheels of business turn.

How are we as an I.T. company supporting this great event?

The IFB is all about business growth and if you’re reading a technical BLOG then you probably already buy in to the idea that I.T. is critical to the strategic development of any business, big or small, traditional or brand new start-up. We get that and we think its very important that strategic decision makers understand what technology can do in their business and how it can be the tool to help them develop.

To support that, we wanted to bring to the IFB the very cream of IT leadership from companies who very much set the agenda for IT strategy and using our industry links we think that’s what we’ve done, we’ve already had great events with IBM and Microsoft, with Huawei and NetApp still to come. To finish of the series we have setup a unique event where attendees will get to hear from CIO’s from some of the regions biggest and well known organisations including Novartis, Stobarts, Jaguar Land Rover and Merseyside Fire and Rescue Service.

What we wanted our presenters to do was deliver insight into the way technology is developing and what that means strategically for business going forward, be that cloud, infrastructure, big data, mobility, process automation or any of the other buzz words surrounding the technical industry right now.

Why have we gone to all this trouble?

Well we do truly believe that technology can bring many great advantages to our customers, it can be used to help solve business challenges, help to underpin growth and process, and utilised in the right way can be a massive business benefit. However if the strategic planners and decision makers both technical and broader business don’t know what’s available to them, then how can they see how innovative technology will help to meet business goals?

That we do see as a problem, still to many business leaders don’t see I.T. as anything other than a cost centre rather than a tool for growth and revenue generation, we’re hoping by bringing such sizeable industry players to the region we can open up the opportunity for business leaders both locally and for those travelling to the region for the IFB event the chance to engage with major tech organisations who are shaping the future of how we do business and see how they can grow their own businesses by taking advantage of the rapid evolution of technology.

If that sounds like something that your business could benefit from there’s more information here why not take a look and join us, the massive changes in technology are happening, whether you want to take advantage or not and I suppose, if you don’t your competitors most probably will!