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.

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