IBM’s Pulse 2010 Service Management Event wrapped up in Las Vegas this week. The event brought together IBM executives, customers, partners, analysts, and press from multiple industry verticals worldwide. Integrated Service Management (ISM) is a theme that IBM is stressing across its Applications, Infrastructure, Data Center, Server, and Network organizations. Likewise, IBM is collecting key product components from its multiple portfolios and assembling them into industry-specific solutions. The imperatives that IBM presented in the keynotes for the event were Instrumentation, Integration, and Intelligence.
First Instrumentation – it’s clear that more devices than ever will possess the ability to not only capture data but to process it and communicate it to systems and businesses. From smart meters to smart road signs to smart manhole covers – the ability to efficiently and economically monitor, manage, and secure those devices and the mountains of data they generate will be paramount to determining their eventual effectiveness.
Next Integration – Some of us are old enough to remember the centralized versus distributed debate in IT. We are now playing out the next swing of that pendulum. In the beginning computing power was expensive so networks were implemented to connect users to centralized applications. As computing power became cheap and networks more expensive, distribution of applications to individual workstations and PCs was the way to go. Now, as storage and maintenance costs soar and distributed data security and accuracy becomes a burden, efforts are underway to “integrate” IT environments using cloud technologies, high speed networks, and centralized applications. Today’s transformation efforts, like those that came before, are the result of economic and business drivers and the technology is being delivered to meet those challenges.
Finally, Intelligence – All the devices generating data and all of the users generating transactions can provide valuable insight into customer satisfaction, behavior and demand as well as return on investment, cost of ownership, validity of business strategies and the list goes on. Advanced analytics is not only possible, but is proven to add business value and provide important information that enables better decision-making. But intelligence data has a shelf-life. If the correct data cannot be quickly collected and retrieved or is not consistently formatted, it cannot be used to generate value.
The overarching requirements for all of these imperatives are cost, data management, security, and integrated management of the IT and network service elements from the core of the network to the “Where’s the Nearest Bathroom?” application running on your smart phone. The ultimate effectiveness of any infrastructure element or application can be entirely undone if adequate security cannot be maintained and integrated service management isn’t integrated if service providers can’t see the status of the user device and the applications they are running.
The main message of events like Pulse and other Service Management discussions is that every enterprise that has made software applications and networks a mission critical part of their business now has the burden of managing it. The silver lining is that they also have the opportunity to use the wealth of data they have collected to better serve their customers and generate new sources of revenue.
Click here to see my reaction to the first day's keynote addresses by Al Zollar, General Manager of IBM's Tivoli Software Group and Al Gore, Former Vice President of the US: http://youtu.be/GNm6jKUdsWY