IBM Pulse 2012: Speed and dexterity are key to unlocking business innovation

IBM Pulse 2012 logo

Businesses must be much more dexterous and reinvent the relationships they have with customers if they want to be successful in the long-term.

So claims Robert LeBlanc, IBM's senior vice president of middleware software, who used his keynote speech at this week's Pulse 2012 event in Las Vegas to outline his vision of the future and advise business and tech decision makers what they must do to avoid being left behind.

It's about business and technical transformation, speed and optimisation, according to LeBlanc.

The opportunity highway has ditches on both sides of the road. Managing risk on one side and cost on the other.

"Technology has to be enabling. It cannot slow the business down. When we think about infrastructure and optimising we need to not only think about costs but how to drive the speed the business needs to adapt to its market," he told the conferences 8,000-plus delegates.

Referring to C-level research conducted by IBM, LeBlanc said business leaders were being forced to operate their firms with a level of dexterity never needed before.

There are three tenets to successful managing the changes needed, according to LeBlanc.

1)Building a flexible and dexterous operational model.

2)Reinventing customer relationships.

3)Uncovering new profit opportunities.

With those at the top demanding such change, "IT has to change with it," LeBlanc claimed.

"Organisations that can't do that are not freeing up the money, the resources, the talent to go after innovation," he said. "I'll contend [if you don't adapt] all you're doing is spinning your wheels and falling further behind the leaders in your industry."

LeBlanc's words echoed those of fellow IBMer and vice president of marketing for Tivoli software, Scott Hebner.

"The opportunity highway has ditches on both sides of the road. Managing risk on one side and cost on the other," he said.

"There's an increasing gap in IT leaders' confidence levels to actually deliver what the business needs."

Business decision makers needs to be brutally honest about the state of their infrastructure and where it begins and ends. It's a case of back to basics for many, Hebner advised.

"How do I turn this new reality into an advantage? A business without limits?" Hebner added.

The only way to achieve this is to be able to view, in real-time how the business is functioning, according to Hebner.

"You cannot control what you cannot see and you cannot automate what you don't control. And if you can't automate, costs skyrocket and innovation stagnates. Addressing this challenge is exactly what this conference is about. It's about building the skills and partnerships we need to move down the opportunity highway."

Maggie Holland

Maggie has been a journalist since 1999, starting her career as an editorial assistant on then-weekly magazine Computing, before working her way up to senior reporter level. In 2006, just weeks before ITPro was launched, Maggie joined Dennis Publishing as a reporter. Having worked her way up to editor of ITPro, she was appointed group editor of CloudPro and ITPro in April 2012. She became the editorial director and took responsibility for ChannelPro, in 2016.

Her areas of particular interest, aside from cloud, include management and C-level issues, the business value of technology, green and environmental issues and careers to name but a few.