IBM’s CIO 2010 Outlook

I’m going to be in Zurich for a few days, presenting at the 6th Innovation Forum. I’m actually giving two presentations. On Tuesday I will (of course) be sharing IBM’s interest in virtual worlds, but on Monday I get to deliver the IBM 2010 CIO Outlook.

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I’ve never given this pitch before. It’s IBM’s CIO 2010 Outlook, written by Dave Newbold. It’s a great presentation. I say that with absolute modesty because Dave made it. I’ve modified only slightly, jiggling some fonts around and adding a few more examples to keep me on my toes.
What does it cover? Well, the main trust is on overview of current technological and social trends and their impacts, and It’s heavily focused on the employee. Here’s a snippet from the speaker notes (slide 4).
“IBM’s workforce is transitioning to a new network generation that is facile with email, IM, blogs, feeds and social software like Facebook and My Space. This generation assumes transparent and accessible data, fluid connections with colleagues and a commitment to their work above that of the organization. We also face the loss of institutional and process knowledge in the heads of retiring ‘Baby Boomers;’ many of whom are not as comfortable with collaboration and sharing.”
Exciting stuff. I feel better about the company just thinking about this. It’s true that the workplace is changing, and while my relative youth means I’m not going to push the angle that it’s generational (I still believe you get early and late adopters in all generations) there is something to this. People do increasingly expect openness and highly connected ways of working, and knowledge that would otherwise be lost at retirement does need to be captured and shared. ‘Handover’ to a new subject matter expert is not the answer. Living in a culture of ongoing openness and sharing, that sounds more like it.
It’s great to be able to deliver what IBM is up to in this area. To quote from the speaker notes (again, Dave’s work. I rarely write such comprehensive notes myself…)
"It sounds obvious, but we continue to communicate permission to experiment and extend our environment. … For most it is an opportunity to let our early tenure employees show us the way towards more natural collaboration."
I’m not sure if I still count as early tenure, but if that last sentence doesn’t make me grin from ear to ear about where IBM is going in this space, nothing will.
The majority of the presentation is an explication of Enterprise 2.0, pulling out some of the key themes including participation, software as a service, simplicity, tagging, etc. I’m going to illustrate tagging with an in depth look at IBM’s next-generation internal employee directory, Fringe (slide 12 to 15), previously known internally as BluePages+1. This makes extensive use of tagging and feed aggregation, as well as exposing a nice API allowing other stuff to be built on top of it, so I’ll show some examples of that (slide 16). Also, I wanted to show two other examples of fun mashups which have already created by employees (um, that makes them sounds like resource. I actually mean friends). They did this for fun, in between doing their "real work". The first is Sacha Chua‘s tag cloud (slide 17), which his not only beautiful but makes a great anecdote: people spotting which of several bookmark tagclouds on a wall belong to which colleague. The other example is Darren Shaw’s blogometer (slide 18)  which first started life as a hard-to-read graph and morphed into a much easier to interpret visualisation.
Towards the end (slide 19 to 20) there’s a vision of what a future employee desktop would look like, with feeds tying together catalogs, tags and activities, all mashable, allowing people to develop their own applications from components, as well as delivering them to mobile devices. It may sounds like a pipe dream, but the direction we’ve been moving in is the right one, and the underlying components required for this are increasingly already there and it’s only a small step from where were are now to pull those components together. It’s relying on the community, and aggregating (and continuing to open up) various services and data sources, rather than cranking out some monstrous new thing.
In short, as you can probably tell, I’m looking forward to this giving the CIO 2010 Outlook on Monday. It’s to a mixed audience of IBM + non IBM, so I’ll try to record the audio and add it to slideshare on Monday night.
Then, on Tuesday, Luis Suarez will be giving a presentation on social computing, followed by me talking about virtual worlds (probably something quite similar to what I did at Warwick recently). After me is Prof. Charles Woodward of the VTT Technical Research Centre of Finland, talking about augmented reality. The sequence of social computing -> virtual worlds -> augmented reality could not have been planned better. I can’t wait.
Luis already blogged about the event, and it looks like we’ll be in the same hotel, so I am looking forward to geeking out with him over a beer or three and catching up. If you’re in Zurich and want to join us, do get in touch.

6 replies on “IBM’s CIO 2010 Outlook”

  1. Roo, this presentation is fantastic. As a ex-IBMers, I have been watching the progress in using social software for empowerment of knowledge workers. I have been “social” networking with Luis Suarez over blogsphere and Facebook wuite sometime. I would like to ask you and Dave’s agreement to include images on PP 14-18 into my articles to be appeared on trade magazine here in Japan. Appreciate your response.
    Best regards.

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