IBM’s internal transformation: A data-first philosophy | #ibmwow

Jeff Spicer - IBM World of Watson 2016

As businesses transform to the digital world, what are the most important conversations to have with business partners? Technology, services and products are no doubt important to the conversation; but should data also be discussed?

As a 20-year industry veteran, Jeff Spicer, a newly appointed vice president of Marketing for IBM Analytics, is an expert in digital marketing and marketing transformation. He sat down with Dave Vellante (@dvellante) and John Furrier (@furrier), co-hosts of theCUBE*, from the SiliconANGLE Media team, to discuss his new role and why the IBM philosophy is data first.

Part of an internal transformation

Spicer joined the company about five months ago as part of IBM Corp.’s own internal transformation. He explained that many at the executive level came on board recently because of a common thread: transformation.

“I know that word is overused a lot, some people roll their eyes … but it’s true,” Spicer said. “And it’s happening at multiple levels of IBM, even at the executive level, the Ginni level [Ginni Rometty, chairperson, president and CEO of IBM]. She is driving transformation across the company through product strategy, through business process. … I think it’s leaders like Ginni and their commitment to transformation that brought people like me on board from the outside.”

The democratization of data

One of the other things that attracted Spicer to IBM is that his division, lead by that Bob Picciano, SVP of IBM Analytics, has a “data-first” philosophy. He said that the team firmly believes in data differentiation and analytics to help businesses compete in the Insight Economy, stating that it’s not just about technology but more about the ecosystem and the method to help customers understand how they use data in their business.

One of the things Spicer wants to do is get data out of silos and share it across the enterprise. He pointed to using a data platform that cuts out the complexity and helps to democratize the data, making it available to non-specialists. Spicer feels it is necessary to understand the different roles within an organization and what the specific data needs are, and then to provide important capabilities for different users.

The to-do list

What are Spicer’s goals for the upcoming year?

“One is capitalizing on shifting the conversation from data products and analytics tools to putting data first. To making data the foundation of your cognitive business, and investing in, not just the toolset but in partner ecosystem and a method for getting the most out of your data,”  he concluded.

Watch the complete video interview below, and be sure to check out more of SiliconANGLE and theCUBE’s coverage of IBM World of Watson 2016.

*Disclosure: IBM and other companies sponsor some IBM World of Watson segments on SiliconANGLE Media’s theCUBE. Neither IBM nor other sponsors have editorial control over content on theCUBE or SiliconANGLE.

Photo by SiliconANGLE