What to Tell Your Boss If You Partied Too Much at IBM Impact


“The beer was so awesome I could not find my room.” That’s not exactly what you want to tell the boss when you get back from Vegas after a week at a conference like IBM Impact.

Here’s what you do want to do. Give some good reasons why the conference rocked and why the both of you should go next year.

I did go to IBM Impact. There were three core technology themes: Mobile Development, Business Process Management and expert integrated systems. With those three as context, here are some themes you can point to in that report:

Automation: Simplicity was the number one theme at this year’s show. Pure Application Systems, part of the PureSystems family, are a core part of IBM’strategy to use pattern technology to automate the data center and application lifecycle management. At the conference, there were several demos that showed how Worklight, the new mobile app developer framework, could integrate with expert integrated systems to create configurations for app development that can then be automatically created, deployed and managed. The automation also shows the increasing popularity of the DevOps movement, which IBM views as a focal part of a data consolidation strategy.

Speed: IBM Senior Vice President Steve Mills referred to the scaling number of transactions in his keynote.

Todd Watson writes:

Mills mentioned a typical panoply of daily transaction sizes: 9.9 billion proximity mobile transactions by 2016, 18.7 million Web transactions last Cyber Monday, 864 million payment card transactions per day, 1 million transactions per second in the Amazon cloud.

The volume comes from the scaling number of end points that do transactions. The need is for fast processing and better collaboration.  BPM expert Bruce Silver points out that simplifying the portfolio was one of Phil Gilbert’s key objectives, and v8 is an important first step.  Read more about IBM’s BPM strategy here, here and here.

Agile development practices received considerable attention at IBM Impact. That points to the new demand for continuous integration of mobile enterprise apps and DevOps. IBM  made a big push for developers at the conference, culminating with an unconference.  Agile processes are forcing IT to move faster. Interestingly, IBM executives like to talk about “infrastructure developers,” pointing to its strategy for configuring apps for the enterprise. Read more about the IBM developer effort and IBM’s mobile enterprise strategy here, here and here.

SOA 3.0: IBM sees services connecting to APIs as a way to feed an extended network. That in particular applies to using APIs to connect enterprise service oriented architectures (SOA). One executive called it SOA 3.0. Connect the dots and you see how the puzzle parts fit together:

Cast Iron Live is the glue here. The Web API management system ties it all together.  Worklight fits with it for mobile development. BPM services can connect through it. It can connect to the IBM Smart Cloud or be used with PureApplications.  Mills says the services integration means organizations can move twice as fast as competitors.  You can read more, here, here and here.