Posts Tagged ‘steve mills’
Techno DJ futurist Jason Silva (formerly of Al Gore’s Current TV) kicked off the Information On Demand 2012 event here at the Mandalay Bay Arena by telling us all to “Think Big.”
Though I’d known this was the conference theme, I didn’t realize how big big was until the small, but limber, Silva gave his big presentation.
As he kickstarted the event with a blend of hyper animations and visualizations reeling behind him on a huge video screen in post-MTV fashion, I wanted to stop him and explain that to talk about big things so rapidly would allow a lot of his big ideas to disappear into the ether and to just slow downnnnn.
Jason’s look at the big picture was an interesting one, wherein he described a world that was “hyperconnected,” where we extended sensors into everything…on planes, bridges…even our conference IDs for IOD!
But Silva’s utopian vision could easily merge into a dystopia, if proffered without regard to some of the more realistic and mundane issues presented in a Big Data universe.
Small, and petty human concerns like agendas, and greed, and lack of privacy, and bias, and the other nasty little buggers which make us human.
So, though I wanted to go along with Silva’s optimistic joy ride snowblind to those considerations, someone has to be the buzz kill at this emerging Big Data party and explain there are some very real and concerning issues that will need to be dealt with, none of which Silva seemed even to allude to.
But, as techno joy rides go, his was fun even as it went by in the blink of an eye.
Once he blinked, it was IBM Software vice president Robert LeBlanc who really set the stage for the week’s tidings, explaining to the gathered audience of 12,000+ in the Mandalay Bay arena how smarter analytics would be required in the new era of computing.
As always, Leblanc started with some facts: Like how Big Analytics is what’s driving innovation and market growth in IBM’s recent CTO study.
How “technology factors” has risen to the top of the CEO agenda as the number one issue during the study’s last six years.
And how it’s no matter what part of the world you inhabit or what industry you’re in…all and everywhere will be impacted by the need for smarter analytics. This kind of transformational change is a movie we’ve seen before, first with transaction processing in the 1960s, with Internet-enabled e-business in the mid-1990s, and now, the move towards analytics becoming foundational to computing.
Two IBM customers provided two very different, yet compelling, views into this future, one they’re each already living.
ConocoPhillips principal scientist Dr. Phil Anno explained how his organization is utilizing big data analysis to maximize the economic performance of petroleum extraction in the Arctic (and prevent damage to their drilling rigs by shifting ice flows!)
Keith Figlioli, senior VP with Premier, a U.S.-based healthcare IT provider, explained how they’re using IBM technologies to drive substantial costs out of the U.S. healthcare system (he explained that 30 cents on every dollar is wasted on unneeded care and fraud in the U.S.)
Also in the opening general session, we heard from Inhi Cho Suh, VP of Information Management at IBM, who gave an excellent, if quick, summary of the three PureData systems options.
Deepak Advani, who gave an excellent flyover of how big data analytics is bringing about the rapid integration of structured and unstructured data, also highlighted www.analyticszone.com, where you can download some free tools for conducting your own personal analytics.
As the general session concluded, I scooted on over to the day one press conference, where I heard some opening comments from IBM senior vice president Steve Mills.
Mills explained how IT economics laid the red carpet for big data, that it wouldn’t have been possible had the economics of hardware, in particular, been driven down to such an affordable level so as to enable these higher performing systems required for big data analytics.
Mills also highlighted the fact that smarter analytics is a delivery of the real promise of information technology, that now customers are “buying outcomes, and time to value,” as opposed to systems and processes, and that it made sense for them to invest in such projects.
More on the actual announcements as details emerge…
After months of build up and market anticipation, the IBM InterConnect event got kick started here at Royal Sentosa Resorts on Sentosa Island in Singapore, and after a quick introduction by IBM growth markets executive, John Dunderdale, IBM senior vice president Steve Mills hit the stage and outlined the core value proposition behind the event and, more broadly, behind IT circa 2012.
“We know all of you involved in running businesses are challenged with delivering outcome and results,” said Mills. “We clearly love technology, but the end goal is improving your business and business model.”
Delivering real, discernible business outcomes. IT as a means to an end, not an end in and of itself.
Mills’ talk, entitled “Smarter Planet Solutions increasing Demands of IT,” then went on to explain and support that core thesis for the next 40 minutes, along the way sharing some eye-opening sound bytes and anecdotes.
Mills indicated that the IBM InterConnect event was designed “to give you more insight and more contacts and relationships that you can take advantage of to support your businesses.”
So yes, there would be plenty of best practices and lessons learned to come, but this convocation was also an opportunity to share and network with your peers and colleagues.
Information Technology: A Transformative Tool Of The Past 60 Years
Then Mills began to provide a big picture backdrop of IT, explaining that “technology is the transformative tool of the last 60 years, and no tool has ever done so much for humans as IT.”
But, Mills warned, we humans “sometimes get out ahead of ourselves,” and we become enraptured with the tools instead of focusing on what we can do with those tools.
The core questions, Mills went on to explain, that IT and business executives everywhere should be asking themselves is, “How do I use IT effectively, and at a price my business can afford, and in a way I can measure those discernible outcomes?”
Anything else, my own thought bubble indicated, is nothing more than snake oil off the back of a covered wagon!
Mills then went on to explain the specifics behind the IT challenge. More servers, more users, more scenarios…more everything except, perhaps, more money and people!
Moving Away From Mundane Administration And Towards Increased Business Value And Innovation
And therein lies the core of the issue. So much technology requires management and administration and focus by humans. And yet, oftentimes we’re not even making full use of the IT we have.
By way of example: There are an estimated 32.6 million servers worldwide, but 85 percent of them are often idle, and 15 percent run 24/7 without being actively used.
They’re also energy hogs — data centers alone have doubled the energy use in the past five years, and most expect an 18 percent increase moving forward in data center energy costs.
And all the numbers trend upwards, Mills noted: Between 2000 and 2010, servers grew 6X and storage 69X, so if what’s past is prologue…
But it’s not even just that, all the growth we’ve witnessed in IT hardware and software. All of this has a cumulative effect — it’s not simply the money you spent in the current year, but in ALL the investments you’ve made over an extended period of time.
Though IT has been a big labor saver on the one hand, it’s also been a very expensive proposition in that it requires new skills and labor to manage. And that was another core point of Mill’s argument, that that labor cost has grown to a size to where we need to bring the overhead down while striving to increase the value IT delivers.
An Explosion Of Big Data…And Big Insights!
Mills went on to note there’s also been an explosion of data and information. Google alone processes 24 petabytes of data in a single day, the New York Stock Exchange 1 terabyte of trading data in a single session.
What if…you could apply intelligent analysis to all that information, with an eye towards being more predictive…what if…you could be just 20 minutes ahead of your time…then what could you do???
Finding patterns in data that a single mind could never see, but with the right computing capacity…
So, both burden and opportunity, and this IT overload presents a management challenge — businesses want to be able to do more with what data they have, but they’re uncertain if they’re really getting to what the analysis could actually bring them.
Now, to the actual economics: IT operating costs were expected to have grown from $100 billion in 1996 to an estimated $217 billion in 2012, a trend NOT going in the right direction.
But as Mills explained, “The more servers you have the more servers you have to feed.” Yet that spend on mundane tasks like server administration means you have to rob Innovation Peter to pay Administrivia Paul.
All that sprawl, Mills detailed, means costs to manage growth of inventory consumes the IT budget, and in turn, only 1 in 5 organizations are able to allocate more than half their IT budgets to drive innovation.
As it is, 23 percent of new IT projects deploy late, and 55 percent experience application downtime for major infrastructure upgrades once deployed. Top causes of project delays include troubleshooting and tuning production environments (45%), and integration, configuration and testing of applications (41%).
To add insult to injury, security incidents add an additional layer of complexity and frustration here: The average cost per data breach in 2011 was $3 million, figured in terms of lost customer loyalty.
These, Mills concluded, are the challenges that lay before you, the global IT audience.
Through the remainder of the event, and via several announcements emerging this week in Singapore, Mills suggested IBM would aspire to play a key role in helping clients address the velocity of change in business and IT, and help them redouble their efforts to garner those desired business outcomes.
IBM ImpactTV 2012 Instant Replay: IBM’s Steve Mills On Big Data Analytics, PureSystems, And The Continued Importance Of Transaction Processing
At last week’s IBM Impact 2012 event at the Venetian in Las Vegas, my collaborator and fellow blogger Scott Laningham and I spent much of our week interviewing thought leaders from IBM, our Business Partners, our clients, and even our keynoters, and to help spread the word, we’ll be incorporating some of those interviews in our respective blogs over the next days and weeks.
First up, the big man himself, IBM senior vice president and group executive, Software and Systems, Steve Mills.
If you’ve been in or around the software or IT industry for any length of time, it’s very likely you’ve heard from Steve. And, as you well know, Steve always delivers — to customers, and to audiences.
This time around, Steve reminded us about the importance of transaction processing, explained the economic drivers that led to the development of IBM’s new PureSystems line of technology, and debriefed us on two recent IBM Software acquisitions in the big data analytics realm.
Transactions aren’t sexy. They’re not cool. You don’t get points for racking them up. You can’t put them on your bookshelf and show them off.
But all of that doesn’t matter, because transactions run the world — and, therefore, they rule.
They rule banking. They rule retail operations. They rule medical systems. Transactions are everything.
And transactions are us.
That seemed to be the key message behind IBM senior vice president Steve Mills’ message to the gathered Impact 2012 audience for the day 2 general session.
Mills actually keynoted second, but I wanted to deliver his message first, because it’s a critically important one: IBM is thriving in an era of ubiquitous transactions, Mills explained. “We’ve been investing in transactions for as long as there was programmable computing. How do you do effective transaction processing? How do you have true control over a unit of work, and do that at scale, especially in a world of increasingly bigger data?”
That’s where IBM Software lives and breathes. 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.
Again, transactions make the world go ‘round — until they don’t.
Transactions are like oxygen — you don’t notice them until they go wrong, and then you do notice, bigtime. IBM’s role has been to not only to make sure you don’t notice, but to increasingly evolve our technology so that the systems stack works both horizontally and vertically, enabling your business partners and others to enter your transaction ecosystem.
“Nothing will get you in more trouble,” explained Mills, “than if there’s a problem with those critical transactions.”
Of course, we’re in Vegas, so I can think of a few things, but his point remains well taken.
“Millions of transactions go through IBM mainframes a day, fundamental financial activity using CICS and MQ…these are responsibilities we take very seriously,” Mills continued.
The proof’s always in the pudding, so Mills related some key customer stories: Marriott, whose reservation booking engine does 1,500 transactions per second.
Or China Mobile, operating at a scale many businesses couldn’t even fathom: 600 million customers, 148 million transactions per day — and by implementing an IBM service-oriented architecture they’ve reduced their new application go-to-market time by 50 percent!
Now, let’s flashback to our first speaker, Johan Gerber, head of processing products at MasterCard, who was introduced by the spirited Katie Linendoll, CBS Early Morning show’s “Chic Geek,” making her much welcomed return engagement to Impact.
MasterCard was more proof in the pudding, with a company that supports more than 32 million merchants and an average of 43,000 transactions every minute, each lasting a mind-boggling 130 milliseconds.
Can you say lightning fast transactions?!!
MasterCard’s business is transactions, and Gerber explained the MasterCard network can handle about 14 billion instructions per second, and has multiple layers of protection and redundancy.
“The last thing we can afford,” Gerber explained “is for that network to go down.
“And,” he quipped. “Not even Lady Gaga has this much security.”
Being the world’s most advanced payments technology, MasterCard has been investing in IBM WebSphere technology to help them continue to innovate, and Gerber explained they “needed a technology partner they could trust.”
Trust being an explicit conditions for most successful transactions, in the network or otherwise.
MasterCard launched their new transaction platform in February of this year and have already moved two key applications there, and were able to do so in hours, instead of weeks.
“We needed this platform so we could innovate,” Gerber summarized. “Innovation is what provides differentiation. To stay ahead of the competition is key.”
There are some things money can’t buy. For everything else there’s MasterCard…and its whopping 43,000 transactions per minute.
Welcome to the Day Two Pulse Keynote summary, whereby I try to consolidate a gazillion thoughts, stories, and case studies into a coherent narrative.
First, know we had to turn off all our digital gadgets so that “iLuminate” could come onstage and dance with their lighted costumes. Their performance was amazing, but I don’t have any pictures to share so you’ll just have to trust me or go watch them on YouTube here:
Tivoli veep Scott Hebner came back onstage after the dancing was over to explain that today we were going to share our client’s success stories and that “we must achievee sharper insight into a seemingly endless infrastructure.”
Today was moving day, as it were, where we start to learn all about implementation and roadmaps to success, Hebner promised.
Really? I thought it was the day of the night that Maroon 5 took the stage!
Hebner went on to assure the Pulse audience that “we spend as much time as we can how to support our customers, as we do actually building the technologies.”
He then explained the critical importance, capabilities, and skills of our business partners through a pretty standard but relevant BP interview video, before going on to congratulate all the IBM Tivoli Business Partner award winners for 2012.
Before Hebner turned the stage over, he mentioned one last key point, that IBM has long been committed to open standards, a commitment that continues with cloud computing and IBM’s co-founding of the “Cloud Standards Customer Council (see www.cloud-council.org), which already has over 300 active members in the form of companies like Boeing, Kroger, and others.
Customer-driven cloud standards, not vendor driven.
Hebner then introduced IBM senior VP and group executive, software and systems, Steve Mills, who “has three decades of helping our clients solve their business problems.”
Mill’s keynote today was impassioned, as much didactic lecture as informative overview. Mills explained he was going to give a perspective on information technology that “centered on economics,” clearly perturbed at the continuing politics in many IT organizations that lead to bad decisions driven by turf rather than data.
To prove his point, Mills used the IBM story as one that he could relate “the art of the possible,” one of consolidation and efficiency that focused on best outcomes and achievements, not internal politics.
He put up a slide (see sidebar below) that explained how smarter planet solutions are increasing the demands placed on IT. For example, data centers have doubled their energy use in the past five years, and there’s an 18% increase in data center energy costs projected. The costs of the IT assets themselves, Mills pointed out, are only a small and marginal component of IT’s overall costs. Labor, energy, and other costs are a much more substantial component of the costs, so IT has to work much smarter, and in a much more automated fashion, to keep the costs reasonable.
Sprawl drives costs, Mills explained. “We know this from IBM, talking to thousands of businesses around the world.”
But, he went on, “we eat our own cooking,” and that IBM consolidation efforts to date had saved over $100M and counting, and that the TCO comparison for distributed workloads versus those on z Systems is a substantial savings on virtualized Linux via z.
“Linux runs like a scalded dog on the mainframe,” Mills asserted, the quote of Pulse 2012 thus far. Mills elaborated on IBM’s investments in System z: “If the work can be consolidated onto Z, we do it. System z plays a critical role in IBM’s journey. Migrations to System z have delivered almost 60% of the project’s total cumulative savings to date.”
But too many organizations don’t look at putting the right workloads in the right places and systems.
With much of IBM’s own IT workload consolidation, “We can give better service faster in IBM relative to the applications they run” Mills detailed. For example, IBM reduced server provisioning from 5 days to 1 hour. Configuration, operations, management, and monitoring labor was reduced by 50%.
In the collaboration realm, IBM now has more than 300M meeting minutes in the cloud per day and supports >85% of IBM’s overall web conferencing needs (which are, trust me, extensive. We IBMers mostly don’t live in offices anymore — we live in emeetings from our home and mobile offices!)
His message was clear: Focus your IT investments based on the reality of your business, not territory or political alignments.
As always, Steve concluded with some key customer examples. Nationwide Insurance saved $15M cost savings over three years using Linux on Systems z. Now, they have 85-90% server utilization and an 80% reduction in environmental costs.
Technische Unviersitat Munchen replaced 150+ servers with two IBM Power servers, saving 85%, and energy consumption reduced by 80%.
Carter’s Inc., a leading children’s apparel company in the U.S., now accelerates data backup by 83% and achieves a 23:1 data compression ratio when it virtualizes its data storage environment. This has reduced data backup time from 12 hours to 2 hours.
Then, Steve Mills did something he doesn’t often, and that was to open the kimono.
In fact, yesterday during our interview with Steve, I asked him what, if anything, had changed since he had taken helm of the IBM Systems group (along with his existing Software responsibilities).
His response was revealing: Nothing had changed. Work integrating our systems and software for optimizing workload would continue as it had, if not accelerate.
The following slide reveals some of the details. Based on these comments, I would expect more news on this front very soon. : )
Katie Linendoll, the “chic geek” technojournalist for both CNN and CBS, spiritedly kicked off today’s Impact 2011 morning keynote.
Scott and I had the pleasure of interviewing Katie yesterday afternoon for Impact TV, whereupon Katie went out of her way to give Scott a hard time about his pad and paper “Think” pad (Us cool kids both had iPads, albeit mine, a 1st generation, Katie’s the iPad 2).
Katie explained that for today’s session, we were going to focus on the how of building towards business agility, and then promptly introduced IBM Senior VP, Software and Systems, Steve Mills.
Steve had also joined us for an Impact TV interview, on Sunday, and continued to relay to the gathered 8,000+ member audience some of the key messages he had communicated during our interview.
In his comments, Steve pointed out for the audience how well received the IBM customer participation in both keynotes and breakouts has been, and he highlighted several in his talk: Caterpillar, NY State Tax Authority, Isbank (in Turkey), all of whom have realized great efficiencies and agility via business process management.
Mills explained that over the past decade, we’ve collectively been on a journey with SOA to build towards business agility, seizing the opportunity to leverage open standards and start to build more horizontal business processes that were no longer isolated to vertical applications.
SOA, Mills explained, has been about trying to unlock those applications and assets which define your business and the particular processes that make your business run, but that you can’t get there without unlocking your own data and assets.
But Mills also pointed out that there’s not a lot of new things in IT. Watson, for example, the computer system that recently took on and beat “Jeopardy!” world champions, is not 4 years old. “There’s over 40 years of IT science behind Watson.”
Applause from the Impact audience. Mills continued: “The last four years were really fun. The past 40 were really hard.”
Business agility requires a robust SOA infrastructure, Mills explained, and we at IBM have worked on helping build a complete infrastructure because we understood our customers wanted to tie a lot of services together and to have flexible, high-performing infrastructures.
This, in turn, could help organizations build less, reuse more, and realize significant economic benefit by bringing down the cost of execution (Most businesses today spend 70-80% of their resources managing the runtime of thousands of programs).
Mills comments about the backstory of SOA served as a perfect segueway to the customer story video Katie introduced about how the City of Madrid built a coordinated emergency management response system after the horrible 2004 bombings there, and is now realizing a 25% faster response time for emergencies (and improving all the time).
And, to Phil Gilbert, IBM VP BPM, and his demo of the new IBM Business Process Manager. Gilbert observed that there are $1T in losses in process inefficiencies every year, and yet both good and bad events have increased in both severity and frequency.
Citing Alfred Sloan, former CEO of General Motors and process improvement guru, he explained that “good management rests on decentralization with coordinated control.”
IBM’s approach to BPM can deliver such coordination.
Greetings from The Venetian Hotel and Casino in lovely Las Vegas, Nevada.
I’m writing you from a breakfast of thousands (well, it’s so early, it’s only hundreds, but give it time), which means I had to hoof it to the far nether regions of the Venetian’s inner conference sanctum to grab my imitation Egg McMuffin (which was actually pretty good).
I arrived yesterday afternoon via Southwest Airlines. Fortunately, my flight wasn’t a convertible, but it was a couple of hours late. Which, of course, meant that I wasn’t going to arrive in Vegas in time to see the end of the Masters.
Which, of course, proved to have an incredibly dramatic finish. Thank Heavens for the Masters Web site (which IBM helped produce). I was able to get updated scores from the leaderboard on the ground in Phoenix between flights.
When I arrived at McCarran airport, the cab stand line was so long, I thought they might be giving away free rides or something. Needing to be at the Venetian for our opening Webcast by 5:30, I considered walking to my hotel, but figured I might not survive the trek.
So, it was on to a local shuttle which, of course, dropped me off next to last. I was starting to think I wasn’t destined to make it to Impact.
But I finally arrived, successfully, and the rooms at the Venetian were large enough to build our own personal Webcasting studio (if I could just figure out how to raise the blinds!)
Scott Laningham and I met with our IBM media team to prepare for the evening’s Webcasting, a Q&A with IBM Vice President and Group Executive Software and Systems, Steve Mills.
Steve helped set up the big picture for Impact 2011 (he’ll be keynoting tomorrow, Tuesday), discussing everything from SOA to cloud computing to the possibilities presented by the IBM Deep Q&A technology, Watson. You can see our interview with Steve and all the Impact videos here. We’ll be talking to many more IBM execs, partners, and experts over the next three days.
For now, I’m off to catch today’s opening general session, which the calendar handout at breakfast indicates will provide a key SOA announcement from Marie Wieck, the general manager of IBM Software’s Application and Integration Middleware (AIM) organization.
Stay tuned for more from Impact!