The expression Moore’s Law has become standard shorthand for exponential improvement in the tech industry. Through the ability to effectively double the number of transistors on a chip about every two years, the semiconductor industry has been behind significant improvements in business and society. These range from lab-on-a-chip devices to more feature-packed smartphones to the ultra-fast, information-processing thinking machine that is Watson.
What makes this continuous rate of improvement in computer processing speeds possible is standardization. That same principle — using customer value as the yardstick for justifying the expenditure of resources — has already been applied to software, too. Over the past few decades, the move to reusable software has encouraged developers to focus their time and gray matter on that very small percentage of a coding task that is actually unique.
IT services is the “final frontier”
Organizations today rely more than ever on their core IT systems to help them stay out in front of today’s complex and fast-changing business and technology environment. By 2013, 80% of businesses will support a workforce using tablets.* The “digital universe” will grow to 1.8ZB in 2011, up 47% over 2010.** The shift to cloud computing is only going to continue to spread as businesses achieve the benefits of increased reliability and information security, lower costs, greater IT flexibility, and faster application upgrades. On today’s Smarter Planet, intelligence is being infused into the systems and processes that make the world work—cars, appliances, roadways, power grids, clothes, even natural systems such as agriculture and waterways. On the client side, today’s buyers (both consumer and B2B) have become more informed and empowered, using the Internet and social media to shop for products, compare prices and solicit opinions from friends or colleagues.
These huge shifts mean that business leaders are no longer focused exclusively on cost reduction when they assess their IT infrastructure and core systems. Instead they are looking to new technologies to support initiatives that will add value to the company, versus focusing on subtracting costs from the balance sheet.
IBM is responding to this need by bringing the principles of standardization and software engineering to technology services. We are moving from custom engagements, built from scratch over and over again, into pre-engineered, repeatable assets that can easily be customized for a client’s specific industry, market or growth plan.
IBM has been a pioneer in the development and progression of information science and has evolved its strategy to solve real-world challenges business leaders have faced over the last 100 years. From the first outsourcing engagement in the 1980’s to today’s generation of information technology, IBM has transformed its IT services business by baking its industry-leading expertise, software capabilities, experience and best practices into services assets that will speed solution delivery, reduce costs, improve quality and enable clients to get to value faster.
One simple example is in the area of transitioning and transforming a clients’ IT environment where it used to take us 90 days to finalize this process. With these newly standardized services we can now do it in a third of that time. That is a more than 60 percent reduction in time to transformation.
These developments include many significant enhancements, including the ability to scale enterprise cloud capabilities across our range of services, an acceleration of how we infuse technologies into our services offerings, and the benefit of ongoing insights from nearly 1,000 researchers worldwide working on services innovation.
Whether clients are wrestling with the challenges of the mobile enterprise, Big Data, the need for better analytics, information security, or just a more efficient approach to their IT operations, IBM’s ability to build solutions from pre-engineered technology services will help.
Moore’s Law illustrates that technology can scale almost infinitely. Applying technology and reusability to the services discipline frees up both IBM and its clients to collaborate more on solving business problems and exploring new possibilities where everyone benefits from smart, customized work.
* Source: Gartner Research Note: Gartner’s Top Predictions for IT Organizations and Users, 2011 and Beyond: IT’s Growing Transparency, Brian Gammage, Daryl C. Plummer et al. ID Number: G00208367, Nov 2010
** Source: IDC, “IDC Predictions: Welcome to the New Mainstream” Doc #225878, Dec 2010.