By Alistair Rennie
GM, Collaboration Solutions
IBM Software Group
Increasingly, employees are bringing in the technology they use at home and demanding the IT department accommodate them.
For years, companies have issued mobile devices to busy executives and sales representatives who depend on their company-issued devices to get the job done. However this thinking is antiquated. In today’s increasingly mobile culture, accessing critical business applications via mobile devices is a must-have for all employees.
In response, many organizations worldwide are adopting a BYOD (Bring Your Own Device) approach. Approximately 72 percent of firms surveyed by Aberdeen Group say they allow employees to use their own smartphones or tablets for work. And a recent IDC survey said that 95 percent of workers have used technology they purchased for themselves for work. I recently met with a CEO of large and fairly conservative company in Germany who purchased 1,000 iPad devices for their employees.
When IBM began planning its centennial celebration more than two years ago, publishing a book was high on the corporate to-do list. But, rather than producing a traditional centennial book (a glossy coffee table volume full of self praise), the company decided to do something quite different. The goal was to tell the story of the evolution of progress over the past 100 years, drawing lessons from IBM’s history and times that would be useful not just to IBMers but to others in business, government and academia. Also, since many people still think of IBM as a computer hardware company, the book would reintroduce the company to the world. It’s now, essentially, a solver of complex problems.
The book, published in June in the United States and more recently in seven other languages, is Making the World Work Better: The Ideas that Shaped a Century and a Company.
To do the research and writing, IBM commissioned three journalists, Kevin Maney, Jeffrey O’Brien and myself. Mike Wing, IBM’s speech writer extraordinaire, was the editor. I believe that all four of us would tell you that making this book was one of the more interesting and intellectually challenging experiences in our careers.
Now we’d like to share the experience with you via the Making the World Work Better book club on Goodreads. From Nov. 28 to Dec. 9, we’ll be responding to questions from readers. The club is open to all IBMers, alumni and the general public. So please join us–and don’t worry if you haven’t finished the book yet.
How to join the club:
- Register for a free account on Goodreads.com or log in using your Facebook, Twitter or Google account information.
- On Goodreads.com, join the Making the World Work Better author Q&A group.
(note: if you are not logged in you may see the message “membership is restricted”)
Once you’ve joined, make the most of your experience:
- Discuss the book with other readers or add new questions for the authors.
- Invite others to join the group.
- Use the hashtag #IBM100book when you tweet about the book.
Rio De Janeiro is a bustling metropolis in a booming country–and, increasingly, an example of how government and business leaders can cooperate to make cities work better. Join the live blog today and tomorrow for coverage of speeches, panels and hallway discussions.
Here’s Sam Palmisano’s speech:
IBM, MIT Sloan School of Management and Harvard Business School today are sponsoring a symposium at the the two universities. The morning topic: How advances in information technology can help improve productivity, and improve incomes and create jobs for the 99%. It’s being followed this afternoon by a mock Jeopardy! match between Watson, IBM’s very smart computer, and teams from MIT and HBS.
Teams of three students from MIT/Sloan and HBS take on IBM’s Watson. (This is only the second contest matching Watson against collegians. In the previous contest, Watson beat teams from Carnegie Mellon University and the University of Pittsburgh. Pitt came in second, much to the chagrin of rival CMU!)
Harvard wins the first question, with “What is Belize?” Answering: countries in central America, ending with “e”
But then Watson takes over, running the category.
The machine picks “Who’s Your Daddy Company?” as the next category, eliciting a huge hook of laughter from the audience.
They finished the Jeopardy! round, with Watson, $8600; Harvard, $5200 ; and MIT, $-200 .
(I got disconnected from HBS’s Wi-Fi at a crucial moment, destroying the coverage of the second round. Grrrrr)
Clue: Finding the spot for this memorial caused its creator to say “Americans will march across that skyline.”
The question: Mt. Rushmore.
Harvard and Watson answer correctly. MIT does not.
Final score: Watson, $53,601; Harvard, $42,399; MIT, $100.
!!!!! Continue Reading »
Twenty years ago, Finnish graduate student Linus Torvalds launched a revolution–but he didn’t know he was doing so at the time. He posted a notice on a computing message board saying he was creating a kernel, or central utility, for a “free” computer operating system. He planned on using components from the GNU open-source software portfolio and using a popular open-source license called GPL, so people could freely use and contribute to the software. He named his operating system Linux and invited anybody who wished to contribute code. This was “just a hobby,” he wrote.
Today Linux is one of the most important pieces of software on the planet. It runs the computers for major Web sites including Facebook, Amazon.com and Google; powers 75% of the stock exchanges worldwide; and is a core technology in 95% of the world’s supercomputers. Linux runs in many mobile phones and is a core ingredient of cloud computing.
And Torvalds? He’s a fellow at the Linux Foundation, which is the organization that coordinates Linux development and promotion. He works at his home office in Portland, Oregon, presiding over the continuing development of the kernel. Torvalds agreed to answer a few questions by email about Linux and what he’s up to. He declined to address big open-ended questions, such as what Linux has accomplished. He leaves such judgments to others.
Question: On the 20th anniversary, how do you feel about Linux and your role in its development?.
Torvalds: I’m very happy with how things are going. Twenty years into it, it’s still interesting and it’s still challenging. And it’s different, and it’s never gotten to be some boring daily grind. And while my role in it has changed from being a core developer to be more of a manager (but without the logistical side to it. I don’t need to “take care” of people, only worry about the technical side), I still feel that I add value, so I’m happy.
Here’s a video commemorating the anniversary from the Linux Foundation: