Event Report: IBM Unveils the Information Agenda at IOD 2008

Published on November 2, 2008 by R "Ray" Wang

(Photo: The show floor from IBM IOD 2008 at the Mandalay Bay Convention Center Copyright © 2008 R Wang. All rights reserved.)

IBM’s third annual Information On Demand event emerges as part of the “Must Attend” list of Enterprise Software pow wows.  More than 7000 attendees were treated to 600 technical skill building sessions and 120 business leadership sessions.  This year’s theme focused on the need to create an Information Agenda to sustain a competitive advantage and achieve business optimization.  Some interesting perspectives from the event:

  • Business optimization growth is twice as fast than business automation growth. IBM makes the case that workforce productivity, customer profitability, financial risk insight, and other optimization applications gain more traction than automation apps like ERP, HR, Financials, and CRM. POV: The era of automation emphasis is coming to an end.  After years of depositing data into systems, enterprises seek value from all the information in their ERP, CRM, or HR system.  Users expect more than automation from systems and want actionable insight designed for roles that are proactively delivered.
  • IBM is positioned for business optimization via its acquisitions in Information On Demand. The thesis – IBM is delivering information assets via DB2, FileNet, and Informix.  Business value in this trusted information can be unlocked via InfoSphere and then realize optimized business performance via business intelligence (i.e. Cognos). POV: Delivering an Information Agenda requires a tightly integrated stack.  This requires significant integration of canonical data models, business processes, meta data, and semantic information.  While IBM has made progress in bringing together its acquisitions, at this point in time no vendor has truly delivered on this from a software basis.  Considerable amounts of professional services help is still required for success.

Customers See Value In an Information Agenda, now that they know what to call it
As I was there to give talks on integrated data management strategies – Track 2787: The ROI of Instance Consolidation and Track 2792: The Business Value of Integrated Data Management,it was refreshing to find an information focused audience. Here are some interesting conversation snippets and observations:

  • Customers desperately seeking access to “real-time” and “near-time” data from legacy apps.
  • Everyone wants more device delivery choices.
  • The stack war will be Blue vs Red in the next 3 to 5 years.
  • Operational business intelligence critical for actionable insight.
  • BI is not a luxury during a downturn but a necessity for success.
  • Data archiving plays an interesting role in data optimization and meeting compliance requirements
  • MDM continues to gain traction as deal volumes have picked up in Q3 and Q4. This could be the “last big spend” before 2009 as a VP of Apps at a large CPG firm expressed.

Your POV
Have you created your own information agenda? Does this term resonate with you? Has your organization shifted from treating data as a commodity to valuing information as an asset? Post a comment or privately reach out to me at rwang0@gmail.com .

(Photo: View from Mix @ THE Hotel during the IBM Cognos reception – IOD 2008 Copyright © 2008 R Wang. All rights reserved.)

Copyright © 2008 R Wang. All rights reserved.

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