Top 10 Takeaways from IBM Impact 2014

20140430094627  WED IMPACT 2014 LR WGS WED GENERAL SESSION KEVIN SPACEYAfter five days of Vegas and five days at the IBM Impact 2014 conference as PureSystems tech beat reporters, my colleague Claudio Tagliabue and I thought it was only appropriate to share each of our five key takeaways from the week (5+5=10 key takeaways). And since we started off the week with a blog post we co-wrote together, we thought it was only appropriate to end with one final post together!

My five take-aways, in random order:

  • Impact is probably the only place to get updated on what our customers and business partners have accomplished with IBM since last year, numerous customer examples and awards prove this.
  • IBM is a smart company. There were tons of thrilling product announcements that really put IBM technology at the forefront of today’s smarter ways of doing things. Doing projects like onFarm, combining deep thunder with Cognos to drive smart irrigation saving water and improving yield and profit, the stuff Walgreens envisioned to do – and eventually even did. Pretty amazing!

  • The internet of things is for sure here to stay. I wonder how many Vegas shops have had request for Jerry’s tie, or just the pile of ideas that popped up after seeing the incredibly easy center stage demonstrations with sensors and other intelligent devices.

  • “Cloud” has been probably the most used noun during this year’s Impact. Another milestone in IT history given all the announcements and cool products in the cloud area; 2014 promises to become a “cloudy year.”
  • Over the past years the focus has shifted from purely IT to the different line of businesses, and this year’s shift recentered the developer. Giving them tools and techniques to easiely and quickly support the LOB’s or C-levels for an optimised business.

And Tag’s top five takeaways:

  • Businesses are composable. A software tool is not the answer to complex business problems. IBM wants to help businesses approach and solve problems at an ecosystem level. With a wide portfolio, and the prediction of this paradigm shift, Websphere will allow customers to build their business.
  • Put the developer back in the control seat. Developing and deploying smart applications quickly is going to be key. Both the BlueMix and the new Cloud market place announcements go in this direction. IBM understands that businesses can be reshaped, one application at a time.
  • Cloud is the future, we all know that, but hybrid cloud is probably the answer to most of today’s concerns in this space. PureApplication System and Service on SoftLayer create a unique, seamless hybrid cloud model, that allows you to go to the cloud with confidence that business-critical application components will stay at arm reach.
  • In the era of open source, customers want to trust reliable software vendors for their core business. Heartbleed could be the first of many open source security breaches. Why risk it?
  • IBM has a vision that goes beyond what customers want today. Impact has brought many groundbreaking announcements that show how IBM is determined to anticipate the market in fields like cloud and the future of infrastructure. I’ve never seen an elephant dancing so gracefully.

For some odd reason these did not make it into our top five list but they are certainly worth mentioning:

  • Networking is extremely important and easy to achieve at events such as these. It’s very likely one of the participants can help you solve a complex business or IT issue, or at least share his thoughts with you on an even improvised brainstorming session
  • Listen to at least one great motivational speaker – Mr. Kevin Spacey certainly lived up to expectations.
  • Having fun with colleagues, partners and customers. Remember, what happens in Vegas, stays in Vegas, except for our blog posts.

Both Tag and I would like to thank everyone who made Impact the amazing event that it is! We hope to be back next year for a joint Impact – Pulse event in February.


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Tom Bal

About Tom Bal

Tom Bal is a Senior Certified IT Specialist in the Software Group. Tom joined IBM Belgium through the Lotus acquisition in early 2000. For several years, he was part of the services team, assisting clients and Business Partners with different Lotus products, including IBM Lotus Notes and Lotus Workplace. He then became the technical presales representative for IBM WebSphere portal. In 2012, after two years as a client IT architect for the telecommunications industry, Tom rejoined Software Group to cover PureApplication System for the region of Europe known as Benelux, which includes Belgium, the Netherlands, and Luxembourg. Tom holds a Master of Arts degree in Translation.