While achieving more for business through technology at sustainable budget levels may be the ‘holy grail’, growing complexities will boost the pressures, according to the keynote speakers at this year’s Interaction IBM users forum in Melbourne last week.
Michael Sumner, Interaction president, said with IT budgets tighter than ever and when our time is tighter still, the question today is can we really do more with less?
“Or is the pursuit of this goal just a search for the holy grail? Last year I spoke a lot about information and that you should actually use it rather than collect it, because there are no prizes for coming first in collecting information. But there are prizes for coming second or third in actually using information,” Sumner said. “This year the ‘would be’ is the ‘now’ – it’s here today for you to use.”
Sumner said in IT people love to say, “The thing that never changes is the fact that it always changes.”
“And IT is very different to what it was five or 10 years ago,” he said. “The virtualization software that is available today gives you immense flexibility in your enterprise, to turn your enterprise into that on demand business.”
Sumner shared his experience with a BlackBerry mobile device as an example of change.
“I had a BlackBerry for a few weeks and the invasion on my life was quite enormous and I wasn’t quite ready for it,” he said. “The good thing was that mine didn’t work very well and I had no end of problems. I don’t think I got a BlackBerry, I think I got a GooseBerry!”
IBM Australia and New Zealand managing director, Philip Bullock, said with technology on the critical path the pressure on us to deliver is enormous.
“I think we can say that IT is becoming more pervasive,” Bullock said. “The capabilities of what we can deliver are more than they’ve ever been, but it’s far more complex today than it’s ever been. It’s far more difficult to deliver the project on time, within budget than it’s ever been.” Bullock said the results of an IBM business consulting services study of 450 CEOs across the world and 59 locally indicate growth is back on the agenda.
“Of the [respondent] CEOs, 80 percent said growth was back on the agenda,” he said. “Now interestingly, in Australia and New Zealand growth is back on the agenda but [they're] also keeping a hand on the cost.”
Bullock said 90 percent said they wanted to transform their businesses. "However, the real statistic, for me, was that 45 percent said they want to transform in two years. Something like 26 percent said they expected competition to come from areas that they are not traditionally competing in today.”
Rodney Gedda attended Interaction as a guest of IBM