IBM Announces 11 New IBM Fellows

Video: 50th Anniversary of the IBM Fellow Program

IBM is a great place to work because there are so many smart people.  And the best of the bunch are called IBM Fellows

The IBM Fellows program was founded in 1962 by Thomas J. Watson, Jr., as a way to promote creativity among the company’s “most exceptional” technical professionals. The following year, the first appointments were made and the tradition has since carried on every year. The Fellow honor acknowledges an IBM Researcher’s important contributions and industry-leading innovations in developing some of the world’s most important technologies.

Recently, IBM announced a record number of eleven scientists to the 2014 class of IBM Fellows.  The 2014 IBM Fellows have influenced a broad array of technologies in the following areas: Brain-inspired cognitive computing, security platforms, computational science, cloud computing, business database and analytics, and high performance, enterprise storage technologies. IBM Fellows have a history of pushing the boundaries of science and technology to deliver improved solutions for constantly changing, global business needs.

The 2014 IBM Fellows represent a microcosm of IBM’s diverse global research and technical community. Their backgrounds vary—from a village in southern India to the holy city of Jerusalem to a small town in central Kentucky.   However, from different starting points, today these 11 leaders in their respective fields have reached the same destination…they are now IBM Fellows.

Congrats to the new IBM Fellows!

Application Software Development Trends and Prediction Articles for 2014

Keeping pace with new trends such as mobile, big data analytics, and the growing move towards cloud-based systems has brought new and more challenging issues to the forefront of application development. In today’s environment, application development teams are exploring ways to increase agility, develop new skill sets, implement distributed teams, and implement more complex software engineering methods.

I recently published my trend report Application Software Development Trends to Watch in 2014.  It is over on slideshare.    Below I’ve provided you a list of 10 articles that you might be interested in.

Source Title
Zenoss Why 2014 is the year of the Software Defined Data Center
Computer Weekly The future of application development
SDNZone SDN Predictions 2014: How SDN Will Transform IT
ZDNet Enterprise software 2014: Three themes to ponder
sdnCentral SDN and NFV Technology Trends to Watch in 2014
Fierce Wireless Tech SDN will be 2014’s biggest network trend, says Strategy Analytics
The Guardian 10 app trends for 2014: privacy, wearables, education and more
Tech Republic 10 predictions for open source in 2014
APM Digest 14 APM Predictions for 2014
Web Ascender 14 Website Trends for 2014

 

SteadyServ’s iKeg™ Solution: Leveraging The Third Computing Platform

SteadyServ iKegThe collection of IoT (Internet of Things), Mobile, Cloud, Social, and Data Analytics trends are enabling a whole new era of intelligent solutions for businesses of all sizes.   IDC calls this the Third Platform and Gartner calls it the Nexus of Forces.  Whatever you want to call it, we are experiencing a historical transformation in the computing platform for businesses.  Solution providers must accelerate their ability to develop solutions that leverage these collection of trends.

For an example of a Solution Provider leveraging this new computing platform, have a look at SteadyServ Technologies.  SteadyServ has just launched the iKeg™, a mobile SaaS-based (software as a service) inventory management solution, for the beer industry.   According to  SteadyServ CEO and co-founder Steve Hershberger, “beer sold in retail establishments accounts for a $21bn industry, yet the industry still relies on the inaccurate process of ‘shaking the keg’ – the same method used since the inception of the product.”  SteadyServ has set out to automate beer inventory management.

At the heart of their new solution is a sensor that easily attaches to the bottom of a beer keg.  That sensor can tell a beer distributor or a tavern owner, in real time, exactly how many kegs are in the cooler and how much beer is left in each keg. 

The iKeg™ system actually consists of three parts – the hardware, software and a mobile app.  The hardware combines the aforementioned removable sensor ring and a RFID tag.  Once the RFID tag is scanned, the cloud-based software receives the data from the sensor, tracking how much beer remains, type of beer, age and when it was delivered.  Analytics in the iKeg™ solution measures and reports the real-time inventory of draft kegs, which is all accessible via a mobile app. 

The iKeg™ mobile app allows you to send customizable automatic social alerts to Facebook and Twitter every time a new beer goes on tap. It also provides a number of fully-integrated tools to help promote your establishment, special event or a unique beer that you might want to highlight. Have a look at the mobile app in the video below.

SteadyServ’s new iKeg Mobile App

Pretty neat, isn’t it?

The iKeg™ solution also automates the order and fulfillment process for the entire inventory of draft, bottled and canned beers.   All this information is then tallied with the stock, the next delivery date, previous order information, event information, and past and future beer consumption trends.  In addition, the iKeg™ solution uses advanced machine-to-machine communication technologies to ensure that the system is secure, reliable and highly scalable.  

It seems to me SteadyServ has a bright future ahead.  It’s a perfect example of an innovative solution provider leveraging the IoT (Internet of Things), Mobile, Cloud, Social, and Data Analytics trends.   I see the a whole new era of similar cloud-based solutions that will be developed and implemented as part of this new computing platform.

For more on iKeg™ or SteadyServ, check out their website at http://www.steadyserv.com.  You can also follow SteadyServ on Twitter at @steadyserv or via the hashtag #ikeg.

General Electric and Open Innovation

I recently did some research into how General Electric has been using contests (they call them challenges and quests) as part of their Open Innovation portfolio.  I came away impressed with their use of ‘challenges’ and ‘quests’ in order to crowdsource ideas and technology solution for real business problems.

The way I define  Open Innovation is that you are open if you incorporate both internal and external input into your idea/brainstorming processes.   But there is another part of open that is important and that is you share your innovations back to the community in order to 1) get feedback and 2) help others innovate.

GE caught my eye as it recent launched two 3d Printing/Additive Manufacturing ‘quests’.  See the summary of that quest below.  Additive manufacturing is a key part of the advanced manufacturing revolution and is an area I have done a bunch of research on this year, so my radar was up. 

But my post here is not about 3D Printing but in summarizing for you examples of how G.E. has used open innovation over the years.  The list below is not meant to be an exhaustive list.  I am sure there are others not on the list here.  However, you get a feel for the type of focus G.E. has on open innovation, which is impressive.  

Example Projects in 2013

Project:  GE Opens Thousands of Patents to Garage Inventors from the Quirky Community
About:  A new partnership between GE and Quirky that will allow everyone to participate in the development of new products.  The partnership will consist of two parts: a new platform where GE will open thousands of its most promising patents and new technologies to the Quirky community for the development of new consumer products; and a co-branded product development initiative to build a full line of app-enabled connected devices for the home in areas such as health, security, water, or air that will be developed using advanced manufacturing tools and technologies. This new line of products will be co-branded Wink: Instantly Connected.
Press Release:   http://www.genewscenter.com/Press-Releases/GE-AND-QUIRKY-PARTNER-TO-INSPIRE-INVENTION-3f10.aspx
GE’s page on Quirky:  http://www.quirky.com/ge
See more at http://www.gereports.com/designed-for-speed/

Innovation Challenge:  Head Health Challenge
URL:  http://www.ninesights.com/community/nfl-ge-grand-challenge   More info at http://www.ninesights.com/servlet/JiveServlet/downloadBody/3779-102-5-6917/Head_Health_Challenge_I.pdf
About:  GE and the National Football League’s Head Health Challenge I aims to develop new solutions to help diagnose mild traumatic brain injury and invites proposals for scanning technologies and biomarkers that can accelerate growth.  Proposals are currently being accepted for Challenge I: Methods for Diagnosis and Prognosis of Mild Traumatic Brain Injuries.  Multiple awards are available for winning proposals (See http://www.ninesights.com/community/nfl-ge-grand-challenge/process#/award  )
Press Release:  http://www.genewscenter.com/Press-Releases/GE-NFL-LEADING-HEALTHCARE-EXPERTS-TEAM-UP-TO-ACCELERATE-CONCUSSION-RESEARCH-DIAGNOSIS-TREATMEN-3e67.aspx
G.E. Partners:  NFL, Under Armour, NineSigma/NineSights
Dates: Challenge 1 Dates:  March – July 15, 2013  /  Challenge 2 Dates: Oct 2013 – Feb 2014
Stats as of July 15, 2013:  Forums:  42 Discussions.    http://www.ninesights.com/community/nfl-ge-grand-challenge/community/forum

Open Engineering Quest:   Additive Manufacturing / 3D Printing
URL:   http://www.ge.com/about-us/openinnovation  and fact sheet at http://www.ge.com/sites/default/files/Parts%20Challenges_Fact%20Sheet_FINAL.pdf
About:  Two additive manufacturing quests that invite entrepreneurs, companies and institutions to offer their solutions to two additive manufacturing challenges: 3D Printing Design Quest and 3D Printing Production Quest: High Precision and Advanced Materials.
Press Release:  http://www.genewscenter.com/Press-Releases/GE-Launches-Open-Engineering-Quests-Asks-Maker-Community-to-Push-the-Boundaries-of-What-is-3D-Print-4092.aspx
G.E. Partners:  GrabCAD and NineSigma
Challenge 1:   3D Printing Design Quest – Redesign the Aircraft Engine Bracket
Challenge 1 Dates:   Phase 1 – June,11, 2013 – July 26, 2013  /  Phase 2 – August 15 – November 15
Challenge 2:   High Precision and Advanced Materials – Prove Your Production Capabilities
Challenge 2 Dates:  Phase 1 – June,11, 2013 – July 26, 2013  /  Phase 2 – Oct 1, 2013 – January 8, 2014

Challenge:   Hospital Quest
URL:   https://www.gequest.com/c/hospital/
Challenge Dates:  November 29, 2012 – December 21, 2012.  Winners announced March 2013
About:  Challenge explored ideas for how to create a better experience for both hospital patients and their caregivers, identifying opportunities that could be addressed by apps. Entries encouraged in any and every part of the hospital experience, including pre-admission, interaction with hospital on scheduling, lab work, in-patient experience and discharge practice.  For the Hospital Quest, the winners will receive a total prize pool of $100,000 from GE.
Press Release:  http://www.genewscenter.com/Press-Releases/GE-ANNOUNCES-INDUSTRIAL-INTERNET-QUESTS-CHALLENGING-DEVELOPERS-FROM-DESIGNERS-TO-DATA-SCIENTISTS-3cae.aspx
G.E. Partners:  Kaggle
Phase 1 Winners: https://www.gequest.com/c/hospital/details/winners
Stats as of July 2013:    Ideas:  222   Forum Discussions:  39 Topics/125 Posts/40,000+ Views

Challenge:   Flight Quest
URL:   https://www.gequest.com/c/flight/
Challenge Dates:  November 29, 2012 – March 11, 2013. 
About:  Challenge explored ideas for how to develop a usable and scalable algorithm that delivers a real-time flight profile to the pilot, helping them make flights more efficient and reliably on time.  Submitters were given to large data sets (provided entrants with a set of two months of flight data, such as arrivals, departures, weather, and latitudes and longitudes along the way) and had to predict both the runway arrival time and the gate arrival time for each airplane.  The combined winners from two phases of Flight Quest will receive a total prize pool of $500,000 from GE.
Press Release:  http://www.genewscenter.com/Press-Releases/GE-AND-PARTNERS-ALASKA-AIRLINES-AND-OCHSNER-HEALTH-SYSTEM-ANNOUNCE-WINNERS-OF-INDUSTRIAL-INTERNET-F-3eed.aspx
G.E. Partners:  Alaska Airlines, Kaggle, FlightStats, Inc.
Phase 1 Winners:  https://www.gequest.com/c/flight/details/winners   Also see Technology Review article:  http://www.technologyreview.com/news/513141/a-data-crunching-prize-to-cut-flight-delays/
Stats as of July 2013:  Teams:  179  /  Ideas:  3,073  /   Forum Discussions:  155 Topics/684 Posts/60,000+ Views

 

Example Projects in 2012

ecomagination Challenge:   GE Australia & New Zealand Low Carbon Solutions and Technologies
URL:   http://challenge.ecomagination.com/anz
Challenge Dates:  August 21 – 2012 – November 30, 2012
About:  An innovation experiment where businesses, entrepreneurs, innovators and students share their best ideas on how to reduce carbon emissions.
Press Release:  http://www.genewscenter.com/Press-Releases/GE-announces-10-million-in-funding-for-clean-technology-innovation-in-Australia-and-New-Zealand-3a91.aspx
G.E. Partners:  Cleantech Ventures, CVC Limited, Greenhouse Cleantech, MH Carnegie & Co and Southern Cross Venture Partners
Phase 1 Winners:  35 finalists announced at http://challenge.ecomagination.com/ct/k.bix?c=anz
Challenge Stats as of July 2013:   Ideas:  183  /  Comments:  713  /  Users:   85,431

ecomagination Challenge:  China
URL:   http://www.ecochallenge.cn/
Challenge Dates:  Sept 2011 – April 2012
About:  The aim was to search for and bring to market gas-powered energy innovations to meet the country’s growing energy and environmental needs. The open innovation competition was the largest of its kind in China, garnering more than 200 submissions targeting participants from the public, private and national sectors.
Press Release:  http://www.ge.com.cn/enewsletter/geinchina72.htm#business1
G.E. Partners:  Baird Capital Partners Asia, CITIC Capital, Genertec Investment, Milestone Capital, Northern Light Venture Capital, Sequoia Capital and Shanghai Science and Technology Investment Corporation.
Phase 1 Winners:  The companies and individuals behind the first four winning ideas received $50,000 each in prize money. The fifth winner, who entered a non-gas power-related idea, received the ecomagination Challenge Campus Star Award, which included $2,000 in prize money along with an apprenticeship at the GE China Technology Center in Shanghai.

Example Projects in 2011

Challenge:   $100 million healthymagination challenge – Assembling Tools to Fight Cancer
URL:  http://challenge.healthymagination.com/health
Challenge Dates:  Sept 2011 – Nov 2011
About:  In September 2011, GE and partners launched a $100 million open innovation Challenge, which sought to identify and accelerate ideas that advance breast cancer early detection and diagnostics. Through a series of challenges, GE welcomed researchers, businesses, students and other innovators to submit breakthrough ideas for funding consideration. During phase one of the Challenge, which closed on November 20, 2011, nearly 4,000 people engaged on the Challenge portal, submitting over 500 ideas and leaving 170 comments.
Press Release:   http://www.genewscenter.com/Press-Releases/GE-Partners-Announce-Winners-of-the-First-Stage-of-100-Million-healthymagination-Cancer-Ch-3737.aspx
G.E. Partners:  Kleiner Perkins Caufield & Beyers, Venrock Capital, Mohr Davidow, and MPM Capital
Phase 1 Winners:  From the Phase 1 submissions, five seed winners were selected by an independent judging panel and were awarded $100,000 each from GE to develop ideas relating to the diagnosis, treatment, and awareness of breast cancer
Stats as of July 2013:  Ideas:  514  / Comments:  15,165  /  Users: 7,352

Challenge:   GE’s ecomagination Challenge: Powering Your Home
URL:   http://challenge.ecomagination.com/home
Challenge Dates:  Entries Closed on March 15, 2011
About:  Powering Your Home was Phase II of the GE ecomagination Challenge, a $200 million innovation experiment where businesses, entrepreneurs, innovators and students shared their best ideas on how to improve our energy future. Phase II of the ecomagination Challenge focused on home energy with an open invitation for innovative ideas about capturing, managing, and using energy in the home.
Press Release:  http://www.genewscenter.com/Press-Releases/GE-and-Venture-Capital-Partners-to-Invest-63-Million-in-10-Home-Energy-Technology-Companies-as-part-of-ecomagination-Challenge-Powering-Your-Home-31b4.aspx
G.E. Partners:  Emerald Technology Ventures, Foundation Capital, KPCB and Rockport Capital
Phase 1 Winners:  http://challenge.ecomagination.com/ct/j.bix?c=home
Challenge Stats as of July 2013:   Ideas:  931  /  Comments:  10,000+  /  Users: 70,000

 

Example Projects in 2010

Challenge:  GE’s Ecomagination Challenge: Powering the Grid
URL:   http://challenge.ecomagination.com/ideas
Challenge Dates:  July 13, 2010 and September 30, 2010.
About:  GE’s Ecomagination Challenge: Powering the Grid is an open call to action for businesses,
entrepreneurs, innovators and students seeking breakthrough ideas to create a cleaner, more efficient and economically viable grid, and accelerate the adoption of smart grid technologies.  The Challenge invites people to come together to take on one of the world’s toughest challenges – building the next-generation power grid to meet the needs of the 21st century.
Press Release:  http://www.genewscenter.com/content/detail.aspx?ReleaseID=10580&NewsAreaID=2
G.E. Partners:  RockPort Capital, KPCB , Foundation Capital, and Emerald Technology Ventures and with Chris Anderson, Editor-in-Chief, Wiredmagazine
Phase 1 Winners: http://challenge.ecomagination.com/ct/e.bix?c=ideas
Challenge Stats as of July 2013:  Ideas:  3908  /  Comments:  80,421 /  Users:  85,431

19 Gamification Trend Articles for 2013

game - ChessWhat is Gamification you ask?  Gamification is applying game-design to non-game applications.  The main objective is influence employee or customer behavior in order to motivate them, in a fun and entertaining way, to solve a problem or execute a business process.  There are many potential applications of Gamification across all business processes.  Gartner has said that they believe 70% of the Fortune 2000 corporations will have implemented a Gamification application by 2014.  Market leaders include Badgeville and BunchBall.  Other companies in the space include Crowdfactory, Gamify.it, Hoopla, Kudos, ObjectiveLogistics and Rypple (a salesforce.com company).

The following is a list of articles and blog posts I have uncovered in my research that discuss the potential for Gamification in 2013.



Source Title of Article / Blog Post
Cisco A Gamified Cloud In 2013
ClickZ Your 2013 Marketing Goal – Gamification
CopperFox Marketing Is gamification the hottest digital trend for 2013?
Destination CRM Blog Badgeville CEO Kris Duggan’s 2013 Gamification Predictions
ECommerce Times Gamification Brings In Serious Business
Frankwatching Gamification in 2013:  going up or going down?
Gamification Corp Top Articles for Enterprise Gamification in 2012
GCO Why You Shouldn’t Ignore Gamification in 2013
Hoopla.net Gamification Trends for 2012 (video)
Landor Trend One: Gamification
MyGamification.com Understanding Gamification Trends
notperfectbutcommitted.com Technology trends – Gamification of Applications
Rise Interactive Use Gamification to Inspire Your Employees in 2013
Talentim HR Trends. No.4: Gamification
The Economist Gamification
VentureBeat Five predictions on where gamification is going next
VentureBeat Play to win: 7 steps to making gamification work in enterprise
VentureBeat The DeanBeat Game industry predictions for 2013
Yahoo (Yyoga Press Release) Gamification is the Key to Fitness Motivation in 2013

IDC Government Insights: 2012 Technology Predictions and Trends

imageI attended IDC Government Insights Predictions 2012:  Government conference call today.  I look forward to the IDC series of conference calls every year as it helps me understand the critical issues and trends that impact Information Technology decisions.  

The conference call was led by IDC Vice President Thom Rubel, and IDC Research Directors Ruthbea Clarke, Shawn McCarthy, and Adelaide O'Brien 

Summary and Key Themes

IDC says that the Government spending on IT in the U.S. will reach $82B.  The majority of that is Federal, with spending at the Federal level split about evenly between DoD and Civilian initiatives.  IDC expects the majority of this spending will be allocated to improve decision-making, operational efficiency, and citizen services for 2012

Overall, IDC believes there are four overall themes to watch in Government spending for 2012:

  1. Operational Efficiency:  Broader strategies are need to reduce operational costs
  2. Mobility:  Better management and provision of services are required
  3. Smart Government:  Improve the value of information and broaden service channels
  4. Economic Sustainability:  Investing to improve quality of life and promote economic growth/competitiveness

Top Ten Predictions for 2012

The 2012 predictions lists are developed from IDC analysts, who draw upon their ongoing discussions with industry clients, vendors, and years of experience.  The list below was sourced from the conference call slides.

  1. Cloud Computing.  “Up to 10% of States will have shared cloud hubs by the end of 2012, rapidly growing to 65% of the States by 2015”.
  2. Social Media.  “The use of social media for U.S. Local, State, and Federal organizations will begin the move from experimental to systematic information dissemination and collection.”
  3. Mobility.  “Mobility will become the number 1 IT governance issue and moves beyond device management to encompass broader business issues.”
  4. DataCenters.  “Small datacenters in the U.S. Federal government will hit the endangered species list in 2012 and be reduced by 70% with State and Local governments following suit.”
  5. Business Process Outsourcing.  “Over 20% of government IT and business process outsourcing requests for proposals will include service-level agreements tied to internal business and/or program outcomes.”
  6. Smart Cities“The growing availability of intelligent technology solutions will accelerate global investment in smart city technologies to $40.9 billion in 2012.”
  7. Service Level Agreements.   “Due to increased use of cloud computing, CIOs will spend up to 20% of their time in 2012 reviewing the terms and conditions of service-level agreements and mover toward standardization.”
  8. Big Data.  “Governments will take small steps to satiate their big appetite for Big Data.”
  9. Communication Networks.  “Foundational high-speed communications networks will finally hit critical mass.”
  10. Smarter Government.  “Governments will start updating legacy systems and engage in cross-agency collaboration that will move them to a higher stage in smart government maturity.”

The last few minutes of the conference call was spent going over recommendations and guidance to those in governments and those at vendors who serve governments.

For More Information

IBM: 2011 Technology Trends Survey Results and Report

image Last month, IBM released it’s 2011 IBM Tech Trends Report, which is one of the top reports I suggest you read about tech trends going into 2012.  It’s a great report because it’s developed from a survey of more than 4000 IT professionals from 93 countries and 25 different industries. 

Summary: 

The IT professionals surveyed identify adoption drivers and inhibitors around important emerging trends such as Analytics, Cloud Computing, Mobile, and Social Business. 

Key findings in the 2011 IBM Tech Trends Report include:

  • Analytics:  Analytics was named as the most in demand area for software development in the future.
  • Open Source:  87% of respondents believe open source and open standard technologies will play a key role in the future of application development.
  • Cloud Computing:  During the next 2 years more than 75%  of organizations will engage in cloud computing.
  • Mobile and Cloud.  Fifty-one percent of respondents cited the adoption of cloud technologies as part of their mobile strategy.
  • Social Business.  Regional cultural differences impact social business adoption. India is highest with a 57% adoption rate, while US is at 45% and China’s at 44%. Russia shows the strongest resistance with a 19% adoption rate.

Top 8 Programming Skill Areas Identified

  1. Application Development
  2. Mobile
  3. Cloud Computing
  4. Database Management
  5. Business Analytics
  6. Security
  7. Software/systems engineering
  8. Business Process Management

For More Information: 

Report:  Get the report and share your thoughts at: http://www.ibm.com/developerworks/techtrendsreport

Twitter:  Join the Twitter conversation: #TechTrends

Videos:

Press Release:  IT Professionals Predict Watson Technology To Transform Education Industry

Eight Ways IBM Develops a View of the Potential Futures

Last week I presented at the 47th meeting of the Technology Market Analysis Group.  The theme for the meeting last week was “Trend Spotting and Forecasting Market Disruptions”, a theme that was right up my alley.   I’ll blog more about TMAG and the meeting in the coming days. 

How IBM Develops Views of the Potential Futures - Aug2011The inspiration for my presentation came from a white paper “100 years of foresight: The importance of long-term thinking at IBM” written by my IBM colleague David Jarvis, Senior Consultant of the IBM Center for Applied Insights team.

This was a very timely topic as this past June IBM celebrated its 100th birthday…a major milestone in the company's history.  It’s important to pause and reflect how a company like IBM continues to survive and even thrive in an industry that experiences one disruptive trend after another.  The answer lies in a series of initiatives designed to help the company understand and prepare for the potential futures that lie ahead.  

During the presentation, I provided an overview of eight examples of ways in which IBM approaches the discipline of strategic foresight.  In each of the eight initiatives collaboration plays a big part in planning for the future.   If you scroll to the bottom of this post, you’ll see I’ve also embedded the presentation which I have loaded to HorizonWatching on Slideshare.

Eight IBM Foresight Initiatives

1.Global Technology Outlook (GTO).  The GTO is developed annually by IBM Research and identifies disruptive societal, technical and economic trends that might impact IBM and its clients.  The GTO is used to drive technical initiatives in IBM Research and to jointly engage with IBM in formulating these initiatives.  For more information, check out the 2011 GTO report.  A side benefit of the all the work that goes into the GTO is the annual list of Five in Five…which provides a list of five technologies that may have a disruptive impact on our lives in five years.

2.Academy of Technology. The IBM Academy of Technology is a society of IBM technical leaders across all IBM Business Units.  The academy’s mission is to advance the understanding of key emerging technical areas.  Groups of technical leaders voluntarily study, organize, synthesize and advance technical dialogue and innovation across business lines on important emerging technical topics.

3.First of a Kind (FOAK). The First-of-a-Kind (FOAK) Program encourages collaboration of early adopter companies with IBM Research and Sales.  The effort pushes early thought leadership and experiences with new technologies and results in the piloting of experimental solutions and working prototypes.  For more on FOAK see http://www.research.ibm.com/FOAK/index.shtml

4.Global Innovation Outlook (GIO).  The Global Innovation Outlook focuses more on broad issues impacting all types of organizations. This is an open, collaborative, multi-disciplinary process with external business leaders, academics, researchers and policymakers.  The focus on tackling broad and challenging topics – spanning geographies, generations, industries and interests.  Access past GIO reports via http://www.ibm.com/ibm/gio/us/en/index.html

5.InnovationJam. InnovationJams (https://www.collaborationjam.com) are online collaborative discussions and brainstorming sessions for focused audiences ranging in size from a few hundred to hundreds of thousands.  The brainstorming sessions are enhanced by real-time text analysis and data mining software that highlights hot discussions and possible solutions.  An example was the HabitJam.

6.Institute for Business Value.  The IBM Institute for Business Value (IBV) is global team of 50+ consultants who conduct research and analysis across multiple industries and functional disciplines. IBV consultants author thought leadership papers, like “Future Agendas” and “C-Suite Studies” that provides an original, research-based point of view told from a client’s business perspective.  

7.Market Development & Insights.  IBM’s Market Develop & Insights is a global team of market research analysts and consultants that research topics of importance to IBM business leaders and strategists.   The team accelerates the understanding of new or emerging markets, and acts as a catalyst for future growth.  The team provides foresight from a marketing perspective, including market definition, opportunity analysis, market drivers/inhibitors, potential segmentation, and competitive intelligence.

8.HorizonWatch Community.  This is a cross-IBM community of 1900+ IBM employees from all types of functions, divisions and geographies that I have led since it’s creation in 2001.  The mission is to improve our collective ability to sense future disruptive technologies, business issues, trends and opportunities.  The community meets via monthly conference calls on an emerging topic, which are led by a subject matter expert.  In between calls, the community collaborates via an online community platform that allows the members to share and brainstorm ideas about how the future will play out.

Leveraging Social Media and Communities for Foresight

Last Wednesday evening I delivered a keynote presentation at an end of the year student event at the University of Notre Dame’s Mendozza College of Business MBA program (http://business.nd.edu/). 

Mendozza Keynote

The students are all required to take a class in Futures Studies and this was their end of year event.  During the late afternoon Poster Session that was held in the atrium of the Mendozza building, they all assembled and displayed posters that communicated the results of their semester long projects.  The topics covered a wide variety of subjects, from the future of Electric Cars to Solar Technology, to how to solve water irrigation in Africa.   In all there were over 50 projects from teams of 4-5 students.   I was impressed with the students projects and the level of research, analysis and insight generation that went into the poster presentations.   I learned a lot just by walking from poster to poster.

After the poster session was done, we all assembled into the auditorium where I delivered my keynote to the students “Leveraging Social Media and Communities for Foresight”.  The deck has been uploaded to my HorizonWatching account on Slideshare and is also embedded below. 

During the keynote, I discussed how the emergence of online social media and communities is transforming communication around the world.  The shift from traditional institutional-led communications that is relatively controlled by a small number of companies to an era where any individual can create and publish content is a shift that is transforming the way individuals learn, collaborate, and create content.   This has a ripple effect across all business professionals and certainly is impacting the way we research, analyze and develop insights about emerging trends, technologies and issues impacting businesses and individual citizens.

I provide the students with my personal story of how I’ve led an internal IBM community called HorizonWatch since early 2001 and how I started blogging internally in 2006.  I also discussed my public social community effort called HorizonWatching.   Both efforts have helped me do a better job of scanning for emerging trends and then developing insights from those scanning activities.

I ended the talk with some advice to the students on how they could get started leveraging social media in their own careers.  My main advice was that they should all think about taking control of their personal online brand.  As they are soon to turn their attention to job searching, now is the time for them to think hard about what their digital brand looks like to recruiters and potential employers.  But after the job search is over, I believe those who will be successful in their careers are the ones that will figure out ways to leverage social media and communities to build their expertise.

As this was their last day of class, they were all eager to go out and celebrate, so the Q&A session was short and sweet.  However the 5-6 questions raised were smart and right on topic.  I wish all the students good luck and best wishes over the summer and challenge them to begin using social media and communities as a strategy to better understand the future(s).

My presentation is embedded below.

2011 Horizon Report: Emerging Trends in Higher Education Technology

The 2011 Horizon Report was released earlier this year at the by EDUCAUSE Learning Initiative (ELI) and the New Media Consortium (NMC).  

This report has staying power as it has been released every year since 2002.  Each year, the report identifies six emerging technologies that are likely to have a significant impact on higher education in the next one to five years.  The format of the report stays consistent every year, but the process to arrive at the six emerging technologies keeps improving. 

The report presents an overview of each of the six technologies accompanied by examples and suggested readings for each technology.  Below I provide my summary of the six emerging summaries. I’ve also embedded a video (3:30) that provides you with an overview from the NMC team.

The areas of emerging technology cited for 2011 are:

Timeframe:  The Next 12 months…

  • Electronic books:   The Horizon Report mentions that e-books have taken hold strongly in the consumer sector and the time for mass adoption across campuses is now.  This trend has been strongly enabled by the explosion of tablet computing, which can augment text with interactive experiences, support classroom note-taking and research activities, and allow readers to interact socially.  This trend will totally change our perception of what it means to read.
  • Mobiles (i.e., mobile devices).   Mobiles enable ubiquitous access to information, social networks, tools for learning and productivity, and much more.  2011 will bring new interfaces and new apps that leverage location-awareness.  The mobile device of is a versatile tool that can be easily adapted to a host of tasks for learning, productivity, and social networking.

Timeframe:  Next 1-3 years….

  • Augmented reality, enables content providers the ability to provide additional information to what ever users are viewing on a screen device.  This information is ‘layered’ over the whatever the user is viewing at the time (e.g. whether in the real world, or on a screen). While most applications have been in the consumer sector (tourism is one application example)), we can expect new applications to become available over the nest 1-3 years that will enhance learning.  Augmented reality brings a significant potential to supplement information delivered via computers, mobile devices, video, and even the printed book.
  • Game-based learning continues to grow as an application area that can enhance learning for students of all ages. We should expect to see a whole new suite of emerging game and simulation-based applications that are developed expressly to enhance the learning process.  The report says that perhaps the  greatest potential of games for learning lies in their ability to foster collaboration, problem-solving, and procedural thinking.

 

Timeframe:  4-5 years…

  • Gesture-based computing technologies continue to evolve. Gone is the day of interacting with the computer via just a keyboard or a mouse.  Gestures allow the motions of the body to control computing devices.  The next generation of students entering higher education will have grown accustomed to interacting with computers and gaming systems via touching, tapping, swiping, jumping, and moving.  The Horizon Report specifically mentions new interface technologies such as Kinect, SixthSense, and Tamper, which make interactions with computational devices far more intuitive and embodied.
  • Learning analytics employs a combination of data-gathering tools and analytic techniques to study student engagement, performance, and progress in practice.  The goal is not just to understand the past, but to help predict the future.  This technology trend area will help administrators and teachers revise curricula, teaching, and assessment in real time.  Learning analytics will allow educational institutions to tailor education to individual students more effectively.

For more information, you can download the 2010 Horizon Report or view the 2011 Web version

You Are Invited To The Social Business Jam

Last week, I posted about the emergence of the Social Business term to represent the next stage in how companies are using social and collaboration technologies in order to conduct business.  My post “The Social Business Train Is Leaving The Station Are You On It?” provides an overview of the trend and makes the case for why it is important.

As a follow-up, I wanted you to be aware of the Social Business Jam.  On February 8-11, 2011 IBM will host the Social Business Jam (www.ibm.com/social/businessjam).  Should you register, you will have the opportunity to collaborate with leading experts on topics such as:

  • Building the Social Business of the Future
  • Building Participatory Organizations Through Social Adoption
  • Using Social to Understand and Engage with Customers
  • What does Social mean for IT?
  • Identifying Risks and Establishing Governance

I will be jamming…along with some leading Social Business experts, including:

  • Charlene Li, Founder of Altimeter Group, Author of “Groundswell”
  • Mei Li Tan, CMO, Treasury & Trade Solutions, Citigroup
  • Steve Wylie, GM of Enterprise 2.0 Conference
  • Vittorio Cretella, CIO, Mars Inc.

Join me in the Jam.  Should be an interesting discussion.  It all starts February 8th, so register NOW!!!  www.ibm.com/social/businessjam

For those of you on Twitter, we’ll be using the hashtag #sbjam 

The Social Business Train Is Leaving The Station: Are You On It?

Social Business I expect the Social Business topic to be among the most talked about trends in 2011…and all that buzz is justified.    In fact, the buzz will kickoff next week as IBM conducts it’s Social Business Jam February 8-11, 2011.  I’ll post more about the Jam next week, but for now, head on over to http://www-01.ibm.com/software/info/social_business_jam/ and register for the Jam. 

Social collaboration is changing the way business is being conducted. Enterprise processes are being transformed by social technologies. Over the next 10-15 years, social computing capability will becomes part of every business function within the company.  I fully expect that social capabilities will become embedded in every single website, computing device for every participant in every single business transaction. 

In the future, all participants involved in a company’s business processes and transactions will have the ability to share content, comment on content, rate/vote on content, and collaborate in an open and sharing environment.  In addition, all this social activity will generate data that will be mined and analyzed in both batch and in real-time.  The insights generated will be a critical input into all business processes, including research, product development, marketing, sales, technical support, and even business processes like accounting, procurement, and legal. 

Since social will eventually be embedded in every business process and transaction workflow, social computing capability will need to be a critical part of every business application.  As a result, I expect entire business application suites will be rewritten to make use of social collaboration features.

Analyst Perspectives

“The social business model is changing the way companies generate and conduct business online, and IDC believes that this model will have a long-lasting impact“ – IDC (link)

“Social Technologies Will Drive The Next Wave Of BPM Suites” – Forrester (link)

“Just as the Internet had a disruptive impact on organizations' processes and business models at the beginning of the decade, today social media is changing the way business is conducted”. – Gartner (Link)

“Business application vendors are integrating social features into their applications and the dividing lines between transactional tools and social environments are fading.” – Gartner (Link)

“To optimize investments, competencies, and outcome, it is essential that enterprises establish a shared understanding of social technologies and trends, coordinate strategies and initiatives, and leverage investments.“ – Gartner (Link)

Implications

  • This will require a cultural transformation within most older, established companies.
  • Business leaders must realize that 80% of success of social business efforts will come from strategy, planning, roles, and processes — only 20% will come from the technology platform.
  • The path to a Social Business requires definition, education, and career paths.
  • Centralized implementation may be required for company-wide social tools, standards, policies and practices
  • Social capabilities will become embedded in every single website, computing device for every participant in every single business transaction. 

An important thing to realize is that the success of implementing social technologies into mature businesses will be how well business leaders can lead a cultural transformation in order to leverage these new social technologies.  Business leaders must realize that 80% of success of social business efforts will come from strategy, planning, roles, and processes — only 20% will come from the technology platform. All these new capabilities will require new Career Paths and Education tailored to the new social technologies. 

The Social Business Train Is Leaving The Station….are you on it yet?

For More Information