Keys to accelerating IT innovation: technology and collaboration

Technology is helping organizations to deliver on their mission and become smarter and more efficient to differentiate themselves from the competition. It is also helping to shape the world, as we depend on it to assist with basic demands such as food, living space, health, safety, mobility, communication, education, entertainment, as well as governmental and financial services. In parallel, we are also living in an era of information technology in which we are still witnessing exponential efficiency gains in basic capabilities like compute, storage, and networking. Data is fueling innovation and it has become clearer than ever the true value of data.

Many outcomes of technology innovation start as small agile projects. Some of them scale to large impact. There are so many ways to innovate, which leads organizations to question where to start and how to approach it. Co-Creation and Design Thinking have proven to be the right concepts for innovation because they focus on jointly understanding an area of business and implementing a change, doing something more intelligently, efficiently. Experts of different areas are working together to design and implement a solution as a minimum viable product, which can be augmented and scaled over time to generate big impact.

It is important that an understanding of a specific industry or industry opportunity is in place. Many innovations are specific to an industry, but they can also disrupt existing business operations in that industry, if for example, a manual task is automated or an analog asset is digitalized.

It is not only about having experts from different areas working together, but it is also key to have diversity in the agile teams. This includes the diversity of age. Collaboration of experienced baby boomers with early professionals from Generation Y or Z can do magic. It is valuable to nurture diversity, openness, and respect.

When it comes to technology decisions, the value comes from the ecosystem that is behind a solution. An open hybrid cloud and AI platform approach backed by open source is an incredible foundation. But the largest value is gained when this system is simultaneously backed by professional services and an ecosystem of additional software. Red Hat OpenShift plays a big role here because this open and secure, enterprise ready Kubernetes platform enables teams to develop once and deploy everywhere. It avoids lock-in into a single technology stack. It opens the doors to deployments in private data centers, at the edge or in public cloud or collocation sites.

Data and AI will be ingredients of nearly every innovative solution. It’s crucial to have the ability to use AI and to train AI models, but also to use the trained models at the edge which means close to the device where the data lives. The opportunity to apply AI models to existing or future data is huge.

But as data becomes more valuable, so too does the risk of cyber-attacks as hackers are eager to get their share of the value. In the 2021 X-Force Threat Intelligence Index report, based on billions of data points from clients and public sources, a major finding was that ransomware was the most popular attack method in 2020, making up 23% of all incidents IBM Security X-Force responded to and helped remediate. Innovation needs to go hand in hand with handling increasing cyber risks.

And the efficiency gains in technology might slow down in the decade to come. Information Technology is reaching more and more the atomic scope which will limit the ability to scale compute, storage, and networking hardware further down to deliver more outcome with less resources. The future of computing will need to combine new computing concepts to create the systems needed to tackle challenges with more efficiency. This will include Quantum computers, AI hardware and optimized scaling for traditional semiconductors.

All these important elements of innovation will be highlighted at this year’s IBM TechU where I will be hosting the “Architecting the Future” track. Participants at this year’s TechU will get a complete picture of drivers and ingredients for innovating your business with IBM Z, LinuxONE, Power and Storage and beyond from a range of technical leaders; Eight hosted live sessions will inspire you about what’s next.

>> Click here to learn more about IBM TechU.

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