The number of enterprises turning to cloud computing to revamp outdated business models will more than double in the next three years, as business leaders move to capitalize on the rapid availability of data and the growing popularity of social media, according to a new study released today by IBM.
Todd "Turbo" Watson -- IBM Corporation
turbotodd 100000388Y Tags:  saas ibm turbotodd pulse2012 institute for business va... cloud computing 3,798 Views
turbotodd 100000388Y Tags:  smarter_traffic commuting commuter_pain_study holiday_weekends ibm 1 Comment 4,976 Views
IBM recently conducted its second annual IBM Commuter Pain study, and guess what: 55% of those surveyed say they’re unlikely to make a long Labor Day weekend driving trip.
After seeing the traffic out on Interstate 35 in Central Texas yesterday, I can certainly see why.
Yep, it seems commuters are voting with their gearbox this holiday weekend, and the vote is to keep the car in “Park.”
Sensitivity to higher gas prices, desire to spend time with family instead of commuting…all factors cited in the study as suggesting the recession is taking its toll on urban motorists.
Let me just get down on the ground again and thank IBM for being so far-sighted when it comes to employee work policies. Many of we IBMers can work anywhere we have a phone and Internet connection, and I’ve gotten so used to NOT being in traffic (and trust me, I used to commute quite a bit), that when I DO get out on Mopac in Austin I just downright freak out.
What are all these cars doing out here, I think? Who are all these people? Where are they going?
So why is traffic so frustrating? Listen to more details of the study:
And what would folks do if they could get some of that commuting time back? 52% would spend it with family and friends, of course.
That’s just a downright heartbreaker.
And 37% would exercise more.
So, if you can think of a way to allow people to work out in their cars while their friends and family hang out cheering them on with some quality down time, you could make a fortune!
Anne Altman, IBM’s general manager for the global public sector, explained the study this way: “Conducted at a time of great change in the United States, the Commuter Pain survey clearly demonstrates the vast impact that commuting and traffic congestion have on our economy. The time has come for cities and states to embrace real, long-term solutions that unclog our nation’s roadways.”
Some other sound bytes that back up Anne’s observation:
IBM Commuter Pain Index
Such events are impacting communities in the U.S. and abroad, where governments, citizens and private sector organizations are looking beyond traditional remedies like additional roads and greater access to public transportation to reverse the negative impacts of increased road congestion.
Findings from the Commuter Pain Survey will be used to assess citizen concerns about traffic and commuter issues; expand solutions like automated tolling, real-time traffic prediction, congestion charging, and intelligent route planning; and serve as a basis for pioneering innovative new approaches to traffic mitigation.
For the complete report, please click here: http://www-03.ibm.com/press/attachments/28320.pdf
Meanwhile, this weekend, please keep your eyes on the road, off your Blackberries and iPhones, and whether you’re in the car or not, enjoy that precious time with family and friends.
Happy Labor Day, weekend, and here’s to no laboring.
Lest anyone accuse me of being biased towards golf, I wanted to quickly get this post out to remind everyone that the United States Open tennis championships kick off today.
I love, love, love the U.S. Open.
The U.S. Open was the very first professional sports event I attended when I first moved to Woodside, Queens NY in 1984 to attend college at NYU.
I literally had just arrived off the plane a few days before, never even having visited NY, and I stumbled my way over to the 7 subway line, completely clueless about how to get around NY, and somehow found my way out to the U.S. National Tennis Center.
I think I actually walked up to the ticket window to buy tickets (you could do that back then, although these days I recommend you visit this Web page to find out how to get the best seats), and I spent the better part of an afternoon watching Chris Evert Lloyd, among others, play on the former Louis Armstrong stadium court at the U.S. National Tennis Center.
If you've never seen a professional tennis tournament up close and personal, I highly recommend you do so during your time on this planet.
There's nothing like seeing two tennis pros whack that little yellow ball back and forth a gazillion miles an hour, a constant mixed barrage of strategy and tactics blurring almost faster than your mind can process it all.
There truly is nothing like it.
In 1984, the only technology option for those not watching the tournament in person was to watch it on TV.
I remember sitting in my small basement apartment as Jimmy Connors made easy work of Ivan Lendl that particular year, 6–3, 6–4, 6–1.
Today, you have options for taking in the U.S. Open...lots of them, and several of them brought to you by IBM.
But also visit the Mobile section of the site to get this year's iPhone app, which includes live scores, USOpen.org radio (streaming play-by-play coverage), Twitter tweets from official U.S. Open coverage), and even on demand video.
And if you really want to risk being caught by the boss, you can check out live video this year for selective matches.
Of course, nothing beats being there live and in person...but there's a lot of action to cover, so also check out the NY Times' "Straight Sets" blog for some first day recommends.
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Earlier this week, IBM released results from its X-Force 2009 Mid-Year Trend and Risk report.
IBM’s X-Force research team spends its days cataloguing, analyzing, and researching vulnerability disclosures and has been doing so for 12 plus years.
With now more than 43,000 vulnerabilities catalogued, it has the largest vulnerability database in the world, which helps our researchers to understand the dynamics that make up vulnerability discovery and disclosure.
This year’s results reveal an unprecedented state of Web insecurity.
According to the findings, there has been a 508 percent increase in the number of new malicious Web links discovered in the first half of 2009.
Yet this problem is no longer limited to malicious domains or untrusted Web sites. The X-Force report notes an increase in the presence of malicious content on trusted sites, including popular search engines, blogs, bulletin boards, personal Web sites, online magazines, and mainstream news sites.
This year, the report also reveals that the level of veiled Web exploits, especially PDF files, are at an all time high, indicating that hackers have continued to increase their sophistication. PDF vulnerabilities disclosed in the first half of 2009 surpassed disclosures from all of 2008.
It’s not to make you want to print out all those PDF white papers, huh?
Then again, maybe not.
X-Force director Kris Lamb had this to say about the current state of Web (in)security:
"The trends highlighted by the report seem to indicate that the Internet has finally taken on the characteristics of the Wild West where no one is to be trusted.”
“There is no such thing as safe browsing today and it is no longer the case that only the red light district sites are responsible for malware. We've reached a tipping point where every Web site should be viewed as suspicious and every user is at risk. The threat convergence of the Web ecosystem is creating a perfect storm of criminal activity."
As we’ve seen in recent news, however, Web security isn’t just a matter of browser or client-side issues any longer. Criminals are leveraging insecure Web applications to target the users of legitimate Web sites. In fact, the X-Force report found a significant rise in Web application attacks with the intent to steal and manipulate data to take command and control of infected computers.
Take alleged credit card hacker Albert Gonzalez, recently indicted on conspiracy charges for stealing 130 million credit card numbers in the largest credit-card heist on record.
Gonzalez is said to have used SQL injection attacks to “inject” malicious code onto legitimate Websites for the purpose of later extracting credit card information and other personal information. Similar SQL injection attacks rose 50 percent from Q4 2008 to Q1 2009, and then doubled from Q1 to Q2 of this year.
Other midyear X-Force report key findings:
Concluded Lamb, "Two of the major themes for the first half of 2009 are the increase in sites hosting malware and the doubling of obfuscated Web attacks. The trends seem to reveal a fundamental security weakness in the Web ecosystem where interoperability between browsers, plugins, content and server applications dramatically increase the complexity and risk.”
“Criminals are taking advantage of the fact that there is no such thing as a safe browsing environment and are leveraging insecure Web applications to target legitimate Web site users."
For more security trends and predictions from IBM, including graphical representations of security statistics, download the 2009 IBM X-Force Mid-Year Trend and Risk Report today.[Read More]
IBM's 2Q earnings were just released.
Here's the net:
Net income was $3.1B, up 12%, and with a net margin of 13.3% (up 3.0 points).
Pre-tax income margin was 18.3%, up 4.1 points, the largest increase in more than 3 years.
Gross profit margin was 45.5%, up 2.3 points (and up 19 of the last 20 quarters).
Software pre-tax margin was up 8.3 points, and income up 24 percent, with full-year 2009 software PTI expected to grow at double-digit rate and reach $8B.
Services pre-tax margin was up 4.1 points, and income up 23%.
Services signings were up 3%, and strategic outsourcing signings were up 38% (both adjusting for currency).
There were 17 services deals greater than $100 million signed in the quarter, and public sector revenue was up 7% (also adjusting for currency).
As a headline, IBM's earnings per share were the highest for any first, second, or third quarter in company history.
Commented our CEO, Sam Palmisano: "As a result of our strategic transformation, we have a very strong business model that is delivering superior earnings, cash, and client value."
"We have continued our strategic investments in Smarter Planet solutions, business analytics and next generation data centers. As a result we are optimistic about how IBM is positioned to make the most of current growth opportunities as well as those that emerge as the economy recovers. We are well ahead of pace for our 2010 roadmap of $10 to $11 per share."
Go IBM team, go.
All those international flights in coach are paying off!
And all the details of IBM 2Q09 earnings available here.
Everybody likes a good train wreck.
Hopefully, of course, those where nobody gets hurt.
But when I was a kid, growing up in the sticks of north Texas, I'll never forget the first train wreck I stumbled upon.
Unfortunately, i didn't get to actually see the cars come crashing down off the railroad trestle.
But the aftermath was pretty powerful, in and of its own right.
Twisted steel, splintered and broken railroad ties, spilt cargo...it was awesome.
Ofcourse, I'm sure Southern Pacific didn't agree, and heaven help them,it was a mess to clean up aftewards that took them weeks.
That's what I expect the coming social media train wreck is going to look like.
I'vebeen here in Orlando at the Forrester Marketing Forum for several daysnow, and it's been fascinating to hear all the talk about social mediaamongst a largely traditional marketing crowd.
This, of course,ten years after I first read Cluetrain Manifesto and when the firstglimmer of insight that this shift was already beginning to occur.
WhenI would tell colleagues about the book and about what was starting tohappen, explaining that this was the future of marketing, they wouldlook at me like I'd dropped in from another planet.
Maybe I had. But I also wonder now what their Twitter IDs are.
Ifyou haven't read Cluetrain, and you want to be a social mediapractitioner who can help your business enter into the marketconversation, run to your nearest bookstore and buy a copy.
Because context is everything.
WhenI first read the Cluetrain theses online, it made sense to me,particularly at the time, because I was starting to see the power andempowerment that the strength in connected numbers could bring.
Themass in mass media was going to be rendered increasingly impotent bythe singularity of social media, the one-to-many equation would soon beequalled by the one-to-one.
Those who historically didn't have a voice soon would be able to, affordably and without prejudice.
Theeconomics of scarcity (spectrum, channels, media outlets, highproduction costs) had been replaced by the economics of abundance(lower costs of bandwidth, storage, processing power, production tools,etc.)
Watching some of the traditional media and marketingentities, then, over these past couple of weeks jump onto the Twitterbandwagon has been downright amusing to me.
Not because they, like everybody else, shouldn't have the opportunity to tap into the social media.
No, rather, because so many of them seem to be missing the entire point.
Oprah and Ashton and so many others already have a voice.
This was never about a race to the million subscriber finish line.
Itwas about opening up a new way of communicating, between institutionand individual, about evolving the monolithic top-down communicationumbrella to a democratic megaphone.
Most importantly, though, it was about listening.
As the cluetrain.comwebsite conveys to this day, where markets are conversations, "Theirmembers communicate in language that is natural, open, honest, direct,funny and often shocking. Whether explaining or complaining, joking orserious, the human voice is unmistakably genuine. It can't be faked."
Forthose attendees of the Forrester forum, as well as companies around theglobe wrestling with their emerging lack of control of the marketconversation going on about their business, rather than worrying aboutwhether or not you're using Twitter, you might be better putting yourefforts towards determining whether or not you have something to say,and someone intelligent and thoughtful and eager to listen to others tosay it for you.
In other words, don't fake it.
Don't think just because you got a Twitter account or you put your company on Facebook that you suddenly get it.
No, those steps were only the beginning.
Now it's time to open the kimono a bit and actually tell us something.
Show us the smart people way down deep inside your organization and have them tell us something we don't yet know but should.
AsCluetrain went on to explain, "Corporate firewalls have kept smartemployees in and smart markets out. It's going to cause real pain totear those walls down. But the result will be a new kind ofconversation. And it will be the most exciting conversation businesshas ever engaged in."
This is what Doc Searls and ChristopherLocke and Rick Levine and David Weinberger understood and communicated,and it's what the rest of us ought not forget (although evidently whichsome of us never learned).
I don't know about you, but I'mcertainly ready for a new kind of market conversation, especiallycoming out of the Great Financial Collapse of 2008.
A littlebrutal honesty and transparency and sunshine and liberation of new andmore truthful voices is something we could all stand about now.
Butwhile I wait for it to emerge, I'm going to enjoy watching the greatsocial media crash as so many jump on the bandwagon with little thoughtto where or why or how they got here.
Because everybody likes a good train wreck.
IBM just released its first quarter earnings a short while ago.
If you want the full blow-by-blow from CFO Mark Loughridge, you can go here.
I'm all about the executive summary.
IBM announced diluted earnings of $1.70 per share, up 4 percent, and reiterated its full-year 2009 earnings of at least $9.20 per share.
IBM had free cash flow of $1 billion, up $450 million, and a gross profit margin of 43.4 percent (and up 1.9 points YOY).
Net income was $2.3 billion, down 1 percent (but with the net margin up 1.1 points).
Total revenue was $21.7 billion, and was impacted by the strong U.S. dollar and down 11 percent (4 percent adjusting for constant currency).
On the services front, total services signings were up 10 percent, with longer-term signings up 27 percent (both adjusting for currency).
There were 16 services deals worth more than $100 million, and IBM growth markets revenue was up 4 percent adjusting for currency.
You can read the full earnings press release here.
The earnings webcast will start momentarily.
Word on the street in the WSJ and other sources is that IBM is in talks to buy Sun Microsystems, in a "combination that would bolster IBM's heft on the Internet, in software and in finance and telecommunications markets."
That's a heck of a story to wake up to after having been locked up in the Austin Convention Center for the past four days, deprived of sunshine, Vitamin D, and no time to consume much news.
Of course, I know nothing about any of this, being a lowly IBM blogger, but it is an interesting proposition.
I checked Sun CEO Jonathan Schwartz's blog this morning, only to find his last post was on Wednesday March 11, where he referenced Sun's three major strategic imperatives.
But nothing about any IBM/Sun merger.
There would, of course, be no blog post until a deal was done. But I figured it was worth a look.
I also did a quick query of "IBM" on the Sun Web site search engine this morning, and the first thing that popped up was a link to "Sun Solaris Operating System."
I suppose that's one good reason to buy Sun.
The next link was "Solaris on IBM Servers."
I suppose that's another good reason.
And further on down the list was the "Sun Trade-in Program: Trade-Up from IBM or HP to Sun."
Okay, so two out of three ain't bad.
The Journal story says the asking price is $6.5B in cash, which would be a premium of more than 100% over Sun's Sunday closing price.
Keep your eye on this space.
But please, no total eclipse of the sun jokes.
In 1993, the National Geographic wrote that "All the water that will ever be is, right now."
As part of its Smarter Planet initiative, IBM's Global Innnovation Outlook on Water brought together hundreds of the world's leading water management experts to share knowledge and discuss strategies for improving the efficiency of the world's water systems.
Through those sessions, we learned that society and business face some complex challenges when it comes to better understanding and managing the precious water resources on this planet, and a lack of viable and actionable data was identified as a key inhibitor to effective water management.
Some of the key specific findings of the study:
Technology will play an important role in supplying water to billions of future urban dwellers, and smart infrastructure -- including real-time metering, pipe sensors and automatic repair -- will provide solutions to help address urbanization.
A majority of companies rank water management as a top priority, but lacked the necessary processes and systems for administration and control.
Click here to get access to the GTO Water report, as well as to order free hard copies and watch videos from participants in the study.
The 2008 IBM Annual Report was released yesterday, including a letter from Chairman and CEO Sam Palmisano.
Although the economic situation continues to be dire, the letter from the Chairman is decidedly upbeat, explaining that "IBM today is a very different company" and that "since the dot-com crash in 2002, we have more than doubled our pre-tax income and free cash flow, and more than tripled our earnings per share. Our standout 2008 continued this record of superior performance."
Great news for IBM shareholders, no doubt, particularly in light of the seemingly endless bad news of late.
But it's not last year's business results that are the most interesting part of the letter.
Rather, it's the teeing up of the opportunity ahead of us that makes it most worth reading, particularly the section entitled "A Smarter Planet."
It begins: "The coming era will not be kind to enterprises or institutions that have failed to step up to unresolved issues in their core models, strategies or operations. In our view, this is not simply a cyclical downturn, but a major shift in the global economy and society — one that is simple to state, but profound in its implications."
How to respond to this shift?
Through "the infusion of intelligence into the way the world actually works: the systems and processes that enable physical goods to be developed, manufactured, bought and sold; services to be delivered; everything from people and money to oil, water and electrons to move; and billions of people to work and live."
There's much, much more, including some very specific examples of this smarter approach to using information technology in business.
You can download the 2008 IBM Annual Report (PDF 4.2MB).