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IBM Global Services Executive Challenges Industry to Focus on Technology Integration, Not Technology Advances


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WORLD CONGRESS ON INFORMATION TECHNOLOGY, ADELAIDE, Australia - 28 Feb 2002: Senior Vice President and Group Executive of IBM Global Services Doug Elix today challenged the IT industry to stop focusing on unleashing the power of IT and look at ways to unleash the enterprise instead.

If business and IT are going to work together in a more integrated fashion, Elix said, the IT industry must establish stronger connections between the two. Right now, some of the "pieces just don't fit," he noted. Advances in technology are creating unmanageable levels of complexity -- complexity that is growing so fast, it could take 200 million IT professionals to support the billion people and millions of businesses that will be connected to the Internet by 2010.

Elix outlined his "agenda for action" during a keynote speech at the World Congress on Information Technology today in Adelaide, Australia. The Congress is the flagship event of the World Information Technology and Services Alliance, which includes members from the national IT associations of 41 countries.

Elix called on IT professionals and companies to join forces to write a charter for the next era of IT. This collaboration will require "a new openness in both business and technology, as well as unprecedented levels of cooperation," Elix said. Without open standards, it will be impossible for companies now locked into proprietary platforms to share data, applications or computing power. He cited the recent joint proposal between IBM, the Globus Project and Microsoft for industry-wide adoption of the Open Grid Services Architecture as an example of this new spirit of openness.

To achieve the vision of integrating IT with business, Elix stated that we need systems that require less human intervention, not more. There are two emerging developments the industry needs to embrace to make the job of managing and integrating technology less resource-intensive. These are: grid computing, a model for linking the world's computing resources via a network to address underutilized capacity and make data more accessible; and the goal of autonomic computing, the creation of self-managing, self-diagnosing and self-healing systems.

To exploit these emerging developments, enterprises can turn to a relatively new computing model: e-business on demand. Through the delivery of information technology as a utility-like service, Elix said, "CIOs no longer run the data center, they buy it as a service. This frees them to focus on driving value for the enterprise."

Elix also encouraged organizations to transform their corporate culture into one that focuses on driving business value, with CIOs acting as operational executives involved in setting business strategy. In addition, Elix urged the IT industry to collaborate on building more secure and resilient IT infrastructures that are immune to physical or electronic attacks.

Elix concluded his remarks by calling on the IT industry to work together to improve overall quality of life. "We should not be satisfied with just unleashing IT to transform the enterprise," Elix said. "We also need to use its potential to make our world a better place to work and live."

For more information about the 2002 World Congress on Information Technology, visit: http://www.worldcongress2002.org.

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