Global CIO: IBM Top Product Exec Discusses Strategy, Systems, & Oracle - InformationWeek
Cloud // Cloud Storage
12:10 PM
Bob Evans
Bob Evans
Ransomware: Latest Developments & How to Defend Against Them
Nov 01, 2017
Ransomware is one of the fastest growing types of malware, and new breeds that escalate quickly ar ...Read More>>

Global CIO: IBM Top Product Exec Discusses Strategy, Systems, & Oracle

IBM's head of Software and Systems Steve Mills describes customer priorities, optimized systems, and Oracle's "bait-and-switch" philosophy.

Across his 37 years in a sweeping range of positions at IBM, senior VP and group executive Steve Mills has seen lots of things come and go: more than a few hype cycles, the coronation of various "the next IBMs" that in fact became the next failures, and scores of world-changing competitors that couldn't really compete.

So in a wide-ranging interview at IBM's Armonk headquarters recently, Mills colored most of his remarks with the sober perspective of someone who, while clearly as aggressive and competitive as anybody in this business, understands that fundamental and enduring truths will always trump fads and fanfare.

"The market is bigger than any of us, and those of us that are adaptive to the market and its changing characteristics tend to do better than those that were hanging on to whatever might have worked well before," said Mills.

"Customers evolve—they are very much a function of all the things they have done over a long time period, although often in the tech industry what's written is about the latest new thing—what makes the headlines is very different than what your typical chief information officer deals with every day because he or she is managing an IT infrastructure that's been accumulated over the course of decades.

"They run thousands—tens of thousands—of programs in their shops. The numbers are so large they boggle the mind—people can typically name some software products but the realization that some large corporations might run 50,000 or 60,000 programs in the course of any given week is a staggering statistic."

Or, as IBM CEO Sam Palmisano noted in his presentation at last year's Investors' Day event, "We don't do fashion" (see Global CIO: Sam Palmisano's Grand Strategy For IBM).

Those shared perspectives recently led Palmisano to recently double Mills' responsibilities by giving the longtime head of IBM's Software Group control of IBM's entire systems and hardware operations as well (read all about it in Global CIO: IBM Doubles Down On Red-Hot Optimized Systems).

Global CIO
Global CIOs: A Site Just For You
Visit InformationWeek's Global CIO -- our new online community and information resource for CIOs operating in the global economy.

True to the company's long-term view, the promotion for Mills reflects not only the market's current frothy interest in highly integrated and optimized systems but also IBM's long-time leadership in that market, a legacy that goes back to its mainframe roots but now extends across many of its hardware platforms.

So in order to share most effectively some of the outlooks and strategic insights of one of the IT industry's most-influential executives, I've pulled out compelling and expansive comments from Mills on six timely topics: IBM's strategic imperatives in process integration and predictive analytics; the 80/20 budget trap; complex solutions driven by engaging IBM labs with customers; the power of optimized systems; how IBM differentiates itself in the market; and last but certainly not least, competing with Oracle.

First up are Process Integration and Predictive Analytics:

1 of 3
Comment  | 
Print  | 
More Insights
Newest First  |  Oldest First  |  Threaded View
How Enterprises Are Attacking the IT Security Enterprise
How Enterprises Are Attacking the IT Security Enterprise
To learn more about what organizations are doing to tackle attacks and threats we surveyed a group of 300 IT and infosec professionals to find out what their biggest IT security challenges are and what they're doing to defend against today's threats. Download the report to see what they're saying.
Register for InformationWeek Newsletters
White Papers
Current Issue
2017 State of IT Report
In today's technology-driven world, "innovation" has become a basic expectation. IT leaders are tasked with making technical magic, improving customer experience, and boosting the bottom line -- yet often without any increase to the IT budget. How are organizations striking the balance between new initiatives and cost control? Download our report to learn about the biggest challenges and how savvy IT executives are overcoming them.
Twitter Feed
Sponsored Live Streaming Video
Everything You've Been Told About Mobility Is Wrong
Attend this video symposium with Sean Wisdom, Global Director of Mobility Solutions, and learn about how you can harness powerful new products to mobilize your business potential.
Flash Poll