I’ve talked frequently about the fact that the folks in IBM i development are working in the future. OK, we’re not literally “in the future” but we have to be writing code for releases that won’t be available right away, and we certainly have to be setting our strategy and plans for years to come.
While some of what drives the decisions is clear – competitive and industry trends for example – there are always confidential business directions that influence our plans as well. People in IBM at very high levels set strategies and goals, and much of the time, we don’t get to talk about those goals.
But then, there are exceptions.
In May of 2010, IBM’s CEO, Sam Palmisano talked to investors, in a public venue, and made one of IBM’s goals clear – earnings of $20/share by 2015. It was widely reported by industry magazines and sites, and has been discussed by bloggers and other folks interested in the IT industry and investing. The same goal has been reiterated lately, and again, widely reported.
When your boss makes a statement like that, you can bet that your plans had better help support that goal. There are many, many parts of IBM, each of which is expected to contribute its portion of revenue to meet that goal, and IBM i will continue to do its part by remaining an integrated platform with world-class security and low total cost of ownership and acquisition, while growing in the areas that help our customers advance their businesses and our partners grow their solutions. We’re heavily involved in the development of the next major release, the Technology Refreshes and other deliverables that will come out before then, and architecture and planning work for capabilities beyond that. If you remember my post from May, the direction we have set for IBM i in 2011 through 2013 is coordinated with doing our part.
When our CEO talks to investors, clearly he has a financial message to give. But underlying that message is the method – the roadmap – for reaching the goal. And that roadmap is based on understanding where the world is going to have needs in 2015 – it’s a reason for the “Smarter Planet” message. So IBM will spend its time and apply its resources, including those of the IBM i team, to meet those needs.
I’ve seen some of what is coming to get us to 2015. It’s pretty cool. Stay tuned.
Twitter: #ibmi @Steve_Will_IBMi