CW column: Smart is the solution

CW-Redakteur Jan-Bernd Meyer
CW-editor Jan-Bernd Meyer

The diehards enter a rendezvous. Old School is fighting a losing battle against the flexible, new and smart IT world of the present day.

Smart is the keyword here. And in several ways. IBM has been running a "Smarter Planet" campaign at the Council on Foreign Relations since its former CEO Sam Palmisano's speech in November 2008. Ostensibly, this Big Blue initiative may only seem like a - albeit quite successful - PR campaign to critical minds. It turns out, however, that Big Blue has found an ideological brace that makes sense of the problem of global resource shortages and its own product development. This is, especially in comparison to some competitors in the ITC industry, thoughtful and forward-looking.

Well, asks the critical zeitgeist, what has that got to do with the new zEnterprise EC12 systems? A lot. Because actually this announcement is not about new hardware. This is interesting in itself with its performance characteristics. More important for IBM, however, is that the $ 1 billion that went into developing these new machines represents an investment that benefits multiple product segments. The hardware of the Systems and Technology Group, which includes the mainframes, is "merely" the carrier medium for IBM's integrated offerings. These include Smart Analytics, Smart Cloud, Blade Center for Cloud and Netezza. A study by Kajashi attests that mainframes are "indestructible." This has less to do with large growth rates in these cars than with the software and service business associated with such systems. And that's huge. So if IBM's mainframe idea is not one, it's backward-looking. But in case of doubt rather smart.