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Innovate 2010 Keynote: Software defines success of every business

Wow! Innovate 2010 opened up with entertainment from Natually 7 and several speakers who inspired the audience of approximately 4000 people, to take innovation seriously.

Author of Gadget Nation Steve Greenberg was the first speaker who talked a bit about the difference between invention and innovation. “To invent is to be the originator. To innovate is to make changes to something established.” Greenberg entertained us with stories of crazy gadgets and told us that to be successful, you need “competitive differentiation.” 

Following Greenberg, Vice President, Marketing and Strategy, IBM Rational software, Scott Hebner introduced  a theme that prevailed with all the speakers: the complexity of integrated software systems creating a “system of systems” linked by the “invisible thread” of software.  “We need to continuously improve collaboration across the solution delivery lifecycle,” Hebner said.

Dr. Danny Sabbah. General Manager, IBM Rational software, spoke next about “econometrics” and the importance for businesses to “balance economic, social and environment objectives.” He tells us, “the world is becoming more interconnected, more instrumented and more intelligent.  In fact, it will be 10x more instrumented in a short five-year period to more than one trillion connected devices. The world is becoming smarter. Software is pervasive. It is the building block of smarter products and services. Software is becoming the invisible thread that enables what we refer to as “system of sytems.”

Several examples were given of “smart systems.” Sabbah talked about intelligent sytems in the health care industry. He described implantable heart defibrillators that are being used to monitor cardiac response for patients with critical heart conditions.  If medical attention is needed, an abulance is alerted and medical care must be administered immediately. The national standard is a four-minute response time for 90% of all emergencies.  A response rate of less than five minutes doubles the chances of patient survival. Software systems are used to help with prioritization, ambulance queueing, decision support, notification, traffic systems to avoid. route optimization with instant integration with local traffic.  A typical ambulance uses software with approximately 50 million lines of code and 10,000 interfaces that help to track, update, test, deploy and maintain the functions needed for this system. And this is just one system of many within health care that is part of a system of systems.

Robert LeBlanc, Senior Vice President, IBM Middleware, IBM Software Group, rounded out the opening keynote by talking about how cloud computing was being used as an IT delivery model, reducing costs and improving efficiency with service delivery.  “Every single industry is going to be impacted by the change that’s going on. Software is becoming the fundamental driver in every single industry. Think about the grid.  Think about how we’ve delivered power for the last 50 years. It hasn’t fundamentally changed. And now we’re starting to see a change in the use of power grids. Every industry’s going to change.”

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