Dickens once observed, “It was the best of times, it was the worst of times.” This may be a fitting description of the mindset of business and IT leaders today. While businesses face unprecedented complexity and change in the marketplace, opportunities for breakthroughs are emerging as the systems in our businesses, cities and around the world become more instrumented, intelligent and interconnected, giving rise to a smarter planet.
By innovating with new technologies, business and IT leaders are turning change and complexity to their advantage. IBM just announced a new approach to making the existing systems of a business smarter to meet new demands. New IBM software capabilities help organizations improve business agility for transformation and growth.
"We want to help our clients infuse analytics and intelligence into their infrastructure, to support better decision making and more integrated processes," said Nancy Pearson, vice president of IBM BPM, SOA and WebSphere Marketing, in “IBM Adds Analytics to Business Processes” by Sean Michael Kerner in EnterpriseAppsToday.com, (link resides outside of ibm.com) October 7, 2011.
Pearson announced a broad portfolio of new and enhanced IBM software to provide greater visibility and integration between the applications that run on an IT infrastructure and key business processes.
The new software capabilities can be used to clear away inhibitors to agility. Business leaders may currently lack access to performance metrics, and have limited visibility into processes and systems for making sound decisions. IT leaders may need to update infrastructure to ensure business processes meet business goals. With limited budgets, it may be hard to make enhancements that would integrate customer information and serve customers better through new delivery models.
These capabilities are like agility levers to help organizations:
“Using analytics, enterprises will be able to make decisions about processes and automation based on in-depth views of what’s happening in their enterprise, something that for many is still a problem.” noted David Roe in CMSWire, (link resides outside of ibm.com) October 11, 2011.
CMSWire quoted Robert LeBlanc, vice president of IBM Middleware, who said, “Predictive analytics can tame IT infrastructure in much the same way it's taming big data…. This new software adds intelligence to IT and business processes by basically creating a road map showing the fastest connection between a business and its IT infrastructure.”
The new software for business agility can help clients make more intelligent, automated business decisions and help them to embrace cloud computing. The software enhances business decision management, predictive business service management and integration. It also helps organizations achieve smarter application development and deployment.
Better decisions driven by analytics and business rules
Business rules software helps you automate frequently occurring, repeatable decisions that control the actions of business systems. You can automate and manage operational decisions for improved decision making with new WebSphere® Operational Decision Management V7.5 software. It combines business events and rules management in a single platform. The WebSphere Decision Center in this offering was highlighted as an “intriguing new product” by NetworkWorld. (link resides outside of ibm.com)
The WebSphere Decision Center provides an integrated repository and management components for business users to directly participate in the governance of business rule and business event-based decision logic. They can work with IT to implement automated decisions and accelerate the maintenance lifecycle as the organization evolves, based on new external and internal requirements.
In addition, with predictive business service management, you can analyze data and find the right metrics to improve business outcomes. With Tivoli® Business Service Manager V6.1, organizations can obtain real-time service visibility and health indicators, as well as business context and impact to support prioritizing responses. Business and IT personnel can understand and manage the complex relationships between business services and the supporting technology infrastructure.
You can also anticipate and prevent costly service disruptions to ensure that critical business services constantly satisfy customer expectations and business needs. IBM Tivoli Analytics for Service Performance software, currently being previewed, provides predictive capabilities to identify performance issues in IT and network infrastructure before a service disruption or outage occurs.
A smarter approach to process and integration
Business process management (BPM) software helps you to automate, simplify and improve processes for better outcomes. It increases visibility for process owners, who can manage processes directly to make changes quickly. In addition, processes must easily incorporate information from across the enterprise, regardless of platform, device or protocol. Connectivity and integration software provides fast, flexible and reliable access to information, processes and applications across the dynamic business network.
Enhanced IBM WebSphere® Message Broker V8 connects to and runs on virtually any platform or technology, allowing business information to flow between applications across multiple hardware and software platforms. You can apply integration rules dynamically to the data flowing through the message broker to route, enrich and transform the information. Version 8 includes enhanced support for .NET environments and applications, patterns for rapid installation and configuration, and enhanced security and troubleshooting.
Agile businesses deliver software and services quickly to meet new business opportunities. They automate the deployment process to minimize errors, and use collaborative deployment planning for successful new application releases. IBM Rational® Automation Framework V3 provides deployment automation and middleware configuration management capabilities for businesses of all sizes. Version 3 helps you rapidly deliver applications by reducing setup times for complex IT environments. It also reduces the risk involved in complex software deployments.
New IBM Rational software offerings help companies use business analytics in decision-making, to measure and improve the software delivery process, and to move to secure, multi-platform development, including cloud-based development and deployment.
Accelerating application, service and information delivery with SOA and extending reach to cloud and mobile
It’s becoming clear that over the next few years, more and more transactions will take place on mobile devices, and the adoption of cloud computing will expand rapidly. Composite applications that integrate services across domains will have the most impact on the business. These changes will require IT infrastructures to manage larger spikes in demand, support software development for multiple platforms, and securely integrate transactions from the phone to the cloud. New IBM software capabilities accelerate the development of multiplatform applications, and deployment in the cloud with elastic scaling. Use of a service-oriented approach helps optimize information delivery for mobile, web and cloud.
IBM Rational® Developer Family V8 helps to streamline the development and delivery of applications across multiple platforms, languages and technologies. Use of collaborative multiplatform development improves existing skills while attracting new skills. Version 8 increases developer productivity, reducing development and administration costs. Enhanced IBM WebSphere® MQ V7.1 software provides unmatched integration with guaranteed delivery of messages and files, regardless of platform, language or device.
To make it easy for you to quickly dispense new application images into the cloud, IBM provides a secure appliance with intelligent management capabilities. IBM Workload Deployer V3.1 delivers preconfigured, integrated patterns within private clouds so you can easily deploy and dynamically manage middleware environments. IBM Workload Deployer V3.1 is helping Haddon Hill Group cut time-to-market for its customers from 40 - 60 days to mere hours—more than 100 times faster. In addition to significant cost savings, their customers saw an elimination of errors resulting from incorrect server configurations.
Analyst Judith Hurwitz told Justin Kern of Information Management (link resides outside of ibm.com), October 6, 2011, “. . . the portfolio gives IBM a ‘holistic perspective’ on the predictive analytics marketplace. Predictive analytics can have a dramatic impact on the business, therefore it is critical not to simply provide point products. IBM's approach is to provide a business solutions focused (sic) based on best practices templates and configurations that help make predictive analytics accessible to business management.”
New Cloud offerings
In October, IBM also announced the new SmartCloud Foundation software portfolio to help both entry-level firms and more sophisticated clients quickly adopt private clouds from scratch or transform their current virtualized systems into highly efficient cloud infrastructures. Learn more at the on-demand webcast about IBM’s cloud announcements (link resides outside of ibm.com) in the Cloud Virtual Briefing Center, which also provides new white papers, demonstrations, and solution briefs.
IBM Software Services are available to help you adopt these new software capabilities for managing change and complexity. Services include training, discovery workshops and QuickStarts as you ramp up, as well as IBM QuickWin Pilots and software solution assets to help you quickly achieve project success. For business transformation, IBM offers solution implementations and Centers of Excellence. Throughout your project’s lifecycle, you can tap into IBM’s expertise through IBM On Demand Consulting and health checks. Because IBM consultants work with IBM Software Development on emerging technologies, they can help you get started as soon as new technologies become available.
Learn more about business agility solutions by visiting www.ibm.com/business-agility/
And read the press releases, “New IBM Software Portfolio Advances Predictive Analytics to Help Improve Business Performance” and “IBM Introduces New Portfolio of Private Cloud Offerings.”