Ability for Employees to Work With Greater Mobility is No.1 Reason for Cloud

Small to medium business’s are now looking beyound the cost and resource efficiencies that can be delivered from a cloud enviroment, they are now focused on how a cloud deployment can improve business outcomes and bring strategic value. In a recent study by IBM two thirds of snior managers surveyed had either implemented or intend to implement a cloud service, with over 45% of UK business looking to do so over the next two years.

The most popular reasons identified for doing this are:

  • Increased ability for employees to work with greater mobility was number one
  • Cost efficiences was named as the number two reason

As cloud continues to be a key priority businesses are looking to technology providers, known as Managed Service Providers (MSPs). The emergence of such MSPs is in response to a significant market shift as SMBs move their business applications to the cloud in order to increase their ability to work in a more mobile and flexible fashion.  With limited IT resources, many are looking to a new kind of partner, to help them do this as they seek to off load the management of their IT infrastructure.

“Midsize firms are under increasing pressure to become more efficient and continue to identify new opportunities to grow their business,” explains Lubomir Cheytanov, director of midmarket sales at IBM in the UK and Ireland. “They are looking to local technology providers or MSPs with deep expertise and innovative cloud portfolio to move their business applications to the cloud.”

About the Cloud Research Study:

For the independent study, conducted by YouGov, the opinions of 530 senior managers at small and medium-sized companies in the United Kingdom were surveyed. It was conducted in the second quarter of 2012 to capture current and upcoming business and IT priorities for cloud computing.

If you are looking to transform your business with cloud capabilities why not get in touch or click here for more information

Olympicene – scientists bring new molecule to life

I work for a company that for many years sold typewiters, it staggers me sometimes at some of the things we actually do. Have a read and let me know what you think.

A collaboration between the Royal Society of Chemistry, the University of Warwick and IBM has allowed scientists to bring a single 5-ringed molecule to life in a picture, using a combination of clever synthetic chemistry and state-of-the-art imaging techniques.

Once just a doodle on a piece of paper by an RSC scientist, the molecule has been imaged for the first time at an unprecedented resolution using a complex technique known as non-contact atomic force microscopy.

Known as olympicene it is related to single-layer graphite, also known as graphene, and is one of a number of related compounds which potentially have interesting electronic and optical properties, potentially for the next generation of solar cells and high-tech lighting sources such as LEDs.

Take a look at this previous post too.

Free Event [24/05] – Insights from the Global IBM CEO Study

The new buzzword for today’s modern leader is Connections.

I would like to encourage you to join the event tomorrow at 12pm ET 7pm BST and participate in the conversation with four remarkable thought leaders:

Kris Pederson – VP North America Business Transformation Leader, IBM Global Business Services
Bryan Kramer – CEO + President, PureMatter
Dorie Clark – Strategy Consultant, Author, marketing & branding expert
Melissa Schilling – professor of strategic management and innovation and technology at New York University Stern School of Business
Feel free to share this invite with others. There is no registration required so just visit this Livestream Channel to attend the event.

I look forward to seeing you today. Have a wonderful day!

 

If You Don’t Have a SOCIAL CEO, You’re Going to be Less Competitive

Mark Fidelman Guest Post: Mark Fidelman

IBM STUDY: If You Don’t Have a SOCIAL CEO, You’re Going to be Less Competitive

The list of the world’s CEOs regularly includes celebrities, billionaires, big egos, risk takers, and failures. What it does not include are social media experts; but that’s about to change. When IBM (NYSE: IBM) conducted its study of 1709 CEOs around the world, they found only 16% of them participating in social media. But their analysis shows that the percentage will likely grow to 57% within 5 years.

Why? because CEOs are beginning to recognize that using email and the phone to get the message out isn’t sufficient anymore.

The big takeaway: That using social technologies to engage with customers, suppliers and employees will enable the organization to be more adaptive and agile.

“As CEOs ratchet up the level of openness within their organizations, they are developing collaborative environments where employees are
encouraged to speak up, exercise personal initiative, connect with fellow
collaborators, and innovate,” the IBM study concluded.

Simply put, CEOs and their executives set the cultural tone for an organization. Through participation, they implicitly promote the use of social technologies.  That will make their organizations more competitive and better able to adapt to sudden market changes.

Other key findings of the study include:

  • The study reveals that CEOs are changing the nature of work by adding a powerful dose of openness, transparency and employee empowerment to the command-and-control ethos that has characterized the modern corporation for more than a century.
  • Companies that outperform their peers are 30 percent more likely to identify openness – often characterized by a greater use of social media as a key enabler of collaboration and innovation – as a key influence on their organization.
  • While social media is the least utilized of all customer interaction methods today, it stands to become the number two organizational engagement method within the next five years, a close second to face-to-face interactions.
  • More than half of CEOs (53 percent) are planning to use technology to facilitate greater partnering and collaboration with outside organizations, while 52 percent are shifting their attention to promoting great internal collaboration.
  • Championing collaborative innovation is not something CEOs are delegating to their HR leaders. According to the study findings, the business executives are interested in leading by example.
  • CEOs regard interpersonal skills of collaboration (75 percent), communication (67 percent), creativity (61 percent) and flexibility (61 percent) as key drivers of employee success to operate in a more complex, interconnected environment.
  • The trend toward greater collaboration extends beyond the corporation to external partnering relationships. Partnering is now at an all-time high. In 2008, slightly more than half of the CEOs IBM interviewed planned to partner extensively. Now, more than two-thirds intend to do so.
  • CEOs are most focused on gaining insights into their customers. Seventy-three percent of CEOs are making significant investments in their organizations’ ability to draw meaningful customer insights from available data.

I’ve often held IBM as the best example of a Social Business and a company to emulate rather than Apple. I believe this study and the analysis behind it, reinforces that view.

The IBM study shows that CEOs and the companies they manage must constantly evolve to stay competitive. Partners, suppliers, employees and customers want CEOs to communicate with them on a personal level to build trust and to help align them to the organization’s strategy. There is a lot at stake here. And if CEOs continue to hide in their Ivory Towers under the guise of some old command and control mentality, the next chapter in their career might be written somewhere else.

No one wants that.

IBM set up first social business center in Singapore

SINGAPORE–IBM signed a memorandum of understanding (MOU) with the National University of Singapore’s Institute of Systems Science (NUS-ISS) to set up its first ever Center of Excellence (CoE) for enterprise social business here. This would help bring up Asia’s level of social business adoption to match that of Europe and the United States, one executive says.

Lim Swee Cheang, director of NUS-ISS, said the CoE will be operational in May this year, and will target local senior business executives to educate them on the benefits of tapping on social technologies within their organizations.

The Center’s goal will be to help companies here evolve into social businesses by advising them on the roadmap and strategy, as well as conduct research on the topic, added Christopher Chia, chairman of the NUS-ISS management board. Both executives spoke during a press briefing held in conjunction with IBM’s Business Gets Social 2012 event on Wednesday.

Both parties declined to reveal how much was invested to establish the CoE, though.

In terms of content, the CoE will offer two courses initially, said Lim. These include a half-day seminar on the benefits of social business, as well as a two-day course meant for companies interested in implementing social technologies. The longer course can also be customized for specific businesses as each organization would have its particular needs, he added.

The director said the “cautious” initial estimate for enrolment is between 100 and 300 participants for the first year. However, the Center may open up free courses to provide for more participants if the need arises, he said.

Lum Seow Khun, business unit executive of ISV (independent software vendor) and developer relations at IBM Singapore, added the company plans to conduct one session per quarter in the beginning and increase the frequency based on take-up rate. She added both parties would co-conduct the lectures, and IBM will provide free software and course ware.

Asia “ripe” for social business
Sandy Carter, vice president of social business sales and evangelism at IBM, pointed out that with social media expected to create more jobs than the Internet did, it is good for those in Singapore to be trained early in social business.

The executive, who was a keynote speaker at the event, also said that while the region’s adoption of social business is slightly behind that of Europe, which leads the pack, and the United States, companies here are “ripe to catch up” due to the high personal social media usage. This is because users will look to bring social technologies they use frequently into the enterprise arena, she explained.

Indonesian restaurant chain Bumbu Desa, for one, has adopted Big Blue’s SmartCloud Connections collaboration tools to enable franchise holder to discuss store strategies on a single platform, noted Christopher Blake, Asean regional executive for collaboration solutions at IBM, during the briefing. Besides internal collaboration, the platform can also be opened to external parties such as food critics to join in the conversation, he added.

Zooming in on Singapore, Carter cited a 2011 study conducted by a GlobalWebIndex that ranked the city-state’s social network penetration higher than the global average.

Additionally, users here have moved beyond using social media for personal communication and on to creating online communities. These factors mark Singapore out as having the potential to be a proponent for social business, she said.

What advice are you looking for on becoming a Social Business? Leave a message or feel free to reach on Twittter or LinkedIn

More on IBM Social Business here

Inside the Brain of a CEO [Infographic]

In these difficult times, CEOs are turning to partnerships and technology to help them overcome the challenges their organisations are facing. CEOs that drive their organisations to innovate, collaborate and understand their customers better will be well-placed to achieve success, both now and in the long-term.

UK lags behind in organisational ‘openness’, holding businesses back from collaboration, finds CEO study. FULL ARTICLE

Collaboration is key to employee success FULL ARTICLE

CEO Study 2012

Be one of the first to get your copy, there is a registration link below.

Some of the topics covered are :

  • How are CEOs responding to the complexity of increasingly interconnected organisations, markets, societies and governments – what we call the connected economy?
  • What specific changes do they plan to make within their organisations?
  • Where do CEOs see the greatest opportunities to differentiate and lead? And
  • What external forces are demanding their attention today?

To find out, IBM spoke with more than 1,700 CEOs, general managers and senior public sector leaders from around the globe.

They will reveal our findings in May 2012 with the publication of their fifth biennial edition of the IBM Global CEO Study. This study, is the largest of its type ever undertaken. It will be the newest in the IBM C-suite Study series, a comprehensive collection of thought leadership, informed by and intended for senior business leaders.

Every business needs smarter thinking. Register now to be among the first to read the insights in the 2012 IBM Global CEO Study: