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LANINGHAM: Hello, this is the developerWorks podcast.
I'm Scott Laningham, live, coming to you from Innovate 2012 in Orlando, Florida.
It's the IBM Rational conference, this year themed "Next, Now" which,
my take on that is that means the future is now.
And of course, when we're talking about the future being now, we've got to talk to Todd
"Turbo" Watson, who's not here this week, but he is joining us right now via Skype, audio only.
We didn't quite have enough bandwidth
for the full Todd video experience, but we did get a screenshot.
Todd, are you there.
WATSON: This is Mini Todd.
This is Todd's intelligent avatar.
Todd has left the room and asked me to participate in this interview.
LANINGHAM: Well done.
Well, thank you for sitting in for Todd.
You look exactly like him and you sound a lot like him, too.
So thank you.
WATSON: Thank you very much.
LANINGHAM: Todd, just to make you feel comfortable, I brought some shoes.
I brought some black leather, if you wanted your traditional look;
or if you're feeling a little more casual, I've got some running shoes.
Which would you like for the shot?
WATSON: Whatever helps me best fit into IBM Innovate 2012.
LANINGHAM: Let's go with the running shoes.
What do you say?
WATSON: Oh, okay.
I'm back. That intelligent agent thing isn't working out so well.
LANINGHAM: Yes, if we do the whole interview that way, I think it's going to be real short.
[ LAUGHTER ]
WATSON: Hello, everybody.
Hello, everybody, in Innovate land.
LANINGHAM: Where are you, by the way?
WATSON: I am in Denton, Texas, the home of happiness.
LANINGHAM: That is the home of happiness, and great jazz and some golf.
And otherwise, the terrain is lifeless.
I don't know what's going on there.
WATSON: It's lifeless and it's getting pretty hot down here.
LANINGHAM: So you couldn't be here this week,
but did you check out the general session this morning on Livestream?
WATSON: I checked out some of it, yes.
And it was very exciting stuff.
I was getting a little homesick not being there.
LANINGHAM: Let's talk about it a little bit.
We opened up with Gina, your friend and mine, Gina Poole, Vice President of Marketing
for IBM Rational, and she was the star, wasn't she?
That was a very cool video.
I really like this whole concept of software being everywhere.
LANINGHAM: So what did you think about the stuff that Robert LeBlanc
and then Kristof Kloeckner were talking about?
I mean, there were a lot of fascinating things that stood out,
especially the discussion of the CEO study.
WATSON: Yes, I always like these opening sessions
because I think they importantly set the stage for the audience, both there
and online, and I think that's important.
First of all, we have a lot of these events, and I think that Innovate is a very unique event,
because if you think about developers and software development and the role it's playing,
and this idea that software is everywhere,
they are going to be increasingly, increasingly critical.
In fact, when we get to some of the key announcements today,
I think we'll definitely justify that statement.
But I think in terms of the CEO study, for example, the factor...or the stat
that Robert indicated, that 71 percent of global Chief Executive Officers regard technology
as the number one issue to impact an organization's future over the next three years.
That's a pretty staggering amount considering that IT has been around as long as it has.
So its continued rise in importance only belies the notion
that programmers are an instrumental part of that ecosystem,
and that businesses everywhere have not only got to pay attention to the key role that they play,
but they're going to have to increasingly invest in the skills the education,
and the technology that supports that.
Of course, the Rational portfolio is an instrumental part of that ecosystem.
Were you surprised at all of that statement that Robert LeBlanc made from the CEO study
that technology is now cited as the leading impact point on businesses,
even beyond the nature of the economy at any given point in time?
Were you surprised by that?
WATSON: No, I'm not surprised.
Honestly, I could even see it being higher.
I mean, obviously there are other factors that CEOs have to play to.
The changing, constantly changing and ongoing risky business climate,
the economic climate, the situation we find in Europe.
You know, other political and social issues.
You know, skills, of course is one; organizational operations.
But let's be real.
I mean, technology is really a unifying thread in business,
and in particular in a global environment and climate if you don't have that innovation
in your technology landscape, it's going to be much more difficult for you to compete now
that you're competing for resources and competing with businesses around the globe.
So no, I don't think it's a big surprise.
LANINGHAM: Are you hearing all the dishes and the silverware being pounded behind us?
I'm waiting for somebody to open the door here in my room at home and bring me lunch.
LANINGHAM: Well, and I'm waiting for someone to come and serve drinks
on the laptop the way they did at our last conference.
We just seem to be a magnet for...
WATSON: Make sure they leave some sugar this time, will you?
LANINGHAM: You know, Kristof Kloeckner, who is the General Manager of Rational,
followed Robert LeBlanc this morning in the general session, and one of the things
that I thought that stood out from his talk was just that emphasis on speed in a world
of complexity, talking about that need to balance speed and agility
with more control, security, compliance.
But at the same time, allowing the flexibility for an agile operation to continue forward.
That's an interesting tightrope to walk, I would think.
WATSON: Yes, I was going to say, I remember when he spoke about that,
and I think he's on to a very delicate balancing act.
On the one hand, you know, we need organizations to be fleet of foot
when they're developing their software, whether it's for iPad application,
whether it's for the new BMW 325 series, whether it's for managing your accounting
and finances for your business and so forth.
On the other hand, I think we recognize
that with the much more complex application life cycle, we're going to need the capability
to have established provenance of software releases, the ability to roll back
in critical production environments, and all of those things.
And I think that Kloeckner then is on the right track in terms of the tools and the systems
that enable that balancing act to be in balance.
And I think that's a lot of what we're going to hear
about at Innovate over the next several days.
Are the shoes too tight?
I didn't ask you if I had laced those running shoes too much on you.
WATSON: No, but after I go jogging here
in the 100-plus degree Texas heat a little bit later, I may need to tighten them up.
LANINGHAM: That or you'll be so shrunken you'll just fall right out of them.
[ LAUGHTER ]
You can lose 10 pounds a minute when you're running in that heat.
Todd, I'm really grateful you took a moment to join us, and please enjoy your time
with your family there in Denton.
WATSON: Oh, I will.
Is that it?
You're throwing me out already?
LANINGHAM: You have more to say?
[ LAUGHTER ]
WATSON: Well, I did want to expound on the skills thing, because...and you guys may be
so busy there on the floor and attending the sessions,
but I was watching the press communications.
One of the really important announcements we made that may have come up or may not,
but I certainly would expect it was discussed in the press conference,
and that was our partnership with Syracuse University, where we're really working
in partnership to address the skills issue
and to help college students build their own computing skills to be able
to more effectively manage both traditional and new systems in large global enterprises.
As I mentioned, and I think as we've heard Robert and others say, the lack of skills
in software technology is one of the top barriers that prevents companies
from leveraging software for competitive advantage.
That also comes from a new study that the Institute for Business Value
at IBM did called the Global Study on Software Delivery.
So partnership is really coming
out of Syracuse's Global Enterprise Technology curriculum,
and it's an interdisciplinary program that is focused on preparing students
for successful careers in large-scale technology-driven global operating environments,
which of course are the kinds of environment that many of IBM's customers find themselves in.
So I think the focus on mainframe software development, education and skills development,
is a key step forward in helping enable those college students to get those skills
up to par with what industry needs.
And Syracuse, of course, is one of about 500-something that are participating.
LANINGHAM: That's cool.
And we did some lovely cutaways during your long answer there, so we weren't just staring
at your static face the whole time.
I hope you know that.
WATSON: Well, wouldn't want you to have to...I mean,, hopefully you at least flashed
on my new tennis shoes for a moment.
LANINGHAM: Well, anything else?
WATSON: Well, I think you also heard about the announcement we made
around the collaborative software environment.
That was also key.
I would encourage people to go out and Google IBM Innovate 2012,
I'm sure they'll find some of these announcements...
Because some of those integrating and collaborative capabilities are going
to be also instrumental, especially getting back
to that application life cycle management thought.
More systems means more applications, more movement in the cloud
and mobile delivery, means more complexity.
And again, back to Kristof's comments, we need to be able to balance that need
for innovation but also handle that complexity.
And IBM announced a series of tools today that are intended to fit those needs.
So I would encourage people to go read about those.
And you can also go to turbotodd.com, I've covered a number
of those announcements already in my blog today.
We'll put that link up, turbotodd.com.
You can follow, of course, all the interviews this week from Innovate 2012
on livestream.com/ibmrational, livestream.com/ibmrational.
You can see the general sessions, the interviews we're doing from the stage.
I think there's some roving reporter activity going on, quite a bit of good content.
So please check that out.
And then later in the week, we'll be talking to you from the Edge Conference,
which is about storage technology, which is going on just a couple of miles
down the street here in Orlando as well.
So Todd, thanks again for taking some time to join us over Skype.
WATSON: Thank you, and make sure you get autographs for me from the guys in Foreigner.
LANINGHAM: You got it.
Before we go, would you like to do a few bars of your favorite Foreigner hit?
WATSON: I really would like to have an audience for this podcast, so no.
We'll save that for next time.
[ LAUGHTER ]
Thank you, Todd.
Good talking to you.
WATSON: Thank you.
You guys have fun.
LANINGHAM: Todd "Turbo" Watson in Denton, Texas.
You can follow him on turbotodd.com.
I'm Scott Laningham.
You can follow my blogging and video clips from this conference at bit.ly/scottdw.
And again, I'm at Innovate 2012.
We will be back with more, but this has been the developerWorks podcast.
Thanks for watching.
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