Chapter 9

Living with Uncertainty

A dozen of the nation's top CIOs had the opportunity recently to spend several hours of quality time with Dr. William LaFontaine, vice president of strategy and worldwide operations at IBM. Bill is one of Big Blue's most respected thought leaders, and he agreed to brief the CIOs on IBM's 2012 Global Technology Outlook (GTO), a special report on the trends most likely to create both disruptions and business opportunities in the near term.

Bill's audience for the briefing was the HMG Strategy CIO Executive Leadership Alliance (CELA), a select group of C-level technology execs who meet regularly to share their knowledge and experience. The briefing was held at the IBM Industry Solutions Lab at the T. J. Watson Research Center in Hawthorne, New York.

I moderated the lively roundtable discussion that accompanied the briefing. And though our confidentiality agreement with IBM precludes me from sharing precise details of Bill's presentation, I can offer you edited highlights of the report's findings:

  • Managing uncertain data at scale. Making revolutionary use of big data and analytics and managing uncertainty at scale.
  • Systems of people. Leveraging social business to address workforce pain points through analytics and capture insights about the way people work.
  • Outcome-based business. Transforming IT from cost containment to business value.
  • Resilient business and services. Heightened need for resiliency in light of globalization and consolidation trends, ...

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