One of the pleasures of working at IBM is not only access to a broad range of customers, but perhaps more importantly, long relationships with these customers that allows one to have deep dialogs with them. So I have been visiting a few customers last few days. Pitching our story is fine, of course. But what is most rewarding for me is to listen to their challenges. Here is what I heard:
- Information Delivery is at the center of almost all initiatives (am I biased, and is the sample self selecting to prioritize this given that I am involved -- perhaps, but I doubt it).
- Cost pressures are there, but the more interesting questions are: can they exploit capabilities of software that they are not exploiting today?
- There is a clear shift from "IT decides best" to "it is either shared partnership or in some cases LOB's decide most of the things."
- Green initiatives are beginning to take hold -- questions such as what are the environmental implications of IT projects are now being asked
- IBM as a technology provider is great (a quote, "there is no abuse that DB2 does not seem to be able to take,"), but what the clients appreciate the most is the shared partnership and access to deep talent on both sides.
- SOA and On Demand as terms/phrase are reaching points of overuse. [A related question for us in Info 2.0 is whether 2.0 is being overused, but more on it later.]
- There are tremendous amounts of skunkwork web 2.0 projects going on.
A few customers does not a sample make, but I have found relative consistency among the scores of customers that I talk to. Views?