Click here to close now.

Welcome!

Websphere Authors: Pat Romanski, Elizabeth White, Carmen Gonzalez, Sanjeev Sharma, Yeshim Deniz

Related Topics: Web 2.0, SOA & WOA, AJAX & REA

Web 2.0: Article

Web 2.0 Is Fundamentally About Empowering People

Exclusive Q&A with IBM's VP of Emerging Internet Technologies, Rod Smith

"Unlocking content to be remixed into new business value" is the driver of Web 2.0 in the enterprise, says Rod Smith, IBM VP of Emerging Internet Technologies, in this Exclusive Q&A with Web 2.0 Journal's Jeremy Geelan given April 2008 on the occasion of IBM's release last month of a new technology created by IBM researchers, codenamed “SMash” - short for Secure Mashup.

Web 2.0 Journal: The movement to empowering business users via Enterprise Mashups in 2006 and gathered momentum in 2007. Do you think that 2008 will be the year that they go mainstream, or is that point still to be reached?

Rod Smith: We are seeing a number of activities blossom. First, the idea of unlocking content to be remixed into new business value is translating into strong adoption of RSS and ATOM, making enterprise data broadly available - and mashable.  Security is now being addressed with the SMash contribution into the OpenAjax Alliance, and will address the needs CIOs have regarding composing secure, interoperable mash-ups.  And finally, the introduction of products from us and others in the industry does indicate a shift.

Q. So if the enterprise, or a large portion of it, was waiting for the security issue still to be resolved, then it follows that IBM is hoping today's release of SMash will be a major adoption tipping-point?

Rod Smith: That's what we're aiming for.  Almost from day one of our participation in OpenAjax Alliance, security and interoperability were highlighted as the two major challenges that enterprises wanted to see addressed - in an open standard or de facto standard way, of course.  I  don't think enough credit is given to the folks in OpenAjax Alliance for taking on these issues - and we're pleased be a part of helping to achieve their goals.

Q.
Mashup security aside, to what extent do you still have to evangelize around the theme of self-service IT, and make businesses understand that high performance people can be empowered through mashup technology to serve themselves with the information they need and then choose themselves exactly how to exploit applications to solve their business priorities?

Rod Smith: Good question.  We still need to evangelize - but let's call it in a Web 2.0 style.  We're now able to show IT how empowering their high performance counterparts in business roles helps them as well, and seeing is believing. Instantly demonstrating the value has a huge impact.  What's exciting today is listening to a customer describe a dashboard or mashup they've been dying to have - and then let them drive!

Q. How would you unpack "situational applications" so that everyone knows exactly what IBM means by that?

Rod Smith: Wikipedia's excellent definition is it's software created by a small group of users for a specific purpose. I'm sure your readers think of useful applications that have been just out of their reach or skills to assemble - so we've expanded the thought a bit to include the idea of time to market - situational apps should be able to be composed/assembled quickly.

Q. So do Mashups mean the end of IT departments, or just a re-arrangement of priorities?

Rod Smith: There's no riding off into the sunset for IT.  This does offer IT a way to reshape their role with the line of business folks - offering SOA and Informational services to make their jobs easier.  It also means new responsibilities for IT around governance of information as data becomes easily sharable/remixable beyond the intranet, additional quality of service as business ecosystems grow, and of course new ways to approach security.

Q. At AJAXWorld next week in New York we have an entire all-day Bootcamp devoted to AJAX Security issues. Do you see any reason to imagine that such a Bootcamp would ever be less than fully subscribed (which it certainly is)? ;-)  If so, how long before we get to that point?!

Rod Smith: Bottom line, AJAX is going to be a cornerstone for open clients for enterprises.  Rich Internet applications will need to exhibit the necessary security - and I don't think there's a better place to get fully immersed than Bootcamp next week!

Q.
How great a role do standards play in all of this and how does IBM currently channel its activities in that area of things?

Rod Smith: Huge - both formal standards like W3C but also de facto standards like many of the technologies underlying AJAX.  As I mentioned earlier, standards are necessary for interoperability today - they go hand in hand.  In our area, we have a team dedicated to emerging standards who's full-time mission it is to collaborate broadly with customers and others in our industry. It's really in IBM's DNA to work across the industry to develop standards, and we'll continue to do that so that our customers can have the best functionality in the most secure way. 

Q. Is it your belief that non-technical users within the enterprise really can be persuaded to "get" 2.0 and avail themselves of the new benefits of freeform applications? Isn't there always a risk that even secure mashups will always be deployed only by the early adopters within each company, but not get adopted beyond that?

Rod Smith: Nope. I think there really is this thing called "shadow IT" where non-technical users have always looked for ways to be more productive - to empower themselves.  This is especially true as the younger generation enters the workforce, as they're more technically savvy than any generation before them. Because they grew up on blogs, wikis and other Web 2.0 tools, this generation is largely expected to embrace mashups.

Q.
How will IBM know when the wider world of business has caught up with your team at Emerging Internet Technologies? What kind of metrics do you use to track adoption?

Rod Smith: IBM has had the pleasure of seeing a number of our industry collaborations blossom - Java, XML, web services and now Web 2.0.  We have a methodology on measuring the adoption of new, disruptive technologies - in part to keep from not drinking our own Kool Aid.  Each technology has a different set of metrics;  for mash-ups one measure was the reduction in time to market from months to years - to hours.  We measure every proof-of-concept with customers to validate our approach - which helped refine each iteration of the technology and standards.

More Stories By Jeremy Geelan

Jeremy Geelan is Chairman & CEO of the 21st Century Internet Group, Inc. and an Executive Academy Member of the International Academy of Digital Arts & Sciences. Formerly he was President & COO at Cloud Expo, Inc. and Conference Chair of the worldwide Cloud Expo series. He appears regularly at conferences and trade shows, speaking to technology audiences across six continents. You can follow him on twitter: @jg21.

Comments (0)

Share your thoughts on this story.

Add your comment
You must be signed in to add a comment. Sign-in | Register

In accordance with our Comment Policy, we encourage comments that are on topic, relevant and to-the-point. We will remove comments that include profanity, personal attacks, racial slurs, threats of violence, or other inappropriate material that violates our Terms and Conditions, and will block users who make repeated violations. We ask all readers to expect diversity of opinion and to treat one another with dignity and respect.


@ThingsExpo Stories
Analytics is the foundation of smart data and now, with the ability to run Hadoop directly on smart storage systems like Cloudian HyperStore, enterprises will gain huge business advantages in terms of scalability, efficiency and cost savings as they move closer to realizing the potential of the Internet of Things. In his session at 16th Cloud Expo, Paul Turner, technology evangelist and CMO at Cloudian, Inc., will discuss the revolutionary notion that the storage world is transitioning from mere Big Data to smart data. He will argue that today’s hybrid cloud storage solutions, with commodity...
Cloud data governance was previously an avoided function when cloud deployments were relatively small. With the rapid adoption in public cloud – both rogue and sanctioned, it’s not uncommon to find regulated data dumped into public cloud and unprotected. This is why enterprises and cloud providers alike need to embrace a cloud data governance function and map policies, processes and technology controls accordingly. In her session at 15th Cloud Expo, Evelyn de Souza, Data Privacy and Compliance Strategy Leader at Cisco Systems, will focus on how to set up a cloud data governance program and s...
Roberto Medrano, Executive Vice President at SOA Software, had reached 30,000 page views on his home page - http://RobertoMedrano.SYS-CON.com/ - on the SYS-CON family of online magazines, which includes Cloud Computing Journal, Internet of Things Journal, Big Data Journal, and SOA World Magazine. He is a recognized executive in the information technology fields of SOA, internet security, governance, and compliance. He has extensive experience with both start-ups and large companies, having been involved at the beginning of four IT industries: EDA, Open Systems, Computer Security and now SOA.
The industrial software market has treated data with the mentality of “collect everything now, worry about how to use it later.” We now find ourselves buried in data, with the pervasive connectivity of the (Industrial) Internet of Things only piling on more numbers. There’s too much data and not enough information. In his session at @ThingsExpo, Bob Gates, Global Marketing Director, GE’s Intelligent Platforms business, to discuss how realizing the power of IoT, software developers are now focused on understanding how industrial data can create intelligence for industrial operations. Imagine ...
We certainly live in interesting technological times. And no more interesting than the current competing IoT standards for connectivity. Various standards bodies, approaches, and ecosystems are vying for mindshare and positioning for a competitive edge. It is clear that when the dust settles, we will have new protocols, evolved protocols, that will change the way we interact with devices and infrastructure. We will also have evolved web protocols, like HTTP/2, that will be changing the very core of our infrastructures. At the same time, we have old approaches made new again like micro-services...
Every innovation or invention was originally a daydream. You like to imagine a “what-if” scenario. And with all the attention being paid to the so-called Internet of Things (IoT) you don’t have to stretch the imagination too much to see how this may impact commercial and homeowners insurance. We’re beyond the point of accepting this as a leap of faith. The groundwork is laid. Now it’s just a matter of time. We can thank the inventors of smart thermostats for developing a practical business application that everyone can relate to. Gone are the salad days of smart home apps, the early chalkb...
Operational Hadoop and the Lambda Architecture for Streaming Data Apache Hadoop is emerging as a distributed platform for handling large and fast incoming streams of data. Predictive maintenance, supply chain optimization, and Internet-of-Things analysis are examples where Hadoop provides the scalable storage, processing, and analytics platform to gain meaningful insights from granular data that is typically only valuable from a large-scale, aggregate view. One architecture useful for capturing and analyzing streaming data is the Lambda Architecture, representing a model of how to analyze rea...
Today’s enterprise is being driven by disruptive competitive and human capital requirements to provide enterprise application access through not only desktops, but also mobile devices. To retrofit existing programs across all these devices using traditional programming methods is very costly and time consuming – often prohibitively so. In his session at @ThingsExpo, Jesse Shiah, CEO, President, and Co-Founder of AgilePoint Inc., discussed how you can create applications that run on all mobile devices as well as laptops and desktops using a visual drag-and-drop application – and eForms-buildi...
SYS-CON Events announced today that Vitria Technology, Inc. will exhibit at SYS-CON’s @ThingsExpo, which will take place on June 9-11, 2015, at the Javits Center in New York City, NY. Vitria will showcase the company’s new IoT Analytics Platform through live demonstrations at booth #330. Vitria’s IoT Analytics Platform, fully integrated and powered by an operational intelligence engine, enables customers to rapidly build and operationalize advanced analytics to deliver timely business outcomes for use cases across the industrial, enterprise, and consumer segments.
SYS-CON Events announced today that Dyn, the worldwide leader in Internet Performance, will exhibit at SYS-CON's 16th International Cloud Expo®, which will take place on June 9-11, 2015, at the Javits Center in New York City, NY. Dyn is a cloud-based Internet Performance company. Dyn helps companies monitor, control, and optimize online infrastructure for an exceptional end-user experience. Through a world-class network and unrivaled, objective intelligence into Internet conditions, Dyn ensures traffic gets delivered faster, safer, and more reliably than ever.
Containers and microservices have become topics of intense interest throughout the cloud developer and enterprise IT communities. Accordingly, attendees at the upcoming 16th Cloud Expo at the Javits Center in New York June 9-11 will find fresh new content in a new track called PaaS | Containers & Microservices Containers are not being considered for the first time by the cloud community, but a current era of re-consideration has pushed them to the top of the cloud agenda. With the launch of Docker's initial release in March of 2013, interest was revved up several notches. Then late last...
In their session at @ThingsExpo, Shyam Varan Nath, Principal Architect at GE, and Ibrahim Gokcen, who leads GE's advanced IoT analytics, focused on the Internet of Things / Industrial Internet and how to make it operational for business end-users. Learn about the challenges posed by machine and sensor data and how to marry it with enterprise data. They also discussed the tips and tricks to provide the Industrial Internet as an end-user consumable service using Big Data Analytics and Industrial Cloud.
Performance is the intersection of power, agility, control, and choice. If you value performance, and more specifically consistent performance, you need to look beyond simple virtualized compute. Many factors need to be considered to create a truly performant environment. In his General Session at 15th Cloud Expo, Harold Hannon, Sr. Software Architect at SoftLayer, discussed how to take advantage of a multitude of compute options and platform features to make cloud the cornerstone of your online presence.
The explosion of connected devices / sensors is creating an ever-expanding set of new and valuable data. In parallel the emerging capability of Big Data technologies to store, access, analyze, and react to this data is producing changes in business models under the umbrella of the Internet of Things (IoT). In particular within the Insurance industry, IoT appears positioned to enable deep changes by altering relationships between insurers, distributors, and the insured. In his session at @ThingsExpo, Michael Sick, a Senior Manager and Big Data Architect within Ernst and Young's Financial Servi...
Even as cloud and managed services grow increasingly central to business strategy and performance, challenges remain. The biggest sticking point for companies seeking to capitalize on the cloud is data security. Keeping data safe is an issue in any computing environment, and it has been a focus since the earliest days of the cloud revolution. Understandably so: a lot can go wrong when you allow valuable information to live outside the firewall. Recent revelations about government snooping, along with a steady stream of well-publicized data breaches, only add to the uncertainty
The explosion of connected devices / sensors is creating an ever-expanding set of new and valuable data. In parallel the emerging capability of Big Data technologies to store, access, analyze, and react to this data is producing changes in business models under the umbrella of the Internet of Things (IoT). In particular within the Insurance industry, IoT appears positioned to enable deep changes by altering relationships between insurers, distributors, and the insured. In his session at @ThingsExpo, Michael Sick, a Senior Manager and Big Data Architect within Ernst and Young's Financial Servi...
Docker is an excellent platform for organizations interested in running microservices. It offers portability and consistency between development and production environments, quick provisioning times, and a simple way to isolate services. In his session at DevOps Summit at 16th Cloud Expo, Shannon Williams, co-founder of Rancher Labs, will walk through these and other benefits of using Docker to run microservices, and provide an overview of RancherOS, a minimalist distribution of Linux designed expressly to run Docker. He will also discuss Rancher, an orchestration and service discovery platf...
PubNub on Monday has announced that it is partnering with IBM to bring its sophisticated real-time data streaming and messaging capabilities to Bluemix, IBM’s cloud development platform. “Today’s app and connected devices require an always-on connection, but building a secure, scalable solution from the ground up is time consuming, resource intensive, and error-prone,” said Todd Greene, CEO of PubNub. “PubNub enables web, mobile and IoT developers building apps on IBM Bluemix to quickly add scalable realtime functionality with minimal effort and cost.”
Sensor-enabled things are becoming more commonplace, precursors to a larger and more complex framework that most consider the ultimate promise of the IoT: things connecting, interacting, sharing, storing, and over time perhaps learning and predicting based on habits, behaviors, location, preferences, purchases and more. In his session at @ThingsExpo, Tom Wesselman, Director of Communications Ecosystem Architecture at Plantronics, will examine the still nascent IoT as it is coalescing, including what it is today, what it might ultimately be, the role of wearable tech, and technology gaps stil...
CommVault has announced that top industry technology visionaries have joined its leadership team. The addition of leaders from companies such as Oracle, SAP, Microsoft, Cisco, PwC and EMC signals the continuation of CommVault Next, the company's business transformation for sales, go-to-market strategies, pricing and packaging and technology innovation. The company also announced that it had realigned its structure to create business units to more directly match how customers evaluate, deploy, operate, and purchase technology.