Welcome!

IBM Cloud Authors: Pat Romanski, Srinivasan Sundara Rajan, Elizabeth White, Sematext Blog, Liz McMillan

Related Topics: Agile Computing, Microservices Expo, IoT User Interface

Agile Computing: 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
SYS-CON Events announced today that Bsquare has been named “Silver Sponsor” of SYS-CON's @ThingsExpo, which will take place on November 1–3, 2016, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA. For more than two decades, Bsquare has helped its customers extract business value from a broad array of physical assets by making them intelligent, connecting them, and using the data they generate to optimize business processes.
I'm a lonely sensor. I spend all day telling the world how I'm feeling, but none of the other sensors seem to care. I want to be connected. I want to build relationships with other sensors to be more useful for my human. I want my human to understand that when my friends next door are too hot for a while, I'll soon be flaming. And when all my friends go outside without me, I may be left behind. Don't just log my data; use the relationship graph. In his session at @ThingsExpo, Ryan Boyd, Engi...
SYS-CON Events announced today that Pulzze Systems will exhibit at the 19th International Cloud Expo, which will take place on November 1–3, 2016, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA. Pulzze Systems, Inc. provides infrastructure products for the Internet of Things to enable any connected device and system to carry out matched operations without programming. For more information, visit http://www.pulzzesystems.com.
SYS-CON Events announced today that Commvault, a global leader in enterprise data protection and information management, has been named “Bronze Sponsor” of SYS-CON's 19th International Cloud Expo, which will take place on November 1–3, 2016, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA. Commvault is a leading provider of data protection and information management solutions, helping companies worldwide activate their data to drive more value and business insight and to transform moder...
Fact is, enterprises have significant legacy voice infrastructure that’s costly to replace with pure IP solutions. How can we bring this analog infrastructure into our shiny new cloud applications? There are proven methods to bind both legacy voice applications and traditional PSTN audio into cloud-based applications and services at a carrier scale. Some of the most successful implementations leverage WebRTC, WebSockets, SIP and other open source technologies. In his session at @ThingsExpo, Da...
Almost two-thirds of companies either have or soon will have IoT as the backbone of their business in 2016. However, IoT is far more complex than most firms expected. How can you not get trapped in the pitfalls? In his session at @ThingsExpo, Tony Shan, a renowned visionary and thought leader, will introduce a holistic method of IoTification, which is the process of IoTifying the existing technology and business models to adopt and leverage IoT. He will drill down to the components in this fra...
The vision of a connected smart home is becoming reality with the application of integrated wireless technologies in devices and appliances. The use of standardized and TCP/IP networked wireless technologies in line-powered and battery operated sensors and controls has led to the adoption of radios in the 2.4GHz band, including Wi-Fi, BT/BLE and 802.15.4 applied ZigBee and Thread. This is driving the need for robust wireless coexistence for multiple radios to ensure throughput performance and th...
Enterprise IT has been in the era of Hybrid Cloud for some time now. But it seems most conversations about Hybrid are focused on integrating AWS, Microsoft Azure, or Google ECM into existing on-premises systems. Where is all the Private Cloud? What do technology providers need to do to make their offerings more compelling? How should enterprise IT executives and buyers define their focus, needs, and roadmap, and communicate that clearly to the providers?
SYS-CON Events announced today that SoftLayer, an IBM Company, has been named “Gold Sponsor” of SYS-CON's 18th Cloud Expo, which will take place on June 7-9, 2016, at the Javits Center in New York, New York. SoftLayer, an IBM Company, provides cloud infrastructure as a service from a growing number of data centers and network points of presence around the world. SoftLayer’s customers range from Web startups to global enterprises.
There is little doubt that Big Data solutions will have an increasing role in the Enterprise IT mainstream over time. Big Data at Cloud Expo - to be held November 1-3, 2016, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA - has announced its Call for Papers is open. Cloud computing is being adopted in one form or another by 94% of enterprises today. Tens of billions of new devices are being connected to The Internet of Things. And Big Data is driving this bus. An exponential increase is...
DevOps at Cloud Expo, taking place Nov 1-3, 2016, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA, is co-located with 19th Cloud Expo and will feature technical sessions from a rock star conference faculty and the leading industry players in the world. The widespread success of cloud computing is driving the DevOps revolution in enterprise IT. Now as never before, development teams must communicate and collaborate in a dynamic, 24/7/365 environment. There is no time to wait for long dev...
Digital innovation is the next big wave of business transformation based on digital technologies of which IoT and Big Data are key components, For example: Business boundary innovation is a challenge to excavate third-party business value using IoT and BigData, like Nest Business structure innovation may propose re-building business structure from scratch, as Uber does in the taxicab industry The social model innovation is also a big challenge to the new social architecture with the design fr...
Data is an unusual currency; it is not restricted by the same transactional limitations as money or people. In fact, the more that you leverage your data across multiple business use cases, the more valuable it becomes to the organization. And the same can be said about the organization’s analytics. In his session at 19th Cloud Expo, Bill Schmarzo, CTO for the Big Data Practice at EMC, will introduce a methodology for capturing, enriching and sharing data (and analytics) across the organizati...
IoT is fundamentally transforming the auto industry, turning the vehicle into a hub for connected services, including safety, infotainment and usage-based insurance. Auto manufacturers – and businesses across all verticals – have built an entire ecosystem around the Connected Car, creating new customer touch points and revenue streams. In his session at @ThingsExpo, Macario Namie, Head of IoT Strategy at Cisco Jasper, will share real-world examples of how IoT transforms the car from a static p...
The many IoT deployments around the world are busy integrating smart devices and sensors into their enterprise IT infrastructures. Yet all of this technology – and there are an amazing number of choices – is of no use without the software to gather, communicate, and analyze the new data flows. Without software, there is no IT. In this power panel at @ThingsExpo, moderated by Conference Chair Roger Strukhoff, panelists will look at the protocols that communicate data and the emerging data analy...
SYS-CON Events announced today that China Unicom will exhibit at the 19th International Cloud Expo, which will take place on November 1–3, 2016, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA. China United Network Communications Group Co. Ltd ("China Unicom") was officially established in 2009 on the basis of the merger of former China Netcom and former China Unicom. China Unicom mainly operates a full range of telecommunications services including mobile broadband (GSM, WCDMA, LTE F...
The Transparent Cloud-computing Consortium (abbreviation: T-Cloud Consortium) will conduct research activities into changes in the computing model as a result of collaboration between "device" and "cloud" and the creation of new value and markets through organic data processing High speed and high quality networks, and dramatic improvements in computer processing capabilities, have greatly changed the nature of applications and made the storing and processing of data on the network commonplace.
Big Data has been changing the world. IoT fuels the further transformation recently. How are Big Data and IoT related? In his session at @BigDataExpo, Tony Shan, a renowned visionary and thought leader, will explore the interplay of Big Data and IoT. He will anatomize Big Data and IoT separately in terms of what, which, why, where, when, who, how and how much. He will then analyze the relationship between IoT and Big Data, specifically the drilldown of how the 4Vs of Big Data (Volume, Variety,...
Video experiences should be unique and exciting! But that doesn’t mean you need to patch all the pieces yourself. Users demand rich and engaging experiences and new ways to connect with you. But creating robust video applications at scale can be complicated, time-consuming and expensive. In his session at @ThingsExpo, Zohar Babin, Vice President of Platform, Ecosystem and Community at Kaltura, will discuss how VPaaS enables you to move fast, creating scalable video experiences that reach your...
If you’re responsible for an application that depends on the data or functionality of various IoT endpoints – either sensors or devices – your brand reputation depends on the security, reliability, and compliance of its many integrated parts. If your application fails to deliver the expected business results, your customers and partners won't care if that failure stems from the code you developed or from a component that you integrated. What can you do to ensure that the endpoints work as expect...