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Rationalizing Power

IBM VP Scott Hebner makes the case for IBM development and delivery solutions

IBM VP Scott Hebner makes the case for IBM development and delivery solutions
Photo by Matt Carr

When the IBM Software Group acquired the Rational* product family in late 2002, it knew it was getting some open, industry-standard tools and best practices for application development that would benefit its customers. All businesses face growing challenges to quickly deliver high-quality software that’s aligned with business objectives.

Rational software helps customers deliver greater value from their investments in software and systems. It enables organizations to seize business opportunities, achieve precision in desired business outcomes, and execute with reduced risk and cost.

The Rational group recently rolled out IBM Rational Developer for Power Systems Software*, an integrated development environment for IBM i and AIX*. IBM i folks have had a Rational solution for some time, but the tools are new to AIX users, who may wonder what all the fuss is about. Scott Hebner, vice president of marketing and strategy for IBM Rational, shares how the new software can boost productivity and reduce cost and risk for businesses running Power Systems* environments. He’s convinced businesses can innovate—even on limited budgets.

Q: What trends are you seeing in business and how can Rational software help companies monetize these trends?

A: As we emphasize with IBM’s Smarter Planet program, businesses around the world are becoming interconnected. Everything is being instrumented to gather real-time information and perform business analytics on that data. Almost everything is becoming more intelligent—from coffee machines to automobiles to the applications that process credit-card transactions.

What’s so interesting about the transformation is that it’s beginning to drive the software element of the marketplace. If you think about interconnectivity and intelligence, it’s software that’s the invisible thread that makes it all possible.

Q: Can you give an example of that invisible thread?

A: The modern car is a highly complex product. Software represents about 40 percent of the innovation that’s in the newer cars, making the car smarter and more intelligent. What’s emerging as being very valuable are all of the interconnections from that automobile back into IT systems. It’s interconnected to a broader range of services that really provide a more fulfilling and safe drive for customers.

In business, software is increasingly becoming a strategic business asset. It’s no longer viewed as just an operational expense. The new frontier in product and service innovation is all about software investments. If you look at the overall software value, it’s had compounded growth of about 8 percent over the past 15 years, according to IBM market research, meaning there’s about $4.5 trillion invested in software.

Customers are putting new business processes in place that will help tie together their business, development and operational leaders so they have one end-to-end view. These leaders can see across the whole process and now have the capability to control it, tune it and automate it.

“There’s a tremendous opportunity for customers to lower cost and business risk.” —Scott Hebner, vice president of marketing and strategy, IBM Rational

Shirley S. Savage is a Maine-based freelance writer. Shirley can be reached at savage.shirley@comcast.net.

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