Posted by: beckyowen | October 26, 2012

My highlights from Innovate 2012

On Tuesday I attended Innovate UK in London, and wanted to share with you some of the highlights from the wealth of interesting and thought provoking sessions I joined.

The first speakers were IBMers Michael O’Rourke & Dibby Edwards who presented on “Enterprise Software Delivery: Balancing Agility & Efficiency in the Software Supply Chain”, which was a really interesting talk. They spoke to the audience about the common reasons that software projects fail, top four being:

  • Unstable, changing requirements (95%)
  • Inadequate quality control & poor quality measurements (90%)
  • Inadequate progress tracking (85%)
  • Inadequate cost & scheduling estimating (80%)

They also spoke about the inhibitors to accelerated delivery of these projects such as – slow feedback between customers and Line of Business, ineffective iteration between Line of Business and development, inefficient linkage between development and operations, or lack of end to end customer requirements visibility and a complex network of stakeholders.

They introduced their hypothesis on effective software delivery in the software supply chain, which should include speed and innovation + delivery discipline + management discipline. And showed the below chart on how to succeed in the new reality that we are facing in Software Innovation.


They then spoke about the new capabilities from IBM to enable agility with governance which you can see in the picture below.

The next session was from Diego Lo Giudice from Forrester –  He opened by talking about how it is vital that the customer has to be at the centre of everything you do – and that companies must create an exceptional customer experience. This is obviously something very close to my heart being part of IBM’s Social Business team and is aligned to our Portal product which helps create exceptional customer web experiences.  Diego spoke about how mobile, digital and social media are changing the systems of engagement with customers (apologies the picture is a bit blurry).


It means that there are shorter development and delivery cycles, feedback is instantaneous, and innovation is faster. One size doesn’t fit all anymore there is not just one solution to a problem, different models for everything. Systems of engagement are also about dramatic change.

Diego spoke about how there are a whole lot of new topics that as IT we need to address to solve the new apps that are out there Digits disruption means inability to deliver software fast enough, and lack of integration between apps and projects over run and over cost. The way forward to any SW development & delivery shop is to focus on increased velocity and adaptability but not at the expense of quality and collaboration is paramount. Collaboration is again a central focus for me, as this can be done using the Rational Jazz platform and the Social Business Connections product.

After the break I went to a session from the Mobility track given by Leigh Williamson from IBM. Leigh spoke about how with the rise of mobile computing location has become irrelevant, customers expect to get their stuff anywhere, multi channel is the new normal, and app intensity has exploded. If companies are going to reach desired audience they now need to have an online channel that is not limited to any industry.  He gave a couple of examples of how mobile apps are changing the way we live. One being an app used to fix cars, where the user can scan the engine and see which bits need work, and another that has grown around blood sugar levels, where users have built a community that make recommendations to each other on how to manage their blood sugar level, support each other and give each other dietary tips.

Leigh explained how IBMs strategy addresses full range of mobile enterprise needs – extend and transform, build and connect, manage and secure. This has been enhanced by the recent acquisition of Tealeaf – a commerce related solutions that brings in the ability to have a mobile app to report feedback from the end user directly back to your development organisation.  Mobile development is more than just coding, and IBM Rational understands that, we help focus on user experience first to achieve outside in design.  Leigh explained how mobile software development is a team sport, it needs a diverse rand of skills using different tools – design, development, text, operations etc. Tools can make or break collaboration – fragmented tools create silos but integrated tools like IBMs break down barriers.

The next session I went to was from Corso, around Crowd Sourcing, which opened with an explanation of what Crowd Sourcing is- a mechanism that accelerates information gathering and encouraging sharing of info, increasing the likelihood of finding solutions to difficult business problems, uniting knowledge, capabilities and delivery. Crowd sourcing allows all stakeholders to become leaders in change innovation.  The asked the audience to tweet about how they would improve the innovate conference, using #corsoatinnovate.  They explained how crowd sourcing can help companies understand the market, and match this against the capability of their organisation.

They then showed how their software worked, and I thought it was fantastic. They could monitor the # and categorise the ideas around various factors such as risk, legal impact, gut feel, strategic value, and estimated value.  Features can then be mapped to strategic objectives for product development. Prioritise product development ideas for customers one against the others. I strongly recommend visiting their website and having a demo –

The final work session of the day I went to was again in the Mobile track on Driving Innovation in the Banking and Insurance industry. Financial Institutions are increasingly using social media to improve decision making and drive financial results. However, to provide a seamless cross channel experience to customers is not easy to achieve. In the insurance industry – emboldened customers are starting to emerge that want all the normal desktop services they have gotten used to, on their mobiles, available 24×7, it’s got to be safer ,faster & cheaper . Multi channel experience improves customer experience, reduces inefficiencies and allows for better engagement with customers – IBM can help organisations do this by delivering rich functionality and improved user friendliness on mobiles.

The conference was closed by Kriss Akabusi, who I have seen speak before, but was just as amazing as the last time. He was so motivational and so inspiring, and really got the crowd energised. He linked his life back to the themes of the conference, like collaboration and innovation! He stayed around for at least two hours after the conference,was willing to talk to anyone and pose for photos. He even called my sister to cheer her up after a bad day!



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