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IBM SolutionsConnect: Technology leadership in the cognitive era

Zafar Anjum | June 6, 2016
Technology giant IBM organized a one-day thought leadership conference in Singapore and shared with its partners and customers the possibilities of exploiting disruptive cutting-edge technologies such as hybrid cloud, cognitive computing and blockchain to radically transform businesses for future success.

He called for a new technology mindset that embraces innovations in mobile, cognitive, cloud, blockchain and IoT.

As a guide to how new business frameworks can be developed to enable disruptive innovation, Nulf listed six avenues that various disruptive companies had successfully pursued.


  1. Better user experience - GrabTaxi versus traditional taxi hailing.
  2. Better insights - Netflix, going from mail order to high-end analytics.
  3. Service for the unserviced - Kickstarter, providing rapid direct funding from small investors.
  4. Better social network - WeChat, a messaging app that went on to finance and retail.
  5. Better ecosystem - Flipkart and Yes Bank through API banking.
  6. Low-end disruptions - Google providing bite-sized advertising through better technology and business model.


At the end of his presentation, Nulf invited three partners who had worked with IBM to engineer disruptive innovation in their organisations.

"To me, IOT can also stand for Internet of Threats. As companies connect more devices, your front of attack actually increases. We're working with IBM to get data from these connected devices, make sure it's secure and turn it into knowledge for companies," said Martin Janse van Rensburg, APJ Partner Engineering Manager & CTO, Partner Organisation - Asia Pacific and Japan, CISCO.

Besides Martin Janse van Rensburg, Callum Eade, Senior Director, Software Defined Data Center, APJ, VMware; and Santanu Ghosh, ASEAN Enterprise Applications Leader for IBM (on behalf of SAP) also participated in the discussion.

These industry leaders shared their experiences of implementing disruptive technologies in their businesses. Martin, for example, shared that CISCO is working with IBM and Apple on integration between CISCO technology and Apple's iOS. Slated for release later this year, iOS users on CISCO networks will enjoy a fast lane!

The need for blockchain and hybrid cloud

One of the most exciting topics at the conference was "Blockchain - Beyond Finance".

Blockchain is emerging as the next big thing as a technology and its implication is being explored in areas beyond finance. Blockchain technology is suitable for any enterprise that involves multi-party, multi-layered transactions.

"Blockchain is the next stage of digitisation," said Raymond Wong - Country Manager, Software, IBM Singapore - during his welcome address at the conference.

A blockchain creates digital ledgers of transactions that can be shared across a business network. According to IBM experts, the network will be private to the parties concerned, and secured using cryptographic technology to ensure that participants only see the information they are permitted to view. All transactions against the ledger will require consensus across the network, where provenance of information is clear and transparent.

"Blockchain can potentially solve a range of problems for various industries as its key value lies in establishing trust, accountability and transparency within the business network while streamlining business processes," said Alan Lim, SG Software Client Architect Leader, Senior IT Architect, IBM Software.


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