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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.

"Businesses do not work in siloes, but in a network. Suppliers, governments, banks and regulators are connected by different agreements, permissions and ledgers that are often disputed or changed. Blockchain infuses trust into that equation," he explained.

Lim noted that some US$1 billion has been spent on Blockchain technology, and that the investment is moving away from BitCoin specific to the underlying Blockchain technology.

Lim illustrated the concept of blockchain with a use case based on a food supply chain in Australia. He illustrated how the ownership and transactions involving a box of fish was tracked from the time the fishing company packed the fish into tagged boxes, to the shipper moving the box, and subsequently to the retailer and consumer; and even a government certifier that can look across various consignments. Along the way, IoT-based sensors feed pertinent data, such as maintaining storage temperature below a certain level, etc., into the blockchain so that these can be checked against contractual obligations.

Lim shared that Blockchain technology can also be used for intangible assets such as patents, digital media, music, art, and even our personality e.g., health records.

IBM has adopted Blockchain technology in its Global Financing Business, helping it free up working capital for use in other parts of the business. In fact, the company is a member of the Linux Foundation - Hyperledger Project, having released some forty-four thousand lines of code that is currently available in GitHub.

To help organisations explore the use of blockchain, IBM has expanded the blockchain services on its Bluemix app development platform to enable organisations to quickly develop and test blockchain apps on the IBM Cloud. Developers are also given access to the very latest Linux Hyperledger code. Since IBM Blockchain for Hyperledger is also available on Docker Hub, organisations can run a signed, certified distribution of the blockchain project on different cloud servers and devices.

With its clients, IBM offers Blockchain solutions through its Blockchain Garage teams, bringing business and technology leaders together to exercise design thinking and develop innovative products.

Following the two keynote presentations at the one-day thought leadership conference by IBM in Singapore, there were two concurrent one-and-a-half-hour Garage Tracks. One focused on Insights-driven IT and the other focused on Accelerating Speed of Innovation.

Insights-driven IT: Hybrid cloud and cognitive computing for businesses
In this track, the speakers discussed aspects of cloud computing and infrastructure design from the point of view of cognitive computing.

Subramaniam Meenakshisundaram, Executive IT Specialist, Chair Technical Experts Council - India & Member, IBM Academy of Technology Leadership Team, advised organisations to use real-time predictive analytics and data modeling - such as Watson Explorer - to deliver better, more profitable decisions at the point of customer impact.


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