Dark Reading is part of the Informa Tech Division of Informa PLC

This site is operated by a business or businesses owned by Informa PLC and all copyright resides with them.Informa PLC's registered office is 5 Howick Place, London SW1P 1WG. Registered in England and Wales. Number 8860726.


12:50 PM
Bob Evans
Bob Evans

Global CIO: IBM CEO Palmisano Challenges IT Industry Via Smarter Planet 2

Palmisano raises the bar for IT companies by pushing the intelligent potential of IT far beyond products and services.

"As Terry's experience shows, when it comes to culture, you need to work both from the top down and the bottom up," Palmisano said in setting up this anecdote. "That's also what Patricia Graham, CIO of CenterPoint Energy in Houston, did. She understood that many roles throughout CenterPoint were going to change—and many employees had no idea what automated metering was. So she didn't just issue a mandate from on high. She began interacting with the workers in the field—"the guys who own the meters," as she put it—engaging them in the proof of concept, in brainstorming and in focus groups. Today, CenterPoint is reading its meters every 15 minutes, as opposed to once a month."

Question: Make a list of five intractable obstacles your company faces in acquiring and acting upon better and more-timely information. Propose what outcome you'd like to have and tell your IT suppliers you need them to come up with a strong solution. If they say they can't, then isn't it time to find some new key suppliers? Isn't it time to pump up the intelligence?

Palmisano also emphasized that whatever our data-volume challenges might be today, the rise of these trillions of computational devices means that those challenges are only going to intensify—so the need for applying more intelligence is paramount.

"It's logical, isn't it?" asked Palmisano. "All of this pervasive instrumentation enhances our ability to sense and capture what is actually happening in any given system. Where we once inferred, we now know. Where we once interpolated and extrapolated, we can now determine. The historical is giving way to the real-time. "We are amassing an unimaginable amount of data in the world. In just three years, IP traffic is expected to total more than half a zettabyte. (That's a trillion gigabytes—or a 1 followed by 21 zeroes.)"

And to be sure, in such a world stuffed with ubiquitous intelligent devices snatching unfathomable volumes of data being crunced by phenomenally powerful analytical engines, our sense of privacy will come under assault. Palmisano put it this way:

"But with that promise come some disquieting implications. That's the final learning of the past year. Consider two of the more obvious ones: privacy and security. Cameras here in London and in Chicago can help alert police and other first responders to emergencies far faster and more precisely than ever before. That saves lives. But, as you know, some citizens have expressed discomfort at living in… not a safer society, but a 'surveillance society.'

"You may have read an article a few years ago that reported that the London flat in which George Orwell wrote "1984"—and introduced all of us to Big Brother—has 32 closed-circuit cameras within 200 yards, scanning every move. They weren't there to watch his flat, of course. They're scanning traffic and providing security for businesses. Stil, the irony—and the potential concern—are self-evident.

"Yes, people like lower crime—less traffic, shorter queues, better health and all the other benefits of smarter systems. But they may be increasingly uncomfortable having so much information known about them. Who has all this data? What will they do with it? Do I trust them? Is it secure?"

Good questions. Let's make sure we all come up with intelligent answers.


Global CIO: The Top 10 CIO Issues For 2010

IBM CEO Sam Palmisano Talks With Global CIO

Hewlett-Packard CEO Hurd's Strategy: The Infrastructure Company

Global CIO: Steve Jobs Is Bugs Bunny But Microsoft Is Elmer Fudd

Global CIO: Oracle CEO Larry Ellison On The Future Of IT

Global CIO: Hewlett-Packard's Hurd Says Bad IT Means A Bad CEO

Global CIO: IBM's New CIO Sheds Light On Priorities And Plans

Hewlett-Packard CEO Hurd's Strategy: The Infrastructure Company

Global CIO: IBM Is Being Railroaded By Our Clueless Justice Dept.

Global CIO: Why Hewlett-Packard Must Articulate Its Enterprise Strategy

Link to text and video of Palmisano's speech

GlobalCIO Bob Evans is senior VP and director of InformationWeek's Global CIO unit.

To find out more about Bob Evans, please visit his page.

For more Global CIO perspectives, check out Global CIO,
or write to Bob at [email protected].

2 of 2
Comment  | 
Print  | 
More Insights
Newest First  |  Oldest First  |  Threaded View
How SolarWinds Busted Up Our Assumptions About Code Signing
Dr. Jethro Beekman, Technical Director,  3/3/2021
'ObliqueRAT' Now Hides Behind Images on Compromised Websites
Jai Vijayan, Contributing Writer,  3/2/2021
Attackers Turn Struggling Software Projects Into Trojan Horses
Robert Lemos, Contributing Writer,  2/26/2021
Register for Dark Reading Newsletters
White Papers
Cartoon Contest
Write a Caption, Win an Amazon Gift Card! Click Here
Latest Comment: George has not accepted that the technology age has come to an end.
Current Issue
2021 Top Enterprise IT Trends
We've identified the key trends that are poised to impact the IT landscape in 2021. Find out why they're important and how they will affect you today!
Flash Poll
How Enterprises are Developing Secure Applications
How Enterprises are Developing Secure Applications
Recent breaches of third-party apps are driving many organizations to think harder about the security of their off-the-shelf software as they continue to move left in secure software development practices.
Twitter Feed
Dark Reading - Bug Report
Bug Report
Enterprise Vulnerabilities
From DHS/US-CERT's National Vulnerability Database
PUBLISHED: 2021-03-07
An issue was discovered in the Linux kernel through 5.11.3. drivers/scsi/scsi_transport_iscsi.c is adversely affected by the ability of an unprivileged user to craft Netlink messages.
PUBLISHED: 2021-03-07
An issue was discovered in the Linux kernel through 5.11.3. Certain iSCSI data structures do not have appropriate length constraints or checks, and can exceed the PAGE_SIZE value. An unprivileged user can send a Netlink message that is associated with iSCSI, and has a length up to the maximum length...
PUBLISHED: 2021-03-07
An issue was discovered in the Linux kernel through 5.11.3. A kernel pointer leak can be used to determine the address of the iscsi_transport structure. When an iSCSI transport is registered with the iSCSI subsystem, the transport's handle is available to unprivileged users via the sysfs file system...
PUBLISHED: 2021-03-07
An issue was discovered in AfterLogic Aurora through 7.7.9 and WebMail Pro through 7.7.9. They allow directory traversal to read files (such as a data/settings/settings.xml file containing admin panel credentials), as demonstrated by dav/server.php/files/personal/%2e%2e when using the caldav_public_...
PUBLISHED: 2021-03-06
Wazuh API in Wazuh from 4.0.0 to 4.0.3 allows authenticated users to execute arbitrary code with administrative privileges via /manager/files URI. An authenticated user to the service may exploit incomplete input validation on the /manager/files API to inject arbitrary code within the API service sc...