IBM Pushes Forward with Its Information On Demand Vision - Page 4

The Future of IOD

Looking ahead, Goyal said the company will focus more on optimizing additional business processes with an eye toward industry-specific solutions. For all the services and products that fall under the IOD umbrella, Goyal is quick to say he feels the company has only scratched the service. The shift from application agenda to information agenda is a journey that will unfold slowly, he said.

"[The] application industry was not created in a day; it's about 20, 30 years," he said. "What we have done, we have all the assets to create the information journey, or the information-based enterprise or the information agenda-basically truly delivering the value of Information On Demand."

IBM still faces competition from Oracle, Microsoft and others when it comes to information management. Differentiating itself will mean meeting the challenge of providing comprehensive solutions to information management head-on. But it will also mean building a narrative around its initiative, which IBM has arguably done better than its rivals.

"I think what IBM has done better than anybody else, including Oracle, which I tend to think of as the closest player in this particular space, has been ... to really articulate its vision for Information On Demand," said Davis, the Ovum analyst. "They were fairly early on in identifying this as a market need and crafting a marketing story to go with it."

The good news for vendors is that enterprises don't view business optimization as a catchword. It has become a key factor in IT spending, even more so as the economy continues to struggle.

"I think that the business value issue is important and will become more so as the recession deepens," King said. "At the heart of things, businesses want to know/ensure that their IT investments are paying off. Helping them maximize the value of business information is a great proof point to that end. The business value issue will also pay increasing dividends as IT becomes increasingly commoditized."