The IBM Global Technology Outlook and the Evolution of the Business/Information Technology Boundary

David McQueeney, Technology and Strategy - Chief Technology Officer, IBM

Friday, January 9, 2009

Spanos Auditorium

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This seminar is part of the Jones Seminars on Science, Technology, and Society series

Over the last 10 to 20 years, information technology (IT) has moved from a separate "back office" function to an integral part of most of our every-day devices, and our large-scale enterprise processes. We will discuss some of the current IT trends from a "bottom-up" technologist perspective, using the IBM Research Global Technology Outlook (GTO) as a starting point. The 2008 version of the GTO will be reviewed, as well as the last 10 years of annual GTO trends. We will also take a look at a "top-down" business and mission perspective, with special emphasis on selected programs of the US Federal Government, in which the speaker is currently engaged. In addition to the technology and business perspectives, we will spend some time on a discussion on the evolution of technical careers to best succeed in the environment described in the first part of the talk. Years ago, Melvin Conway made an interesting observation about engineering organizations: they tend to produce technical deliverables whose structure mirrors the communication patterns of the human organizations the people live in, frequently referred to as Conway's Law. If Conway is right, we would conclude that the preparation of tomorrow's technical leaders might need to evolve to succeed in very different business and technical environment, which will be much more open, collaborative and cross-disciplinary than we might ever have imagined.

About the Speaker

Dave McQueeney is the Chief Technology Officer for IBM's US Federal Government unit. Dave's team works with IBM's Federal Clients and IBM's Federal System Integrator partners to provide technical leadership across the domain of enterprise systems technology and architecture. Dave's background covers a wide range of disciplines ranging from solid state Physics, to high-speed interconnect design, to distributed software development tools, to Government-specific industry solutions. Dave has spent half of his career as a researcher and research executive, and half in IBM's customer-facing units including Global Sales and Distribution, acting as the Global Government Solutions General Manager and leader of the Federal Systems Integration services unit. Immediately prior to joining IBM's Federal team, Dave led the IBM Global Services Intellectual Property and Global Competencies team. Dave was responsible for developing and deploying the business and technical strategies, methodologies, professions, and intellectual property licensing strategies that maximize the creation of business value for IBM's customers. Throughout his career, Dave has driven strong connections between IBM Research and the other units of IBM, most recently IBM Global Services. Dave was recognized by Consulting Magazine as one of the top 25 consultants for 2002, citing his work to make the innovations of IBM Research directly available to customers via IBM's Business Consulting Services. Dave has held a number of significant positions in IBM Research, including Director of the IBM Zurich Research Laboratory, Vice President of Communication Technology, and Vice President of Technical Strategy and Worldwide Operations. Dave has published a wide range of papers ranging from liquid Helium Physics, advanced electronic packaging, high-speed interconnects, and the evolution of Research in the commercial environment. He joined IBM in the Research Division in 1988. He holds an M.S. and Ph.D. in Solid-State Physics from Cornell University, and an A.B. in Physics from Dartmouth College. Dave was recognized as one of the "Fed 100" top leaders in the Federal community for 2006 by Federal Computer Week magazine.