IBM InterConnect 2015 officially got underway this morning with the opening general session at the MGM Grand in Las Vegas. Hosted by IBM Senior Vice President Robert LeBlanc, the 90-minute session featured interviews with executives from some of the world’s best-known organizations–including Citigroup, the Mayo Clinic, Airbus, and MD Anderson–who are relying on IBM to transform their operations.
One of the key reasons that the show is already getting off to such a strong start is the amount of new energy in the room – according to LeBlanc, 45% of attendees are here for the first time, meaning that there is a lot of opportunity for new ideas and new connections to become part of the dialogue as companies look for new ways to reinvent and transform their businesses through the convergence of cloud, data, mobile, social, and the Internet of Things (IoT).
Technology is changing quickly, and LeBlanc made the point that there are disruptors and the disrupted…and it’s more fun to be in the first category. That’s the promise of the “hybrid cloud,” which is enabling disruption and transformation for organizations and making it possible for small businesses to act like large businesses while letting large businesses experience the agility and dynamic innovation that smaller companies often have.
One of the highlights of the general session was a look at how IBM is helping the top healthcare providers improve their ability to treat patients who’ve been diagnosed with cancer. Several speakers made the point that the explosion of data has given us more information than ever before to treat this illness, but it has also created information overload for the doctors who need to keep up with the literature. That’s where Watson – and the future of the cloud – are making a huge difference by letting doctors and other healthcare professionals access the latest information and developing individual treatment programs. It’s also allowing patients to get into clinical trials by matching their needs to current trials all around the world.
If the rest of InterConnect 2015 is anything like the opening session, there are going to be some pretty major developments coming out of this week. And in a few years all of us will be able to say, “I was there.”
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