IBM Cloud: an expert look at strategic partnerships, from Professor Bill Buchanan OBE PhD
“I’m Bill Buchanan, I’m a professor at Edinburgh Napier University. My interests are in building the next generation of systems, building an amazing new world based on software.”
What kind of strategic partnerships will help mark companies out from the competition?
“So, what are the changes that business will generally see? Really, as with the IBM model, they’ve moved away from creating computers, manufacturing computers, much more to providing services that businesses really need. So, more and more companies need to work with the businesses, education, health, transport, energy and in understanding their problems, what their barriers are and so on.
“So, we really need to build up infrastructures that allow local companies to be working with businesses on local needs. So, we see, very much, a growth around SMEs, small businesses, working with large companies and really allowing them to innovate, to work closely with their partners to understand their problems and really provide solutions across the board.
“So, the days of you working in one area – ‘I provide the firewall service’; ‘I provide the encryption service’; ‘I provide the email service’; is really going, and much more we’re looking at both horizontal and vertical integration but, all along, it’s really trying to understand what the business context is and to work with companies. Cyber security is obviously becoming a key issue.”
What is your view on open source and the cloud?
“For open source, we see a complete revolution in terms of the maintainability of software, the openness of it. More and more problems are caused through software, through badly created software, through software that hasn’t been designed correctly, that doesn’t have the right cryptography built into it. And for software to be open allows many people to pick over it and understand some of the issues, but also to define an ownership, so the open source community will define a key ownership.
“So, Bitcoin and Blockchain would never have got to where they are without somebody owning the repository, defining when the code should be forked, when the code should be continued and who’s allowed to add to it or not. So, it’s a very much more shared infrastructure, and it’s much more built around an openness towards development and a sharing inside that.”