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Why openness drives innovation

Lauren States, vice president, CTO, IBM Corporate Strategy | April 24, 2013
Figuring out the next big thing in technology is something a lot of us are tasked to do, and it becomes even more challenging when predicting what will succeed long term. But one attribute that stands out as giving a new technology a leg-up is using open technologies for a creative freedom to spur innovation.

Open standards act as a blueprint or insurance policy that allow a variety of industries such as healthcare, financial services, automotive, retail, energy and others to link up and share information faster, easier and at lower costs. That's true cross-industry collaboration and the power of interoperability -- providing businesses choice and the ability to deliver better goods, services and intelligent data that a closed, proprietary approach can't offer.

This access to global resources is only heightened as Moore's Law continues to prove true and we see the performance of information technologies increase while cost declines. We're finding that powerful technologies, combined with open standards and the Internet, are building a global infrastructure that provides limitless computing resources but more importantly, opportunities for knowledge sharing and cooperation.

The result is a business environment where industry lines are blurred and instead enterprises are characterized by the collaborative innovation they're able to drive based on open standards. As the foundation that allows industries to link disparate systems together faster, easier and at lower costs, open standards are driving a variety of new solutions that will benefit industries and end users alike.

Now we see a new technology come to the crossroads to face the historical divide of proprietary vs. open. Cloud computing has the promise to transform our lives and business just as the Web and Linux has. However, a proprietary approach can slow the economic advance of one of the most promising areas of computing.

By leading a worldwide effort to accelerate open standards in and across industries, and in new technologies such as cloud computing we hope to propel business forward. When where we're not limited to silos of a few and can instead tap the wisdom of many, we avoid the pitfalls of proprietary, closed systems and enjoy the benefits of open collaboration as we strive to satisfy the global demand for innovation.


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