by Natalie Miller • @natalieatWIS

Kevin Spacey speaks about innovation, risk taking at IBM Impact

Big Blue announces IBM MobileFirst Application Development portfolio expansion, new version of Worklight at conference

Published May 02, 2014


The concepts behind the accelerated technological revolution were the nucleus of the keynote speech on the third day of IBM Impact 2014.

Kevin Spacey, the two-time Academy Award winner and star of the Netflix American political drama “House of Cards,” spoke to a large crowd at the Venetian’s Sands Expo in Las Vegas about this revolution and the keys to embracing the changes, trends and growing opportunities.

“It’s completely changing the game, Spacey says of today’s technological advances. “How it’s leveling the playing field in countless, countless ways; how its expanding access and extending opportunity to every corner of our society.”

Spacey himself has seen success in streaming media on the cloud through his work with Netflix on the “House of Cards” series, and again through his self-released film, released this week in cinemas and online.

“‘House of Cards’ was Netflix’s first foray into original programing,” Spacey says, “and what made the show especially newsworthy when it launched was to have the release of the entire show’s two seasons at once, giving audiences for the first time the ability to watch a television show on their own terms, wherever and whenever they please.”

Others are now adopting the approach. “It’s the natural evolution when markets are disrupted that other companies are going to join the bandwagon,” he says. “But continued advances in technology and the rise in cloud and mobile, in particular, mean that these disruptive times are for everyone in every industry. The same trends that are toppling the old structures are opening up new doors for both creators and consumers in my industry and are the same trends that are reshaping the landscape in yours.”

Spacey explains that there are exciting changes happening—the first is that technology is empowering the rule breakers, technology is empowering the consumer. The audience wants to be in control.

“All across the board, technology is giving consumers greater power, more information, and it’s creating an increased urgency for business to innovate,” he says. “It’s no longer about just connecting with people. It’s more than that. It’s about engaging with customers one on one in their own space and time.”

Another trend, says Spacey, is that technology is empowering the risk takers.

“Place your bet on those who never settle,” says Spacey. “Place your bet on those who are never afraid to take a chance. Place your bet on those who try to anticipate what their audiences want before they even realize it. … We should all aspire to be innovative. We all need to be a step ahead of our audiences, to surprise them, to break to boundaries and to take them to new places. Because if there is one thing that overlaps between business and art, it’s that the risk takers are rewarded.”

IBM expands MobileFirst portfolio
At Impact this week, IBM announced a significant expansion of its IBM MobileFirst Application Development portfolio, as well as some new industry-specific IBM Ready Apps.

According to IBM, the new offerings will help developers from enterprise and born-on-the-web companies quickly design, deliver, and deploy secure mobile apps—helping to prevent data leaks and vulnerabilities—with the same speed and simplicity that consumers have come to expect, at enterprise scale.

“As mobile apps become a primary touchpoint with clients, the stakes run high to delight consumers. At the same time, the cost of a poorly designed app can significantly impact both the brand and bottom line,” says Marie Wieck, General Manager, IBM MobileFirst. “IBM’s mobile platform, apps and studios are designed to help businesses accelerate the adoption of a mobile strategy for business growth.”

The new IBM mobile offerings include: 

IBM MobileFirst Application Development portfolio—This portfolio is the complete range of tools for developers to create, deploy and manage mobile apps, on-premise or in the cloud. The IBM portfolio, comprising IBM Worklight, Cloudant and Bluemix technologies and services, enables developers to quickly build and deploy mobile apps.  

IBM Worklight is a mobile enterprise app development platform deployed on a client’s IT infrastructure, while Bluemix delivers similar capabilities as cloud-based services. Both can be used with Cloudant, IBM's NoSQL distributed database-as-a-service (DBaaS) for mobile apps, according to IBM.

The new platform offers enterprise-grade security and integrated quality assurance, so clients can build better, more secure apps faster, and it features a new app scanning capability to identify potential data leaks and vulnerabilities.

IBM also announced a new version of IBM Worklight that integrates additional mobile app lifecycle capabilities. IBM Worklight now allows enterprises to optimize mobile user experiences by supporting both native (via SDKs) and hybrid development models, as well as add new capabilities such as the USSD (Unstructured Supplementary Service Data) protocol for mobile money solutions in emerging markets. The Bluemix Platform-as-a-Service provides composable app creation and deployment capabilities in an open, common environment to reduce complexity. According to Big Blue, IBM Worklight and Bluemix offer mobile quality assurance capabilities to help developers track user experiences and provide sentiment analysis, crowd-sourced feedback submissions, and in-context crash reports that identify problems for rapid resolution. 

IBM MobileFirst Business Acceleration portfolio—IBM announced IBM Ready Apps, a suite of industry-specific, pre-configured apps that can save clients up to 60 percent on time and resources. The IBM Ready Apps streamline design and enable organizations to customize their app once and deploy it to any platform or device. Organizations can also tailor the look and feel of apps and add features using built-in integration with common industry APIs. 

IBM Ready Apps can be used for many industries, from banking, retail, and healthcare, to insurance, travel and transportation, and government.

IBM MobileFirst studios—IBM’s mobile ecosystem is expanded through these studios, providing clients direct access to local teams of IBM mobile experts, including designers, developers, architects, and consultants in locations around the globe. Clients can work side-by-side with IBM mobile professionals to quickly conceive, design, build and deploy working prototypes. In addition, clients will be able to access the two new families of solutions announced today and benefit from capabilities ranging from the creation of new apps to transform the retail banking customer experience, to new solutions that can change the face of patient healthcare.

For more information IBM MobileFirst, visit For more from our Impact 2014 coverage, read about IBM's new cloud marketplace and 'Bluemix Garage', as well as client stories and IBM's BlueInsight announcement.



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