Now is the time for innovation. The last 18 months have been transformational for many enterprises, with circumstances encouraging them to rapidly undertake digital transformation and technology modernisation initiatives. As noted by a Deloitte report, the transformation has accelerated by as much as ten years for some companies.
“Many companies accelerated their digital transformations to deal with the disruptions brought on by COVID-19, in some cases making years of progress in a matter of months,” the report claimed.
Now that businesses have undergone transformation, they’re looking ahead at how they may leverage those environments for further innovation or competitive advantage. With cloud now being the standard foundation for IT environments, cloud will also become the breeding ground for innovation and opportunity, and that will occur through partnerships and platform synergies. For example, Tech Data is leveraging IBM’s cloud platforms to create synergistic alliances and partnerships bringing together organisations such as Carbonize (application modernisation and containerisation), Cognian (IoT for Smarter Cities), Cognition (Design Thinking and agile development methodologies) & Red Hat (Open Source Independent Software Vendor (ISV) community) to bring revolutionary ideas, methods and tools, applied industry knowledge, and solutions ecosystems who collectively can work to tackle complex problems.
There is a real opportunity for the development community to leverage these synergies and partnerships to deliver the next wave of innovation to their customers.
Taking ideas to the next step
Having a great idea and bringing it to market are very different matters, and while the interest in solutions is stronger now than ever, there are also more startups and entrepreneurs with great ideas than ever. Finding investors and backers is by no means guaranteed, no matter what the application promises to achieve.
Finding the next great idea, and helping developers bring it to market, is the goal of the One Percenters; a “talent quest” being hosted by Tech Data to give innovative ideas the chance to rise to the top on their merits and their ability to solve problems. With a total prize pool of $30,000, developers are encouraged to submit commercially-viable solutions, built on the technology of IBM and its partners.
Solutions will be judged across four key criteria:
- Commercial Viability – the application should have a strong revenue opportunity and be focused on solving business problems.
- Technical Viability – the application should be deep enough into development that it works – there should be a working model, production feasibility, production process or performance measurement.
- Product Integration – while not mandatory, preference will be shown to solutions that demonstrate a high degree of cross-brand IBM offerings and/or integrate one or more IBM Cloud, IBM Data & AI, IBM Security, IBM Integration, Blockchain and/or Watson solutions.
- Out-of-the-Box Thinking – finally, the judges will be looking for solutions that are unique and will revolutionise how things are done.
As the event host, Tech Data is uniquely placed to create industry ecosystems due to its global reach across multiple vendors and its partnership with thousands of innovators, solution providers, anchor partners and systems integrators – it has the heritage to understand what’s next for innovation, and the solutions that come out of the One Percenters will be the ones to have a meaningful impact on business. “Through our strong IBM relationship, we’re excited to give our partners the chance to showcase their big ideas in cloud innovation and work hand in hand with them to develop, build and launch a unique cloud solution and create a new revenue opportunity that may previously not been possible,” Andy Berry, Tech Data Vice President and Country General Manager for ANZ, said.
Why turn to the cloud for innovation?
The cloud will be a useful centrepiece for innovation going forward, as it offers a number of unique benefits that weren’t previously viable or practical. For these reasons it is the focus of the One Percenters competition:
- Deploy and scale rapidly: Resourcing innovation without the benefits of clouds is a prohibitive drain on resources, but with the cloud it’s instant and effortless.
- Build cloud-based exploration applications combined with AI insights: The ability for the cloud to store and utilise data within applications makes it key when most innovation is being data-driven.
- Provides the foundation for the IoT platform: The cloud enables whole-of-IT analytics to be performed via real-time data, which is essential to effective IoT deployments.
- Derive insights from the business: The cloud provides a better and more complete picture of the environment, allowing for better strategic decisions.
The judging panel includes Andy Berry, Vice President and Country General Manager, Tech Data ANZ, Jodie Sangster, Chief Marketing Officer, IBM A/NZ, Amelia Forbes, CTO, IBM A/NZ, Simon Fredrickson, IBM Cloud Garage Leader Asia Pacific, China and Japan, and Garry Gray, Director of Partners & Alliances, Red Hat. Combined, these industry veterans have the experience and expertise to identify those innovative ideas that will have a profound impact on how the cloud is approached. "I’m delighted to be a judge for Tech Data’s One Percenters competition. There’s never been a more important time for Australian businesses to be thinking about ways to innovate, and cloud is the platform that will enable this innovation. I can’t wait to see some of the creative ideas" says Jodie Sangster, Chief Marketing Officer, IBM A/NZ.
Australia has a history of innovative thinking with technology. The challenge that we’ve often had here is finding ways of making those ideas viable. The One Percenters offers the entrepreneurs with those ideas a significant opportunity to gain both visibility and the expertise of the platform holders to take their idea and fast-track it to commercial viability.
For more information on the One Percenters, or to sign up to participate, click here.