Not everyone has been able to answer that question, but
everybody is talking about it, for sure.
Consulting: Have we gotten to the point where
clients are able to take advantage of the data in
a meaningful way?
Amla: We absolutely have. General Motors announced
something with IBM where they talked about having
Watson in the dashboard of the car and picking up data
about the car, the driver, the location and making that
data available not only to General Motors but also the
partners of General Motors. Somebody needs to pick
up a prescription, for instance, and the car dashboard
facilitates that. Another example is the work we’re
doing with Sloan Kettering. IBM and Sloan Kettering
are working together to be able to bring intelligence
and data about cancer, diagnosis and treatment, for
instance, and share it with hospitals around the world.
So a hospital in China, Thailand or India, would be
able to tap into the power of Sloan Kettering. This
is very powerful, and that’s what I mean about IBM
being a place to make real impact.
Consulting: You’ve mentioned a few industries; which
sectors are you particularly excited about right now?
Amla: All of them. Take a sector like Media &
Entertainment, for instance. How will the overall fan
experience change as a result of an event organizer
having access to individualized and customizable data
for a specific fan? How does that change the experience
they can offer that one fan, or all fans. Then you can
look at a different sector, the federal government, and
find all kinds of uses when it comes to AI or machine
learning to detect threats in airports, for example. This
cognitive learning is everywhere—and everywhere we
look industries are being restructured and completely
transformed because of it.
Consulting: What excites you the most about the
opportunity ahead of you?
Amla: What excites me is the permission IBM has,
if you will, to go into organizations that are going
through these transformations and being able to tell
them that we can effect real change for them. In a lot
of cases we are already running their systems, which
gives us access to be able to make the kind of impact
I’ve never really seen before anywhere or anytime in
my career. Also, our own people are a huge part of
that. We have top talent in the industry and we need to
stay diligent. As I said, we are going through a huge
transformation. Can we get enough people with truly
transformational skills into the fold? We need those
people to serve clients and support our growth goals.
Consulting: What are your growth goals?
Amla: It’s difficult to share specifics about growth, but
what I would say is different industries are growing at
different rates from a services perspective. We are positioning ourselves to make sure that we take our share.
The other big goal we have is to make sure that IBM is
the employer of choice. This has to be the place where
the smartest people in the world, those looking to make
the biggest impact, want to work. That is a huge focus
for me right now and will be going forward.