5. Contexts

The seven cases of open sourcing while private sourcing (OSwPS) in the previous chapter were indicative, but not exhaustive, descriptions of behaviours in projects and explorations in day-to-day work. In the period between 2001 and 2011, the context of worlds larger than those specific cases evolved. Many behaviours seen as a remarkable first-of-a-kind innovation at their introductions might melt into the context of learned conventions 3 to 5 years later. The cases describe teams and individuals immersed day-to-day in OSwPS, while the five evolving contexts depicted in Figure 5.1 include parties influencing or influenced by those shifts.

Five contexts behind open sourcing while private sourcing

Figure 5.1 Five contexts behind open sourcing while private sourcing

Open sourcing began the decade as new, with a variety of organizations making sense of the possibilities it would bring:

  1. IBM's senior managers, from 2001, advancing strategic bets on future drivers of industry, business, computing and marketplace;
  2. IBM employees, since 1996, engaging online with w3 intranet platforms for global knowledge exchanges and social sharing;
  3. IBM consultants, from 2004, probing to confirm business priorities through industry-based executive studies; and
  4. IBM researchers, from 2004, exploring social changes influencing new organizational and technological opportunities on longer horizon.
  5. At large, from 2000, businesses, creatives, governments, makers and academics, taking up open sourcing.

In a retrospective view, behaviours of open sourcing while private sourcing were revolutionary early in the decade, and gradually became more normal. The contexts are outlined in this chapter, with details fleshed out fully in Appendix B.

5.1 Context: IBM senior managers, from 2001, advancing strategic bets

In July 2000, Sam Palmisano was named as president and chief operating officer of IBM, and John M. Thompson was named as IBM vice chairman focusing on growth initiatives.164 In March 2002, Palmisano became Chief Executive Officer of IBM, and chairman of the board at the beginning of 2003.165 This smooth transition of leadership would continue IBM's transition into a company leading on services and software. The directions set in the IBM 2001 annual report published in April 2002, outlined in Figure 5.2, would be relatively consistent for decade that followed.

Context from IBM senior managers advancing strategic bets

Figure 5.2 Context from IBM senior managers advancing strategic bets

For the decade after 2001, IBM senior managers would be relatively consistent in advancing strategic bets on future drivers. They would:

  1. Lead the industry by innovating and integrating;
  2. Evolve e-business from services-led to on demand;
  3. Invest in enterprise systems, integrating middleware and specialized high-value components; and
  4. Turn toward open architectures and common standards.

In 1999, e-business had been the galvanizing mission for IBM. Inside the 2001 annual report, the shift that was foreseen was “that customers are finally driving the direction of the information technology industry”. These strategic bets are outlined below, and described more fully in Appendix B.1.

5.1.1 IBM would lead the industry by both innovating and integrating

In 2001, the memory of the dot-bomb collapse in 2000 would be fresh in the minds of industry leaders. The 2001 annual report clarified the first strategic bet for the Palmisano era as simultaneously innovating and integrating.

Innovating at IBM would mean transforming not only organizational functions, but entire businesses and industries. The company would lead both with new technologies and with professional services to implement them.

Integrating at IBM would mean embracing the “lifeblood of business” with strategic directions on architectures and standards, as well as concrete hardware and software choices.

Approaching customers while simultaneously innovating and integrating meant that IBM could not ignore the offerings of alternative providers. In addition to traditional private sourcing competitors, it would have to deal with the emerging open sourcing options. Value and growth could be realized through extending open source technologies and standards rather than denying their merits. Details on this strategic bet are described in Appendix B.1.1.

5.1.2 IBM would evolve e-business from services-led to on demand

IBM's 1997 campaign on e-business was “about transforming key business processes with Internet technologies”. By 2001, success in e-business resulted in IBM Global Services becoming “the world's largest and most innovative consultancy, systems integrator and strategic outsourcing leader”. The 2001 annual report outlined a vision of e-business on demand offerings, where “utility-like delivery of computing” would be acquired on “a pay-for-use basis”. This second strategic bet was on services not just as professional services, but also on web technology services. After 2006, the industry would recognize virtualization technologies and new business models as cloud computing.

In 2002, the IBM e-business on demand model was clarified as three major components: (i) infrastructure on demand of core services (i.e. technologies); (ii) IBM business process on demand (which would evolve into middleware enabled by IBM Business Partners); and (iii) know-how in consulting (i.e. professional services). The speed at which these components could be made a reality was layered: (i) the infrastructure would include open sourcing technologies and the evolution of industry standards on a scale of 5 to 10 years; (ii) business processes through business partners would deploy new technologies on a scale of 3 to 5 years; and (iii) consulting with professional services within the company could be ramped up on a scale of 6 months to 2 years. Details on how the 2001 and 2002 annual reports outlined the foundational IBM strategy for the decade are in Appendix B.1.2.

5.1.3 IBM would invest in enterprise systems, integrating middleware, and specialized high-value components

The potential of IBM to create value through advancing technologies, and capture value distinctively against alternatives is highly variable across its wide portfolio of offerings. The decade of 2001-2011 would see IBM divesting business segments where it could not effectively compete, and acquiring emerging technology companies that would accelerate complements in the IBM portfolio.

The focus on enterprise systems would see spinning off the hardware storage business to Hitachi in 2002; the personal systems division in 2004 to Lenovo; and printing systems to Ricoh in 2007. Those lines of businesses may have been core to total solution packages by IBM over the prior two decades, but gradually became peripheral components of lower value.

The third strategic bet saw “infrastructure plus ubiquity” as the new computing model. The Internet was displacing client-server personal computing technology.

The label of middleware as technologies for integration was recognized by 2001. The “middle” can be interpreted as the “inter” in Internet. The Gerstner “barbell” strategy had seen IBM's investments focused on foundational electronic components on one end, and integration services on the other end. In the 1990s, the middle was computer hardware, in the PC-based client-server architecture. In the period 2001-2011, the rise of network-centric distributed computing would see server farm clusters connected to smartphones, videogame consoles and set-top boxes through complicated content delivery networks (CDNs). The IBM WebSphere products would represent a layer above an operating system and below applications, extend open sourcing technologies and standards. Specialization amongst software technologies (e.g. search, authentication, video processing) would evolve, and IBM would lead in developing open standards and new technologies with high value. More on the original vision on this strategic bet from 2001 and 2002 is summarized in Appendix B.1.3.

5.1.4 IBM would turn toward open architectures and commons standards

IBM has a strong history of working with customer user groups, business partners, and standards organizations. In 2001, the strategic bet to participate in “an open playing field” of a new marketplace model of networked organizations would encourage IBM to further cooperate, if not collaborate, with others. This larger context is depicted in Figure 5.3.

IBM turn toward open architecture and common standards

Figure 5.3 IBM turn toward open architecture and common standards

(i) The 1956 consent decree with the U.S. Department of Justice made IBM cautious of anti-trust investigations. The decree was terminated (i) in 1996 for PCs; (ii) in 2000 for midframe computers; and (iii) in 2001 for mainframes. The direction towards open sourcing was away from “the siren call of proprietary control” that IBM now guards against.

(ii) The 2001 declaration of “an open playing field” of open architectures and common standards in the annual report is a watershed shift towards learning to coevolve with customers and other organizations in a different way.

(iii) From 1999, an IBM internal board, the Open Source Steering Committee (OSSC) had been in place to oversee open sourcing activities.

(iv) In early 2000, IBM employees in the pioneering Internet Division were migrated into a new Linux team. IBM demonstrated Linux running on all its hardware platforms at LinuxWorld in February 2000, and then announced it has spent $1 billion on Linux by year-end.

(v) The October 2000 appointment of Sam Palmisano as President and Chief Operating Officer evolved into the March 2002 Chief Executive Office role. Lou Gerstner had presided over instituting greater discipline within IBM from 1993, and transformed IBM into an e-business company from 1997. With a slide of the stock markets with the dot-bomb collapse in 2000-2001, and the attack on the United States on September 11, 2001, a stable institution like IBM was better appreciated. The company was well-positioned for organization-building, both with financial resources and with strong leadership in managerial and technical roles.

The turn towards open architectures and common standards would be a direction that continue for IBM into the next decade. Details on the early days are reviewed in Appendix B.1.4.

5.1.5 Through 2009, IBM reiterated on open source and open standards

IBM was consistent in maintaining its strategic bet including open source and open standards for eight years, after which it became a normal way of doing business. The reiteration of these themes showed up again and again in annual reports through 2009, as depicted in Figure 5.4.

IBM turn toward open architecture and common standards

Figure 5.4 IBM annual reports mentioning open source and open standards

(i) In the 2002 Annual Report, the computing model had evolved to become an “On Demand Operating Environment”, where IBM would continue to lead open technical standards and platforms.

IBM annual reports mentioning open source and open standards

(ii) In the 2003 Annual Report, the next wave was described as “On Demand Integration” with open standards.

(iii) The 2004 Annual Report reiterated “the architecture and technologies for the On Demand Operating Environment, based on open standards”.166

(iv In the 2005 Annual Report, the rise of service-oriented architecture (SOA) was built on “open, standards-based middleware”.

(v) In 2006, CEO Sam Palmisano wrote about a new business model called the Globally Integrated Enterprise, observing new forms of collaboration including the open source software movement. These open approaches were seen to affect more than just software and IT, and applied more broadly to education, governance and many industries. The language of “open standards” was complemented by the addition of “open, modular systems”, expanding from the domain of technology into business processes.

(vi) By the Annual Report 2007, open sourcing became embedded as core to the IBM strategy. In the first of three strategic priorities, the “focus on open technologies and high value solutions”, the direction to continue “to be a leading force in open source solutions to enable its clients to achieve higher levels of interoperability, cost efficiency ” was explicit.

(vii) The Annual Report 2008 was released in the wake of the 2007-2008 financial crisis and bear market, and just before the inauguration of U.S. president Barack Obama, repeating the three strategic priorities from 2007. The chairman's letter portrayed confidence with IBM “well positioned to continue delivering strong results”. Open sourcing becomes a background context in itself, in the “instrumented, interconnected, intelligent” campaign of Smarter Planet launched in November 2008.

(viii) By the Annual Report 2009, open sourcing was described as part of the “IBM's track record”, embedded into two of four investments in the future, in the “Cloud and Next-Generation Data Center” and “Smarter Planet”. The annual reports of 2010 and 2011 saw the transition of leadership from Sam Palmisano to Ginny Rometty, with “open source” becoming unremarkable.

From the writing crafted in IBM annual reports, open sourcing can be seen as new in 2001, core by 2006, and a natural part of the way of doing business by 2009. Deeper reading of the IBM annual reports is included in the footnotes to Appendix B.1.5.

5.2 Context: IBM employees, from 1996, engaging globally online

IBM is a multinational corporation with matrixed organizational structure across many lines of business and countries. IBM employees have had a long tradition of communicating not only individual-to-individual, but with collective intelligence mediated in persistent conversations both inside the company, and with the world at large. The evolving context is depicted in Figure 5.5.

Context from IBM employees engaging globally online

Figure 5.5 Context from IBM employees engaging globally online

Before, during and after the 2001-2011 frame of research, IBM employees have engaged in online platforms, including: (a) online forums, outlined in section 5.2.1; (b) the w3 intranet, in section 5.2.2 (c) alphaWorks, in section 5.2.3; (d) pooled non-commercial source internally in section 5.2.4; (e) global online Jam events, in section 5.2.5; (f) the Technology Adoption program, in section 5.2.6; (g) Social Computing Guidelines, in section 5.2.7; and (h) the Greater IBM Community in section 5.2.8. The evolving contexts are more fully described in Appendix B.2.

5.2.1 From 1996, IBMers conferenced on IBMPC, then IBM Forums

Inside IBM, employees have long not only had platforms for communications one-to-one (e.g. e-mail), but also many-to-many (online conferencing) in parallel. This has enabled organizational sensemaking on technical and business question at a worldwide scale. As a foundational communications network infrastructure, the slow evolution is depicted in Figure 5.6.

IBM employees conferencing worldwide on online forums

Figure 5.6 IBM employees conferencing worldwide on online forums

Historically, online conferencing dates back to 1981, the same time that business professionals were introduction to PROFS, a precursor of e-mail. A fuller history on conferencing platforms is in Appendix B.2.1.

(i) In October 1981, the IBMPC Forums built on the TOOLS conferencing system on the mainframe (i.e. under the VM operating system) on the internal IBM network (i.e. VNET). The platform came from the IBM Watson Research Centre Yorktown and IBM UK Scientific Centre, to support discussion on the IBM PC that was released in August 1981.

(ii) By 2001, the online conferencing became known as IBM Forums, with infrastructure was moved to an NNTP (Network News Transfer Protocol) application more consistent with the Internet technologies.

(iii) In 2007, application was still mostly funded by IBM Research, with a smaller contribution by the Office of the CIO. The TWE (Total Workplace Experience) Center of Excellence migrated the content to Jive Forums into production.

(iv) In June 2012, the IBM (Lotus) Connections program product was implemented by the Office of the CIO on the w3 intranet, seeded with migration of the complete content from the IBMPC and IBM Forums legacies.

Since 1981, computer conferencing has a consistent way inside IBM that employees could share questions, answers and insights in accumulating persistent conversations. By the early 1990s, practices and platforms such as these would become foundations for organizational learning, and then knowledge management. This ability to easily share perspectives amongst IBM employees, worldwide, has been a consistent background context for further advances in open sourcing.

5.2.2 From 1996, IBMers got connected to the Internet and w3 intranet

For the 2001-2011 period, IBMers could be described as mostly digital natives in their work lives. The history of the Internet and w3 Intranet is depicted in Figure 5.7.

IBM employees connecting on the Internet and w3 intranet

Figure 5.7 IBM employees connecting on the Internet and w3 intranet

Before the rise of the Internet, communications between IBM employees was centralized through mainframe technology. From 1971, 3270 “green screen” terminals enabled e-mail, file sharing and messaging. The 1983 introduction of the PC/XT personal computer evolved the hardware, with 3270 terminal emulated in software. By 1992, mobile workers graduated to a Thinkpad 700C, still with 3270 terminal emulation connected to the mainframe through a modem with the IBM Global Network Dialer. The shift from mainframe to Internet and intranet platforms is detailed in Appendix B.2.2.

(i) In 1994, a “Get Connected” manifesto led by John Patrick and Irving Wladawsky-Berger in the new IBM Internet call for every IBM employee to have an Internet e-mail address. The www.ibm.com web site was launched in May 1994. IBM gained experience on scaling up public Internet sites with the 1995 U.S. Open and Wimbledon tournaments, the 1996 chess match between Gary Kasparov and Deep Blue, and the 1996 summer Olympics in Atlanta. By 1996, IBM was leading corporate enterprises with microsites for ShopIBM, investors, developers, and business partners. Since at least 1997, the e-mail address and phone number of every IBM worldwide has been available on whois.ibm.com.

(ii) The early 1990s saw IBM employees joining the PC revolution with word processing, spreadsheets and presentation tools (e.g. Lotus SmartSuite on OS/2 and Windows 95). In 1996 e-mail and document collaboration moved to Lotus Notes from PROFS, so that Lotus Notes databases became a standard way of sharing documents and discussions, with master copies on networked servers and local replicas on laptops.

In late 1996, the IBM w3 intranet was rolled out, enabling IBM employees the ability to search on a gradually increasing body of knowledge across the corporation. By 2000, each employee was able to use a single sign on to the w3 intranet, and personalize his or her own homepage. In 2001, IBM employees would rank the w3 intranet equally with co-workers as the most credible or useful source of information, above the news media, executive memos or managers. The rise of open standards with Mozilla Firefox browser introduced in 2003 would gradually improve the functionality on the w3 intranet, as more information-intensive collaboration continued on Lotus Notes. By 2004, the w3 intranet was enhanced with the BluePages expertise locator and employee directory that would immediately show the person and profile of any colleague worldwide.

The technology platforms inside IBM have always enabled open sourcing behaviour. The rise of the Internet and intranet made sharing content easy, with a great leap forward for knowledge gathering through improved web search engines. Organizational knowledge could be decoupled from the minority of original content authors into the larger majority of “lurkers” who reuse the accumulation of wisdom. Knowledge was encouraged to flow freely on the intranet, and non-sensitive information could flow through official channels to the public.

5.2.3 From 1996, IBMers shared emerging technologies on alphaWorks

IBM practices emphasizing quality included development of commercial hardware products have following a stage-gated series of decision reviews separating design from manufacturing. Disclosing product directions to customers can have material impacts on financial projections, and was thus done under non-disclosure agreements. The rapid development of software “on Internet time” with Netscape browser releases in 1995 on the order of weeks led leaders in IBM's Internet Division to say that company development cycles were “taking too long”. IBM alphaWorks, charted in Figure 5.8, were seen an alternative path.

IBM employees sharing emerging technologies on alphaWorks

Figure 5.8 IBM employees sharing emerging technologies on alphaWorks

An alpha test (of units or modules of a system) precedes a beta test (of an integrated system). The IBM alphaWorks web site became an “online laboratory” for demonstrations to be available, months before they became official offerings. The history of alphaWorks is detailed in Appendix B.2.3.

(i) In December 1996, alphaWorks was first exhibited at the Internet World convention. In addition to new technologies from IBM Research, non-IBM contributions were also welcomed. While the alphaWorks demonstrations could include visibility to source code, downloads came with a “term and termination clause” whereby developers would agree to delete or destroy the software within 90 days. Success with alphaWorks was declared in the first year, with 28 early-stage technologies attracting 60,000 users to the community, and five products becoming commercialized.

(ii) In 2006, the rise of web-based services led to extending the download site with alphaWorks Services, where developers could connect to service side demonstrations running inside IBM. At the 10th year anniversary of alphaWorks, 700 new technologies had been introduced, from which 129 had been incorporated into an IBM product.

As a community site, alphaWorks has been an open sourcing way for IBM employees to share emerging technologies that may or may not have a clear product plan. At the leading edge of product development, feedback from a wider audience can influence judgements on standards and/or market demand. Having a license that terminates after 90 days is a creative way of releasing unproven technology modules (alphas) before further investment into prerelease products (betas).

5.2.4 From 2000, IBMers have pooled on source code repositories

The number of IBM employees with technical expertise far exceeds those with specific job roles to research, development and support IBM products. While these could be shared individual-to-individual, the company has provided more structured means for widespread distribution. These are charted in Figure 5.9.

IBM employees pooling non-commercial source internally

Figure 5.9 IBM employees pooling non-commercial source internally

Formally categorizing software written “on company time”, but not originally targeted as customer offerings, clarifies future uses of an asset. More details on the platforms and methods is in Appendix B.2.4.

(i) In May 2000, the IBM Internal Open Source Bazaar (IIOSB) became “a free service to promote Open Source style development internally at IBM” across all employees, funded by the IBM Linux Technology Center. Licensing zones include: (i) IBM Internal; (ii) IBM Internet / Mixed OSS; (iii) Apache / BSD / MIT; (vi) GPL / LGPL; (v) IPL / CPL / EPL; and (vii) Other (where legal counsel would have to be sought). The first project registered was the “Linux Client for e-business” (C4EB) installer of operating system and applications on computers issued to IBM employees, as an alternative to the Windows XP platform. By May 2010, 1,493 projects were hosted, with 12,865 registered users.

(ii) In 2005, the IBM Community Source repository was opened. This repository was targeted for developers with primary responsibility for development program products across 40 labs in Software Group. While these assets would be recognized externally as copyrighted to IBM, an open sourcing behaviour was encouraged inside the company. With a single repository across the entire company, the ability to easily access a continually evolving body of software components within Software Group was estimated to improve speed to market by 30%. At May 2010, 1,747 projects were hosted on IBM Community Source, with 33,580 registered users.

Having to check copyright licensing can be a drag on open sourcing as a desirable behaviour. Contributing assets to the IIOSB and IBM Community Source clarifies the origins and potential scope of use of company assets for reuse in commercial and non-commercial contexts.

5.2.5 From 2001, IBMers have collaborated on global online jam events

IBM coined the term “jam” as an online collaboration event that could be sponsored by leaders to start a movement towards organizational transformation. Jams originated as employee events with voluntary participation in non-anonymous open sourcing of perspectives. They evolved to become facilitations conducted for external parties in non-commercial and then commercial contexts. The progression of jams is shown in Figure 5.10.

IBM employees engaging in Jams

Figure 5.10 IBM employees engaging in Jams

When jams were first started in 1999, collaboration over Internet technologies had not been conducted with near-real-time facilitation at the scale of tens of thousands of participants over multiple days. Jams were shown not only to be feasible, but effective. The extended history of jams is detailed in Appendix B.2.5.

(i) The first jam event, World Jam, was scheduled May 21 to 24, 2001, after 9 months of preparation. It ran as 72 hours around-the-clock global event. This experiment, led by the Worldwide Internet Strategies and Program office, tested whether an intranet could be used for culture change. The goal was to surface best practices by employees successful working in the complexity of IBM as a global organization. The web-based platform saw 52,595 unique logons (one-sixth of IBM's 300,000 workforce). In the back channel for topic moderators and facilitators, IBM Researchers coordinated on joint problem solving with the Babble prototype. World Jam was seen as positive in (i) accelerating expertise engagement by meeting new contacts; (ii) observed trust, in mutual constructive criticism, and (iii) repeatability to engage again in a similar event, having learned new things.

(ii) ManagerJam, on July 9 and 10, 2002, invited 32,000 managers at all levels to join during 48 hours. Topics were focused on grassroots solutions to everyday IBM management challenges. The technology platforms evolved both on the front stage discussion forums, and the back stage facilitation collaboration. Participation rates rose from World Jam, with 25% of the manager population logging in, and 22% posting to the 4554 comments and replies.

(iii) ConsultantJam, in February 2003, was conducted within 45 days of the acquisition of PriceWaterhouseCoopers Consulting. The 30,000 legacy PwCC consultants and over 30,000 legacy IBM Global Services employees had been instructed to not communicate with each other in the lockup period between the acquisition announcement in July 2002, and the completion in October 2002. This event included discussions on the IBM corporate culture, and working together. In 96 hours, 8560 participants discussed 2960 ideas. Text mining and theme analysis was added, with a JamAlyzer technology.

(iv) The On Demand IT Jam in April 2003 followed the “On Demand” strategy by IBM introduced that year. Internet technologies had been proven as successful for adjunct platforms, e.g. e-commerce. At the same time, those Internet technologies had not had changed core operational environments in large enterprises. This Jam was designed to uncover ideas and solutions to transform IBM itself into an on demand business. Internal success could then be replicated with enterprise-scale customers. Over 72 hours, 9793 participants discussed 2963 ideas. Follow through was tracked by formally establishing executive accountabilities for action.

(v) Values Jam, held between July 29 and August 1, 2003, was the landmark event to move massive online collaboration from the tactical to the strategic. By 2002, the company had turned its fortunes around, and was positioned for growth with Sam Palmisano taking the role of CEO. All employees knew the corporate values set in the Basic Beliefs established by Thomas Watson Jr. in 1969. Should new corporate values be set for the 21st century? All employees were invited to discuss what defines IBM and IBMers.

The Values Jam web site saw 1.25 million views over 72 hours, with 22,007 participants writing 9337 posts and replies. IBM executives reviewed the JamAlyzer analysis, pre- and post-jam survey, and raw transcripts. The revised set of corporate values was published on the company intranet in November 2003, leading to 200,000 downloads by employees within 10 days.

(vi) World Jam 2004, in the October a year after Values Jam, followed through to operationalize those findings consistent with the new values. At levels both of individual employees and executive policy, the focus was identifying actionable ideas to accelerate profitable growth, unleash innovation and drive internal productivity. The volume of participation extended the event by 6 hours to 52 hours, October 26 to 28, 2004. World Jam 2004 resulted in 2.4 million page views, and 56,870 unique participants writing 32,662 posts. From November 30 to December 6, a follow-up “Rate the Ideas” inviting ranking for 191 ideas. Senior management committed to 35 of the top-rated ideas.

(vii) In December 2005, Habitat Jam was an event external to IBM, where the proven Jam technologies and facilitation events techniques were provided. The internet conference was jointed sponsored by the United Nations Human Settlements Program, the Government of Canada, and IBM. In preparation for the third World Urban Forum scheduled for June 2006 in Vancouver, Canada, the Jam technology enabled voices who could not otherwise attend in person to engage. Habitat Jam included 400 organizations from around the world, drawing 39,000 people from 158 countries, including slum dwellers, villagers, architects and planners. The 4000 pages of discussion generated 600 ideas, leading to 70 actionable ideas published in the workbook and CD for the World Urban Forum III.

(viii) The label of Innovation Jam for 2006, can be traced to the new corporate value of “innovation that matters”, from the 2003 Values Jam. This event expanded participation beyond IBM employees to family members and 67 organizations including business partners, customers, and university researchers. Shifting towards developing a larger set of idea rather than immediate implementation, participants were asked to familiarize themselves with some 25 emerging technologies.

The first phase of Innovation Jam ran between July 24 and 27. Forums focused on (i) Going Places; (ii) Finance & Commerce: (iii) Staying Healthy; and (iv) A Better Planet. Discussions saw 57,000 logging in, and 37,000 posts. The cross-IBM team analyzed these outputs, resulting in 31 “big ideas”.

Phase 2 of Innovation Jam, between September 12 to 14, invited participants to flesh out the proposals. Ratings on business impact, market readiness and societal value led to 9000 posts. Further analysis reduced the proposals to 10 finalists. On November 14, 2006, CEO Sam Palmisano announced that IBM would invest $100 million over the next two years to pursue these ten new business, in partnerships with clients and universities. These investments were estimated to have returned $700 million in revenue in the following five years.

From 1999 through 2006, Jams were run primarily as internally-oriented events with non-customer-facing resources. From 2007, Jam became an offering contractable through IBM Global Services.

  • (ix) In March 2007, Automotive Supplier Jam was the conducted with the Original Equipment Suppliers Association (OESA).
  • (x) In May 2007, Nokia had a Nokia Way Jam. focused on the question “What does it take to be an Internet company?” as part of shifting Nokia's business and strategy.
  • (xi) In December 2007, Eli Lilly had a Vision Jam to generate practical ideas through an increased understanding of the company's new vision.
  • (xii) In January 2009, the UK Foreign and Commonwealth Office had a jam on One Team, Many Voices, Our Future, to model the behaviour for the future organization, to break down divisions between the home office and overseas, career diplomats and civil service.
  • (xiii) In early 2010, Royal Dutch Shell Projects and Technologies had a My P&T Jam to create an affiliation across a new organization of 8200 globally dispersed employees.
  • (xiv) In February 2010, the European Union and NATO had Security Jam focused on the changing nature of the 21st century security landscape.
  • (xv) In March 2010, USAID and the White House had USAID Global Pulse 2010 Jam to share ideas and creative innovation solutions to social issues, informing U.S. foreign assistance and diplomatic strategies.
  • (xvi) In May 2010, the American Council on Education and the Kresge Foundation sponsored a Veteran Success Jam, to address issues for returning veterans with colleges, universities and employers
  • (xvii) In June-July 2010, the UK Coventry City Council had CovJam, to engage in dynamic conversations with constituents about future direction.
  • (xviii) In late 2010, Citibank Global Transaction Service had a GTS Jam. to enable employees to engage directly with senior management on key initiatives for future growth.

From 2008, IBM Jam events were sponsored by business units, rather than through corporate programs.

(xix) Innovation Jam 2008 was an IBM-sponsored event linked with customer-facing research. The jam followed publication of the IBM CEO Study released in May 2008, where 1100 CEOs shared their visions of the Enterprise of the Future. The four main discussion areas were on: (i) change and adaptation; (ii) customers as partners; and (iv) moving beyond green.

The jam ran from October 5th through 9th. Nearly 90,000 logins generated 32,000 posts. Employees from over 1000 companies across 20 industries included thousands of IBMers, and subject matter experts from Mars Incorporated, Eli Lilly and Company, Citigroup and Boston College. The enterprise of the future was concluded as having to (i) embrace transparency; (ii) increase efficiency; and (iii) adopt corporate stewardship.

(xx) In April 2009, IBM University Programs sponsored a Smarter Planet University Jam. Nearly 2000 students and faculty from 200 universities in 40 countries joined. The jammers saw the need for new university education around smarter campuses, contributed ideas of how universities could “go green”, and saw opportunities in water, healthcare, grid technologies and cities.

(xxi) In January 2010, the Institute for Business Value unit of IBM Global Business Services sponsored the Eco-efficiency Jam. Participants included 1600 leaders, journalists and experts from more than 60 countries. Best practice recommendations included: (i) “green” infrastructures overlayiung the physical with digital; (ii) sustainable solutions promoing resource efficiency; and (iii) intelligent systems using open standards for realtime information.

(xxii) In October 2010, IBM Corporate Citizenship & Corporate Affairs sponsored Service Jam. More than 15,000 people from 119 countries, including presidents, professors and tutors, discussed practices in volunteering, public services, and social entrepreneurship.

(xxiii) In February 2011, IBM Software Group sponsored a Social Business Jam. The event brought together 2700 participants from 80 countries for 72 hours on (i) social business; (ii) participatory organizations; (iii) social media with customers; (iv) IT functions; (v) risks and governance. The jam yielded over 2600 discussion posts and more than 600 tweets. Over 25% of organizations were found to be immature in adopting social business practices.

(xxiv) In November 2011, the World Wide Web Consortium (W3C),hosted the W3C Social Business Jam. IBM provided the minijam platform. Six aspects of social technology were discussed by 1073 unique registrants from 20 different industries. The resulting W3C Social Business Community Group evolved with the W3C launching two groups, and the OpenSocial Foundation integrating into the W3C legal entity.

From an open sourcing perspective, IBM Jams have been revolutionary as large scale participatory events, where individual contributors are not anonymous. While the resources have been provided by IBM on a private sourcing basis, the technology platform could be easily replicated with open source alternatives. The expertise and credibility of such events did, however, benefit by the explicit sponsorship and participation of IBM.

5.2.6 From 2005,IBM early adopters have collaborated on innovations via the Technology Adoption Program

In 2005, the IBM CIO recognized that innovation in the company is not limited to employees in the research and development labs. Individuals could share hobby projects on an Intranet wikis or a personal web space, but structured feedback or ongoing enhancements was absent. This gap led to the Technology Adoption Program (TAP), charted in Figure 5.11.

IBM employees on Technology Adoption Program

Figure 5.11 IBM employees on Technology Adoption Program

The Office of the CIO, traditionally an operations function, recognized a new role as a innovations sponsor. The program was originally staffed organically, and then later formalized. The projects and participation of employees in these programs is detailed in Appendix B.2.6.

(i) In August 2005, an initial core team of four put a TAP life cycle process into place: (a) an innovation proposal phase of 1 or 2 weeks; (b) an offering phase of 9 months; and (c) graduation to production and/or commercialization, or retirement. The initial projects seeded included a web services client for smartphones, a browser page tagging extension, and a enterprise social bookmarking extension. At the end of 2007, there were 143 TAP offerings, and over 100,000 TAP users in the company.

(ii) In February 2009, the Innovations Programs department became the new home for TAP, in parallel with Biztech (virtual teams for early tenure employees) and Thinkplace Next (an ideation forum originating from IBM Research). By 2010, projects would be more prominent on every employee's personalized intranet home page with the Innovation Carousel featuring offerings associated through social ties.

TAP reflects open sourcing practices at work inside IBM. Employees voluntarily shared tools they personally built to help them in their daily activities, and peers could each install them or not. The Office of the CIO minimally provided a tracking platform with simple platforms.

5.2.7 From 2005, IBMers wikied guidelines and grew social computing

IBM has policies, as does any corporation. Deferring to the situational judgement of its professional workforce, the company has evolved guidelines on which desired and acceptable behaviours are explained. An evolution of guidelines is shown in Figure 5.12.

IBM employees on social computing guidelines

Figure 5.12 IBM employees on social computing guidelines

Guidelines have been part of IBM practices for many decades. The rise of the Internet and social media has resulted in new guidelines originating bottom-up from the experiences of early adopters. Details on the development of these practices appear in Appendix B.2.7.

(i) In 1956, IBM first established Business Conduct Guidelines. Each year, all employees read the revised version, and sign (now electronically) that they have done so.

(ii) Since 1995, the Internet Usage Guidelines primarily oriented towards intranet has been complemented by an Acceptable Use Policy on gateways (e.g. e-mail, Telnet, FTP, Usenet) to the outside world.

(iii) In May 2005, a small group of IBM employees developed a set of core principles on an internal wiki. At that time, almost 9,000 IBMers were blogging on the open Internet, and/or on the w3 Intranet. The practice that that blog authors “are speaking for yourself and not on behalf of IBM” was not a policy imposed by IBM, but instead a “commitment that we have all entered into together”. These blogging guidelines were endorsed by the corporation, and promoted on the public IBM web pages. The IBM Blogging Guidelines became an innovation that other institutions came to recognize and emulate.

(iv) In July 2007, increased participation in immersive technologies (e.g. Second Life) led to publishing of the IBM Virtual World Guidelines.

(v) By May 2008, the IBM Social Computing Guidelines emerged from a group working again on a wiki on the w3 intranet, to generalize the prior blogging and virtual world writings. These were published on the public IBM web site, deprecating the earlier blogging and virtual world versions. A subtle evolution of wording was released in 2010.

(vii) At the end of 2007, a BlueIQ Ambassadors Community was formed as a peer-to-peer network of volunteers who would become social software evangelists. To expand beyond early adopters, the larger population of client-facing employees was encouraged to embrace IBM social software in internal and external use. By 2011, the community had grown to 1600 volunteers, coordinated by 9 headcount across the range of job roles, geographies and product lines, sponsored by the Senior VP of IBM Software Group. By the 2011 IBM Centennial, 29,000 IBM experts in social business were made visible on the public IBM web site.

On the learning journey from blogging to social computing, IBM employees were respected on the voices that appeared openly on personal web sites. In fact, the same content was often published both on intranet sites and on personal web domains, both by non-managerial professionals and by executives. The guideline of “Don't forget your day job” reflects maturity and trust that individuals are able to distinguish between information that should preserved as private sourcing, while much can be released as open sourcing.

5.2.8 From 2006, IBM alumni connect via the Greater IBM

With an employee population around 330,000 at 2006, there were an estimated 800,000 to 1,000,000 former IBMers. Outreach to this group was initiated through the Greater IBM Connection, charted in Figure 5.13.

IBMers in the Greater IBM Community

Figure 5.13 IBMers in the Greater IBM Community

Former IBM employees include traditional retirees, professionals active in careers elsewhere after long or short tenures, and interns. With 20 to 25% of professional hires as former employees who can be reboarded rapidly, corporate alumni networks are a good investment. Responses to the outreach to ex-IBMers are described in Appendix B.2.8.

(i) In June 2006, discussions were initiated by IBM U.S. Strategic Communications about forming a Greater IBM group. A team planning and developing the network coalesced on a Google Group and Wordpress blog.

(ii) In October 2006, a virtual block party was held for the Greater IBM Connection in Second Life. Complementing the venue on Almaden Island, alternative meeting technologies with text chat and voice teleconferencing were provided.

(iii) By December 2006, the Greater IBM Connection was on the two largest business social networking sites: Xing and LinkedIn. A site was launched on Facebook in 2007, and a Twitter identiy was created in July 2008.

The endorsement of IBM alumni networks on non-IBM platforms reflects opening up communications beyond the current employment status. While current IBM employees do participate on these online communities, their number is dwarfed by the larger body of ex-IBMers.

The autonomous actions of IBM employees are detailed in Appendix B.2. The style of engagement in an open sourcing style dates back before open source licensing was legally formulated. The online engagement of IBMers in the period 2001-2011 coincides with embracing fluid communications with Internet technologies.

5.3 Context: IBM consultants, from 2004, focused priorities from business leaders through industry-based executive studies

The IBM Institute for Business Value was formed in 2002 within the management consulting unit, with a charter to develop primary research. Amongst the intelligence shared externally with other parties, the IBV studies involving business executives are depicted in Figure 5.14.

Context from IBM consultants probing

Figure 5.14 Context from IBM consultants probing

Consultants from IBM Business Consulting Services (which would rename to Global Business Services) first engaged Chief Executive Officers with the Global CEO Studies. Subsequently, studies with functional business leaders would lead to the Global C-suite Studies. The history and findings of the studies are more fully described in Appendix B.3.

5.3.1 From 2004, IBM consultants surveyed priorities on innovation and strategic change with Global CEO Studies

IBM consultants interviewed hundreds of executives in the private and public sectors on their views of strategic business issues, funded by IBM corporate. The series of CEO Studies is charted in Figure 5.15.

IBM consultants probing with Global CEO Studies

Figure 5.15 IBM consultants probing with Global CEO Studies

Both business leaders and IBM could benefit by understanding the evolving attitudes and concerns across industries, around the world. The content scope and depth of these studies sponsored by IBM is detailed in Appendix B.3.1.

(i) In early 2004, the first Global CEO Study was published as Your Turn: CEOs across the world are renewing their organizations for growth. Are you? Reporting on interviews with 456 CEOs, the top finding was a shift towards growing revenue, after many years focused on cost containment.

(ii) In March 2006, the second Global CEO Study was published as Expanding the Innovation Horizon. Interviews with 765 CEOs found business model innovation a priority higher than expected, and external collaboration with business partners and customers the top source for idea.

(iii) In April 2008, the third Global CEO Study was titled Enterprise of the Future. In interviews with 1130 CEOs, the gap between expected change and ability to manage it tripled since the 2006 study.

(iv) The fourth Global CEO Study released April 2010, titled as Capitalizing on Complexity, “sought to understand differences between financial standouts and other organizations”. In addition to the interviews with 1541 CEOs in 60 countires and 33 industries, a subset of questions was asked to 3619 students from 100 universities around the world. Findings including 79% of CEOs expecting greater complexity ahead, with 51% doubting their ability to manage it.

(v) The fifth Global CEO Study was published in May 2012 as Leading Through Connections, focusing on “interconnected organizations, markets, society government”. More than 1709 CEOs across 64 countries found 75% seeking greater collaboration amongst their employees.

This 2012 CEO Study was the last to be prepared and packaged as an independent work, perhaps as a byproduct of the theme of interconnectedness. The CEO perspective would be one part of subsequent C-suite Studies.

5.3.2 From 2005, IBM consultants surveyed functional executives with additional C-suite studies

The Global CEO Studies were complemented by a series of studies with CxOs (i.e. CFO, CHRO, CIO, CSCO, CMO). The approach was similar, as primary research conducted with many face-to-face interviews. The releases of the studies are charted in Figure 5.16.

IBM consultants probing on C-suite Studies

Figure 5.16 IBM consultants probing on C-suite Studies

These studies of functional executives were often compared in alignment to the prior Global CEO Study. Eventually, they were repackaged and renamed as a group, as C-suite studies. Details on methods of inquiry and and findings appear in Appendix B.3.2.

(i) Before the studies started in 2004, the IBV conducted a survey published in September 2003 as CFO Survey: Current state and future direction. Reporting on interviews of 450 CFOs from 35 countries, it foresaw the Chief Financial Officer becoming a Chief Focus Officer, transforming from the role of a “policeman” to becoming a strategic business partner.

(ii) In September 2005, the first CxO study, the Global Human Capital Study, was titled as The Capability Within. Interviews with 106 CHROs (Chief Human Resource Officers) confirmed “the findings of the IBM Global CEO Study 2004” in organizational inadequacies to respond to growth and responsiveness priorities set out by their CEOs.

(iii) In December 2005, the Global CFO Study was published as The Agile CFO: Acting on business insight. In cooperation with the Economist Intelligence Unit, 889 CFOs were interviewed, with results tracking the 2004 Global CEO Study top agenda items.

(iv) In October 2007, the Global CFO Study was titled Balancing Risk and Performance with an Integrated Finance Organization, in coooperation with the Economist Intelligence Unit and Wharton School professors. With a vision of a “globally integrated enterprise”, “what does it mean for the Finance discipline”? Findings from 619 in-person interviews and 611 online surveys included most enterprises seeing material risk issues while being unprepared for them.

(v) In September 2009, the first Global CIO Study was titled The New Voice of the CIO. The 2598 CIOs in 78 countries were found to spend over half of their time on innovation activities.

(vi) In March 2010, the Global CFO Study was released as The New Value Integrator. Of 1900 CFOs, 75% were interviewed face-to-face by IBM executives, and the remaining surveyed by the Economist Intelligence Unit. With four segments of (a) scorekeepers, (b) constrained advisors, (c) disciplined operators and (d) value integrators, the latter were found to outperform by more than 20 times EBITDA, 49% more revenue and 30% more ROIC.

(vii) In October 2010, the second Global CHRO Study was released, titled Working Beyond Borders. Amongst 707 CHROs, the pattern of workforce investment had changed, so that CHROs in growth markets (e.g. China and India) were increasing their workforces in mature markets (i.e. North America and Europe).

(viii) In December 2010, the first Chief Supply Chain Officer Study was titled The Smarter Supply Chain of the Future. Responses from 393 executives were compared with “The AMR Research Supply China Top 25 for 2008” on ways to deal with volatility.

(ix) In May 2011, the second Global CIO Study was released, titled The Essential CIO. This was the first in the program now called C-suite Studies. Amongst 3018 CIOs, plans were highly aligned with 2010 Global CEO Study vision to increase competitiveness.

(x) In October 2011, the first Chief Marketing Officer Study was published, titled From Stretched to Strengthened. The 1734 CMO respondents were found to be highly aligned with the 2010 CEO Study on top external forces as markets and technologies.

After 10 years of studies, research has ramped down with a perspective of seeing changes with the benefit of history.

  • (xi) In October 2013, the “first study of the entire C-suite” was was titled The Customer Activated Enterprise. This combined the cumulative data from 23,000 interviews stretching back to 2003 with meeting with 4183 top executives between February and June 2013. Associated reports were subsequently release.
  • (xii) In November 2013, the CEO insights were described in Reinventing the Rules of Engagement, placing technology as the biggest driver of change over market forces.
  • (xiii) Also in November 2013, The CIO insights were released as Moving from the Back Office to the Front Lines.
  • (xiv) In February 2014, the evolution of the CFO perspective was released as Pushing the Frontiers.
  • (xv) In March 2014, the CHRO insights were as New Expectations for a New Era.
  • (xvi) Also in March 2014, the changing world of the CMO was reported in Stepping Up to the Challenge.
  • (xvii) In May 2014, the preparations of the future by CSCOs were reported in Orchestrating a Customer Activated Supply Chain.
  • (xviii) In June 2014, The Final Chapter of C-suite Studies was released as an app downloadable to a tablet or viewable on the web as Exploring the Inner Circle. This summarized the ten years, 17 studies, and 23,000 face-to-face executive interviews.

Every company does market research and intelligence work. Most would hire external consultants to conduct the studies, and would make the findings totally private to the company. In the Global CEO and C-suite Studies, IBM consultants took an open learning approach with leaders of commercial, governments and not-for-profit enterprises, and published findings publicly.

5.4 Context: IBM researchers, from 2004, led studies on longer horizon opportunities for social impact

IBM Research, a division of the company with a horizon of five to ten years in the future, has historically focused on advances in technology. Some new domains of focus are depicted in Figure 5.17.

Context from IBM researchers scouting

Figure 5.17 Context from IBM researchers scouting

In contrast to consultants in IBM Global Services, the staff in IBM Research typically have a Ph.D. in science, and seldom few receive direct revenue from external customers. Their mandate has been to pursue technological and scientific breakthroughs. The broadening of research domains is described more fully in Appendix B.4.

5.4.1 Since 2004, IBM researchers led the Global Innovation Outlook

Since 2000, IBM Research had annually published a Global Technology Outlook (GTO) for internal use forecasting. The GTO is selectively shared with customers, and the distribution of copies outside of IBM is strictly controlled.

The Global Innovation Outlook (GIO) was started as a complement, with two major differences: (i) discoveries were to be cocreated with parties outside of IBM; and (ii) the opportunities would in aspects of quality of life that could be changed. The studies and work involving researchers are charted in Figure 5.18.

IBM researchers scouting on Global Innovation Outlooks

Figure 5.18 IBM researchers scouting on Global Innovation Outlooks

The premises of GIOs included: (i) innovation occurring more rapidly; (ii) collaboration across wide disciplines and specialities was required; and (iii) intellectual capital was being shared, rather than being hoarded. Breaking from the practice of IBM copyrighted form numbers, the later reports were released under Creative Commons licenses. More details on the GIO appear in Appendix B.4.1.

(i) In November 2004, GIO 1.0 was published. It reported on 10 “deep dive” sessions in New York, Shanghai, Washington DC and Zurich over 24 days across 96 organizations. Three broad societal themes were discussed: (a) healthcare; (b) government and its citizens; and (c) the business of work and life. Themes that emerged were (a) the need for standard ways of exchanging information; (b) the need for open collaboration; and (c) the primary of the individual as a focal point for innovation.

Based on GIO 1.0, the view on innovation evolved so that its nature became described as “global, collaborative, multidisciplinary and global” consistently by IBM executives in 2005. This framing coincides with the accepting of open sourcing while private sourcing at IBM.

(ii) In March 2006, GIO 2.0 was published. Respondents in GIO 1.0 largely prioritized issues related on energy and the environment. This context led to 15 deep dive sessions in fall 2005 on (a) the future of the enterprise; (b) transportation and (c) environment with 178 organizations. Building on the findings of GIO 1.0, some patterns emerged on (a) the power of networks; (b) line of sight shaping decision-making; (c) flipping the equation towards new breakthroughs and advancements. After GIO 2.0, subsequent reports would be in-depth studies on specific topics.

(iii) In February 2007, Virtual Worlds, Real Leaders was inspired by GIO 2.0. Leadership in online games was guided by the Sloan Leadership Model from MIT. Given the right tools in the right circumstances, leadership was found to emerge.

(iv) In September 2006, the Building an IP Marketplace report was issued. This followed a “Peer to Patent” community proposal led by New York Law School, IBM, and the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office from May 2006, that evolved on a wiki over the summer. Issues raised included (a) patent quality; (b) transparency; (c) integrity; (d) valuation and (e) flexibility. The Peer-to-Patent program officially started in June 2007. Within two years, 2600 individuals registered to become peer reviewers, on 187 patent applications. With the new Obama administration in 2009, David Kappos moved from IBM VP to Director of the USPTO, and Beth Noveck was appointed to lead the Open Government Initiative.

(v) In December 2007, The Inventors Forum report was released under a Creative Commons license. Earlier the year, 400 participations had a 12 week online discussion on how smaller enterprises could reform patent quality. Issues identified included (a) lack of education at undergraduate levels; (b) patent offices not exploiting technology; (c) pending patent reform legislation in the U.S. improving quality, but negatively change damage and challenge rules; (d) an emerging “soft IP” system that would facilitate innovation; and (e) effective IP management as assets rather than byproducts.

(vi) In September 2008, IBM published a new corporate policy to formalize company behaviour when collaborating to create open technical standards. The policy followed from the approval of OOXML as the ECMA-376 standard in December 2006, and the ISO/IEC DIS 29500 in April 2008, driven by Microsoft. This led to a call for “standards for standards”, since the transparency, fairness and quality was highly variable across international bodies. Over summer 2008, IBM facilitated an online wiki discussion amongst 70 independent experts. Final recommendations were published on the IBM web site, complemented by Japanese and Chinese translations. The new policy could lead to IBM withdrawing from an international standards body – a last resort, in dire circumstances.

(vii) In March 2009, the Information Society Project at Yale Law School presented Technical Standards Recommendations for the Obama Administration. The “standards for standards” wiki content originating from IBM was an input into the Standards for Standards Summit at Yale in November 2008. These recommended a national standards strategy, that would contribute to the America Invents Act passed in September 2011.

(viii) In October 2007, the first GIO 3.0 was published as The New New Media. Over 60 days, deep dives had been conducted in seven cities to explore the new “media, content, branding and messaging” segment. The primary themes emerging were (a) authenticity through dialogue; (b) digital person ownership; (c) context as king over content; and (d) mobile platforms bridging the economic divide.

(ix) In November 2007, the second GIO 3.0 report was published, titled Africa. GIO meetings brought together 123 ecosystem partners from 24 countries. Eight factors critical to the continent's future were presented: (a) unlocking skills through investment in education realigned to private sector needs; (b) capturing more value locally from resources; (c) raising Internet above the “low access” category; (d) transforming through mobile technologies; (e) tapping the informal economies; (f) mesofinancing women entrepreneurs; (g) redefining risk and collateral to financing; and (h) collaborating with NGOs to stimulate economies.

(x) In September 2008, the first GIO 4.0 report was published on Security and Society. From April 2008, six deep dives with 93 organizations surfaced an idea of distributed security with: (a) network effects in adaptive security intelligence; (b) new roles in partnerships of government and business; (c) behavior change through incentives; and (d) informational self-determination balancing security and privacy.

(xi) In February 2009, the second GIO 4.0 report – and last in the GIO reports – was on Water. Participants included 122 organizations, across management, business, infrastructure, food and energy. Insights included: (a) data drought, where collecting and sharing could be improved; (b) valuing water could be improved with technologies and disclosures; (c) infrastructure losses due to leaks and vulnerabilities of flooding and storm surge; (d) the balance between water, energy and agriculture; and (e) global awareness was low.

The Global Innovation Outlooks became coupled with the idea to “Let's Build a Smarter Planet” beginning in fall 2008, and the 100 Smarter Cities Forums in 2009. Transorganizational conversations and open sourcing of findings were guided by the orientation towards differences that private enterprise could make.

5.4.2 Since 2005, IBM researchers have led the Services Science, Management, Engineering and Design initiative

In 2002, IBM Research started a Human Sciences Research area with an initial staff of seven. Almaden Services Research would move IBM into leading an emerging interest across universities, businesses and governments, as shown in Figure 5.19.

IBM researchers leading SSMED

Figure 5.19 IBM researchers leading SSMED

The idea of a new science of services became more broadly known as Services Science, Management, Engineering and Design. More details are described in Appendix B.4.2.

(i) In September 2004, the idea of service science emerged in a conversation between Henry Chesbrough at U.C. Berkeley with Jim Spohrer at IBM. In July 2006 the ideas became published as “A Research Manifesto for Services Science”.

(ii) In October 2006, a Service Science, Management and Engineering (SSME) Summit convened 254 people, representing 21 countries across government, industry and academia. The scholarly community became energized with the formation of a Service Science Section within INFORMS. The first issue of the Service Science journal was published in March 2009.

(iii) In summer 2007, the Services Research and Innovation Institute (SRII) was cofounded by IBM, Oracle, the TPSA and SSPA, with the intent to increase funded service research, development and innovation in industry.

(iv) A July 2007 symposium on Service Science, Management and Engineering at University of Cambridge led to a 2008 discussion document on “Succeeding through Service Innovation: A Service Perspective for Education, Research, Business and Government”.

(v) In July 2008, the first in the Service Science: Research and Innovations in the Service Economy book series was published. Significant additional volumes would be published in 2011, including The Science of Service Systems, and the Handbook of Service Science.

(vi) In June 2012, the formation of the International Society of Service Innovation Professionals (ISSIP), as a democratically-run non-profit organization, would partially supersede activity in the SRII.

The initiatives all had IBM as a cofounder, but not the long-term administrators of the communities. Just as IBM had been an initiator of the new field of computer science, it was at the founding of service science.

5.5 Context: At large, from 2000, businesses, creatives, academics, governments and makers, taking up open sourcing

Beyond IBM, open sourcing gradually rose as a social behaviour in the world at large, without using that label. Groups taking up the domain are depicted in .

Businesses, creatives, governments, makers and academics

Figure 5.20 Businesses, creatives, governments, makers and academics

Open sharing on the Internet reshaped the way that businesses, creatives, governments, makers and academics think about social organizations and interactions. Details on each of the groups appears in Appendix B.5.

5.5.1 From 2000, private sourcing businesses explored commercial options in open sourcing through new communities and institutions

IBM was undoubted a leader in open sourcing with the February 2000 LinuxWorld announcement. Other commercial businesses have followed suit, mostly to lesser extents. Legal considerations, legacy business practices and missing institutions slow adoption. Some landmark events encouraging open sourcing are shown in Figure 5.21.

Private sourcing businesses exploring open sourcing

Figure 5.21 Private sourcing businesses exploring open sourcing

Licensing was a legal constraint that was resolved early in the decade. Activities amongst commercial business are described in more detail in Appendix B.5.1.

(i) In March 2003, the Santa Cruz Organization (SCO) filed suits against IBM alleging infringement on Caldera Unixware by IBM's AIX program product. In a related lawsuit, SCO attacked the Free Software Foundation on the GPL, the license chosen for Linux, as unconstitutional and against antitrust laws. In 2006, these claims were partially vacated. In 2007, the case was administratively closed while SCO was in bankrupcy. In 2013, SCO tried to reopen the case, but the charges were dismissed in 2014.

(ii) Beginning in April 2005, Daniel Wallace filed pro se lawsuits in Indiana against the Free Software Foundation, arguing he was barred from competing with Linux because Linux had the unbeatable price of free. In June 2006, he launched a second lawsuit against IBM, Red Hat and Novell as a conspiracy to eliminate competition in the operating system market. These cases were dismissed, and the upheld in the U.S. Court of Appeals in 2006.

(iii) In January 2004, IBM made a pledge to not assert on 500 software patents against anyone meeting the OSI definition of open source. While criticized by Bill Gates as “some new modern-day sort of communism”, the proposal to create a patent commons was generally received favourably in the press.

(iv) In November 2005, the Open Innovation Commons (OIN) was founded by IBM, Novell, Philips, Red Hat and Sony. The Commons was chartered to acquire patents and offer them royalty-free, providing they would not be asserted. Initial patents on Linux and web services were contributed. In March 2007, Oracle would license from the OIN. In August 2007, Google joined.

(v) In October 2005, IBM began open specification pledges, independently without partners. The first specifications were on selected open healthcare and education standards on web services, electronic forums and open document formats.

(vi) In July 2007, IBM pledged universal and perpetual access on patents on 150 core software interoperability standards. Implementers would have to reciprocate to also not assert. Additonal pledges were made in July 2009 and December 2011.

(vii) In January 2008, the Eco-Patent Commons were announced by the World Business Council, initiated by IBM during the 2007 GIO conference. Initial founders IBM, Nokia, Pitney Bowes and Sony pledged patents on energy conservation, pollution prevision, environmentally preferable materials, material use reduction and recycling opportunities. Additional corporations joined in 2008 and 2009.

(viii) In January 2005, after IBM had pledge 150 patents, Sun Microsystems pledged 1600 OpenSolaris patents under the CDDL. This was criticized as clumsy in comparison to IBM's approach, with the CDDL incompatible with GPL-licensed Linux.

(ix) In September 2006, Microsoft would declare an “Open Specification Promise”. The need to involve legal counsel on each and every patent licensing was criticized as “worse than useless”.

(x) In March 2013, Google would announce an “Open Patent Non-Assertation (OPN) Pledge” to not sue unless first attacked. The first 10 patents on MapReduce would be complemented in August 2013 on cloud technologies, and then 152 patents in August 2014.

Open sourcing as a behaviour can become acceptable within organizations through policy changes. Across organizations, transforming legal constrains requires a bigger vision. By 2008, a new style of government in the Obama administration would make OSwPS more acceptable, but still uncommon.

5.5.2 From 2002, Creative Commons has standardized open licensing

Intellectual property licensing has been made simpler, for the layman, with the popularization of Creative Commons (CC) licensing. A concise timeline of some milestones is charted in Figure 5.22.

Creative Commons licensing

Figure 5.22 Creative Commons licensing

The legal conditions were mostly worked out early in the decade, and gradually refined. A variety of social sharing platforms have encouraged CC licensing. More details can be found in Appendix B.5.2.

(i) The December 2002 release of CC 1.0 enabled individuals and organizations to declare privileges for reuse and/or derivations of works. Otherwise, content is automatically copyrighted, and negotiation is required case-by-case. CC licensing is intended to cover all works beyond software (for which properties of executability are more complicated). The newer versions of CC licenses are refinements due to legal jurisdictions.

(ii) In December 2007, two new licenses were introduced. CC+ extends non-commercial rights to commercial uses, warranties, non-attribution and physical media. CC0 asserts a work has no legal restrictions, or waives rights.

(iii) In June 2004, Flickr added the feature to choose CC licensing on uploading new images, shortly after launching the platform in February 2004. Within the first year, 10 million photos were published under the six CC licenses. By 2009, there were 100 million CC licensed photos.

(iv) In November 2006, DeviantArt added CC licensing for members uploading remixed animations, photographs, web skins, films and literature.

(v) In September 2008, Google added the option to choose a CC license at the release of Picasa 3.0 and Picasa Web Albums.

(vi) In January 2005, Jamendo was launched as a website for musicians to share their music, with CC licensing. Jamendo also enabled listeners to directly donate or sponsor the artists. By October 2010, Jamendo claimed 400,000 tracks of music, from 30,000 artists from 150 countries.

(vii) In May 2005, the first podcasting interview was released on Radio Open Source, under CC licensing. The show followed a history from a 2001 dispute on rebroadcast right by Christopher Lydon on The Connection. In November 2013, an agreement was made by WBUR to rebroadcast Radio Open Source podcasts on weekends.

(viii) In July 2006, Blip.tv was the first video sharing site to require all uploaded video content as CC licensed.

(ix) In July 2010, Vimeo launched a new setting to allow adding CC licensing during video uploading.

(x) In June 2011, Youtube announced content owners could market videos with CC-BY licenses upon uploading. In addition, they started a new CC library of 10,000 videos from C-SPAN, Voice of America, Al Jazeera and others.

(xi) Between May and August 2009, Wikipedia amended its licensing, dualing the original GNU Free Documentation License (GFDL) with CC-BY-SA. After April 2009, the GFDL was deprecated.

(xii) In June 2011, the Creative Commons published The Power of Open in 9 languages, featuring exemplars from 400 million works of musics, photos, research findings and college courses.

(xiii) In August 2015, funding of a book Made with Creative Commons: A Book on Open Business Models was proposed on Kickstarter. The goal is to begin to answer the question “how do creators make money to sustain what they do when they are letting the world reuse their work?”.

Within five years of the launch of Creative Commons licensing in 2002, its adoption has become common. After a decade, businesses are still trying to figure out how to work with it.

5.5.3 From 2005, open government data cooperated with citizens

While governments around the world should be acting in the public interest, much of its data has not been open to citizens. The evolution of governments opening up their databases to citizens is tracked in Figure 5.23.

Open government data with citizens

Figure 5.23 Open government data with citizens

Much of the data from government would seem to be mundane (e.g. swimming pool hours, bus schedules). However, policy changes can result in measurements of performance that challenge promises previously made by politicians. Details on the evolution of open government are described in Appendix B.5.3. Principles of “open government data” would be established in December 2007, after some prehistory.

(i) In November 2003, the EU passed a Directive on Re-use of Public Sector Information. This established a minimum set of rules to reuse documents across member states. By July 2009, all EU member states would have complied. The UK was one of four to meet the original deadline of July 2005.

(ii) From May 2004, the Open Knowledge Foundation (OKF) in the UK was formed to promote freedom of access to knowledge, promote projects and communities, and campaign again restrictions. Led by Rufus Pollock, these aims came to focus on open government data.

(iii) In January 2005, the Freedom of Information Act 2000 came in force across the whole UK. Compliance had been staged with the passing in 2000 for England, Wales and North Ireland, and in Scotland in 2002.

(iv) In March 2005, Demos, a cross-party think tank in Britain, published Wide Open: Open source methods and their future potential. Three areas inspired by open source ideas were: (a) open knowledge; (b) open team working; and (c) open conversations online.

(v) In June 2006, the mySociety project led by Tom Steinberg would adopt the TheyWorkForYou web site, aggregating content from hansard records to track votes and speeches of MPs.

(vi) In June 2007, The Power of Information report was published, presenting recommendations to the Cabinet Office Minister. The independent review was originally chartered by the Strategy unit of Prime Minister Tony Blair. The publication would get caught up decline of the Labour Party, hung parliaments and the eventual 2010 coalition of the Conservative Party with the Liberal Democrats.

(vii) In March 2007, the first Open Knowledge Conference was held in London. Open Knowledge conferences, festivals and meetups have spread most popularly in Europe, with associated events in North America, Asia and Africa.

(viii) In July 2007, the OKF launched an open sourcing Comprehensive Knowledge Archive Network (CKAN) after a year of development. This platform would influence further development both on UK and U.S. projects.

(ix) In September 2009, the Cabinet Office had an early preview of data.gov.uk, inviting developers to give feedback on 1000 datasets from 7 deparments, in a CKAN private beta. In January 2010, the public beta of data.gov.uk was announced. In July 2010, the Cabinet office started promotion with “tell us what datasets you wanted released”. In September 2010, all information was relicensed under a UK-wide Open Government License, compatible with CC-BY.

(x) In April 2006 in the United States, the Sunlight Foundation was founded to digitize data, build tools and site, and develop communities. It rose from dissatisfaction from multiple corruption scandals in Washington DC in 2005.

(xi) In October 2007, an Open Government Working Group was convened, with many members of the Sunlight Foundation, to develop eight principles for open government data, complying as (a) complete; (b) primary; (c) timely; (d) accessible; (e) machine processable; (f) non-discriminatory; (g) non-proprietary); and (h) license-free.

(xii) On January 21, 2009, the new Obama administration issued a Memorandum on Transparency and Open Government, outline three principles that government should be: (a) transparent; (b) participatory; and (c) collaborative. Deadlines were given for 45 days, 60 days, 90 days, 120 days, 1 year and 2 years.

(xiii) In February 2009, a TransparencyCamp “unconference” led by the Sunlight Foundation convened in Washington DC. The wiki and artifacts were openly shared on the Internet. TransparencyCamp West was convened in August 2009, followed by a better organized DC event in March 2010. The camps have continued annually, and the Foundation supports local events.

(xiv) In September 2011, the Open Government Partnership was launched with eight founding nations: Brazil, Mexico, Norway, the Phillipines, South Africa, UK and U.S. The Open Government Declaration required a National Action Plan outline two years of commitments. While Canada espoused joining the Open Government Partnership in April 2012, the federal government was criticized in 2014 as failing to drive an open agenda.

(xv) In January 2009, more interest at the municipal level led citizens rallying at ChangeCamp in Toronto.

(xvi) In April 2009, the mayor of the City of Toronto announced the OpenTO initiative would launch in November. In May 2009, the City of Vancouver council endorsed principles of open data for a launch in September.

The idea of open data in government clearly reflects a rise in expectations for open sourcing behaviour. Transparency, participation and collaboration is more difficult in some some jurisdictions than others. In the UK in 2012, Tom Steinberg, a founder of the mySociety project, resigned from advisory roles in Westminister, frustrated “partly due to the dull tribalism”. The momentum for open sourcing in government is positive, but it's easy to lapse back into private sourcing.

5.5.4 From 2005, open source hardware rose with the maker movement

The rise of open sourcing in the non-material subworld of software has raised questions about which practices might be transferable into a material subworld of physical objects. The coevolution of initiatives is depicted in Figure 5.24.

Open source hardware and the maker movement

Figure 5.24 Open source hardware and the maker movement

The presumptive frameworks of (a) patent law for hardware designs, (b) copyright law for software code, and (c) trademark law for symbols, words and phrases have morphed with the advent of open source hardware. More details are described in Appendix B.5.4.

(i) In October 2004, Eric von Hippel at MIT published Democratizing Innovation as a CC-BY-NC-ND ebook. In user-centered innovation, individuals are involved in customizing and/or extending features of products and/or services, either independently or in cooperation with manufacturers. One case study featured a student who would go on to found the Instructables web site and community.

(ii) In January 2005, the first issue of Make magazine was published as “Martha Stewart for geeks”, both online and hardcopy. The term “maker” was coined by Dale Dougherty as a individuals engaged in learning-by-doing.

(iii) In April 2006, the first Maker Faire in San Mateo attracted 100 exhibiting makers. By 2014, Maker Faires reached 100 events globally, with 530,000 attendees.

(iv) In winter 2005, the low-cost Arduino microcontroller board was included in a class at the Interaction Design Institute Ivrea. It enabled novices to create interactive devices and robots. In comparison to the Stamp platform used since 2002, the Arduino board was cheaper, and components could be added to it. The CAD (Computer Aided Design) files were licensed under Creative Commons, and the Arduino brand was trademarked. Officially trademarked Arduino boards were first produced in Italy. In 2013, Intel introduced the Galileo as an Arduino-certified board based on x86 architecture. By 2014, 1.2 million official Arduino boards are estimated in use, with possibly an equal number of Chinese counterfeits.

(v) In June 2008, the BeagleBoard Rev. B was introduced. BeagleBoard aimed to have the functionality of a desktop machine, as a low-cost, fanless single-board computer. The project was initiated by two employees of Texas Instruments working on their own time, encouraged by the company to build on the OMAP35x family. Digi-Key Electronics backed an evaluation board, built under contract by CircuitCo. Reference manuals and hardware documentation were published as CC-BY-SA. By 2013, four generations of BeagleBoards were released.

(vi) In March 2010, the “Opening Hardware” workshop in New York City coincided with a major Arduino meeting. This meeting led to the founding of the Open Source Hardware Association (OSHWA). Iterating through an Open Hardware Summit in September 2010, the OSHW Definition 1.0 was released in February 2011. The definition meant sharing the files need to build and modify hardware, i.e. CAD files for mechanicals and schematic and board layouts for circuit boards. In April 2011, a community mark was selected. The OSHWA has been pursuing a certification program.

(vii) In July 2011, a wiki for the Open Hardware Catalog was put in place on openhardware.org by Bruce Perens, one of the originators of the Open Source Initiative in 1998. The vision of a self-certification by hardware manufacturers was foreseen in 1998, but the emergence of projects and companies labeling “open source” hardware didn't rise until 2011. On openhardware.org, issues of Open Source Journal were published in November 2001 and February 2012. Finding licensing might add restrictions to designs already in the public domain, Perens removed the wiki by February 2014. He interprets that hardware designers should not expect protections unless the work has been patented.

(viii) In January 2005, researchers in the fashion industry conducted a conference at the Lear Center at USC called “Ready to Share”. The rise of digitalization, Creative Commons and open sourcing in software and hardware was explored in fashion's traditions of sampling, appropriation and borrowed inspiration. Fashion apparel have historically been “useful articles” in physical fixed expressions not protected by copyright. Counterfeits infringe on trademarks, whereas knockoffs for mid-market and lower-tier consumers are not customer of elite brands. Fashion design is not seen as an art form that can be copyrighted, but instead a domain where incorporating elements of peers' creative works can accelerate innovation.

(ix) In August 2010, the Innovative Design Protection and Piracy Prevention Act was introduced into the U.S. Congress, and died when not enacted. This was revised into the Innovative Design Protection Act of 2012, which passed out of the Senate Judiciary Committee, but not enacted. The Japanese Design Law covers apparel, but only if no identical of similar design can have existed before. The EU Community Design System has a less stringent novelty standard, but it's easy to make a small change and claim as new. In Canada, works of artistic craftsmanship are limited to finished useful items only if fewer than 50 copies are made.

The fashion industry could be portrayed as an industry where open sourcing has been an accepted way of doing business for centuries.

(x) In August 2013, the OpenPower Consortium, founded by IBM, Google, Nvidia, Tyan and Mellanox, would see full open-sourcing in microprocessors. Members would have access not only to IBM CPUs, but all Power-related hardware and software IP, and would be free to choose whoever they wanted to manufacturer customized Power chips they developed.

Open sourcing does not have to be interpreted as applicable only to the domain of computer software. These examples in computer hardware and fashion design show that innovation may not be discouraged within the laws of a specific jurisdiction, and alternatively may be preempted by voluntary agreements within an industry or consortium.

5.5.5 By 2006, research on (commons-based) peer production crossed over from academia to popularity

Commons-based peer production does not require technology as a base, but is made practical and accelerated by the digital information revolution. Academic researchers have gradually been accumulating experiences that provide a background that informs open sourcing, depicted in Figure 5.25.

Research on (commons-based) peer production

Figure 5.25 Research on (commons-based) peer production

The rise of the Internet at the dawn of the 21st century has shaped social and economic progress. Amongst G7 countries, individuals using the Internet rose from 30% to 40% in 1998, to the top five over 65% by 2006. Publications from practically oriented researchers have gradually become popularized. Details on some key milestones are described in Appendix B.5.5.

(i) Since 1985, online communities have enabled persistent conversations. The WELL (Whole Earth 'Lectronic Link) uncovered the tension that “information wants to be free” and “information wants to be expensive”. At the first Interop conference in 1985, the adoption of TCP/IP beyond its military roots in 1982 were explored. In 1989, Tim Berners-Lee proposed hypertext, leading to the World Wide Web. In 1996, IBM would promote a campaign on e-business.

(ii) In 1996, Co-opetition was published by Brandenburger and Nalebuff. Strategies of cooperation with competitors, in a game theoretic view, were recognized as situations where there could be multiple winners.

(iii) Also in 1996, The Death of Competition by Geoffrey Moore described business ecosystems. Beyond the core business is (a) an extended enterprise of customers, suppliers, standard bodies and complementers; (b) stakeholders in investors, labour unions, government and regulators. The premise was t cahnge from competing on new products to molding new ecosystems.

(iv) In 1999, Information Rules by Shapiro and Varian viewed that the “Information Economy” didn't need need a new set of principles. Instead business strategies and public policy should engage in a deeper reading on differential pricing, bundling, signaling, licensing, lock-in and network economics.

(v) In 2003, Open Innovation by Henry Chesbrough presented a shift from “closed innovation” where “successful innovation requires control” to a new approach where external ideas and paths to market could be combined with the internal. Closed innovation at Xerox PARC (1970 to 1986) and IBM (1945 to 1980) were compared to open innovation at IBM (after 1993 with Lou Gerstner), Intel Capital and Lucent Ventures Group. This new paradigm leads to a business model where a firm should become an active buyer and seller of intellectual property.

(vi) In 2004, The Success of Open Source by Steven Weber traced the history of open source through Unix, the origins of the Internet and the founding of the Free Software Foundation, with case studies ending by 2000. The open source process was hypothesized to have implications with: (a) properity oriented towards stewardship; (b) organizing for distributed innovation; (c) the commons in economic and social life; (d) international economic geography leading to more inequality; (e) shifts in relational structure; and (f) hierarchies managing relationships with networks.

(vii) In 2005, The World is Flat by Thomas Friedman popularized the association between globalization and the rise of the Internet. Of ten “flatteners”, open sourcing was threaded at least through five: (b) Netscape; (c) workflow software; (d) uploading; (i) informing; and (j) “the steroids” of digital, mobile, personal and virtual. As one of the bestselling books of the decade, The World is Flat brought recognition of world changes to the average household.

(viii) In May 2006, The Wealth of Networks: How Social Production Transforms Markets and Freedom was published by Yochai Benkler as (i) a hardcover book from Yale University Press and (ii) an online version with CC-BY-NC-SA license. The academic work compares the economics of information production with the Internet, alongside property-based production and market-based production. IBM's embracing of Linux was cited as a business strategy based on nonexclusivity, compared to the prevalent approach of rights-based exclusion by copyright and patent holders. In cooperating with Free Software Foundation and software development community, IBM had to structure a relationship to co-exist in a helpful and non-threatening way. The rise of the institutional ecology of information production and exchange has required regulatory and policy conditions mediating communications, from shared content down through logical coding and physical technology.

(ix) In December 2006, Wikinomics: How Mass Collaboration Changes Everything was published by Don Tapscott and Anthony Williams. The principles of wikinomics included: (a) being open, to networking, sharing and self-organization; (b) peering, as with Linux and Wikipedia; (c) sharing, of intellectual property, computing and knowledge; and (d) acting globally to eliminate geographic redundancies. At IBM, a shared infrastructure was cited as creating opportunities to create differentiated value.

In the context of the world outside IBM, open sourcing was seen as commercial opportunity for businesses by 2000, first in the technology sectors. Digital natives embraced open sourcing of personal works by 2002, made easy by Creative Commons licensing. Governments and makers of physical hardware changed their policies towards open sourcing by 2005. With well-researched books on the phenomenon published by 2006, open sourcing can be seen has having become mainstream.

Chapter 4 outlined seven cases of OSwPS by IBM, both within the boundaries of the company, and in engagement with external parties. Chapter 5 described evolution on contexts over the decade from 2001 to 2011, that shaped both the behaviours of IBM employees and the world at large. In the three chapters that follow, inquiry is pursued in paradigms of architectural problem seeking, inhabiting disclosive spaces and governing subworlds.

Chapter 4

Chapter 6

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