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What Rational is doing now – Scott Hebner at RSC 2009

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In this interview from RSC 2009, I talk with IBM’s Scott Hebner, who you might recall from two other interviews, at RSDC 2008 and Innovation 2008.

First, I ask Scott to tell us where the missing “D” went off to in the formally named “RSDC,” now simply “RSC.” As Scott says, the name change is about pulling in more than just software developers, that is, people involved in the entire process of delivering software. Indeed, as Scott says, only about 40% of the people in attendance this year were developers.

I then throw out my perception of the major theme of RSC – tools and process that enable businesses to better treat software like a business asset, rather than a black box of annoyance – and ask Scott to go over what those actual tools are. We go over Rational Insight, Focal Point, MCIF, and how Jazz provides the foundation to link all of this together.

One interesting positing that Scott lays out is that this combination of tool and process puts a layer on-top of the software process that allows development organizations to interact with the IT executives, CIOs, CFO and other business leaders in a more automated fashion.

I then ask Scott for more details on the ever elusive goal of IT/business alignment. That’s been a goal of organizations like IBM for a long time, so I wanted to see how it was different this time. Part of it seems to be a making IT more appealing to the business side of the house: letting them use IT, and software, as an actual business asset rather than a budgetary black-hole that seems unmanageable. Further more, the Rational vision is that down the tooling, automation addresses the tedious processes and reporting that would be needed to bubble up this information.

We wrap up with the broader point of software increasingly being not only embedded in so many new products and services, but as part of the business differentiator thereof. As Scott says, “software is becoming the key ingredient in all these products.”

Disclosure: IBM is a client and sponsored these videos.

Categories: Conferences, Development Tools, Enterprise Software, Programming.

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