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PREVIEW / WEEK OF OCT. 21-27

IBM to Unveil Plans for Self-Fixing Systems

October 21, 2002|Reuters

IBM Corp. this week will unveil to its 500 largest customers plans to broaden its efforts to develop computer systems that not only manage but also fix themselves when they break.

Armonk, N.Y.-based IBM said it is creating a separate division, which it calls Autonomic Computing, that will integrate its efforts to create computer systems that need less human intervention.

As part of the software division, the unit also will work on standardizing those efforts to work with software programs from other companies.

The move is part of a broader goal IBM has of bringing computing to customers on demand, said Nick Donofrio, IBM senior vice president of technology and manufacturing.

IBM launched an autonomic computing initiative in its research division in the spring of 2001, aiming to bring some of the traditional characteristics of mainframe computing to other, less expensive systems.

This week, the heads of IBM's computer, software and data storage businesses will discuss the plan when they meet with chief information officers for three days in Desert Hot Springs.

With technology budgets expected to increase only a few percentage points in 2002 after having fallen in 2001, IBM said it aims to save customers money by decreasing the number of people needed to manage and fix complex computer systems.

Alan Ganek, an IBM veteran who previously was in charge of strategy for IBM Research, will head the unit.

Part of his job will be getting customers more comfortable with letting computers come up with advice on how they can be used better, and then enabling those systems to take that advice without the go-ahead from technology workers, he said.

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