Jeux Sans Frontières from IBM

According to Wikipedia, Jeux Sans Frontières was a game devised by Général Charles de Gaulle to encourage better relations between French and German youths.  In the 1960s there was still presumably a slight legacy of post-war frostiness between the occupier and the occupied country but at the same time a renewed optimism about European Union having signed the Treaty of Rome in 1957,

Following the Enterprise Software wars of the 1990’s and 2000’s a frostiness and lack of understanding developed between the Business and IT.  So in the post war optimism of the Software Optimised for Agreement (SOA) era, can IBM help repair the damage with their new Innov8 game?

IBM sent me a video demo of the game (sadly no sound) which gave an all too brief overview.  They described the game as a “3-D educational game simulator designed to bridge the gap in understanding between IT teams and business leaders in an organization”.

Hi there - Wanna check out my BPM?

Although interesting, this game is hardly going to lead to a “Treaty of Rome” between IT and the Business.  It is quite clear to me that the launch of this game is little more than a publicity stunt.  However, merely to describe it as that would entirely miss the point.

As part of a wider initiative, IBM are promoting the alignment of customer and technical entry points to SOA (Service Oriented Architecture), and see SOA and BPM (Business Process Management) as inextricably and strategically linked.  The three “business” entry points are people, process and information.  Add two “technical” entry points, connectivity and reuse and there you have a heady cocktail of concepts that should excite both IT and the Business.

IBM claim that the lack of people with a blend of IT technical understanding and business process acumen is an inhibitor to SOA.  The cynic might say that since IBM is betting the bank on SOA that they would say that wouldn’t they?  Furthermore that they would try to do something about rectifying that skills shortage.  In fairness IBM are being refreshingly very open about the self interest in their arguments and actions.

I think that this sort of initiative can only be helpful in promoting the use of BPM, SOA and improving the relationship between IT and the Business. 

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