IBM's Sam Palmisano on what's coming next

Sam Palmisano is not only a terrific CEO, who has remade IBM into a global and lean and forward looking cutting edge company, he is a hell of a good futurist.

Here's an excerpt from a letter he sent this week to all his IBM Partners ecosystem:

This is not simply a cyclical downturn. On the other side of the present turmoil, a very different world is taking shape. And together we are uniquely positioned to lead it.

The world is not just becoming smaller and “flatter.” It’s also becoming smarter. Through pervasive instrumentation and interconnection, almost anything — any person, any object, any process or any service, for any organization, large or small — can become digitally aware, networked and intelligent. And these new capabilities could not be more timely. Even in today’s difficult environment, businesses are willing to invest in IT solutions — if they cut costs, drive efficiency and productivity, preserve capital and create competitive advantage. And that’s exactly what “smarter” solutions do.

And we, in the automation industry, are the ones that are charged with making those persons, objects and processes and services digitally aware, networked and intelligent.