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About 3 minutes

If there’s any industry that personifies the “what have you done for me lately?” mindset, it’s IT.

You could say it is the natural flipside of futurism: Eyes focused ahead, envisioning the next big thing.

But when we do pause and look back at a year like 2014, some of what we might consider old news are well worth keeping at the top of our minds.

Landmark Partnerships for IBM

Apple + IBM

Blasphemy? Maybe 20 years ago, but not today. This welcome convergence of substance and style in the IBM MobileFirst for iOS solutions will put hundreds of industrial-strength enterprise apps into the hands of iPhone and iPad users. As Forbes put it, “Rather than viewing their [Apple and IBM] capabilities as being in conflict with one another, they see enormous synergies.”   

Twitter + IBM

When you want to know what the world thinks, there’s no better place to start than Twitter. By coupling the gargantuan volumes of Twitter data with IBM’s analytics capabilities, organizations have an opportunity to make more informed, accurate, and impactful business decisions.

Technology Breakthroughs

Semiconductors of the Future

2014 was the year IBM promised to invest $3 billion dollars into researching the next generation of semiconductors, projected to be 100,000 times smaller than the width of a human hair. And that’s still not small enough.

As The Street puts it: “Bandwidth to memory, high speed communication and device power consumption are becoming increasingly challenging and critical.”

Pushing past silicon’s limit of seven nanometers with new materials will be top priority for the five year project.

Supercomputer on a Postage Stamp

Wondering when Commander Data from Star Trek: The Next Generation will become a reality?

IBM got a start on it this year with the introduction of the neurosynaptic chip. Dubbed a “stamp-sized supercomputer”, the SyNAPSE chip mimics the interaction of neurons and synapses in the human brain for sensory perception  like movement, light, color, and temperature – with near zero power consumption.

According to IBM Fellow Dharmendra Modha the chip “has the potential to revolutionize the computer industry by integrating brain-like capability into devices where computation is constrained by power and speed.”

World’s Fastest Medical Librarian

IBM and the NY Genome Center began a potentially life-saving collaboration to personalize brain cancer treatment in 2014.

By analyzing gene sequence variations between normal and cancerous biopsies of brain tumors, Watson reviews medical literature and clinical records to help clinicians consider possible treatment options tailored to an individual’s specific case.

IBM Business Partners

The future of IBM innovation

These are just the highlights of a very productive year both on the business front and in the research labs at IBM, underscoring IBM’s important leadership role in building a smarter planet.

IBM Business Partners, as part of the global IBM community, can help your business take advantage of innovation on many levels. To learn about more important innovations from this year, with links to infographics and other thought-provoking materials, visit

Written by IBM BP Network