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Buell Duncan, Former VP of Marketing at IBM, Talks Digital Transformation and Barriers to Innovation

Buell Duncan was formerly Vice President of Marketing for IBM’s global software businesses, with four decades of experience in technology and digital transformation. Duncan was a key leader with IBM’s global software business, which encompasses one of the largest providers of cloud infrastructures in the world, and has been working with IBM since the 1980s.

As one of the market’s premier strategic advisors for technology marketing, Duncan offers deep experience in product positioning and partner strategies. Through his long-term immersion in the channel, he has a deep understanding of the challenges faced by MSPs, system integrators, and ISVs working in complicated IT environments. Learn more about Pillir. Connect with Buell here.


In this conversation, Buell Duncan shares his insights on digital transformation, helping companies accelerate the modernization of legacy ERP systems and his role on the advisory board of Pillir.

  • TechFunnel: Why do many organizations talk about digital transformation but find it difficult to make progress and achieve it?

    Buell Duncan: All companies recognize the advantages of digital transformation or modernizing legacy business processes so they can be cloud-ready. Benefits include much faster time-to-market and lower TCO. The end result is having cloud-based applications that can be accessed online, from any location. The challenge is how to get to this point, when your business is so dependent on highly customized, older systems. In fact, many large enterprises are trying to manage and integrate thousands of applications. It’s a long process that can’t be done all at once—especially with the lack of developer skills in the current market.

  • TF: Tell us about your role at Pillir

    BD: Pillir recently established a new Advisory Board, and I’ve signed on as one of those advisors. I’m incredibly impressed with the approach they have taken to modernizing mission-critical ERP applications. Utilizing low-code development to address the complex technical debt at these large companies is a genuine breakthrough. My mission is to get this news to as many of these companies as possible, to help speed digital transformation at the enterprise level. After being at IBM for so long, I’ve seen first-hand how companies are struggling with these complicated IT environments.

  • TF: What is “technical debt” and how can organizations avoid it?

    BD: Technical debt comes in time to almost all enterprise organizations that have accumulated years’, if not decades’ worth of upgrades to custom software environments. It creates overwrought IT environments that have become brittle, prohibitively expensive, and labor-intensive to maintain. That’s technical debt. Although it’s a challenge to avoid, companies can alleviate it by using low-code computing, which automates key parts of this laborious integration process, making the task of modernizing their environments much more manageable and cost-effective.

Originally publish in TechFunnel, read more.

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