The Next Big Thing
Posts about next generation technologies and their effect on business.

A bit more on strategy and change

 

questionsandanswers.jpgI got a note that my previous post on strategy and change was a bit too terse. I made assumptions that people understood my references. Since that post was an excerpt from one slide of a longer presentation, I may not have given enough context to understand the bullets. I’ll take another crack at providing context (through links). Hopefully between the two posts, I can answer the questions and get the points across.

 

  • Many of the factors that enable change are predictable – in the presentation I talk about how there are laws like Moore’s law (and a number of others) that can be used to predict what the future will be like. People can think about their corporate goals, investment plans and other drivers as well as the timeframe for investment… and extrapolate out the types of technology that should be available and what it might mean. This may shift how the change can be implemented.

  • Scarcity affects value – Too often organizations behave like what is valued for its scarcity will still be true in the future, or that what constrains us from generating value a certain way will still be constraining going forward. Most of the IT systems currently in production were based on a scarcity model – the assumptions their design was based on may no longer be true. Data is not going to be scarce in the future, but the business context described by the data may still be. The attention of the employees most certainly will be scarce. If we need to consume more (of what’s abundant) to generate even more value from what's scarce – that is not a bad thing.

  • The rate of change and transformation is increasing – There are many different forces pushing businesses to change and adapt. These will be enabled by IT and essentially add fuel to the fire. We need to stop thinking of change as a periodic disruption of the status quo and instead see it as a river of change. It may go slower or faster, but it doesn’t stop. We need to be flexible and adapt and generate energy from it, not try to hold it back. We need to automate action as well as improve interaction.

  • The increasing digitization not a replacement for today’s processes and systems – Systems of record (e.g., ERP) are still going to be important. They record the transactions that keep a business running. We can surround them with better interfaces and automation, but don’t think that everything can be replaced with whole new concepts. They may be on new platforms… but we still need to keep records.

  • Social influence is beyond the control of any individual ecosystem – This was focused on newer methods to take advantage of social -- techniques like gamification or crowdsourcing that tap into the power of others need to be part of our toolkit.

I try to keep these posts short, but fortunately there is always an opportunity for another one.

 

HP ConvergedSystem 100 for Hosted Desktops

moonshot.jpgOne thing I am always looking for from a conference like HP Discover are products that might be underappreciated at first glance. The ConvergedSystem 100 may be one.

 

A while back HP came out with Moonshot. This massive application of computing capability was significantly cooler and more efficient than other options in the marketplace. It had one big issue, commercial software vendors didn’t have a licensing model that aligned with the number of cores this box could bring to bear on a problem. So for most organizations, the choices were to either write the software yourself, or use open source.

 

Now there is a solution that takes advantage of the cartridge approach used in Moonshot to tackle a problem that many organization have. The need for a low cost, no compromise PC experience. This solution (with the m700 cartridge) provides up to 6x faster graphics frames per second than similar solutions, up to 90% faster deployment (e.g., up and running in about 2 hours with Citrix XenDesktop and no SAN or virtualization layer to complicate things). It also has 44% better total cost of ownership, while consuming 63% less power.

 

You combine that with the HP t410 All-in-One, power over Ethernet thin-client solution and there are some real power savings and flexibility possibilities. 

Stanene – a new material for high performance computing?

graphene.jpgLike many, I am taking most of this week off as vacation. But I did come across one surprising article that I had to comment on. I’ve mentioned before the future and impact of graphene. Now, the two-dimensional trend is taking a look at Tin (Stanene).

 

This material could “increase the speed and lower the power needs of future generations of computer chips, if our prediction is confirmed by experiments that are underway in several laboratories around the world,” said team leader Shoucheng Zhang, a physics professor at Stanford and the Stanford Institute for Materials and Energy Sciences (SIMES), a joint institute with SLAC.

 

What is interesting is the possibility of 100% electrical efficiency at temperatures up to 100 degrees Celsius.

 

Starting to feel like I am reading about Flatland.

Largest commercial research supercomputer opened in Houston

data and oil.jpgBP opened a computing center last month that is home to the largest supercomputer for commercial research in the world. The three-story, 110,000-square foot facility on BP’s west Houston campus houses over 5,400 HP ProLiant SL230s servers (totaling over 100k cores). The computing center implements advanced cooling methods that use 30 percent less energy than BP’s previous computing center.

 

 

Computer modeling and simulation have played a significant role in the current oil boom, helping geophysicists find and analyze underground reserves faster, giving them clear pictures of underground areas than they have ever had before. This reduces the risk associated with oil exploration.

 

Similar techniques will expand into other industries that have massive amounts of data where proven patterns mean the difference between profitability and a dry hole.

Labels: energy| Simulation

Energy awareness month -- IT's role

energy.GIFOctober is energy awareness month. One way to estimate your impact on energy consumption is to use a Carbon Footprint Calculator.

 

Another is to look at the applications in your business and estimate their watts consumed vs. value generated, as well as the infrastructure required to support those apps. That post focuses on the long lever an apps modernization effort can have whether the scarce resource is time, $$ or watts – you need to take a strategic view.

 

It is easy to forget that our systems build up layer-upon-layer – essentially turning into a monument to our success that can weigh us down. To be agile and efficient means that we need to throw off some deadweight on a regular basis, no matter how fond we are of it.

 

Maybe that is one of the reasons CIOs turn over so often, it allows the new person in the role to reassess the investments of budget impacts of past decisions. Afterall IT was brought into companies to make their business more efficient, transparent and effective.

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About the Author(s)
  • Steve Simske is an HP Fellow and Director in the Printing and Content Delivery Lab in Hewlett-Packard Labs, and is the Director and Chief Technologist for the HP Labs Security Printing and Imaging program.
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