I recently saw an article on Google testing Internet connectivity via balloons in the stratosphere. Project Loon is taking the concept of low earth orbit satellites and moving them even closer, taking out latency.
Last week, Google (more specifically Google X – their research arm) launched 30 high-altitude balloons above the Canterbury area of New Zealand as part of a pilot. I heard that there will be some interesting pictures coming up in a future issue of Wired as well.
There are still many parts of the earth where it can be impossible to get high speed Internet connection. Since Google wants to increase the access and use of the Internet (increasing their revenue) it makes sense that they would invest in something like this that governments find a bit too remote and expensive. Any business that has sites in remote locations like mines, ranches… will likely see benefits if the project takes root.
Lately, I’ve been a number of conversations with people about the strategic use of technologies. I mentioned the criteria I use to evaluate trends and technologies. We then typically get into a discussion about the difference in impact between some of the technologies that are much discussed today and how the tactical use differs from the strategic use.
- Analytics – Although you may need to gather more data and keep it longer, there is not enough attention space to sustain the effort unless you simplify, automate and focus attention only on what needs human involvement. Time to action/decisions has to be the measure of impact.
- Cloud – Although it may reduce costs in certain circumstances, the strategic impact of cloud techniques (whether it is infrastructure, processes or people) is to increase flexibility. If through the use of cloud techniques you end up increasing the flexibility, it cannot be sustained.
- Mobility – The mobility strategy for a business has to focus on improving the access to corporate information and reducing the latency in the decision-making process. If the focus remains on the devices, it will also fail.
These current technology directions (and others) have a strategic side and a tactical manifestation – make sure you know what is important to your business over the long haul when creating your plan of attack. If you want to reach the top you still go up one step at a time, but it is easy to lose sight of the goal along the way. Identify the metrics to measure progress and then measure the impact along the way and make adjustments.
When I was writing this post I felt it was a bit risky, since these technologies are viewed as so important today. The real point of the post is to view them strategically and not just a buzzword or fad. This tactical approach may be the reason that for some organizations, innovation is not working out.
The WSJ had an article titled: Germany to Tap Brakes On High-Speed Trading, which describes a legislative response to the disruptive technologies associated with automating normal. Computing systems are great at repetitively executing a task once it is known what needs to be done. High speed trading is just another example of that.
The proposed legislation seeks to require traders to register with Germany’s Federal Financial Supervisory Authority, collect fees from those who use high-speed trading systems excessively, and force stock markets to install circuit breakers that can interrupt trading if a problem is detected.
Since significant money is involved, it is only natural for this disruptive change to be viewed negatively. That doesn’t mean that it will not be a standard tool for traders in the very near future. I view it just like the situation with jet fighters today. The desire is that they are very maneuverable, so they are designed to be inherently unstable and computer models are used to enable controlled flight. In today’s most advanced fighters, people can’t fly the plane; we just don’t have the reaction time. People fly the models and the models fly the plane.
This seems to be a case where we’re locking the door after the horse already left the barn.
I just heard of a new beta HP software service called Agile Manager. In beta through November 30, 2012.
HP Agile Manager is a SaaS-based solution for organizing, planning and executing agile projects. It is purpose-built and designed specifically to serve agile teams. It leverages a native cloud architecture for instant-on access and boasts a clean, intuitive design offering technology innovations that minimize latency, aids the adoption of agile practices and fosters continuous improvement. There is even an Agile Manager support community to collaborate with others learning about the service.
Some key features:
- Advanced visualization for easy planning, task allocation, and capacity management
- Comprehensive analytics and real-time visibility into code, quality, and progress
- Seamless IDE integration so developers can work in the environment they prefer
- Insight across projects, teams, and geographies to successfully scale agile efforts
I’ve not had my hands on it yet myself, but it does sound interesting, since I’ve been using agile techniques since long before the term agile was applied to software development.
A few months back I wrote a post about an HP e-zine focused on the healthcare and life sciences, then there was one on Finance and Accounting. I just received a new one focused on Oil & Gas. The articles included in this issue are:
- Five trends shaping the future of oil and gas
- Exploit sensor data for real-time decision-making
- Three critical enablers supporting the industry’s future
- Master big data to optimize the oil and gas lifecycle
- Pump up efficiency with mobility
- Once more unto the breach: Comprehensive security in the digital age
- Considering the cloud?
These focus on how organizations can use the abundance of capabilities that exist today to shift the value equation in the Oil & Gas space. The capabilities of mobility, beyond just a mobile phone but including all the sensing capabilities that exist at the edge of the enterprise, combined with the analytics available today can radically shift the understanding of what is taking place today as well as reduce the latency for the enterprise to respond to what has happened or even predict what will happen.
All of these industry focused activities are part of a larger effort to discuss the future use of technology. You can let your voice be heard on the Enterprise 20/20 project -- where these ideas and many others about the future enterprise are discussed.