IEEE had an article D-Wave's Quantum Computing Claim Gets Boost in Testing that looked into D-Wave’s claims of having a quantum computer that companies can buy. Organizations like Google are buying and NASA has committed to some testing on the Google system, so it is clear there is some momentum behind what they sell. The tests are showing that a different kind of computing is involved that is useful for certain kinds of optimization and security related problems.
Although it is unlikely that quantum computers will be hitting the mainstream business computing market in the foreseeable future, there are some industries (like logistics and energy management) where they could prove useful sooner than others. This technology is something organizations should be aware of, even if it will not be useful for years in their area, since the approach is so radically different.
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.
Recently, I’ve been working with our executive briefing folks and a number of others on megatrends – the industry independent trends that will shape our lives in the future and their effect on business decision making. These will naturally shape how technology is consumed as well.
In the process, a number of meta-drivers fell out that may shape the megatrends. Yes, this is turning into a convoluted network of interactions and that is why some models to assess these interactions are so important. These categories for these meta-drivers seemed to be:
- Engagement – this is what drives social, concepts like flow and maybe even the Internet of Things
- Simplicity – addressing the limitations of our ability to consume
- Efficiency – this embraces the concept of abundance and scarcity
- Flexibility – the need to adjust quickly (probably the sustained driving factor for cloud techniques)
- Security – we all know about this, if you don’t feel safe almost nothing else matters
- Visibility – the need for contextual understanding in order to act (one of the reasons for the current focus on Big Data)
Are these too simple? What have I left out?? It surprised me how old some of the links I identified were to link to this post.
It seems like many of our decisions could use an indicator showing how they increase or decrease these categories. We could use this as part of defining our expectations.
How many times do we make decisions that increase security but radically decrease flexibility or visibility, for example? You hear that discussion about our personal as well as our business lives today.
This week I had the opportunity to attend one of Leon Kappelman’s classes at the University of North Texas to participate in interactions with students about their senior project/presentation. The teams of students were covering a number of topics like BYOD, Cloud adoption, Biometric based security… All topics where I felt fairly comfortable.
One presentation was focused on Data Management in the Age of Big Data and they had one concept well understood that many analysts miss.
The opportunity for better decision making.
The team focused on 5 key issues. The lack of:
- Data Governance
- Data Quality standards and management
- Data Architecture and Security
- Operations support
- Business buy-in
We had quite a discussion about the business buy-in issue, since we needed them to explain why it would get this far without buy-in but they explained that the issue orbited around business culture and the implications advanced analytic techniques would have on the culture.
I was happy to see these students internalized these concepts, and hope the organizations they move into after graduation are ready for their perspective.
I was thinking about writing a post about the history of HP Discover, but realized that most within IT are actually more worried about the future than interested in the past.
The IT industry behavior is definitely changing. We’re moving from a focus on cost savings and RFP driven engagements between companies and suppliers into an environment that is more consumption-based. Where nearly anything in IT can be purchased “as-a-service”. This allows for a much more business-led approach, focused on business value generation, yet with a demand for a relatively short return on investment. This leads to many asking for advice on what they should do or just a level-set on what is actually happening and what others are doing.
HP Discover 2013 in Las Vegas is an opportunity to interact with others and see where HP is focusing its efforts. If you want to see what it is like, you can see highlights from Discover Frankfurt in 2012. Or visit the full HP Discover Session Catalog to see where HP Discover 2013 is focused and the sessions that matters most to you and your business.
There is even a blogging community developing where you can get the inside scoop - Buzz
Four of the big trends organizations want to know more about today are: mobility, analytics, cloud services (flexible resource acquisition) and security. All of these will be covered by multiple sessions from multiple perspectives. Nadhan put out a post the other day on how CIOs can get their priorities right at HP Discover 2013 in Vegas , the approach he descibesmay also be of interest.
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