It is being used on temporary visitor passes - as the day goes by the ink disappears so you or someone else cannot use those credentials the day after. Why not with printed documents so they could be recycled over and over? That is the concept being tested by "garbologists" at Xerox.
I spend much of my time helping CIOs reduce their “utility” spend with large, incumbent vendors and started my Deal Architect blog to focus on efficiencies and savings opportunities. But
the more I work with CIOs the more I realize, for an amazingly new set of economics, they can leverage innovation from many new sources, often from completely unexpected places around the world. While there is so much noise around “consolidation and the death of innovation”
and “IT doesn't matter”. If you cut through the fog and the noise, we
are really in the midst of a revolutionary time. And so I also started to write posts on the blog about innovative CIOs and business applications.
I believe all this innovation deserves its own blog - so I am starting a "spin-off".
This is what Florence must have felt like during the Renaissance with so much happening in so many technology areas:
“Mobile Internet” - see this fascinating presentation by Mary Meeker of Morgan Stanley as she generates renewed excitement this time around the “new Web”
Open Source - when Kleiner Perkins shows excitement, it is usually a pretty solid endorsement for a sector as this BusinessWeek article describes
BPO - a growing recognition in corporations business processes need to be “commoditized” and the wide array of call center, transaction processing and knowledge work that is being done in India and elsewhere
Sensor Telemetry - somewhat high-faluting term used by Accenture to describe all the neat payback companies are seeing from combining RFID, GPS and wireless technologies
Software as a service - the excitement being generated by AppExchange from salesforce.com and the growing understanding of operational and financial success factors for the model
Digital content and new media - the realities of the on-demand, blogging and podcasting world and how Madison Avenue is changing - and changing us along the way
Security and Surveillance: All the stuff from biometrics to other sensors to basic security for fraud detection and intrusion management
I did not even mention web services, mesh networks, collaboration, storage and server technologies and a whole bunch more.
Here’s what’s really exciting. This time “Florence” is virtual. Open
source excitement from Scandinavia, mobile commerce excitement from
Japan, BPO from India. New media in the US. Telemetry payback in
utilities and healthcare. Security payback in financial services and
government. BPO in insurance claims and mortgage processing.
And for a change, many of the technology initiatives do not require 8 or 9 digit budgets.
You see this is why CIOs send me emails like this one ” ..more power to
your elbow in driving out waste and excessive premia in our industry”.
They all want the “innovation dividend” so they can book that trip to the new Florence. Exciting times!
Over the next few weeks, I will be moving many of the innovation
focused posts from the Deal Architect blog .The Deal
Architect blog will continue to focus on technology negotiation,
process efficiencies and reducing “utility” spend. Look forward to your
comments on both blogs.
annual survey of CIOs (1,400 surveyed with average IT budget of $ 71
million and staff of 300 IT employees) shows Business Process
Improvement as the highest priority for 2006. Not surprising based on
comments I got back from a few of them as they read my "process angioplasty" post.
Many of the innovative CIOs I have written about in the last year - Steelcase, Starbucks,
others have focused on mobility, telemetry, predictive analytics,
biometrics and collaboration applications. They have found huge
paybacks from relatively small investments in those areas. Not
surprisingly, those technologies get high priority. While the software
industry keeps hyping up SOA as the silver bullet,
CIOs rated that 6th in importance on technology priority. Another
buzzword "virtualization" shows up 9th.
One of the oldest free Web e-mail services, Hotmail relies on more than
10,000 servers spread around the globe to process billions of e-mail
transactions per day. What’s interesting is that despite this enormous
amount of traffic, Hotmail relies on less than 100 system
administrators to manage it all."
Courtesy of Sadagopan I saw this interview with Phil Smoot, an engineer at Hotmail.
I have complained before that the outsourcing definition of "utility
computing" does not deliver its economies of scale, does not take
advantage of automation - read here.
Phil has to deliver to SLAs which require availability 365x24x7 -
given its global mail users. His price is zero - it is a free service.
And he has some of the most hostile users in the world - spammers. He
has engineered his environment to depend more on automation, rather
If he can do it so can the outsourcing industry. He provides a very good role model for emerging utility computing scenarios.
which has fueled so much of our personal productivity over the last 3
decades is poised to expand in to several "business platforms" - health
care, the digital home and others. As these BusinessWeek and NY Times articles show, the transformation is well under way.
Leonardo da Vinci was the original Renaissance Man because he so effortlessly moved from art to science to urban planning. Intel is poised to be something similar in the new Renaissance.
In keeping with the theme of Florence during the Renaissance,
this is part of a series of posts around what various industry
influencers consider promising - or in some cases over hyped -
technologies. It goes way beyond the current buzz around Web 2.0. Some
technologies/tools are available today - others are still a work in
progress, and applications will take a while to be commericially viable.
Not all may directly influence information technology, but as we know
advances in most branches of science eventually impact others.
I liked the taxonomy ExtremeTech, a Ziff Davis site uses to organize its materials on emerging technologies
3G Networks- The evolution of wireless networks into voice,
video and data.
Bio Chips- Technology inside the body.
Digital Paper- Foldable, persistent electronic displays and
Digital Rights Management- The war over content, and the
rights to use it.
eBooks- Publishing in the electronic age.
Fiber- Last-mile, high-speed broadband.
Fuel Cells- Techniques and implementations of alternative
GPS- Finding your way in the digital age.
Grid Computing- Distributed computing, thousands of servers,
one Web site.
Identity Management - The pros and cons of warehousing
Internet2- How the next-generation Internet is being used.
IPv6 -Tracking the shift toward the complex, next-generation
IP addressing scheme.
LCOS- Liquid Crystal on Silicon technology, displays and
Mesh Networks - How WiFi networks are being tied together
into municipal broadband.
Nanotechnology - Enhancements in science, medicine and
technology at the molecular level.
Organic LEDs - The problems and potentials of low-cost,
Photonic Computing -Computing with light—instead of
RFID -Dog tags for the digital age—the devices and the
Robots - The evolving robot, in automation, medicine, and
RSS -The evolution of content distribution on the Web.
Satellite Radios - Coast-to-coast radio, in your pocket and
Sensors -Without sensors, there is no detection. And with no
detection, there is no control.
Smart Home - How technologies like voice recognition,
Bluetooth, and Z-Wave will automate the home of the future.
Solar Power- How researchers and corporations are using the
sun as an alternative fuel source.
Ultrawideband - From Wireless USB to wireless surround
sound, UWB is leading the way.
VOIP -The handsets, services, and technologies allowing you
to make phone calls over the Internet.
WiMax - Intel has high hopes that this will replace DSL and
cable broadband. We’ll tell you if it will.
Zigbee -Making sense of this cool-sounding technology for
unwiring home automation.
This is part of a series of posts around what various industry
influencers consider promising - or in some cases ove rhyped -
technologies. It goes way beyond the current buzz around Web 2.0. Some
technologies/tools are available today - others are still a work in
progress, and applications will take a while to be commericially
viable Not all may directly influence information technology, but as
we know advances in most branches of science eventually impact others.
Airborne Networks - An Internet in the sky could let planes fly safely without ground controllers Quantum Wires - Wires spun from carbon nanotubes could carry electricity farther and more efficiently Silicon Photonics - Making the material of computer chips emit light could speed data flow Metabolomics -A new diagnostic tool could mean spotting diseases earlier and more easily Magnetic-Resonance Force Microsocpy: The promise is a 3-D view of the molecular world Universal memory: Nanotubes make possible ultradense data storage Bacterial Factories: Overhauling a microbe’s metabolism could yield a cheap malaria drug Enviromatics: Computer forecasts enhance farm production and species diversity. Cell phone viruses: Wireless devices catch bad code through the air and then infect supposedly secure computer systems Biomechatronics:
Mating robotics with the nervous system creates a new generation of
artificial limbs that work like the real thing.
Living in Florida is usually wonderful - but the price is the
occasional hurricane. In recent years make that frequent hurricanes.
One of the most commonly visited web page in our household shows
National Hurricane Center's 3 day "cone" -
projected path updated 4 times a day of every major tropical storm
brewing . The technology that goes in to this simple looking diagram is
amazingly complex, as I describe below.
While Florida may seem a magnet for hurricanes, they are a global
phenomenon (called typhoons and cyclones elsewhere). The wind, rain and
tornadoes they bring are deadly and they are costly. Cat-5,
a term most technology geeks relate to, is disaster to a meteorologist.
While we cannot begin to offset these natural monsters (National Geographic's
August issue has a feature story on hurricanes), technology is helping
track them, telling us when to board up or evacuate and then recover
from their damage.
Weather Satellites, Doppler Radar, recon planes (the "Hurricane Hunters") and dropsondes
all feed raw data on hurricanes. I hate flying through normal
turbulence - I cannot begin to imagine what the recon aircraft go
through especially as they approach the "eyewall". It has been described as "riding
in a big semi going 90 miles an hour down a windy,
bumpy dirt road in the desert at night, with the headlights turned
off". God bless these brave souls. Credit also to the humble
dropsonde whose only purpose in its short life is to parachute its way
through these storms and transmit temperature, pressure, moisture and
other data. This raw data about the hurricane feeds supercomputers which work the tracking models. That is a plural. There are statistical, baroclinic and other models, sometimes contradictory on where the hurricane will likely make landfall. The National Weather Service computers can process 1.3 trillion calculations per second - and still struggle to make accurate forecasts. But they keep getting better each year.
Closer to where a hurricane makes landfall, local authorities use visualization and GIS technology to decide on evacuations and other responses. Local TV and radio stations are increasingly equipped with their own Doppler, PDAs, weather vans and other technology to allow their reporters and weather staff to provide localized alerts
and information. The national traffic grid - affected by weather even
in normal times - gears in to major action ( if you fly often see this
fascinating report on weather impact
on air travel space management). Airlines use their own technologies to
re-route equipment, re-book passengers, communicate to passengers via
their web sites, email, automated voice messages, alerts to cell phones
Once a hurricane strikes, FEMA kicks in to action using NEMIS
to track claims and disbursements and other emergency information.
Power outages are a common problem with hurricanes. Utilities are using
technologies to detect where problems in their grid lie, and also to better communicate with uncomfortable customers without electricity. Insurance companies trying to expedite disaster claims
have equipped their catastrophe field adjuster with a laptop computer
with wireless modem cards, digital camera to take and transmit pictures
electronic files; and cell phones to make appointments and transmit
claims data. Remember, many of them are working in places with no power.
Which brings us to disaster recovery and business continuity plans the average CIO puts in place. But it is better to plan for the extraordinary as Jim Desjarlais, IT Manager at Lee County found out last year with Hurricane Charley.
Then there is technology to cope with household
emergencies. We lost power for a couple of days during each hurricane
last year. The kids borrowed my laptop and used it as a DVD player and
used my APC DC to AC inverter to power the battery in the air-conditioned theater and hotel room our van got converted into . Technology to the rescue!
Talking about kids, they always want to know why
hurricanes are named Ivan or Katrina. If you are curious about whether
there is an order to male, female, Latin, Polynesian or other names
check this out.
You will notice that the 12th hurricane in 2009 in the Atlantic zone
will be named Larry. If it comes anywhere near land SAP, IBM and
Microsoft customers better have elaborate disaster recovery plans in
Author's Note: I started writing the
blog on Thursday when Katrina was a Category 1 Hurricane targeting
Florida. This evening it has grown to a Category 5 threatening New
Orleans. The tracking technologies have worked and millions have been
evacuated. However, this is only our 4th Cat-5 hurricane this century
and New Orleans is already under sea level and has some very old
structures. Also a number of oil rigs and refineries in that area may
be threatened. Hopefully the Saints are watching over New Orleans and
the Gulf Coast tonight. Tomorrow on technology will again help in the
recovery. Link here to CNN's Miles O'Brien's blog as he battens the hatches in Louisiana.
Another Note: BusinessWeek has a nice article in its Jan 16, 2006 issue about technologies used to forecast hurricanes - especially longer term forecasts.