HP technology to get from "Ideas to Outcomes"

In my last blog post I talked about the four steps to take us from ideas to outcomes and the way that this will have changed by 2020.

 

In this post, I'd like to look at the technologies that HP is investing in that will help us get to faster, better "ideas to outcomes" in 2020. 

 

As we worked on the Enterprise 2020 vision, we identified many technologies that would either evolve or emerge to become important seven years from now. These include smart devices, sensor arrays, business process modelling tools, SaaS, App Stores, and collaboration tools.

 

Now, HP can't help with all of these, but we believe that are a number of key areas where we have technology that can help today, and that we believe are so important for 2020, that we will continue to invest HP Labs' and division resources in.  These are:

 

  • maximising information
  • allowing you to focus on what really matters
  • applications as a competitive weapon
  • security and privacy

 

Let me look at each of these in turn.

 

four roads to 2020.png

 

Maximising information

By 2020, we will have more information to analyse:

 

  • Today, our transaction recording systems typically generate more information than we are able to store and analyse. By 2020, we will routinely process a much larger amount (i.e. higher definition) of transaction data
  • Everyone predicts the rise of "the Internet of Things" - smart devices and sensor arrays, all generating heaps of data
  • The electronic data we generate to record human interaction will continue to grow - video, voice, Facebook, communities, etc.

 

If we can find a way to process this increased amount of information, and do so in real time, we can then …

 

Suggest insights that humans alone can't see: We are already seeing this with systems that suggest areas of research for pharmaceutical companies based on analysis of research data. This may then allow us to "have ideas" that weren't possible using human analysis alone.


Automatically control the "mega-systems" we create: like the mega-cities of 2020, provided we have real-time data analysis. Or, you could imagine a system that automatically adjusted marketing pricing and promotions around the world based on sales data and customer sentiment for a product. 

 

But all this is predicated upon real-time analysis of masses of data. IDC estimates that the amount of data stored will have increased 44 times over today's levels by 2020. We can't use today's computing hardware architectures to analyse this amount of data in real-time. However, by 2020, new architectures using components like memristors may make such analysis possible.

 

Allowing you to focus on what matters

There are lots of reasons for using cloud. I believe that one of the key reasons people use a cloud service is because it allows them to focus on what they are good at - what differentiates them.

 

Let me illustrate this by way of a story. My local gym is run by a company that owns around ten gyms in the area. They used to manage their own web site and booking system. They recently moved to a hosted web site and a cloud-provided booking system from a leisure management specialist SaaS. I talked to the manager about this. He said they considered using infrastructure as a service but decided, "we are a health and leisure provider. We specialise in making people healthy. We are not an IT or an applications company - if someone else is prepared to do that for us, then that's great - we can focus on what we are good at". 

 

Now, for my local gym, the "let's go to SaaS in the cloud" decision was easy. For large enterprises and government agencies, the decision is more complex. I've written about this a lot so I won't repeat myself. All I'll say is that I believe that a range of cloud services from whole applications, to business process steps, to PaaS and IaaS will all be in the mix for every large enterprise and government agency by 2020. For small and medium businesses, it may be simply a case of choosing a set of SaaS applications, like my gym has done.

 

Applications as a competitive weapon

Great applications beat the competition (i.e. they give you a buyer preference) and they create that elusive "buyer stickiness" ("if Amazon has it, I'll buy it from them"). We wrote a lot about applications in the Dev Center 2020 chapter (the chapter about Application Development). We talked about multi-device apps, about the need to understand customer habits and current state, and the need to frequently and quickly update application functionality - if applications are a competitive weapon, then we can expect our competitors to be using their applications to fight us and so we need to respond quickly when they make a move. 

 

When we think of applications, we mustn't just think of applications that we use on our iPhones or PCs. I believe that applications in smart devices and sensor arrays will be a huge growth opportunity in the next seven years. The latest Consumer Electronics show in Las Vegas really brought this home. It featured a plethora of smart devices for the home and for personal health. These smart devices ("the Internet of Things") will often be connected to back-end cloud services. It's no wonder that General Motors is looking to employ 10,000 more application programmers. 

 

So, by 2020, we'll have applications in smart devices, we'll have "continuous deployment", and we'll have have multi-device applications where context is switched as we move between devices

 

Security and privacy

Lots more smart devices and sensor arrays, all transmitting data. Lots more "juicy", well analysed data being collected on every individual. And billions more people with access to the internet. We thus have an increased attack surface, a more juicy target and a lot more potential criminals who will use hacking to commit crimes

 

Without adaptive security and privacy, so many of the wonderful things promised for 2020 will never work reliably. 

 

We'll also see an increased need to manage privacy of personal information. There is already a backlash against RFID tagging everything. By 2020, there will be many more data privacy laws that we must proveably enforce.

 

In my next post, I'm going to look at a customer whom I believe is already firmly "on the road to 2020", using many of the technologies I've just talked about.

 

Author : Mike Shaw

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About the Author
Mike has been with HP for 30 years. Half of that time was in R&D, mainly as an architect. The other 15 years has been spent in product manag...


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