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I see lots of dialogue about how new technologies can boost productivity, help with fiscal transparency and solve problems in business.  But I also believe society has an opportunity to make the world run better through a convergence of new advances in technologies like in-memory computing, analytics and mobility like never before.

 

So what gives us the opportunity to think about new ways to make the world run better?  The answer lies in recent innovations with hardware, software and mobility technology.  On the hardware side, computing speed continues to increase and price to performance is much lower than the past.   Massive parallelism, scalability and throughput speed are now at our disposal. At the same time software has been developed to take advantage of these hardware advances by using a unique combination of approaches including columnar databases, compression, and parallelization of queries to optimize data access and processing.  We now can perform complex calculations on real-time data, without pre-calculating aggregates or building custom reporting repositories. Additionally, the potential for high-value mobilization across the community is tremendous. Mobile technology solutions can now orchestrate data from any source and deliver it onto heterogeneous devices that operate on multiple networks and operating systems to stakeholders at all levels.

 

Allow me to give you a couple examples of what I think could be accomplished leveraging the convergence of these new capabilities.  

 

Unlocking gridlock – Doesn’t seem like a huge societal problem but multiple metropolitan areas around the world face livability and pollution issues.   I avoid the roads as much as possible here in the Washington DC area because road infrastructure has been unable to keep pace with new commercial and residential construction.   The result is not pretty. Excessive drive times have damaged both the economy and quality of life.  But what if we used a complex event processing to monitor large, dynamic data volumes via sensors on the highways and/or GPS signals from cars to truly incorporate real-time traffic speeds by location.  By leveraging analytics for deeper interrogation of large, dynamic data volumes to include construction, road closure and accident information we could model alternate routes and push out notifications to mobile subscribers.  Additionally, we could utilize unstructured data feeds from social media sites to determine which bottlenecks on the roads are most painful or dangerous.

 

Improving safety and health – What if we could quickly respond to emerging threats to health by scanning massive amounts of data from structured transactional data, sensor feeds and unstructured data feeds as they happen. We could instantly detect the spread of infectious diseases or unsafe medical devices by detecting adverse events to immediately alert health professionals. 

 

I can think of multiple opportunities to solve problems around the world from improving airline passenger safety through real time detection of non-functioning parts on aircraft to analyzing real time unstructured texts from citizens during natural disasters to coordinate resources for a more focused search for citizens.

 

Let’s start the dialogue now so we can together help our world run better.  What use do you think could be accomplished by leveraging the convergence of in-memory computing, analytics and mobility to help the world run better?

 

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