Intersecting waves of technology are converging: Cloud computing, massive parallel processing, distributed file systems like Hadoop, dynamic provisioning to the cloud, embedded computing, open mobile platforms and APIs, and semantic publishing, to cite just a few. Patty’s Pioneers (technology architects) have been talking recently about how these phenomena will profoundly change the way we do business, use computers and address problems. We already have the ability to send huge volumes of information to the compute cloud to perform long-running, compute-intensive pattern detection. Google works that way. The genome project and many other scientific endeavors are enabled by this capability. You can solve BIG problems. You can offload bursty, compute-intensive applications. You can enable new capabilities like high-frequency trading.
Information, data types, and file formats are changing too. Scientific and technical data isn’t always organized in relational databases or spreadsheets. There are huge flat files, analog files, arrays, sequences, 3D models, and a myriad of data types and patterns that most business IT was never designed to address. We are sensing and detecting real-time changes in everything from weather to ocean pH. We perform chemical analyses, create molecular models, and find interrelationships among everything. We have massive amounts of genetic sequence data, with genome browsers, model organism databases, molecule- or process-specific databases.
Information that we want to share and have customers find and use is increasingly being tagged to accelerate semantic processing. Many of Patty’s Visionaries (customer-centric e-business leaders) have already embarked on large semantic tagging projects. They are convinced that, in their fields of endeavor, important concepts need to pop out of the sea of words and data so that these concepts can be linked to the appropriate behaviors and services. A company name came be linked to news, financial data, personnel information, products, patents, geography, partners, and customers. A chemical formula or a gene sequence can be linked, viewed, and acted upon with a staggering array of tools.
This next generation of distributed computing and pattern matching will unleash a new economy – with new opportunities for value creation.
As I contemplate the tremendous and revolutionary changes that will hit all of our businesses as a result of the new ways in which we can now detect patterns and process information, I am grateful for the magic of the human brain. Our intuition and emotions combine with our sense-making and pattern matching to make magical leaps across disciplines.
This next generation of computing architectures is upon us. It’s time to take the plunge. Say goodbye to Microsoft Word, say hello to N-dimensional arrays and patterns. Say goodbye to PDAs and laptops. Say hello to holograms you can gesture through.