One of the insights shared in the white paper on 2013 IT priorities for CIOs (from IDG research) was IT executives continue to have insufficient time for innovation. How about taking five minutes to understand the key messages delivered by HP Senior Fellow, Chandrakant Patel in his HP Discover keynote session 30 minutes in 2020?

“People, profit, planet and petadata.” These were the intriguing words with which Patel ended his session in Frankfurt. He explained how HP Labs has been innovating over the years to enable people to process the petadata to realize profits for the planet as a whole. It makes me wonder if the CIO of Planet Earth attended this session!

Let me explain how these words tie back to the content he shared in his session.

Enable people …

Patel characterized the revolution of science and technology across the centuries as follows:

  • 19th Century—Steam Engine

  • 20th Century—Internet

  • 21st Century—Steam Engine on the Internet

Patel says 70 percent of the world is yet to be on the Internet. India alone has a billion people with half a billion cell phones. But the number of Internet connections is only 100 million! IT must innovate to improve the quality of life for people by providing them direct access to information.

… to process petadata

Petadata today grows to Brontodata in 2020. Customers would like to realize the Return on Information from the data generated. CIOs need to look at the lifecycle of the fundamental unit of IT—data. From storage and processing, which prepares data for analysis, to the time when technology can generate meaning, which provides insights that trigger actions to deliver on business outcomes.

.. to realize profits

Patel suggests:

  • Use of renewable energy sources, such as wind power, to reduce the cost of running data centers

  • Use of photonics to transmit data by light (instead of copper) at the chip-, system-, and board-level, to save time and resources

  • Use of nanotechnology to build memristors right on top of microprocessors at subsystem level to save space by multiplying modules on a rack

.. for the planet.

Patel describes how HP Labs is enabling data centers with net-zero energy use by designing them with the least material, and least energy, located at a source where power is generated by solar and wind sources.

Even a month later, Patel’s presentation keeps me wondering: What are some of the forward-thinking technologies enterprises consider as they gear up for 2020? But more important: How will we characterize the technological evolution in the future? As always, I’m eager to hear from you and how you would answer these questions.

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