IBM draws up

The roadmap of Hong Kong’s IT future is gridded, said Cordelia Chung, general manager for IBM China/Hong Kong Ltd, at a press conference today to announce their strategic technology roadmap that, claimed the firm, will help “drive Hong Kong’s future success as the most globalized and prosperous city in Asia.”

Chung called for Hong Kong organizations-public and private, large and small-to get behind IBM’s vision of Community Computing for Hong Kong, or risk losing out to more proactive countries. The Community Computing concept is an extension of grid computing, which treats computing power much as a utility similar to electricity or water, a metaphor that has become popular with vendors-like IBM-dedicated to open standards and common protocols.

“I believe Hong Kong already has the key essentials in place,” declared Chung. “Technology here is already mature; government and institutions must grasp it and act on it.” She likened the grid concept to an enhanced version of an interlinked computer network already well known, the Internet.

“Taking the lessons we learned from integrating millions of networks into a single, mega-network-the Internet-we can now move to the next level, turning the Internet in Hong Kong into a single, giant computing platform known simply as The Grid,” said IBM Hong Kong in a statement. “Computing power, databases and applications will connect to The Grid using open and well-accepted standards, and because these standards are open and freely available, any other applications will be able to connect and share not only information, but workflow and business processes as well.”

IBM’s vision for grid computing in Hong Kong takes the form of a Community Computing model that aims at reducing future IT investment costs while simultaneously enhancing efficiency through “more rational distribution of powerful computing resources.” “Community Computing is an innovation,” said Chung, “not an invention.”

Chung pointed out that while grid computing is making headway in other countries, Hong Kong has an advantage via its healthy broadband penetration rate. “Broadband is the ‘last mile’,” noted Chung. “If Hong Kong doesn’t adopt Community Computing,” said Chung, “we become a follower and not a leader.”