Yesterday’s mainframes will be tomorrow’s smart phones, according to IBM Canada Lab director Martin Wildberger, who predicts unlimited computing capacity is just around the corner.
Speaking to computer sciences researchers and academics at Tuesday’s IBM-sponsored Centre for Advanced Studies Conference (CASCON) in Toronto, the IBM Canada Ltd. executive pushed the unlimited computing capacity idea and discussed the effects it would have on global organizations and how they do business.
Throughout the year, IBM has continually pushed its “smarter planet” initiative, which looks to prepare companies for a world that is smaller and more economically integrated.
With the globe becoming more digitalized, sensor and RFID technology is starting to become “abundant, pervasive, and ubiquitous,” Wildberger said. At the same time, the world is becoming more interconnected with mobile phones and an increasing online access rate, which has raised the expectations of consumers and continued to force businesses to react more quickly.
With an unlimited amount of data being created and available to Canadian businesses, the ability to actually use it becomes the most important challenge.
In Norway, the country’s largest food manufacturer Nortura is using IBM sensor technologies and InfoSphere traceability tools to monitor food from farms all across the country, through the supply chain, and eventually to the retailer’s shelves.
“When I was in line at Subway recently, the lady in front of me asked the owner whether or not the cold cuts they were using were from Maple Leaf Foods,” which was the source of a fatal listeriosis outbreak last year,Wildberger said. The ability to track such data now has the potential to either make or break your business, he said.
At Airbus S.A.S., the company’s new A380 double-decker jets are being outfitted with a full lounge bar, on-demand video panels, and even on-board showers.
During production, A380 planes are moved to multiple countries across Europe before they reach their final assembly stop in Toulouse, France. Wildberger said that RFID tags are being put on all of the parts, which is especially crucial during the assembly stage.
“(For the A380), it’s like building a house from your closet,” he said. If the wrong container of parts arrives at the top level of the plane, a lot of time and effort can be wasted looking for the right container.