|By Roger Strukhoff||
|November 11, 2010 08:42 AM EST||
As I wrote recently, our political and entertainment leaders have, in essence, no clue about technology. They'll know what a Blackberry is and what iApple devices are, and one or two of them may have even successfully set up an email account on their laptop. But it's not their core competency; I've always imagined that the late Sen. Ted Stevens was among the more savvy members of Congress, and I continue to view Larry Ellison's appearance on Oprah as the strangest pairing since Richard Nixon and Elvis.
Oh, it's neat that the federal government has an official CIO, Vivek Kundra, and that he has been tasked with spending at least a little money on Cloud experimentation.
Another point of light was provided by a recent CTO Forum held in Washington that featured Sens. Mark Warner and Susan Collins, two of the more enlightened members of the august body. But even they felt compelled to focus on cybersecurity, cybersecurity, and cybersecurity--in other words, on what people can do to Cloud Computing rather than what Cloud Computing can do for people.
A Little Help!
But generally speaking, we need to help these folks see the light when it comes to IT.
And apparently, we also need to help them see the light when it comes to economics.
I am speaking here of "QE2," or quantitative easing, a recent effort by the Federal Reserve Bank to, in essence, print up $600 billion in new money, apparently just because it can. (Print that out in $100 bills, lay them end-to-end, and they would stretch to the moon and back, then take four laps around the Earth for good measure.)
The Fed already did this sort of thing last year (thus, the "2" in QE2). The idea is to drive interest rates down so that folks can just borrow all sorts of money to buy things (like houses and cars) again, and so companies can borrow all sorts of money to invest in all the stuff that folks will buy.
Crock is the Nicest Word I Can Find
This idea is, simply, a crock.
Americans are now "deleveraging," ie, trying to get rid of their credit card debt, as fast as they can. The last thing they want is more debt. And even if they wanted to buy a new house, banks won't lend to most of them. The banks do have millions of foreclosed properties on their hands, but clearly don't want to sell those houses until the cavalry (the Feds) comes riding in again and take all of those crappy, toxic home loans off their hands. No fault of theirs, in their opinion, that they've been supremely hurried, arrogant, and incompetent in amassing said foreclosures.
Meanwhile, businesses are sitting on an estimated $1 trillion in cash, not wishing to invest to produce something that they know they can't sell.
This is what will transpire: the increased, unwanted cash will just weaken the dollar further and give no one an incentive to invest in the American economy. Oh sure, there will always be currency speculators around the edges who will try to make a quick buck by buying up weak dollars when they things have bottomed out, but this is a fool's game.
History will probably prove the Fed right about its first round of QE. Credit markets were iced over, frozen solid. But no more. The second round is a big, big mistake. Nobody's going to invest seriously in the US economy until its leaders show some confidence. Raising rates would be the precise type of chutzpah that's needed. Traveling to India to beg for business would not be what's needed.
Should the Fed suddenly decide to do what appears to it as the contrary thing, ie, start to raise interest rates, it will signal a stronger and more confident America. This is what the world needs. It is pathetic now that the Obama administration is counting on a weak dollar to make American products and services cheaper, so that people in places like China, India, Brazil, and Indonesia will buy them.
Well, It Didn't Happen Overnight
But what does the US export? Not much, despite protestations that's it's still a leading producer of valued goods and services. Get away from planes and weapons, food, entertainment, and travel, and what do you have?
Software and iPads, to be sure, but how price-sensitive are they? How can software that's stolen be price-sensitive anyway? And trust me, from what I've seen in the developing world, people are forgoing food and clothes to get their hands on the latest Apple gadgets. I'm not commenting on whether this is a good thing or a bad thing, but price is not the main issue.
So, what is price sensitive? Boeing 747s? Missiles and satellites? List price isn't the key part of the deal with these things.
Will people from Europe or Asia put off that vacation to the US if it suddenly becomes a little more expensive? I don't think so. Will they stop watching the latest Hollywood chick flicks and action adventures because the price goes up 25 cents? (Note: you can buy a ticket to see an American for $2 to $3 in many developing countries.)
Will a stronger dollar hurt food exports, another big area for the US? Hmm, since price subsidies already make this a problematic issue, I'm going to say no.
Time to Wake Up!
In addition to believing in the fantasy that a weaker dollar will spur an increase in US exports and restore the US economy to its glory days, the Obama administration is also seemingly unaware of the tremendous ill will it is generating worldwide. It can blame China's tradition of currency manipulation all it wants; what people see, from the street-level view to the highest levels of government, are alarming increases in the value of their local currencies.
This trend that does, in fact, have the potential of killing off economic progress in developing nations. Leaders from South Africa, Brazil, and throughout Southeast Asia are very, very concerned about this. The potential damage is also of high concern to resource-rich nations such as Australia, Canada, South Africa (again), and Russia.
Cloud Computing productivity is, as I've written many times before and will write again, the key to restoring the global economy on a sound footing. But even its wonders will not be able to trump disastrous moves like the one the Fed, with the full support of the Obama administration, is making now.
The Fed, by adding even more cash into an economy that doesn't want it in this form, is doing the exact opposite of what it should be doing. Its leaders are acting like confused pilots who pull on the yoke when the plane stalls, instead of pushing it so that the plane picks up speed and regains power. Stop pulling on that lever, Ben!
"We build IoT infrastructure products - when you have to integrate different devices, different systems and cloud you have to build an application to do that but we eliminate the need to build an application. Our products can integrate any device, any system, any cloud regardless of protocol," explained Peter Jung, Chief Product Officer at Pulzze Systems, in this SYS-CON.tv interview at @ThingsExpo, held November 1-3, 2016, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA.
Dec. 4, 2016 02:15 AM EST Reads: 841
"Once customers get a year into their IoT deployments, they start to realize that they may have been shortsighted in the ways they built out their deployment and the key thing I see a lot of people looking at is - how can I take equipment data, pull it back in an IoT solution and show it in a dashboard," stated Dave McCarthy, Director of Products at Bsquare Corporation, in this SYS-CON.tv interview at @ThingsExpo, held November 1-3, 2016, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA.
Dec. 3, 2016 11:00 PM EST Reads: 953
The cloud promises new levels of agility and cost-savings for Big Data, data warehousing and analytics. But it’s challenging to understand all the options – from IaaS and PaaS to newer services like HaaS (Hadoop as a Service) and BDaaS (Big Data as a Service). In her session at @BigDataExpo at @ThingsExpo, Hannah Smalltree, a director at Cazena, provided an educational overview of emerging “as-a-service” options for Big Data in the cloud. This is critical background for IT and data professionals...
Dec. 3, 2016 11:00 PM EST Reads: 4,142
Fact is, enterprises have significant legacy voice infrastructure that’s costly to replace with pure IP solutions. How can we bring this analog infrastructure into our shiny new cloud applications? There are proven methods to bind both legacy voice applications and traditional PSTN audio into cloud-based applications and services at a carrier scale. Some of the most successful implementations leverage WebRTC, WebSockets, SIP and other open source technologies. In his session at @ThingsExpo, Da...
Dec. 3, 2016 09:30 PM EST Reads: 1,602
As data explodes in quantity, importance and from new sources, the need for managing and protecting data residing across physical, virtual, and cloud environments grow with it. Managing data includes protecting it, indexing and classifying it for true, long-term management, compliance and E-Discovery. Commvault can ensure this with a single pane of glass solution – whether in a private cloud, a Service Provider delivered public cloud or a hybrid cloud environment – across the heterogeneous enter...
Dec. 3, 2016 06:15 PM EST Reads: 1,515
"IoT is going to be a huge industry with a lot of value for end users, for industries, for consumers, for manufacturers. How can we use cloud to effectively manage IoT applications," stated Ian Khan, Innovation & Marketing Manager at Solgeniakhela, in this SYS-CON.tv interview at @ThingsExpo, held November 3-5, 2015, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA.
Dec. 3, 2016 05:30 PM EST Reads: 4,047
@GonzalezCarmen has been ranked the Number One Influencer and @ThingsExpo has been named the Number One Brand in the “M2M 2016: Top 100 Influencers and Brands” by Onalytica. Onalytica analyzed tweets over the last 6 months mentioning the keywords M2M OR “Machine to Machine.” They then identified the top 100 most influential brands and individuals leading the discussion on Twitter.
Dec. 3, 2016 05:15 PM EST Reads: 2,004
Today we can collect lots and lots of performance data. We build beautiful dashboards and even have fancy query languages to access and transform the data. Still performance data is a secret language only a couple of people understand. The more business becomes digital the more stakeholders are interested in this data including how it relates to business. Some of these people have never used a monitoring tool before. They have a question on their mind like “How is my application doing” but no id...
Dec. 3, 2016 05:15 PM EST Reads: 2,139
Information technology is an industry that has always experienced change, and the dramatic change sweeping across the industry today could not be truthfully described as the first time we've seen such widespread change impacting customer investments. However, the rate of the change, and the potential outcomes from today's digital transformation has the distinct potential to separate the industry into two camps: Organizations that see the change coming, embrace it, and successful leverage it; and...
Dec. 3, 2016 03:15 PM EST Reads: 3,227
The Internet of Things (IoT) promises to simplify and streamline our lives by automating routine tasks that distract us from our goals. This promise is based on the ubiquitous deployment of smart, connected devices that link everything from industrial control systems to automobiles to refrigerators. Unfortunately, comparatively few of the devices currently deployed have been developed with an eye toward security, and as the DDoS attacks of late October 2016 have demonstrated, this oversight can ...
Dec. 3, 2016 02:45 PM EST Reads: 719
Extracting business value from Internet of Things (IoT) data doesn’t happen overnight. There are several requirements that must be satisfied, including IoT device enablement, data analysis, real-time detection of complex events and automated orchestration of actions. Unfortunately, too many companies fall short in achieving their business goals by implementing incomplete solutions or not focusing on tangible use cases. In his general session at @ThingsExpo, Dave McCarthy, Director of Products...
Dec. 3, 2016 02:45 PM EST Reads: 533
Machine Learning helps make complex systems more efficient. By applying advanced Machine Learning techniques such as Cognitive Fingerprinting, wind project operators can utilize these tools to learn from collected data, detect regular patterns, and optimize their own operations. In his session at 18th Cloud Expo, Stuart Gillen, Director of Business Development at SparkCognition, discussed how research has demonstrated the value of Machine Learning in delivering next generation analytics to impr...
Dec. 3, 2016 02:15 PM EST Reads: 6,960
More and more brands have jumped on the IoT bandwagon. We have an excess of wearables – activity trackers, smartwatches, smart glasses and sneakers, and more that track seemingly endless datapoints. However, most consumers have no idea what “IoT” means. Creating more wearables that track data shouldn't be the aim of brands; delivering meaningful, tangible relevance to their users should be. We're in a period in which the IoT pendulum is still swinging. Initially, it swung toward "smart for smar...
Dec. 3, 2016 02:00 PM EST Reads: 488
20th Cloud Expo, taking place June 6-8, 2017, at the Javits Center in New York City, NY, will feature technical sessions from a rock star conference faculty and the leading industry players in the world. Cloud computing is now being embraced by a majority of enterprises of all sizes. Yesterday's debate about public vs. private has transformed into the reality of hybrid cloud: a recent survey shows that 74% of enterprises have a hybrid cloud strategy.
Dec. 3, 2016 01:30 PM EST Reads: 2,133
Businesses and business units of all sizes can benefit from cloud computing, but many don't want the cost, performance and security concerns of public cloud nor the complexity of building their own private clouds. Today, some cloud vendors are using artificial intelligence (AI) to simplify cloud deployment and management. In his session at 20th Cloud Expo, Ajay Gulati, Co-founder and CEO of ZeroStack, will discuss how AI can simplify cloud operations. He will cover the following topics: why clou...
Dec. 3, 2016 01:15 PM EST Reads: 644
Internet of @ThingsExpo, taking place June 6-8, 2017 at the Javits Center in New York City, New York, is co-located with the 20th International Cloud Expo and will feature technical sessions from a rock star conference faculty and the leading industry players in the world. @ThingsExpo New York Call for Papers is now open.
Dec. 3, 2016 01:00 PM EST Reads: 1,879
"ReadyTalk is an audio and web video conferencing provider. We've really come to embrace WebRTC as the platform for our future of technology," explained Dan Cunningham, CTO of ReadyTalk, in this SYS-CON.tv interview at WebRTC Summit at 19th Cloud Expo, held November 1-3, 2016, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA.
Dec. 3, 2016 01:00 PM EST Reads: 333
Successful digital transformation requires new organizational competencies and capabilities. Research tells us that the biggest impediment to successful transformation is human; consequently, the biggest enabler is a properly skilled and empowered workforce. In the digital age, new individual and collective competencies are required. In his session at 19th Cloud Expo, Bob Newhouse, CEO and founder of Agilitiv, drew together recent research and lessons learned from emerging and established compa...
Dec. 3, 2016 12:45 PM EST Reads: 745
Data is the fuel that drives the machine learning algorithmic engines and ultimately provides the business value. In his session at Cloud Expo, Ed Featherston, a director and senior enterprise architect at Collaborative Consulting, discussed the key considerations around quality, volume, timeliness, and pedigree that must be dealt with in order to properly fuel that engine.
Dec. 3, 2016 12:45 PM EST Reads: 1,962
Everyone knows that truly innovative companies learn as they go along, pushing boundaries in response to market changes and demands. What's more of a mystery is how to balance innovation on a fresh platform built from scratch with the legacy tech stack, product suite and customers that continue to serve as the business' foundation. In his General Session at 19th Cloud Expo, Michael Chambliss, Head of Engineering at ReadyTalk, discussed why and how ReadyTalk diverted from healthy revenue and mor...
Dec. 3, 2016 12:15 PM EST Reads: 1,515