Are products in the future?

 
 
By Renee Boucher Ferguson  |  Posted 2008-02-06 Email Print this article Print
 
 
 
 
 
 
 


Will your research with Cognos result in actual products?

Probably pieces of an actual product. I don't think we will be likely to have entire products around our pieces of work.

What type of research have you focused on in the past?

We've been involved in the on-demand strategy since it launched two wears ago. We will accelerate that; we will have a lot more friends in the IBM organization that want to work with us. We've been working with high performance scientific computing. We do work that supports IBM super computers...to make computers more usable. Information On Demand is aimed at addressing business problems.

Where do you see your work with Information On Demand going?

Computing is become much more valuable as a tool by [many] more people. Let me give you a very simple example called the shortest path to a problem. It's not hard or complicated-given a map, knowing how long each road is, what is the shortest path between point -A' and point -B'? Now everyone in the world can solve that with Google. What's running in the background is an interesting algorithm and it's running off standard data now accessible to everyone.

My mother-in-law can use Google. If I ever wrote down the algorithm she would have difficulty with me. But she can use [the algorithm]. That's what I see happening in the world. If we are able to capture the mathematics that are well posed, it opens the world mathematically to everyone, and not just the geeks among us. And people can make better decisions. You won't follow the route your brother-in-law said is the best route, you will follow the absolute best route. It takes opinion and personal prejudices out of decision making. Everything is based on data.

It's amazing how the business processes we work with at IBM, how emotion has gone out of the data. Everything is based on data, not on who yells the loudest.

Is there a point where data becomes too pervasive?

One thing we do worry about is do you lose creativity and new ideas when you are doing everything based on encapsulated processes? I think that's why everything we deliver has a human in the loop. That's where judgment and creativity still has the capacity to come into it, but based on analysis and information. You can test the model with much [fewer] consequences.



 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 

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