Utility Computing Befits New Media

By Peter Coffee  |  Posted 2003-10-20

Digital media creation, delivery and management are growing at roughly three times the pace of all other IT needs, estimated IBM Vice President for Digital Media Warren Hart when we spoke earlier this month in Los Angeles after his keynote speech at the ContentWorld conference.

The nature of those tasks—intense computational workloads during content creation and high peak-to-average ratios for content delivery demand—makes them complementary to the on-demand or utility computing models gaining mind share among IT providers.

Point-of-contact displays in retail environments, Hart observed, can now be deployed using wireless technology to reduce deployment cost and make it easier to move displays. Content can also vary by time of day to reflect different types of customers. These might include "mall walkers in the morning, teenagers in the afternoon [and] adults in the evening," Hart said.

Supply chain partners are also getting into the act, Hart said. Consumer goods providers will pay for displays and computer infrastructure if they give partners a chance to deliver their own message at the point where the customer makes a decision, he said.

Its not effective, though, to present repurposed TV commercials, Hart said. Whats needed is content thats dynamic enough to engage the customer, something that fits in the space between conventional video and mere static displays, he said.

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