Last month, I was at the CMP Tech Innovators Conference in Las Vegas, Nevada. I had a chance to assess what is happening in terms of the latest thinking in technology and some interesting business trends. I had a chance to meet some interesting industry thinkers throughout the various sessions I attended.
One of the keynotes I found especially intriguing was by SpikeSource’s CEO, Kim Polese. For those of you who may not know who she is, she was one of the guiding force behind the introduction of the JAVA Operating Language back by Sun Microsystems. She talked about the age of Ubiquitous Technology that she defined as the need to blend the different strands of technology out there today. The other interesting keynote I found especially intriguing was by Steve Rosenthal of Gap International. The theme of his talk was “…you can’t steal second base without taking your foot off first..”. He advocated the notion of going beyond “Current Thinking” to eventually come up with the breakthrough technologies necessary to succeed. He cited the example of Parrish Galliher of Xcellerex, who worked to develop a breakthrough method to manufacture the next generation of vaccine manufacturing. He came up with the idea while in a swimming pool looking at the stars with a cigar in one hand and a martini in the other and challenged his current thinking.
Beyond the key notes, what I found especially intriguing was the focus on Cloud Computing. For those who have understood Cloud Computing, this has been a concept which has been around for quite some time. Oracle and Sun Microsystems tried it in the 90’s. It seems to be coming back especially in light of what Google is trying to do with the Chrome Operating System. There is of course Larry Ellison’s View that he regards Cloud Computing as “Water Vapor”. But, all I heard was cloud, cloud and more cloud because of the basic need to think different in the IT space as all businesses deal with the wrenching cost of doing business.
There were many companies there that provided some interesting applications for Customer Relations Management, Voice Over IP and Security that I found especially interesting. I have been playing around, for instance, with a product from a company called digium that has a cloud-based Voice Over IP Phone System that is perfectly suited for the Small-To-Medium Sized Businesses. I also received a Cloud-Based Security Solution from Panda Software that I am also taking a look at. I also attended some cool demonstrations of upcoming “geeky” Products. For instance, Panasonic showed off a prototype of a 50-inch full High Definition, 3-D compatible plasma display panel. Toshiba also provided a preview of an $ 11,000 LCD TV that will be introduced in Japan next week.
As I was attending the meetings, I thought about the profound matter of change. The changes in technology will continue to overwhelm us which will force us to really think differently in how we prepare our learners to take on the world. This change means that we have to, for instance, really think about how to realign how we educate our IT learners because some of the existing opportunities in IT will not be there because of the changes evident now. We have to see how we can continue to align our own offerings so that we continue to stay relevant in this ever-changing world. Of all the lessons learnt, I regard this to be the most profound.