Use of Technology – My thought process on this one is a bit left field I know but…

November 9, 2009
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After Alec’s last blog post, there’s a tenuous link to mine – Andre Mendes was CIO of Special Olympics International. I was playing badminton in the World Masters Games (The “Oldies Olympics”) in Sydney last month and I shattered one of my badminton rackets. I am now down to my last one of 5 I bought in the UK about 8 years ago. So I need to get replacements. But guess what, racket technology has so moved on just in that short time and I can’t get anything like the same balance any more! They feel even lighter now and totally weird. It will take me a long time to get used to the new ones!

So it started me thinking about technology and how it’s used both in sport and commercially. I have been playing badminton for 40+ years, so that gives you some idea of my age and you can imagine that I have seen big technology changes. At the Masters Games there was a 101-year-old woman competing in athletics and she would have seen huge changes in technology in her lifetime.

I was an IBM programmer back in the “old days” and the first commercial system I worked on was an IBM 360/30 that first shipped in 1965 with 64KB of memory with 60MB of disk storage and programs uploaded and



After Alec’s last blog post, there’s a tenuous link to mine – Andre Mendes was CIO of Special Olympics International. I was playing badminton in the World Masters Games (The “Oldies Olympics”) in Sydney last month and I shattered one of my badminton rackets. I am now down to my last one of 5 I bought in the UK about 8 years ago. So I need to get replacements. But guess what, racket technology has so moved on just in that short time and I can’t get anything like the same balance any more! They feel even lighter now and totally weird. It will take me a long time to get used to the new ones!

So it started me thinking about technology and how it’s used both in sport and commercially. I have been playing badminton for 40+ years, so that gives you some idea of my age and you can imagine that I have seen big technology changes. At the Masters Games there was a 101-year-old woman competing in athletics and she would have seen huge changes in technology in her lifetime.

I was an IBM programmer back in the “old days” and the first commercial system I worked on was an IBM 360/30 that first shipped in 1965 with 64KB of memory with 60MB of disk storage and programs uploaded and compiled via punch card!

At the Teradata Partners Conference in Washington last month there was an announcement regarding an Extreme Performance Appliance based entirely on solid state disk drives and can scale to 200TB!

Now if everyone has access to the same technology where’s the advantage? For example, Rafael Nadal has his strengths over other players but he leverages the racket technology to gain further advantage. In sport, technology is normally constrained by rules and regulations and they constantly change to “manage” that change in technology, e.g., F1 racing. However, commercial application of technology doesn’t have those rules, or does it? It’s not rules or regulations against the technology, just the application of that technology in certain ways, privacy, etc. So the technology isn’t the differentiator, it’s how it’s used, and it shouldn’t restrict capability or be a limiting factor. 

 

John Street