Historically, the speed and ability of computers has dictated what they're used for. But with even the cheapest phone dwarfing systems that used to run entire businesses decades ago, trying to solve a problem by thinking about what computers can do right now won't necessarily get you the best results.
Picture by Samm
Andy Moore is the IS manager for subsurface at oil and gas company Santos. His main task? Ensuring detailed mapping data is available as speedily as possible to Santos scientists. "The challenge for the IT part of the business is to get data to the geoscientists as quickly as they think," he said in a presentation at a Red Hat media lunch.
Moore argued that the rapid speed at which technology evolves, driven in large part by Moore's law, means that you shouldn't restrict your planning to what is immediately possible:
Stop thinking about what you can do with your computer at the moment. Take that out of the equation. It's no longer a limiting factor. Focus on the problem and technology will be there before you can think about it.
It's a factor to bear in mind whenever you're tackling an issue where IT could be helpful. You won't always be able to solve the problem straight away, but spending heavily for a sub-optimal solution doesn't make sense.