Today's connected world, where you get television on the Internet and Internet on your TV, has changed the way we live and do business, says a report from CSC's Office of Innovation titled "Connected World: Redefining the Geography of Business and How We Work and Play."
Headed by Paul Gustafson and William Koff, CSC's Leading Edge Forum (LEF) leverages a powerful knowledge base and a global network of thought leaders to investigate and report on the impact of IT on business.
"The connected world was created by fundamental changes in the communications and information technology industries," says Gustafson. The formation of a single network for voice, data and video based on the Internet Protocol has reduced distances. "The network now defines the geography of business and how we work and play in the 21st century."
Networks are changing the world in several ways. Fast, cheap networks have helped India and China emerge as technology powerhouses. With wireless usage nearing saturation throughout the civilized world, communications companies are pursuing the connectivity triple play--voice, video and data over your mobile phone using the Internet as a foundation. As part of this new connected landscape, intelligence in the network has moved from the core to the devices at the edge, where users have control over that power. Corporate dependence on networks is now absolute.
The LEF identifies eight connectedness trends that can impact data-intensive businesses such as insurance and risk management.
The all-IP enterprise: How networks handle voice and data is changing; the days of multiple networks are over. All-IP networks will require major industry changes, including a shift from copper lines to high-bandwidth fiber optic cables, but the opportunities are great.
Industry crossovers: Chaos will continue in the communications industry as companies exploit technology in the race for market share, entering new markets and redefining their businesses.
Bandwidth at the edge: WiFi is going viral, says the report. Wireless mesh topology will blanket cities and towns with connectivity. Fourth-generation networks will integrate terminals, networks, and applications and be based on packet switching.
Networks in new places: Self-organizing, self-healing wireless mesh sensor networks will make it simpler and more cost effective to poll, monitor, adjust and control systems that once required laborious and expensive manual processes or costly cabling or wiring.
New things being connected: We will rethink the way we interact with everyday objects as networks evolve to a support world of machine-to-machine or human-to-machine connectivity, creating an "Internet of things."
Liquid time and place: Technology will dissolve the boundaries defining work time, work place, personal time and personal place.
Pervasive presence: Going beyond instant messaging, network innovations will support visual as well as textual presence. All mobile devices will be location enabled, and virtual presence will link dispersed family and friends to augment our physical presence.
The next frontier of mobility: The impact of mobility on business strategy, processes, roles and expectations has created a new trend: the shift from mobile applications to mobile workers. Organizations will realize real power from mobile-enabling operational processes such as maintenance, sales and marketing, supply chain, and customer and field services.
"Imagination is the limit. Technology is not," says Gustafson. Insurance and risk managers must embrace this concept to truly unlock the power of the connected world for their customers and their organization. Imagine a vehicle accident in which the car reports the collision, and a video recording of the intersection is immediately available over a network--giving claims adjusters information to initiate the claim. Insurance and risk managers must embrace this concept of the connected world to unlock the power of the technology.
The full report is available at www.csc.com/connectedenterprise.
CECIL BORDAGES is vice president, property/casualty software products, CSC.
ALSO: READ THE OTHER PARTS TO THE INNOVATION SHOWCASE ISSUE.
September 15, 2007
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