IT Industry Trends Viewed through a JPL Filter

Thursday, September 11th, 2008
Tom Soderstrom, CTO, NASA-JPL, Office of the CIO, is presenting. I love listening to Tom's presentations because I always leave with a new perspective.

(Tom gave us a quick overview of JPL, it's role and mission.)

Routinely evaluates trends in technology. Constantly on the look out for tools and technology that will make our people more productive.


Identify IT trends
Userr Our Filter
Listen and Share
Collaboratively Infuse
Standardize and energize
User emerging COTS intelligently
Stay compatible with NASA but lead where it helps

JPL maintains over 100 operating systems at JPL. (Some of their missions are 30 years old - pre-DOS, need to still support them)

Look at IT Trends from 3 Perspectives

1. User  (What, when, how)
2. Enterprise (Methodology, Supportability, Compliance, etc.)
3. Technology

Analyzed and Researched Top IT Trends from many Areas, Including

Gartner Strategic IT Trends
Ziff Davis Enterprise IT Survey
Top Google 2007 Searches

CSC Leading Edge
LM Mega Trends

Then, took leading top trends identified and applied them to the JPL filters to become areas of focus at JPL.

The result:

1. Extreme Collaboration between individuals

Digital Nomads, Super Partners, Social Networking (Web 2.0), Semantic Web (Web 3.0), Telepresence, Virtual Environments, Mix virtual and physical worlds
2. Virtualize Everything

Consolidation and Virtualization of servers, storage and services; Extend data center by virtualizing storage (e.g. Amazon S3); SOA, Web Services, Cloud Computing (e.g. Amazon Elastic Computing Cloud EC2),  Cloud computing with thin clients is a big deal.
3. We're Going Green

Changes how we source our products and services, measured with Green Dashboards (hot), Web 2.0, Multicore - take supercomputing to the masses - this will end up on a PDA, Consider impact on travel. Telepresence
4. Self-defending Enterprise

(Industry does not always agree with this); Build-in CyberSecurity; Application security focus driven by Web 2.0; Encryption of Mobile Devices (Laptops, PDAs, etc.)
5. Customization of IT

Innovation no longer come from corporate IT; Increased personal stake in devices and capabilities; Mobile environments; we all choose our tools; Open Source going mainstream; Many now carry only a PDA; Always connected; never lost; 3D Printing (Watch this space!)
He did a quick survey - almost no iPhones in the audience. Surprising. Discussed how JPL dealt with iPhones and how they helped influence Apple.

6. I Want More!

Drastically increased demands; Wireless everywhere; Self-publishing capabilities; eLearning; Smaller more powerful devices (watch the new 700 Mhz Spectrum); Video Podcasts for personal learning; Internal learning networks, e.g. JPLTube; By 2014, envisions PDA only (iPhones is closest thing at this time)
7. Develop Differently

Enterprise Mashups; Rich Mobile Applications (too wild right now), Cross-enterprise Applications; Intelligent Agents; Increasing Social Networking; Sematic Web; Reusable widgets; Internet becomes the operating system; watch Google - they lead the way in innovation (why?)  We use Google Docs - so is the next generation

JPL Technology Infusion Under Consideration

(He picked up the MacBook Air and screen went blank, so I cannot see slide)

KM is key to innovation at JPL
Outstanding presentation

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