Building on Past Experiences

Distinguished Engineer - Advanced Analytics Infrastructures, IBM

I was in Oslo a couple of weeks ago taking time out from a family holiday to speak at a technical conference.

With my family there too, we took the chance to do some sightseeing too and I finally had the chance to visit the Kon-Tiki Museum. Well worth a visit by the way!

For many of us of a certain age, Thor Heyerdahl and his exploits are the sorts of adventures we could only dream about. For those less familiar with his work, by building a number of ships according to ancient designs and techniques and then sailing them across the oceans of the world he showed that geographically dispersed civilisations could well have been in contact with one another.

The Kon-Tiki and Ra expeditions demonstrated not only that these ancient boats could do this but also that navigation and food storage techniques used by these ancient sailors worked as well. The Kon-Tiki expedition showed that fresh water could be obtained from the fish that gathered beneath the raft allowing these long voyages across oceans to occur.

The Tigris expedition was different however. Having already proven that these ancient techniques worked on the earlier voyages, Heyerdahl could use modern navigation techniques, focusing less on surviving and more on understanding the capabilities of the boat and sailing where he wanted to go.

This got me thinking... and this really isn't a contrived blog entry, but more a sad reflection of how my mind works!

In April this year, IBM launched the first PureSystems. These are, as the marketing says, systems with expertise integrated into their core, systems that allow an organisation to focus on what they need to achieve with much of the underlying effort of running and managing the system taken care of by the system itself.

Having proven in his earlier expeditions that ancient techniques and expertise could support the needs of the crew of one of these ancient craft, with Tigris, Heyerdahl could focus on his objectives. The expertise that had been built up over the centuries from these ancient sailors to the modern era could be used, safe in the knowledge that “it just works.”.

Let's think about the parallels here. Whilst with an IBM PureSystem, this expertise may not have been acquired over quite the same time period, the end effect is the same. It takes the effort away from “just surviving” in keeping the system running and instead allows you to focus on what really matters; fulfilling the objectives of the business.

To learn more about IBM PureSystems, please join IBM’s upcoming event, “Expert IT: Accelerate Big Data & Cloud with Expert Integrated Systems” (October 9 at 2:00 p.m. EDT).