In-Depth

When Greenspan speaks (technologists listen)

How did businesses prepare for the future in days gone by? Federal Reserve Chairman Alan Greenspan has put it simply and aptly: Since they were working from information that was usually days or even weeks old, they doubled up on materials and people. The new ubiquity of timely information, and the increasing ability to act immediately upon that information, are key elements in the transformation of modern world economics, Greenspan seems ready to assert. He is even willing to suggest that this may be a factor in the U.S's resilience (to date) to global economic contagion.

When speaking at a recent conference of bankers, Greenspan mused on such issues. "Availability of real-time information has enabled business management to remove large swaths of inventory safety stocks and worker redundancies," he said.

"It has armed workers with detailed data to fine-tune product specifications to most individual customer needs," he continued. Among the examples of information system advances he noted were bar-code scanner information handling, trucking logistics and product personalization.

The view here is that the mix of networking, processing, real-time middleware technology and warehouse info that Greenspan alludes to is just gaining new momentum. Web-based systems that track behavior and customize marketing are coming along at a hot pace that will further propel this trend

In short, Greenspan indicates, technology is being applied to enterprise business problems at a dizzying rate. We would add that we have seen the future and 'you ain't seen nothing yet.'

-- Jack Vaughan

About the Author

Jack Vaughan is former Editor-at-Large at Application Development Trends magazine.

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