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Technology – Harbor Research

Traditional Lines Between Technology Are Blurring, We Need A New Reference Architecture

Smart Systems are:

a new generation of systems architecture (hardware, software, network technologies and managed services) that provide real-time awareness based on inputs from machines, people, video streams, maps, newsfeeds, sensors, and more that integrate people, processes, and knowledge to enable collective awareness and better decision making.

Since the beginning of computing there has been three waves of technology and architecture: mainframe computing, personal computing, and network computing. This next generation of “Smart Systems” technology will add significant new capabilities to com­puting and network systems. These new capabilities will revolve around real-time situational awareness and automated analysis. As a result, technology moves beyond just proposing task solutions — such as executing a work order or a sales order — to sensing what is happening in the world around it, analyzing that new information for risks and possibilities, presenting alternatives, and taking actions.

The three previous waves of technology each have had significant impacts on productivity and efficiencies; mainframes standardized transactions; personal computing placed power into the hands of professionals; and, networked systems enabled business process automation. What is important about this next wave of Smart Systems is the combined impact of the cycles of innovation. While there is standalone value in each of the innova­tions in software systems, server infrastructure, network infrastructure, and client devices, it is the combination of all these innovations that will allow computing technologies to inform smarter systems.

Truly innovative Smart Systems and Internet of Things solutions are comprised of complex relationships which don’t have traditional linear relationships. Portraying Smart Systems opportunities requires a new framework: one in which clear hierarchical relationships are shown along with a holistic view to ensure that all of the key elements and their interrelationships are portrayed.