Monday, November 10

A technical infrastructure renaissance

Now the fact that I have been generally talking about improvements in American infrastructure such as airports, highways and bridges is there, but this article made me go hmmm. IBM are proposing to, and I quote:

I.B.M.’s chief executive, Samuel J. Palmisano, is proposing a technology-fueled economic recovery plan that calls for public and private investment in more efficient systems for utility grids, traffic management, food distribution, water conservation and health care.

These are smart infrastructure projects, rather than dumb ones presumably such as roads and bridges. I further quote:

Some economists and policy experts say similar projects are a good way to improve the long-term health of the economy, potentially providing a foundation for innovation and growth across a range of industries.

Applying more computing intelligence to help transform fields like transportation, energy and health care will be “critical to solving an array of pressing public problems,” said Robert Atkinson, president of the Information Technology and Innovation Foundation, a nonpartisan research group.

Hmmm, there is quite a lot to be thought about in here, but that immediately presumes that Governments are smart enough to direct and deliver large smart infrastructure projects like this. I have to beg to differ. Look at the UK Governments ham fisted attempts to roll out large complex system projects such as in the NHS, in the other government department and they are usually a spectacular failure.

Take the case of Heathrow, they made a fantastic case for building the damn terminal (under budget and under time) and made a total hash of the actually systems/people/process/baggage/flights integration. Laughing stock. So no, I am not very impressed nor interested in asking the government to do so. Mind you, IBM can do so, but hmmm, still not totally convinced, I am afraid even thought the vision is pretty good.

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