Sunday, June 3, 2012

Many people think that strategic thinking is only limited to company board rooms and CEO/CFO discussions; however, people forget that the early stages of research begin in the lab.
In the Human-Computer Interaction Institute at Carnegie Mellon University, Dr. John Zimmerman, Associate Professor in the HCII and Design Departments, has implemented Tiramisu and cloud-computing projects.  Tiramisu is a crowd-powered transit information system that allows one to download an app on an Android or iPhone to find out the timing of the nearest bus. As for cloud-computing, researchers have been testing participants of varying ages on how they store their virtual possessions. This insight into cloud-computing can provide companies with information about their customer needs in relation to technology.
The article “Clouds, big data, and smart assets” explains that we have an increasing demand for technological capacity servers. Some companies are using better planning to eliminate negative effects on the environment by using more efficient buildings and planning of future uses of IT. The development of cloud-computing as a service allows customers to tailor their needs depending upon the infrastructure and content of the user(s).
Crowd-sourcing and cloud-computing studies allow researchers to gain further knowledge on various individual habits. Research allows companies to take this information and adapt it to its environment. Companies frequently donate or set-up contractual agreements with Universities to gain further knowledge on improving technology, testing products on human subjects or animals or testing customer choices providing the company with strategic insight.
Why don’t all companies invest in testing with a third party and gain an outsider’s perspective? Many companies run R&D on site, but can there be many advantages having Universities focus on research to help test strategic decisions or future positioning of a company.
1.      “Tiramisu Transit.” Carnegie Mellon University and Tiramisu Transit LLC, 2011.
2.      Biggs, John. “Kiss Me On The Bus: This App Crowdsources Bus Locations.”, 28 July 2011. Web. 02 June 2012.
3.      Odom, W., Zimmerman, J., and Forlizzi, J. “Virtual Possessions.” ACM. 16-20 August 2010: 368-371. Print.
4.      Odom, William, et al. “Lost in Translation: Understanding the Possession of Digital Things in the Cloud.”  ACM. 5-10 May 2012. Print.
5.      Bughin, J., Chui, M., and Manyika, J. “Clouds, big data, and smart assets: Ten tech-enabled business trends to watch”. McKinsey Quarterly, 2010.

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