Friday, March 2, 2007

The end of the "Silicon Revolution"

This seems to be one of the biggest IT stories not making news and not being actively addressed by Professionals and the Industry.

Neil Gunther writes about the change in the Moore's Law CPU speed constant. Which is why we have "multi-cores"... In 2000 and 2001, Intel released articles flagging thermal effects could be the next barrier - and predicted in 2010 a single CPU consuming 18 kilo-watts. More than ten times the average household power consumption!

Herb Sutter in The Free Lunch is over makes an aside, illustrated with a graph, on the inflection in CPU speed growth curve - in January 2003. Herb was talking about the insidious problems that true, ubiquitous concurrent programming incur.

Commercial IT has been going more than 55 years. It is becoming quite mature. The next big event horizon is end of the Silicon Revolution - when all the physical limits are met for CPU's (speed), memory size, disk size/speed/transfer rate and network bandwidth.

What will over IT Services look like then? IT groups will no longer be able to rely on the back of the rampant technology improvement. They will have to work, hard, to keep improving their figures.

Design will matter. Real talent, skill and understanding will become important. When large companies are spending 12-15% of their Operating Expenses on IT, the ones that can maintain service levels and business effectiveness and shave 1-3% off costs will have a substantial competitive advantage. The savings go straight to the bottom line, adding directly to Nett Profits.

Nett Profits usually lie between 1% - 10% of turnover. The IT savings above will boost whole company profits by 5%-30%.
Which will impress the market analysts.

This definition of Engineering gives the reason: "An Engineer does for a dollar what any fool can do for 10."

No comments: