Tuesday, 26 February 2013

Towards a Google Driverless and Amazon Pickerless Future

There has been some relatively negative news of late regarding the working conditions of Amazon warehouse staff.  For example Germany probes Amazon warehouse conditions after film and GMB union holds protest at Amazon sites.

It is not surprising when you see what it is like to work in one of their giant warehouses .

But what surprises me is that they even use people at all. Warehouses dealing at the pallet level are lights out, robotic operations. Surely it is only a small step before the item level is dealt with in the  same way.

If Google are investing in driverless cars , then surely Amazon must be investing in "pickerless" warehousing! Not surprisingly they are,with their investment in Kiva . Other logistics companies are doing the same, with the rise of the warehouse robot .

So, if Google's self-guided car could drive the next wave of unemployment , and robots are taking over the warehouse , then where will the masses work in future?

One thing is for sure, delivering systems like these will definitely require the application of Connected Architecture . So hopefully us architects won't be out of a job just yet...

Monday, 25 February 2013

Connected Architecture for a Connected Planet

Or how to connect the architecture dots to support a smart connected planet.


The notion of a connected planet is far from new.  However, the number of connections as illustrated in figure 1 is growing at an exponential rate, and it is fast becoming a reality in which many organizations must operate.

However, I doubt many organizations are preparing for this in a systematic way. More likely, experience suggests that dozens of connected ‘solutions’ will permeate the organization via myriad routes and just add to the complexity of the business and IT landscape, becoming yet more spaghetti that someone is left to untangle.

Architecture is key to dealing with this. However, architectural practices must evolve to themselves become more connected, and not a set of isolated disciplines as they are often practiced today.
Hence, in this note as well as considering the challenges and opportunities provided by the connected planet, I outline the role of connected architecture.