TIS & Partners, a structural design firm based in Japan, has developed a construction material that is better than concrete. The new material, called CO2 Structure, hardens in one day whereas concrete takes 28 days to fully cure. CO2 Structure is also more stable than concrete, with a tensile strength at least 2.5 times greater.
Why am I writing about concrete on an IT blog? Because I think it highlights the importance of continuing to innovate in areas that might be viewed as basic commodities. In construction, concrete has likely been “good enough” to suit most projects. The pricing for CO2 Structure will certainly define its adoption, but in an area recently hit by natural disaster, improved materials will certainly have some appeal.
In IT environments, there is tremendous momentum toward topics such as cloud computing and unified communications. These and other emerging technologies are going to dominate headlines and feature heavily in corporate purchase plans, but it is important to remember that these technologies run on IT infrastructure and that infrastructure must be sound.
CompTIA’s Unified Communications and Collaboration Market Trends study found that 61 percent of companies who had installed VoIP systems needed to upgrade network equipment prior to the VoIP installation, and 51 percent also needed to upgrade network infrastructure. When asked which areas of IT needed to be addressed in their companies, respondents in CompTIA’s 3rd Annual Small and Medium Business Technology Adoption Trends study selected network efficiency and robustness as the top area to address as soon as possible. Network analysis and upgrades are a critical starting point for companies planning on utilizing more complex solutions. Improvements and innovations in networking will serve to drive this activity more and make the complex solutions even more appealing.
Informal discussions at CompTIA’s Breakaway event made it clear that there is still plenty of opportunity in IT infrastructure. It will always be a challenge to know when the market will stop responding to incremental improvements, but as new technologies and IT models emerge, it is important to help customers build and maintain a strong foundation for their new products and services.