Monday, February 8, 2016

Information Technology and Turning to Nature

            With the world being as technologically advanced as it is, it can seem impossible for it to advance further. However, according to leaders at the 2016 World Economic Forum, this is not the case. In an article called “Energy Evolves as 4th Industrial Revolution Looks to Nature”, Lynn Scarlett writes about ideas from this meeting and how information technology can be used. The article gives specific examples of technologies that can be used to get the most out of our environment, and therefore the most profit, while also nurturing it, saving energy, and reducing waste.
             One point in the article is the use of precision farming. A related article called “Precision Farming Gains Global Foothold” discusses the use of smart technologies by farmers. A Big Data service called Deep Thunder is one type of information technology being used. It provides analytics and makes predictions about the weather at precise locations. This gives information like whether or not fields will experience rain and, if so, specifically which fields. I believe that in the near future, services such as this will necessary. Having access to these facts allows for intelligent decisions and an upper hand in production. These systems will prove helpful for farmers who will have greater crop yields, and therefore greater profits, but will also prove supportive for the world, which will have less food shortages.
             Another focus of the original article is how leaders use information technology to face climate change and conserve energy. With this revolution underway, technology systems can provide accurate information about our environment and how companies use energy. This information could then be interpreted and used to invest in effective, energy-saving projects. This forms the basis of the Breakthrough Energy Coalition who states, “The world needs widely available energy that is reliable, affordable, and does not produce carbon. The only way to accomplish that goal is by developing new tools to power the world”. In order to fulfill this, they work to invest in innovations and research methods. This will allow companies to become greener, while also saving energy and money.
            A final main idea is how it is also important to have strong institutions in order to drive changes in, “finance, insurance, city services, building design, and risk management”. Once the proper information technology is made for a specific cause, it can be put to use by companies in their infrastructures and strategies. The article gives a specific example about the making of potato chips. From this example, I have learned how important it is to have reliable information systems in order to receive updated knowledge about production and then the correct means to adjust production into favor.
            Three things that are important, but not discussed in this article, include the cost of implementing the farming systems, the positive outcomes of saving energy, and the types of institutions necessary for these technological changes. Overall, the article shows that information systems will not only be used, but will be necessary, in the future.

Breakthrough Energy Coalition website:

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