"V" for Victory

Posted on: February 20, 2014 by John Hall

The difference between success and failure at Olympic level is often down to 1000ths of a second and millimetres of accuracy - every advantage available needs to be exploited to the full. From training regimes to diet and technology to psychology – it all plays a part in raising levels of performance just a bit higher. I gather that team GB are even installing heated areas in specific parts of athletes clothing to help with the warming up and cooling down process, thereby staving off muscle fatigue!

Rarely are there individual changes that result in huge leaps in performance, although just occasionally a new technique or technology can be introduced that raises the bar for everyone. With ski-jumping for example, in 1985 a Swedish jumper Jan Bokloev started spreading the tips of his skis into a V-shape – Although initially ridiculed, this technique seemed to increase jumping distance by as much as 10%. By 1992 all Ski-jump Olympic medallist were using this style – it had become a game changer.

In contrast, the expectations placed on the IT services supporting the Winter Olympics are continually increasing in leaps and bounds. As more and more people are engaging on-line and more and more data is generated and consumed, on-going radical improvements are called for. For this Games, thanks to the benefits of a different kind of "V" (Virtualisation) and cloud computing techniques, it is possible to process and make available 10% more data with 40% less servers than with previous games – truly game changing performance. But this is more than just “Higher, Faster, Stronger”: Virtualisation and Cloud approaches allow services to be delivered completely differently. Capacity and capability can now be flexed according to actual demand and requirements, rather than just forecast and expectations.

But back to Ski-jumping for a moment: Whilst most of the Sochi Games has survived the worst of the feared poor snow conditions, at the RusSki Gorki Jumping centre, nearly 160 thousand gallons (600 cubic metres) of artificial and stored snow was brought in to ensure the right conditions were maintained – nice to be able to turn the tap on resources like that and save the day! What a good analogy of the benefits of Cloud computing!

In today’s relentlessly demanding business environment, this approach for delivering more for less can also provide the agility to cope with the unexpected and the uncertain, by delivering on-demand, scalable solutions tailored to your specific business needs.

Picture: "Tommy Egeberg" by Alexander Nilssen - Under CC-BY-SA 2.0

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About John Hall
Head of Strategy & Portfolio Atos UK&I; Editor in Chief for the Atos Scientific Community and member of the Scientific Community
John is a chartered Engineer with more than 30 years cross-industry IT and General Management experience in the Energy, Industry and Public Sectors. Having fulfilled a variety of roles including IT management, Programme & Account management and Operations management, John is now responsible for the strategy and governance underpinning the Atos UK&I portfolio of products and services. A member of the Atos Scientific Community, John is involved in all aspects of Innovation and thought leadership with regard to using business technology to address the current and future challenges faced by organisations . He has a particular focus on developing the strategy and go-to-market approach for digital transformation and disruptive technologies, with a particular focus on Hybrid cloud, Industrial Data Platforms, blockchain and the Gig economy. Married with 3 children, based in NW England. Enjoys rock climbing and running.

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