Feeds

Supercomputing in retail?

What are they getting out of it?

  • alert
  • submit to reddit

Application security programs and practises

I got a call recently from a reporter who confronted me with an interesting question. He had attended SC04 in Pittsburgh, and one of his key takeaways from the show was that retailing was on the cusp of adopting HPC-style computing to crunch their data in order to improve both top-line and bottom-line results. He asked me: “Has HPC made it into retailing?” and followed up with “If not, why not?” and “If so, what are they getting out of it?”

His questions launched me into my whole “Age of Analytics” speech, where I lay out the macroeconomic forces that will fuel a big move toward predictive analytics in not only retailing, but in almost every industry. Globalization and the associated increase in competitive pressures (lower margins, reduced barriers to entry, global sourcing, increased buyer power, etc.) will require businesses to use every asset at their disposal to defend their existing markets and discover profitable new opportunities.

One of the most underutilized assets in business today is the massive piles of data that we’ve gathered and stored. Combining that data with other datasets can provide incredibly valuable market and trend insights. The resulting workloads are essentially the same as traditional HPC workloads in terms of computational requirements. Some companies, including retailers like Walmart, are already doing this in a big way, while others are just beginning to dip their toes into it.

I’ll be writing more about this trend from both business and technical perspectives in the future, but for a preview – and a good overview of the topic – read this article: “Second look at HPC: Is retail ready for supercomputing?

Is your company looking at adopting predictive analytics? Or are you doing it already? Let us know in the comments section below…

Eight steps to building an HP BladeSystem

More from The Register

next story
Sysadmin Day 2014: Quick, there's still time to get the beers in
He walked over the broken glass, killed the thugs... and er... reconnected the cables*
Apple fanbois SCREAM as update BRICKS their Macbook Airs
Ragegasm spills over as firmware upgrade kills machines
Amazon Reveals One Weird Trick: A Loss On Almost $20bn In Sales
Investors really hate it: Share price plunge as growth SLOWS in key AWS division
SHOCK and AWS: The fall of Amazon's deflationary cloud
Just as Jeff Bezos did to books and CDs, Amazon's rivals are now doing to it
EU's top data cops to meet Google, Microsoft et al over 'right to be forgotten'
Plan to hammer out 'coherent' guidelines. Good luck chaps!
US judge: YES, cops or feds so can slurp an ENTIRE Gmail account
Crooks don't have folders labelled 'drug records', opines NY beak
Auntie remains MYSTIFIED by that weekend BBC iPlayer and website outage
Still doing 'forensics' on the caching layer – Beeb digi wonk
Manic malware Mayhem spreads through Linux, FreeBSD web servers
And how Google could cripple infection rate in a second
prev story

Whitepapers

Top three mobile application threats
Prevent sensitive data leakage over insecure channels or stolen mobile devices.
Implementing global e-invoicing with guaranteed legal certainty
Explaining the role local tax compliance plays in successful supply chain management and e-business and how leading global brands are addressing this.
Boost IT visibility and business value
How building a great service catalog relieves pressure points and demonstrates the value of IT service management.
Designing a Defense for Mobile Applications
Learn about the various considerations for defending mobile applications - from the application architecture itself to the myriad testing technologies.
Build a business case: developing custom apps
Learn how to maximize the value of custom applications by accelerating and simplifying their development.