Intermodal containers transformed logistics, giving the industry a standard sized metal box that can be easily transferred from ships, to trains to trucks. The twenty foot rectangular box is ubiquitous to shipping and haulage and has truly been transformational to these industries; dubbed the TUE, the container changed ports, train wagons and truck trailers as well as the staffing needs of the associated industries along the way. Huge teams of low skilled harbour workers have been replaced by highly skilled crane operators and rail and road wagons are now assets that are highly utilised with vastly decreased static time as the cargo is stored within the box, which on arrival at is destination is collected from the wagon and then unpacked, leaving the wagon free to carry out its next task.
Why do I have sudden interest in standardised container boxes? A recent video commission and series of conversations with the CIOs and CTOs suggest that containerisation is going to have a big impact on our community.
As organisations demand digital services to meet changing customer needs yet need to reduce technology operating costs as a result of economic instability, especially in the UK, containerisation is a standard response in the way virtualisation was following the financial crisis of 2008 and beyond. CIOs adopting containerisation are able to increase the computing power available to them at a reduced cost – the holy grail for any CIO or CTO.
Adam Griffiths, recently a leading architect with media giants News UK and now at North Highland says on the video Icon Business Media, publishers of Horizon Business Innovation podcasts and events, that containerisation allowed he and his team at News UK to support a plethora of additional WordPress products alongside its stalwart products at a lower cost.
As organisations need to embed their services into partner’s businesses and products, containerisation can provide the keys to increased API and micro-services, Peter Job of Intergence which commissioned the video says. CIOs I talk to certainly see portability of applications and APIs being essential to enabling an organisation to change its business model towards being a services provider via digital means. Neil Brooks, CTO of Autodata told this title’s Innovation Leadership Summit of these benefits.
With technology being at the heart of business change projects and continued austerity as a result of Brexit, standardising the technology estate to enable digital services looks set to be key to CIOs achieving their strategic aims. As a result, the CIO’s estate may begin to reflect a well ordered Tilbury docks with lines and lines of multi-coloured boxes shipping the vast array of technology needs today’s customers and end users require.
The video Icon Business Media produced focuses not only on the technology advantages of using containerisation, which Adam Griffiths explains with great passion, but also the need for CIOs to be aware of each and every container, its contents and its impact on the organisation. I know from interviewing CIOs in the ports sector how important asset management and analytics is.
You can stream the video debate here and as always I’m keen to hear from the CIO and CTO community what your views and experiences of containerisation are.