In 1965, Dr. Gordon Moore, the co-founder of Intel, made the following observation – the number of transistors per integrated circuit was doubling every year, with a correlative doubling of processor speed. In 1975 he refined his observation to describe a two-year cycle.
Despite frequent rumours of its demise, what came to be known as ‘Moore’s Law’ has held true for the last 50 years, driven by breakthroughs in miniaturisation, improvements in design and by economies of scale in chip production. The result? Exponential gains in computer processing speed and a corresponding wave of technological innovation that has revolutionised the way we live – not to mention the way we do business. Exponential technological development has seen the ‘Law’ moving ever closer to Moore’s original annual cycle.
As a SYSPRO Technical Consultant who spends a good deal of my time at the support desk, I see businesses grapple with Moore’s Law on a daily basis. Some commit to keeping up with the rapid pace of technology, while others balk at the disruption and/or expense of buying and implementing new hardware and software. Yet others seemingly set themselves up for success, but fail to make backups or implement upgrades, often to their subsequent chagrin.
From where I sit, the correct response to Moore’s Law is obvious. The potential rewards for jumping technological hurdles include optimisation and success, whereas the problems with falling behind include catastrophic data loss, erosion of competitiveness, disintegration of key relationships and eventually, business failure. Since 1965, a multitude of businesses that could not come to grips with Moore’s Law have simply disappeared – being outperformed by aggressive, agile companies that understand the nuances of emerging technology and are using it to propel them to the top of their industries.
As someone who comes from an end-user background, my philosophy is: ‘If it ain’t broke, modify it’. Many of the companies I work with don’t spend the time researching how to optimise the performance of their ERP application. If you don’t have the resources to actively modify your systems, at least take care of the basics.
Like everything else on the bleeding edge of technology, SYSPRO ERP is constantly evolving and constantly wringing all the advantage it can out of Moore’s Law. SYSPRO developers take into account new resources made available by new technologies, many of which create a remarkable difference in speed and enable new functionalities that can provide significant competitive advantage. Faster servers, cloud storage, multithreading and the growing potential of 64-bit processors (to name a few current examples) all enhance a company’s ability to gather and analyze information and to make well-informed business decisions.