Future Directions for Open Computing To Be Aired

Seven visionary sessions planned at UniForum '95

For those whose eye is on the future, UniForum '95 will offer "Open Computing Directions," a track aimed at exploring where open systems technology is taking us. The seven-session track is split between technical sessions on topics that may be just around the corner and loftier discussions and predictions of future trends. This track is aimed at IS managers, application developers, system administrators, and others who need to know where open systems technology is headed so they can plan business solutions.

Typical of the sessions in this track is the one on "Applications of the Future," chaired by Jim Stikeleather, partner in charge of technology for Technical Resource Connection. "We will look at the types of information systems that are required for the new, reengineered, virtual, horizontal, knowledge-worker-driven, and all of the other buzzword types of organizational structures in companies," Stikeleather says. "You need a totally different type of information system than we've built in the past-something that looks more like real-time simulation. We're going to be talking about inference technology, neural nets, object technology, publish-and-subscribe messaging systems, and how all those things tie together."

Those systems of the future will have to take advantage of symmetric multiprocessors, massively parallel processors, and true distributed computing paradigms, Stikeleather points out. Therefore, new types of applications suited to those systems will look very different from previous ones. The session will be arranged in three levels of depth-an overview of what the new organizations will look like and their information needs, the types of applications that fit those organizations' needs, and the technology needed to build those applications. "We're really covering the spectrum and there won't be a lot of heavy technical detail," Stikeleather said, "but we'll say what technology you have to use and how you're going to have to use it."

Panelists confirmed for the session include Pat Kerpan, vice president of Canadian Imperial Bank of Commerce, and Susan Buchanan, senior vice president of Nielsen Media Research. Representatives of a manufacturing company and a retailing company are being sought.