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April 22-25, 2003, Santa Clara -Explore. Invent. Connect.


Using Scenarios to Make Better IT Business Decisions
Bill Ralston, SRIC-BI
Marcelo Hoffmann, SRI Consulting Business Intelligence
Martin Schwirn, SRI Consulting Business Intelligence

Track: Emerging Technology Tutorial
Date: Tuesday, April 22
Time: 8:30am - 12:00pm
Location: Camino Real

How do you make new business development decisions today when the future is so uncertain? How do you take into account the volumes of insight and information about the fast changing environment quickly and without breaking the bank? Companies worldwide began using scenarios in business and market planning activities some thirty years ago. While scenarios – or stories about possible futures – remain an effective approach for mature, long cycle industries, high-tech company managers also use them to test new product and business ideas and to create a whole new way of thinking about the future.

Participate in Ralston’s tutorial session to learn quickly about the development and use of scenarios for improving new business and product development decisions in the software and related industries. Engage in learn-by-doing discussions to demonstrate how scenarios are developed and used in making difficult business decisions. Ralston presents two future scenarios, focusing on how WiFi networks will scale up in the next five to seven years, to provide reliable performance for large numbers of relatively less knowledgeable computer users.

Multiple issues crop up: will interference become a problem with many users communicating across the same unregulated spectrum in close proximity? Will the corporate proponents of Wi-Fi services, including Intel and IBM, be able to provide a network of Wi-Fi basestations to enable remote connection by traveling users? If so, will there be a business model/models that support growth of such services? What about questions of reliability and security? Can these performance measures be maintained for less-expert users? How long will it take before Wi-Fi networks become as ubiquitous, reliable, and easy to use as current cell phone networks?"

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