Technology innovation and teamwork are the pillars of success across industries and businesses. With the ongoing Rio Olympics in mind, it is fitting to take the example of sports to elaborate this point. I recently had the opportunity to attend two major sporting events - The Louis Vuitton America’s Cup World Series Sailing and the Indy 500. The former was hosted by Oracle in Chicago featuring the best sailors in the world, and the latter was a car racing event hosted in Indianapolis for its 100th anniversary edition. While gaming companies are considered to be the pioneers of leveraging innovation in technology, I was pleasantly surprised to find out that sports is not far behind them.
Let me take the example of the sailing event to explain how technology has crept into sports. To give you a background, yachts are 45 foot boats that have an extraordinary aerodynamic design with high power-to-weight ratio. On top of that, the scale of metrics which they deal with are immense - for instance, there are 300 sensors in each boat which pull 200 gigabytes of video data every day. This huge chunk of data generated is nothing but Big Data. Additionally, they are equipped to perform real time analysis with complicated set of 3,000+ variables using a network of physical devices, which are embedded with software sensors and actuators - enabling them to collect and exchange data. This real time data analysis is analogous to IoT that leverages the Oracle platform. It is interesting to note that Oracle Team USA are the defending champions. The role of technology doesn’t end here - thanks to Hyper Automation - the cost of making these yachts in 2017 will be half of what they were in 2013.
Through the Indy 500 example, I want to highlight how both teamwork and technology can be a winning combination. This season, a 24 year old rookie - Alexander Rossi won the event. I believe there are two major takeaways from his win. One is to never underestimate what young talent can accomplish. Second is that car racing may appear like an individual sport, but in reality there is a significant level of synchronization between the driver and his crew during the entire race. For instance, Rossi did not win just because of his raw talent but because his crew who monitored his performance and the race closely enough to tell him that he had just enough fuel to cross the final lap and could not afford another pit stop.
Now, moving on to the role of technology in motor sports.
Just the way shoes are for an athlete, tires play a significant role in deciding the outcome of races. Therefore, technology has been built into these tires to improve their performance during races. Some of the innovations include digital tires, self-inflating tires, discolor tires and airless tires.
With the help of latest technologies from companies such as BlueMetal and Microsoft, data collection and analytics from cars and the track has come of age. For instance, the Race Control Web app uses Microsoft Azure to capture and analyze millions of rows of data throughout the three hour long race. This data is then correlated in the cloud with Azure streaming analytics and is made available real-time to Race Control Web app users.
Apart from these two Ts - Technology and Teamwork, I think there is a lot more that enterprises can imbibe and learn from sports. I am sure some of us following Olympics this year are already realizing this!