An Unexpected Finding at NetApp Insight 2014

Cloud Computing and Farming from NetApp Insight

Another year of NetApp Insight has come and gone and I would like to share some very exciting news regarding the many useful updates to Data ONTAP 8.3. However, I will have to wait a few more weeks until NetApp lifts the press embargo. Instead, I want to take some time and share with you something I found extremely interesting from NetApp partner, Fujitsu

NetApp has partnerships with many players in tech, but this story presented at one of the general sessions from Fujitsu’s Bob Pryor, Head of Americas and Corporate Vice President, regarding how Japanese farmers are using SaaS in the cloud really had a profound effect on me.  Not only because cloud computing and farming are perceptively juxtaposed, but having grown up on a dairy farm, I’m always interested in how farmers are using technology to drive efficiency in their daily lives. For example, robots and GPS devices did not exist 30 years ago in the agricultural space, right when I needed them most to help me with my chores.

How Can Cloud Computing and Farming Work Together?

Cloud and farming? Nothing could seem so irrelevant on the together on the paper.After all, farmers use sweat and brawn, machinery, and long hours to accomplish their tasks, but they’re also running a business and need to collect data on crops, commodity prices, livestock, and weather.Millions of potential data points for analysis could open up new ways of discovery to higher yields, healthier livestock, and ultimately, greater profits.Kind of sounds like a “Big Data” opportunity to me. I encourage you to take a look at Akisai, Fujitsu’s SaaS platform aiding Japanese farmers today. 

“Fujitsu’s new service is the first of its kind worldwide that has been designed to provide comprehensive support to all aspects of agricultural management, such as for administration, production, and sales in open field cultivation of rice and vegetables, horticulture, and in animal husbandry. With the on-site utilization of ICT as a starting point, the service aims to connect distributors, agricultural regions, and consumers through an enhanced value chain.” – Fujitsu

As more of us move into large cites and as third-world countries continue evolve from an agrarian to manufacturing/services based economies, it’s more important now than ever to understand where our food comes from, how it’s produced, and how it affects us as consumers. If technology can play a more dominant role in supplying food delivery to the world with less land, resources, and time, and can provide better economies of scale to the farmer, then I believe Fujitsu is onto something here.

Please visit Fujitsu’s website for further information.