Saturday, November 19, 2016

Major trends

This is the third part of my presentation “Making money from the cloud”. You can find the full slides at:

https://doc.co/LyrxvF/qcihGm

and the previous parts are at:

We live in exponential times

Consider the following

image

To develop a plan for your professional and business development going forward you need to start with the macro and move to the micro. So what are the major trends we see in today’s world?

The first is automation. A great discussion on this can be found in this Dan Pink video:

If you play the video by clicking the above it should start at the right place, if not forward to 29 minutes and 52 seconds to hear about automation. The whole video is worth watching, and I recommend you do, but the section on automation is especially pertinent. In essence what we will see is anything that is routine, linear, or process driven can be automated using software. Have a look at this video at the 46m mark through to the 50m 30s point for a idea of what is becoming possible when it comes to automating something as mundane as ordering at the drive through:

The ramifications here are two fold. Firstly, it indicates that to be more competitive and attractive is today’s business environment you need to be developing more and more automated systems. This automation is typically created via software. Thus, no matter who or what you are you need to using software effectively to become more competitive. Secondly, it means that tasks that can be automated will fast move to a commodity model, which means the lowest price wins. For most business and individuals this will not be a profitable option. Thus, if you can’t compete in the world of process that can be automated then may be you shouldn’t be playing there!

We are witnessing a new focus on artificial intelligence and machine learning thanks to software. The data you generate when you shop, use your credit card, use GPS navigation, read your emails is all being aggregated to create a better profile of you as an individual. This allows the system to deliver you better results. It allows the system to know what you want before you know you want it.

Here’s a good example:

ThyssenKrupp is using tools from Microsoft like Internet of Things (IoT), Azure machine learning, and Power to provide more reliable lift operations. With the sensor data feeding into predictive algorithms in Azure machine learning ThyssenKrupp can determine pre-emptively when components may fail and can take action before they do.

We live in a world were more and more items are becoming directly connected to the Internet. These devices are generating massive amounts of data that can be analysed to provide benefits in so many ways. Here’s a great example of what is possible with IoT;

So the question is, what is your business doing about IoT? Machine Learning? Big Data? and Artificial Intelligence? They need to be part of your game plan going forward. How can you use these technologies in you business to be more productive or provide better solutions for you customers?

An indicative statistic when it comes to the growth of mobile devices is the fact that mobile ads now exceed ads delivered on TV! Also previously, nearly all office workers were tethered to their cubicle by a blue network patch lead. Today, by contrast, users are rarely solely working from their cubicle. Work is no longer a place you go, it is something that you do. That typically means that wherever you have internet connectivity the expectation is that you can work. The growth of mobile device has fuelled this ability to work remotely and will continue to do so.

Mobility raises challenges for IT departments in that they are still expected to manage, monitor and maintain fleets of devices now roaming the streets untethered. I see that many IT support departments have the ability to manage desktop devices but as yet have no strategy in place to manage mobile devices. Consider that the decline of desktop workstations and servers is only going to increase while sales of mobile device will increase. Also, mobile devices are upgraded at a much faster clip than on-premises hardware. If you consider those trends, what should your IT management business be focused on? Yes, that’s right, mobile devices.

Augmented reality is allowing a new layer on top of our existing world that can provide some amazing abilities as the above video demonstrates. Combine a HoloLens with a drone and now you can examine some of the dangerous places in the world from the safety of your armchair. The applications for business are enormous. Imagine being able to work on a jet engine and having the full schematics available to you in front of your eyes. Imagine being able to overlay those plans on what you are exactly looking at.

Some good novels I have read that give you a glimpse into this potential universe are:

Daemon

Freedom TM

Ready Player One

Rather than learning about something by reading it or watching a video, imagine instead immersing yourself directly in the experience, right in front of your eyes? The quickest way to learn someone is to actually do it as they say. Augmented reality allows that. Although perhaps still in its infancy it won’t be long before we simple accept this ability as the default.

If you want to being to appreciate how modern technology is changing the basics of how people learn then I urge you to watch the video above Build a School in the Cloud. You’ll see how the availability of information has levelled the playing field. The question for you however is, how are you taking advantage of these trends? How are you using the wealth of information and technology that is in your hands TODAY, to lead a better life and help others?

Unfortunately, there are always two sides to the technology coin. Technology is neutral. It is neither good or bad. It’s nature depends solely on how it is used.

I have written many articles on how we are allowing the bad guys to constantly win:

Bad guys just keep winning

and I fear as we rush into this new world of everything being connected we are making ourselves more vulnerable to catastrophic failure.

An eye opening video I’d encourage you to watch is:

A vision of crimes in the future

Don’t believe security will be ab issue in our technological future? Then tell me why cryptolocker is still running rampant through businesses today? How it this possible with all the security, anti-virus and protection software in place? In most cases the cryptolocker delivery mechanism goes straight through all of these and entices the end user to activate. How is that possible? Why haven’t we solved these issues as IT people?

Technology is two headed beast. What works for good can also be used for bad. The more technology we adopt, the more risk we place ourselves in. If you took most people’s mobile phone away from them, they’d be lost and pretty much be unable to function in today’s society. That is not a good state of affairs now is it?

At this point many IT people smile smugly believing they are immune from such a future. My response to that is to ask whether every device they carry outside their business is encrypted? Every mobile device today has the ability to have the information on it encrypted so that if it is every lost the data can not be read by unauthorised parties.

So, is EVERY device you have encrypted? Are you using two factor authentication to protect you identity? Hmmm… are you? If not then you are certainly vulnerable and as we move forward more and more of your precious data will be vulnerable unless you take continuing steps to give security the primary priority it should have when it comes to our digital world. Alas, I fear the opposite is transpiring with more and more people abdicating the security of their digital universe and that unfortunately makes us all more vulnerable every day because we live an increasingly connected world.

These are the major technology trends sweeping our world today, both good and bad. Their adoption continues at unprecedented rates. However, the question remains, what are you doing to take advantage, adapt and to keep up in the face of these changes?