Welcome!

Microservices Expo Authors: Stackify Blog, Elizabeth White, Dalibor Siroky, Pat Romanski, Liz McMillan

Related Topics: @DXWorldExpo, Artificial Intelligence, @CloudExpo

@DXWorldExpo: Article

AI and #DigitalTransformation | @ExpoDX #FinTech #AI #ArtificialIntelligence

Combining Strategies with Digital Technologies

Fingerspitzengefühl: A German word used to describe the ability to maintain attention to detail in an ever-changing operational and tactical environment by maintaining real-time situational awareness. The term is synonymous with the English expression of "keeping one's finger on the pulse".  The problem with fingerspitzengefühl traditionally, in addition to pronouncing it, has been it is hard for an individual to scale up. Today that is changing.  In a world of sensors, AI and mobile devices, having real-time situational awareness is far easier than ever before.  In fact, today the challenge is not how to do it, but what to do with the massive volume of data that can be provided.

Data comes from many different sources, especially considering field services where work is often mobile, remote and dynamic.  If more data can be captured and added to a typical GPS coordinate (i.e. longitude, latitude and altitude) which is 3D and identifies location, then why stop at a 3D view of our situation when we can add so much more:

  1. Arrival Time
  2. Start and stop tasks times
  3. Travel times
  4. Traffic conditions
  5. Available workforces and associated costs
  6. Available equipment
  7. Activities
  8. Events
  9. Business process steps
  10. Expenses
  11. Health, safety and security steps
  12. Transactions
  13. Compliance tasks
  14. Performances against KPIs (key performance indicators)
  15. Actors (customers, partners, suppliers, contractors, employees, etc.)
  16. Relationships
  17. Contract/Agreements
  18. Supplies, materials and equipment tracking
  19. Projected profits now for this service
  20. Projected profits over the lifetime of the customer for this service
  21. Etc.

All of these data points can be added together into an algorithm as Performance Impact Variables (PIVs).  PIVs is the information that can be used as inputs to algorithms that can be used by real-time artificial intelligence (AI) solutions to optimize and manage the performance of the business in real-time.

Each of these layers of information exponentially increase the complexity, decision-making options and possible combinations.  This enormous volume of real-time data would quickly overwhelm the average human.  That is why non-humans, AI and software robots, can be used to such great effect to maintain productive situational awareness and strategic advantages in complex environments demanding real-time, fast and logical decision-making and action.  This is the future of field services.

Now let's continue to build on our strategies.  During the period between WWI and WWII, all Western countries developed or acquired tanks and military aircraft to support their infantry.  The Germans, however, went three steps further by adding:

  1. New Communications: Radios and frequencies for communicating between forces (tanks, infantry and aircraft) in real-time
  2. New Strategies: Strategies for coordinated actions between the three groups
  3. New Organizational Command Structures: Mission oriented command structures - Commanders define the mission "intent", but the details of how to accomplish them were left to frontline officers.

In today's world, companies seeking strategic advantages in field services operations can learn from these three historical innovations. The digital transformation equivalent of "New Communications" is OILS (optimized information logistics systems) that sense, collect, securely and wirelessly transmit data, analyze and report on it, and support artificial intelligence (AI) and automation.

The digital transformation equivalent of "New Strategies" is the ability to think differently to exploit the values provided by digital technologies.  Sensors and mobile technologies enable us to collect vast quantities of real-time data, analytics, AI and algorithms can be used to automatically and dynamically manage, monitor and adjust a whole series of activities and events such as: schedules, resources, tasks, jobs, orders, transactions, etc., instantly.  Are we using them?

The digital transformation equivalent of "New Organizational Command Structures" is changing roles and responsibilities based on what humans do best, and what automation and the power of AI can bring to the table.

When massive amounts of real-time data are systematically collected and analyzed, they can feed algorithms and AI systems to optimize real-time activities and events and change the way the business operates.  The speed at which data can be processed through OILS and AI systems today far exceeds human decision-making capabilities - so automation that works in digital-time is required. That is where AI excels.  AI can analyze all the inbound data in nanoseconds and instantly adjust and optimize operations.

Digital technologies without digital strategies are wasted, just like having tanks without the appropriate communications, strategies and command structures to accompany them.  Or like having tanks, mobile infantry and aircraft, but no coherent plan for using them together in combined actions. In my recent report, 40 Months of Hyper-Digital Transformation, digital laggards were found lacking in their return on investments (ROIs) when compared to digital leaders.  The differences, I believe, were in their lack of strategies, and combinatorial building blocks.

In the book, Stray Voltage, War in the Information Age, published in 2003, author Wayne Michael Hall defines two more PIVs - cyberspace and cerebral that we need to pay attention to. Here is an excerpt, "Information superiority is firmly connected to making decisions that are superior to an adversary's and combines information technology and intellectual power to create conditions with which to make better decisions...human beings will need to improve their thinking capabilities to cope with the increasing complexities of the world." Improvements in our thinking capabilities today can be found in the computing power and speed of artificial intelligence, big data analytics and machine learning.

Visit the Center for Digital Intelligence's website at C4DIGI.com.

More Stories By Kevin Benedict

Kevin Benedict serves as the Senior Vice President, Solutions Strategy, at Regalix, a Silicon Valley based company, focused on bringing the best strategies, digital technologies, processes and people together to deliver improved customer experiences, journeys and success through the combination of intelligent solutions, analytics, automation and services. He is a popular writer, speaker and futurist, and in the past 8 years he has taught workshops for large enterprises and government agencies in 18 different countries. He has over 32 years of experience working with strategic enterprise IT solutions and business processes, and he is also a veteran executive working with both solution and services companies. He has written dozens of technology and strategy reports, over a thousand articles, interviewed hundreds of technology experts, and produced videos on the future of digital technologies and their impact on industries.

@MicroservicesExpo Stories
It has never been a better time to be a developer! Thanks to cloud computing, deploying our applications is much easier than it used to be. How we deploy our apps continues to evolve thanks to cloud hosting, Platform-as-a-Service (PaaS), and now Function-as-a-Service. FaaS is the concept of serverless computing via serverless architectures. Software developers can leverage this to deploy an individual "function", action, or piece of business logic. They are expected to start within milliseconds...
As DevOps methodologies expand their reach across the enterprise, organizations face the daunting challenge of adapting related cloud strategies to ensure optimal alignment, from managing complexity to ensuring proper governance. How can culture, automation, legacy apps and even budget be reexamined to enable this ongoing shift within the modern software factory? In her Day 2 Keynote at @DevOpsSummit at 21st Cloud Expo, Aruna Ravichandran, VP, DevOps Solutions Marketing, CA Technologies, was jo...
The nature of test environments is inherently temporary—you set up an environment, run through an automated test suite, and then tear down the environment. If you can reduce the cycle time for this process down to hours or minutes, then you may be able to cut your test environment budgets considerably. The impact of cloud adoption on test environments is a valuable advancement in both cost savings and agility. The on-demand model takes advantage of public cloud APIs requiring only payment for t...
You know you need the cloud, but you’re hesitant to simply dump everything at Amazon since you know that not all workloads are suitable for cloud. You know that you want the kind of ease of use and scalability that you get with public cloud, but your applications are architected in a way that makes the public cloud a non-starter. You’re looking at private cloud solutions based on hyperconverged infrastructure, but you’re concerned with the limits inherent in those technologies.
Is advanced scheduling in Kubernetes achievable?Yes, however, how do you properly accommodate every real-life scenario that a Kubernetes user might encounter? How do you leverage advanced scheduling techniques to shape and describe each scenario in easy-to-use rules and configurations? In his session at @DevOpsSummit at 21st Cloud Expo, Oleg Chunikhin, CTO at Kublr, answered these questions and demonstrated techniques for implementing advanced scheduling. For example, using spot instances and co...
The cloud era has reached the stage where it is no longer a question of whether a company should migrate, but when. Enterprises have embraced the outsourcing of where their various applications are stored and who manages them, saving significant investment along the way. Plus, the cloud has become a defining competitive edge. Companies that fail to successfully adapt risk failure. The media, of course, continues to extol the virtues of the cloud, including how easy it is to get there. Migrating...
For DevOps teams, the concepts behind service-oriented architecture (SOA) are nothing new. A style of software design initially made popular in the 1990s, SOA was an alternative to a monolithic application; essentially a collection of coarse-grained components that communicated with each other. Communication would involve either simple data passing or two or more services coordinating some activity. SOA served as a valid approach to solving many architectural problems faced by businesses, as app...
Some journey to cloud on a mission, others, a deadline. Change management is useful when migrating to public, private or hybrid cloud environments in either case. For most, stakeholder engagement peaks during the planning and post migration phases of a project. Legacy engagements are fairly direct: projects follow a linear progression of activities (the “waterfall” approach) – change managers and application coders work from the same functional and technical requirements. Enablement and develo...
Gone are the days when application development was the daunting task of the highly skilled developers backed with strong IT skills, low code application development has democratized app development and empowered a new generation of citizen developers. There was a time when app development was in the domain of people with complex coding and technical skills. We called these people by various names like programmers, coders, techies, and they usually worked in a world oblivious of the everyday pri...
While some developers care passionately about how data centers and clouds are architected, for most, it is only the end result that matters. To the majority of companies, technology exists to solve a business problem, and only delivers value when it is solving that problem. 2017 brings the mainstream adoption of containers for production workloads. In his session at 21st Cloud Expo, Ben McCormack, VP of Operations at Evernote, discussed how data centers of the future will be managed, how the p...
From manual human effort the world is slowly paving its way to a new space where most process are getting replaced with tools and systems to improve efficiency and bring down operational costs. Automation is the next big thing and low code platforms are fueling it in a significant way. The Automation era is here. We are in the fast pace of replacing manual human efforts with machines and processes. In the world of Information Technology too, we are linking disparate systems, softwares and tool...
DevOps is good for organizations. According to the soon to be released State of DevOps Report high-performing IT organizations are 2X more likely to exceed profitability, market share, and productivity goals. But how do they do it? How do they use DevOps to drive value and differentiate their companies? We recently sat down with Nicole Forsgren, CEO and Chief Scientist at DORA (DevOps Research and Assessment) and lead investigator for the State of DevOps Report, to discuss the role of measure...
DevOps is under attack because developers don’t want to mess with infrastructure. They will happily own their code into production, but want to use platforms instead of raw automation. That’s changing the landscape that we understand as DevOps with both architecture concepts (CloudNative) and process redefinition (SRE). Rob Hirschfeld’s recent work in Kubernetes operations has led to the conclusion that containers and related platforms have changed the way we should be thinking about DevOps and...
"As we've gone out into the public cloud we've seen that over time we may have lost a few things - we've lost control, we've given up cost to a certain extent, and then security, flexibility," explained Steve Conner, VP of Sales at Cloudistics,in this SYS-CON.tv interview at 20th Cloud Expo, held June 6-8, 2017, at the Javits Center in New York City, NY.
These days, APIs have become an integral part of the digital transformation journey for all enterprises. Every digital innovation story is connected to APIs . But have you ever pondered over to know what are the source of these APIs? Let me explain - APIs sources can be varied, internal or external, solving different purposes, but mostly categorized into the following two categories. Data lakes is a term used to represent disconnected but relevant data that are used by various business units wit...
With continuous delivery (CD) almost always in the spotlight, continuous integration (CI) is often left out in the cold. Indeed, it's been in use for so long and so widely, we often take the model for granted. So what is CI and how can you make the most of it? This blog is intended to answer those questions. Before we step into examining CI, we need to look back. Software developers often work in small teams and modularity, and need to integrate their changes with the rest of the project code b...
"I focus on what we are calling CAST Highlight, which is our SaaS application portfolio analysis tool. It is an extremely lightweight tool that can integrate with pretty much any build process right now," explained Andrew Siegmund, Application Migration Specialist for CAST, in this SYS-CON.tv interview at 21st Cloud Expo, held Oct 31 – Nov 2, 2017, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA.
"Cloud4U builds software services that help people build DevOps platforms for cloud-based software and using our platform people can draw a picture of the system, network, software," explained Kihyeon Kim, CEO and Head of R&D at Cloud4U, in this SYS-CON.tv interview at 21st Cloud Expo, held Oct 31 – Nov 2, 2017, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA.
Kubernetes is an open source system for automating deployment, scaling, and management of containerized applications. Kubernetes was originally built by Google, leveraging years of experience with managing container workloads, and is now a Cloud Native Compute Foundation (CNCF) project. Kubernetes has been widely adopted by the community, supported on all major public and private cloud providers, and is gaining rapid adoption in enterprises. However, Kubernetes may seem intimidating and complex ...
DevOps is often described as a combination of technology and culture. Without both, DevOps isn't complete. However, applying the culture to outdated technology is a recipe for disaster; as response times grow and connections between teams are delayed by technology, the culture will die. A Nutanix Enterprise Cloud has many benefits that provide the needed base for a true DevOps paradigm. In their Day 3 Keynote at 20th Cloud Expo, Chris Brown, a Solutions Marketing Manager at Nutanix, and Mark Lav...