Welcome!

Machine Learning Authors: Elizabeth White, William Schmarzo, Jnan Dash, Pat Romanski, Liz McMillan

Related Topics: @ThingsExpo, @CloudExpo, @DXWorldExpo

@ThingsExpo: Article

AI and IoT in the Kingdom of Robots | @ThingsExpo #AI #IoT #M2M #BigData

Combining digital technologies with strategy for success

Fingerspitzengefühl is a German word used to describe an 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 traditional fingerspitzengefühl, in addition to pronouncing it, is it is hard to scale. Today, however, in a world of sensors, GPS 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 (answer: sensors), but what to do with all the information.

There are many dimensions of data that are available for work outside the four walls, which is mobile, remote and dynamic.  We all know about 3 dimensional (longitude, latitude and altitude), but there are many more.  We contrive:

  • Time
  • Start and stop tasks times
  • Travel times
  • Traffic conditions
  • Available workforces and associated costs
  • Available equipment
  • Activities
  • Events
  • Business process steps
  • Expenses
  • Security steps
  • Transactions
  • Compliance tasks
  • Performances against KPIs (key performance indicators)
  • Actors (customers, partners, suppliers, contractors, employees, etc.)
  • Relationships
  • Contract/Agreements
  • Supplies, materials and equipment tracking
  • Etc.

All of these data points can be bundled together as Performance Impact Variables (PIVs).  PIVs are the data points that can be used as inputs to algorithms that can be used by AI systems to optimize and manage the performance of the business in real-time.

All of this data can be used as overlays to simple GPS coordinates on a map.  Each of these additional layers of information exponentially increases the complexity, decision-making options and possible combinations.  This enormous volume of data quickly overwhelms humans.  That is why non-humans (AI/software robots) can be used to such great effect to maintain productive situational awareness and strategic advantages in complex environments demanding real-time decision-making and action.

During the period between WWI and WWII, Western countries all developed new tanks and military aircraft to support their infantry.  The Germans, however, went three steps farther by developing strategic advantages in:

  1. Radios and frequencies for communicating between forces (tanks, infantry and aircraft) in real-time
  2. Strategies for coordinated actions between the three groups
  3. 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 additions.

The modern equivalent of "radios and communication networks" 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 modern equivalent of "strategies for coordinated action" is the ability to collect and analyze vast quantities of real-time data to automatically and dynamically manage and adjust (using AI and software robots) a whole series of activities and events such as: schedules, tasks, jobs, orders, transactions, etc.

The modern equivalent of "mission oriented command structures" is an algorithm.  Once the algorithm is developed, it can operate without human intervention.

When massive amounts of real-time data are automatically collected and analyzed, they can feed algorithms and AI systems to optimize real-time activities and events.  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.  This is where AI excels.  AI can analyze all the inbound data in nanoseconds and instantly adjust and optimize operations.

AI does not just impact field services.  It impacts many business processes by supporting:

  1. New ways of selling
  2. New business models
  3. New ways of managing
  4. New business processes
  5. New ways of collaborating
  6. New ways of making decisions
  7. New ways of engaging customers
  8. New ways of working with products
  9. New marketing and growth strategies

My mantra is, "Digital technologies without digital strategies are wasted."  Having digital technologies without a digital strategy is like having tanks, mobile infantry and aircraft, but no coherent plan for combined action.  In a recent report, 40 Months of Hyper-Digital Transformation, digital laggards were found not to receive as good of return on investments (ROIs) on their digital investments as digital leaders do.  The difference I believe is in their digital strategies, or lack thereof.

In the book, Stray Voltage, War in the Information Age, author Wayne Michael Hall defines two more PIVs - cyberspace and cerebral.  "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...people will depend more on visualization to help understand complexity quickly. Visualization will fuse data and information and display the result in a multimedia format.  Visualization will allow the integration of data, information and knowledge from all sources and will allow for the integration of numerous contributors."  Visualization, although helpful to humans, is far less relevant once algorithm-consuming AI systems take over.

Sensors, already powerful, are being developed with more capabilities to sense more things every month.  Each year when I attend GSMA's Mobile World Congress in Barcelona, I am astonished to see what additional capabilities sensors have added.  Here are some examples:

  • Sensors able to identify and classify vegetation - natural and artificial
  • Sensors able to identify and pinpoint distressed crops
  • Sensors that can identify soil moisture content
  • Sensors that can detect heat sources and leaks
  • Sensors that can detect movements and changes in defined objects
  • Sensors that can detect the chemical make-up of make-up

Each of these sensors and their real-time data collection capabilities adds to decision-making complexity, but they can also be the very PIVs that give you the competitive advantage you need to win.

Watch my latest video on digital technology trends:

Download the full report with charts and data sources here.

Follow Kevin Benedict on Twitter @krbenedict

More Stories By Kevin Benedict

Kevin Benedict is an opinionated futurist, Principal Analyst at the Center for Digital Intelligence™, C4DIGI.com, emerging technologies analyst, and digital transformation and business strategy consultant. In the past 8 years he has taught workshops for large enterprises and government agencies in 18 different countries, and is a keynote speaker at conferences worldwide. He spent nearly 5 years working as a Senior Analyst at Cognizant (CTSH), and 2 years serving in Cognizant's Center for the Future of Work where he wrote many reports, hundreds of articles, interviewed technology experts, and produced videos on the future of digital technologies and their impact on industries. He has written articles published in The Guardian, wrote the Forward to SAP Press' book titled "Mobilizing Your Enterprise with SAP", published over 3,000 articles and was featured as thought leader and digital strategist in the Department of Defense's IQT intelligence journal. Kevin lectures and leads workshops, teaches and consults with companies and government agencies around the world to help develop digital transformation and business strategies. Visit his website at C4DIGI.com.

@CloudExpo Stories
"ZeroStack is a startup in Silicon Valley. We're solving a very interesting problem around bringing public cloud convenience with private cloud control for enterprises and mid-size companies," explained Kamesh Pemmaraju, VP of Product Management at ZeroStack, 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.
In his session at 21st Cloud Expo, Carl J. Levine, Senior Technical Evangelist for NS1, will objectively discuss how DNS is used to solve Digital Transformation challenges in large SaaS applications, CDNs, AdTech platforms, and other demanding use cases. Carl J. Levine is the Senior Technical Evangelist for NS1. A veteran of the Internet Infrastructure space, he has over a decade of experience with startups, networking protocols and Internet infrastructure, combined with the unique ability to it...
"Codigm is based on the cloud and we are here to explore marketing opportunities in America. Our mission is to make an ecosystem of the SW environment that anyone can understand, learn, teach, and develop the SW on the cloud," explained Sung Tae Ryu, CEO of Codigm, 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.
High-velocity engineering teams are applying not only continuous delivery processes, but also lessons in experimentation from established leaders like Amazon, Netflix, and Facebook. These companies have made experimentation a foundation for their release processes, allowing them to try out major feature releases and redesigns within smaller groups before making them broadly available. In his session at 21st Cloud Expo, Brian Lucas, Senior Staff Engineer at Optimizely, discussed how by using ne...
"There's plenty of bandwidth out there but it's never in the right place. So what Cedexis does is uses data to work out the best pathways to get data from the origin to the person who wants to get it," explained Simon Jones, Evangelist and Head of Marketing at Cedexis, 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.
Large industrial manufacturing organizations are adopting the agile principles of cloud software companies. The industrial manufacturing development process has not scaled over time. Now that design CAD teams are geographically distributed, centralizing their work is key. With large multi-gigabyte projects, outdated tools have stifled industrial team agility, time-to-market milestones, and impacted P&L stakeholders.
"Cloud Academy is an enterprise training platform for the cloud, specifically public clouds. We offer guided learning experiences on AWS, Azure, Google Cloud and all the surrounding methodologies and technologies that you need to know and your teams need to know in order to leverage the full benefits of the cloud," explained Alex Brower, VP of Marketing at Cloud Academy, in this SYS-CON.tv interview at 21st Cloud Expo, held Oct 31 – Nov 2, 2017, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clar...
Gemini is Yahoo’s native and search advertising platform. To ensure the quality of a complex distributed system that spans multiple products and components and across various desktop websites and mobile app and web experiences – both Yahoo owned and operated and third-party syndication (supply), with complex interaction with more than a billion users and numerous advertisers globally (demand) – it becomes imperative to automate a set of end-to-end tests 24x7 to detect bugs and regression. In th...
Enterprises are moving to the cloud faster than most of us in security expected. CIOs are going from 0 to 100 in cloud adoption and leaving security teams in the dust. Once cloud is part of an enterprise stack, it’s unclear who has responsibility for the protection of applications, services, and data. When cloud breaches occur, whether active compromise or a publicly accessible database, the blame must fall on both service providers and users. In his session at 21st Cloud Expo, Ben Johnson, C...
"Infoblox does DNS, DHCP and IP address management for not only enterprise networks but cloud networks as well. Customers are looking for a single platform that can extend not only in their private enterprise environment but private cloud, public cloud, tracking all the IP space and everything that is going on in that environment," explained Steve Salo, Principal Systems Engineer at Infoblox, in this SYS-CON.tv interview at 21st Cloud Expo, held Oct 31 – Nov 2, 2017, at the Santa Clara Conventio...
Data scientists must access high-performance computing resources across a wide-area network. To achieve cloud-based HPC visualization, researchers must transfer datasets and visualization results efficiently. HPC clusters now compute GPU-accelerated visualization in the cloud cluster. To efficiently display results remotely, a high-performance, low-latency protocol transfers the display from the cluster to a remote desktop. Further, tools to easily mount remote datasets and efficiently transfer...
"MobiDev is a software development company and we do complex, custom software development for everybody from entrepreneurs to large enterprises," explained Alan Winters, U.S. Head of Business Development at MobiDev, 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.
"We're developing a software that is based on the cloud environment and we are providing those services to corporations and the general public," explained Seungmin Kim, CEO/CTO of SM Systems Inc., 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.
Agile has finally jumped the technology shark, expanding outside the software world. Enterprises are now increasingly adopting Agile practices across their organizations in order to successfully navigate the disruptive waters that threaten to drown them. In our quest for establishing change as a core competency in our organizations, this business-centric notion of Agile is an essential component of Agile Digital Transformation. In the years since the publication of the Agile Manifesto, the conn...
SYS-CON Events announced today that CrowdReviews.com has been named “Media Sponsor” of SYS-CON's 22nd International Cloud Expo, which will take place on June 5–7, 2018, at the Javits Center in New York City, NY. CrowdReviews.com is a transparent online platform for determining which products and services are the best based on the opinion of the crowd. The crowd consists of Internet users that have experienced products and services first-hand and have an interest in letting other potential buye...
The question before companies today is not whether to become intelligent, it’s a question of how and how fast. The key is to adopt and deploy an intelligent application strategy while simultaneously preparing to scale that intelligence. In her session at 21st Cloud Expo, Sangeeta Chakraborty, Chief Customer Officer at Ayasdi, provided a tactical framework to become a truly intelligent enterprise, including how to identify the right applications for AI, how to build a Center of Excellence to oper...
"IBM is really all in on blockchain. We take a look at sort of the history of blockchain ledger technologies. It started out with bitcoin, Ethereum, and IBM evaluated these particular blockchain technologies and found they were anonymous and permissionless and that many companies were looking for permissioned blockchain," stated René Bostic, Technical VP of the IBM Cloud Unit in North America, in this SYS-CON.tv interview at 21st Cloud Expo, held Oct 31 – Nov 2, 2017, at the Santa Clara Conventi...
SYS-CON Events announced today that Telecom Reseller has been named “Media Sponsor” of SYS-CON's 22nd International Cloud Expo, which will take place on June 5-7, 2018, at the Javits Center in New York, NY. Telecom Reseller reports on Unified Communications, UCaaS, BPaaS for enterprise and SMBs. They report extensively on both customer premises based solutions such as IP-PBX as well as cloud based and hosted platforms.
In his session at 21st Cloud Expo, James Henry, Co-CEO/CTO of Calgary Scientific Inc., introduced you to the challenges, solutions and benefits of training AI systems to solve visual problems with an emphasis on improving AIs with continuous training in the field. He explored applications in several industries and discussed technologies that allow the deployment of advanced visualization solutions to the cloud.
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...