Gone are the days of just simple applications. Google in its latest update to its Flights application added a new feature, predicting flight delays. The new feature is back by machine learning. Machine learning is vast and an emerging space in the world of technology. Soon traditional application with fall behind to smart applications that utilize these new and emerging technologies. For Google Flights machine learning to build a model that can process historical data and use different indexes (location, weather, flight times) to predict delays. Within the application, a delay is only showed if the prediction has a confidence of 80% or greater. This a very innovative feature that will increase customer engagement and user experience for the application. This is not a “fun” feature but to weary travellers, it’s an important feature.
How can Machine Learning add value to other applications? What apps will machine learning change next?
While we haven’t explicitly discussed cloud computing in class this semester, nearly everyone in the IT industry is aware of the benefits that this service provides and the changing landscape with how firms store data. A firm that has recently reaped benefits from providing cloud computing services is Microsoft. Microsoft’s financial records were recently reported for Q1 of F18 and the returns from its flagship cloud computing service, Azure, were very impressive. According to Reuters, this past quarter was Microsoft’s 10th in a row where its Azure service experienced 90 percent revenue growth. Also, the firm’s intelligent cloud segment, which includes Azure, Office 365, and Dynamics 365 (ERP and CRM software) rose 15.3% in the last fiscal quarter to $7.8 billion.
However, the most interesting aspect of this article was how Microsoft’s cloud services are stealing market share from the prominent Amazon Web Services. Kim Forrest, an equity analyst at Fort Pitt Capital Group, believes that the reason behind that is because cloud customers are avoiding being locked into just one service, claiming that “if you’re really smart you’ll have not one provider but two.”
Do you think Microsoft will eventually be able to surpass AWS in the cloud computing market due to their variety of services offered? Do you think more firms will try to enter the cloud computing market after seeing Microsoft and Amazon’s recent success?
As we have learned in class, a CRM system is crucial to identify your customers’ needs and helps you determine how to meet those needs. Amazon recently opened a grocery store where you pick up items and walk out. No long check out lines. Amazon has identified an unmet need or complaint by consumers, the long check out line, and this is their solution to the dilemma. They use technology called “Just Walk Out” which uses cameras, sensors, and barcodes that allows the consumer to add to their digital tab by picking up items and walking out of the store. This platform offers big potential for Amazon’s CRM system. They can gather customer data about what they like and don’t like in the store, what they pick up and put back, and what goes paired well together. This data will be able to go through their CRM system and can be used for future decision making. Amazon has been on the forefront of new technology, and they hope this space will add to their customer centric business model.
What do you think this business model will do to the current grocery store industry? Would you use this platform for grocery shopping? Do you think this platform will be a success for Amazon?
As mentioned in class, AI has been a big part in technology. Many companies are doing and using it into the business processes, such as packaging, moving and sorting products. So how will AI affect the world and what should we think about it? Recently, Google DeepMind made a big leap in AI that its programme AlphaGo beat world champion Lee Sedol at Go. This is a breakthrough that indicates thousands of years of human knowledge has learned and surpassed by a machine in just 40 days. This is frightening somehow, because there is possibility if machine replaces human and the world one day as machine is “smarter” than human now. But on the other hand, this breakthrough brings good news to the health industry as AlphaGo can be utilized to find cures for complex and unsolvable health problems that might take humans hundreds of years to fix.
What’s your opinion on AlphaGo? Do you think machines, like AlphaGo, will be a threat to human life? Do you think the development of AI technologies will do more good than harm to the world?
Resource from http://www.telegraph.co.uk/science/2017/10/18/alphago-zero-google-deepmind-supercomputer-learns-3000-years/
As you have probably heard by now, corporate behemoths Amazon, Berkshire Hathaway and JP Morgan Chase & Co. have joined forces to disrupt the current healthcare situation in the United States. Their plan, led by Jeff Bezos (current richest man in the world), Warren Buffett and Jamie Dimon, is to create an independent healthcare company for their families and employees, which includes over 1 million Americans. Although in the early stages, the companies aim to release this form of healthcare to all Americans one day. Additionally, the CEOs said that the independent company would be “free from profit-making incentives and constraints”. In my mind, the biggest implication coming from this story is Amazon’s entry to the healthcare and pharma industries. Another step has now been taken toward Amazon taking over the world.
Now, how does this news relate to our class and IT? These are three of the largest companies in the world who have unfathomable amounts of data. Additionally, Amazon has been a leader in technology for years, so of course they understand how to collect, analyze and utilize their data. This data shows the companies how consumers make choices and why, and they plan to use technology to increase efficiency and simplicity for these consumers. They have the opportunity improve sustainability using technology as well, an area where the government has not excelled. Finally, they have the opportunity to modernize and digitize legacy processes like calling a doctor’s office to set up an appointment. A professor at the University of Michigan stated that this process could become similar to booking a reservation at a restaurant using Open Table.
What do you think additional implications could be if a giant like Amazon penetrates yet another massive industry? Could this idea eventually become a success? How could this threat to current leaders in the industry change their current business models and processes?
Automation has changed how technology is viewed in industries across the world. One of the questions posed in class was whether technology is an indispensable comity or if companies viewed technology as a dying art that sometimes acts as more of a hindrance than a help. National Public Radio wrote an article about how factory workers do not think that automation could replace their jobs completely. Companies spoke out saying that technology will be used to help factory workers make their jobs easier not replace them. At Prudential, I worked under Global Business Technology Solutions where I found that technology has transformed the business. Instead of tech jobs such as help desks, which are now automated or outsourced, technology is now a tool used to increase efficiency. Now technology has become a tool to help employees gather data and complete tasks more easily. Automation is the one of the first steps in the right direction. Through the use of automation, employees across industries can put aside tedious tasks and concentrate on more important things that impact the business. To work and stay within the technology sector, you need to contribute to using technology as a tool that makes the business better.
Do you feel that automation is the future of technology? Do you feel that more companies across industries will automate?
Selyukh, A. (2018, January 25). ‘Don’t Think A Robot Could Do This’: Warehouse Workers Aren’t Worried For Their Jobs. Retrieved January 31, 2018, from https://www.npr.org/2018/01/25/579160550/don-t-think-a-robot-could-do-this-warehouse-workers-aren-t-worried-for-their-job
As we’ve discussed in class, ERP systems are an extremely effective way for companies to integrate business units and align their transnational data for more efficient operations, and lower operational costs. Unfortunately, as with any major IT technolgoy, its benefits do not come without a plethora of security concerns. In 2017, KPMG interviewed 300 CEO’s across varying industries and discovered that about 17% of the firms being interviewed had experienced a breach of their ERP system in the last 5 years. Data that could potentially be stolen includes customer’s names, addresses, social security numbers, and more. Approximately 19% of the firms interviewed also mentioned that they had experienced fraud in their ERP systems, including internal theft. But why are ERP security issues so prevalent? The answer is improper knowledge and training of professionals managing ERP systems for organizations. Of the 300 firms surveyed, only 11% believed that their internal audit teams had the skills necessary to conduct periodic security and controls assessments of their ERP systems. KPMG is one of a number of companies who consults with companies to help secure their ERP systems. They recommend that companies assess the following areas to help improve the security of their ERP system:
1. System’s current state
2. Current controls
3. The ERP’s role based security
4. Cloud authentication
5. Cloud identity management
6. Data and infrastructure security design and implementation.
Why do you feel companies are having trouble finding employees skilled in assessing and ensuring the security of their ERP systems? Is there an educational gap? For the cyber security folks out there, are these assessments enough to guarantee an ERP system stays secure? For more info, check out the link below.
In class we watched the following you tube posted analysis of Steve Jobs presentation skills. The analysis focused on the introduction of the I-phone. A link to the I-phone presentation is also attached. Please take a few moments to review and express your reaction by making your first class comment. Instructions are under Course Structure / Participation.
Welcome to MIS 4596 – Section 1 – Spring 2018
Tuesdays / Thurs 3:30-4:50 Alter 603
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