Information Systems Integration – Tony Messina

Monthly Archives: February 2018

Google’s Predictive Internet

Staying on top of the competition is one of Google’s main goals. It’s the newest method to doing this is incorporating predictive applications into all of its services. In order to make life even easier and less time consuming, Google is starting to text, web surf, and photo edit for you without you having to lift a finger! This adds a new system to their system architecture. We are starting to see this with Google’s Predictive Conversation. Applications like Gmail now contain smart replies that write a response email just by pushing one button. These responses are short and concise but still takes into account your writing style to give the other person you’re conversing with a personal feel. The next application in progress is Predictive Web surfing. Google’s changing the way we browse by adding preloaded links to the front of your google page, filled with all of your favorite links. This makes surfing the internet faster and returning to previous pages easier. The most interesting feature about this is the option to click a button similar to the “I’m Feeling Lucky” button and it will take you to each of your most visited websites. Lastly, Google is looking to integrate Predictive Photo Editing. This application will allow picture you take to automatically be edited in the most common ways you like to edit. Another feature allows you to created animations and collages of a person or group of people with just a few clicks, greatly cutting the time that it normally takes to make these down.

Do you guys want to see this, or do you think it’s unnecessary? Please comment your thoughts!

See Full Article: Predictions About Google’s Predictive Internet

The way the role of IT is changing

No longer is it the role of IT to bring in the latest and greatest technology in the most cost effective way. IT management and the role of IT has started to become “Strategy-Oriented, Collaborative and more business Aware.” (Morgan, Jacob Inc. Aug 29, 2017) IT used to be a group of tech enthusiasts who kept the servers running in a basement data center, out of sight from the rest of the business. Today the role of IT has expended into every single business unit in the company. The IT management team is involved in almost all company projects and help make integral decisions on what new technologies to bring in and offer support to the business units on how to use existing data. Social Media has now become a business need versus a business want. Many IT departments have dedicated employees just to handle the day-to-day social media needs of each business unit. IT is becoming globally aware. IT employees have to keep an eye on growing trends and technology is constantly changing. Large on premise data centers are slowly being outsources to cloud companies such as Amazon AWS and Microsoft Azure. Everyone in IT now shares the responsibility of keeping data and IP secure to reduce the threat of being hacked.

https://www.inc.com/jacob-morgan/3-ways-the-role-of-it-is-changing.html

Why Microsoft Is Ruling The Cloud, IBM Is Matching Amazon, And Google Is $15 Billion Behind

The demand of cloud computing service is rapidly increasing these years. It seems that the advantages of cloud service – live  & fresh management portal, less expensive, more flexible, full availability and convenient – had been well noticed by both large cooperation and  small business. These advantages provide a more efficient method of daily operations for a company which aroused and provided a huge opportunities for the service provider. Azure from Microsoft, AWS from Amazon and IBM cloud service keep leading this industry since the service was explored. In 2017, most of the big cloud service companies earned a revenue acceleration rate between 30% and 50%. Now, Google is working on their own cloud service and they had a good beginning in 2017.

As mentioned in article, different cloud service provider has their own characteristics and advantages. Based on current financial and technical background of Google, what do you think it will break through the market and build their own product advantage?

Available online at: https://www.forbes.com/sites/bobevans1/2018/02/05/why-microsoft-is-ruling-the-cloud-ibm-is-matching-amazon-and-google-is-15-billion-behind/#3fac22a51dc1

How harmless data becomes dangerous.

heatmap photo

Photo by idealisms

This November the app Strava wanted to share its data it had collected from users using the app to log fitness information such as runs and bike rides. Within roughly two months observers had noticed that the app had perhaps revealed private U.S. military base locations and personnel based on the data collected and now publicly shared. Of course, this was not the fitness apps intention, as it was simply made to help people track their personal performance, but all of this personal data collection comes at a cost. This is not the first time data has been revealed and unintentionally had unintended negative consequences and will probably not be the last. With people downloading apps everyday and not fully understanding all of the data they are collecting about them there will always be consequences of some sort.

How much data are you willing to give up about yourself and your daily life ? Where do you draw your privacy line ?

Source: http://money.cnn.com/2018/01/29/technology/strava-privacy-data-exposed/index.html

The Implications of Ethereum Smart Contracts

Ethereum smart contracts are a key innovation in the technological arena. They are immortal, unalterable, codified agreements between participating parties in which the terms of the contract determine the distribution of tokens. These tokens are impossible to counterfeit and can be exchanged for a generally accepted currency or represent an internally relevant commodity. Examples of such commodities could include equity in a company, rewards points, or corporate funds. Dividend payouts can be coded into the agreements for token holders. The completed token distribution paths are currently recorded for eternity, but future technologies may allow the programmer to choose if these paths should be obfuscated beyond recovery.

Because the agreements cannot be changed after they are executed, the participating parties no longer need to trust their partners. Traditionally in business, transactions are invoiced to be hopefully paid at a later date; smart contracts eliminate the requirement for this “leap of faith.” Lines of credit, insurance contracts, and lease agreements can be issued without a fear of insolvency on behalf of either party.

Any agreement which has hitherto relied on the courts system to bind the parties to their word can now be programmatically guaranteed. Plus, the involved parties no longer necessarily have to identify themselves to take part in such an agreement.

In my next post, I will talk about the value of sending live data feeds to these Ethereum smart contracts via a decentralized network of oracles.

Using Data and Analytics to Improve the Organization

Harvard Business Review published an article called How to Integrate Data and Analytics into Every Part of Your Organization. To have a successful D&A function, the article states “D&A should be the pulse of the organization, incorporated into all key decisions across sales, marketing, supply chain, customer experience, and other core functions.” This is like the “IT “Is” the Business” approach that we read about in The Built-to-Purpose IT Organization. The “IT “Is” the Business” approach to D&A will be effective only if the entire organization supports the D&A strategy.

I think that building a strategy about how D&A will be used to improve the organization and getting top leadership on board with that strategy is an effective way to implement D&A in an organization. How to Integrate Data and Analytics into Every Part of Your Organization says that “developing a strategy across the entire enterprise that includes a clear understanding of what you hope to accomplish” is the best way to build effective D&A capabilities. Communicating this strategy to top leadership is the best way to get the entire organization on board with the message. Once top leadership adopts a strategy, the rest of the organization will follow.

Companies can optimize business outcomes by incorporating D&A with teams of data and software engineers who are skilled in the use of big data. Companies should measure the ROI of incorporating a D&A function in their organization and implement one if it is feasible. What types of companies can benefit from the implementation of a D&A function? How accurately can the ROI of a D&A function be measured?

https://hbr.org/2017/06/how-to-integrate-data-and-analytics-into-every-part-of-your-organization

Wearable Tech in The Workplace: Privacy Issue?

Reports have surfaced that Amazon has filed patents for electronic tracking wristbands that would be worn by its warehouse employees. Although the descriptions for the patents explain that the sole purpose of the wristbands would be to collect data about inventory, the wearable technology would most likely gather tons of data on the employees as well. Essentially, the wristbands would track the products handled by the employees and vibrate to guide the employees’ movements to increase efficiency.

Amazon’s warehouse workers have already been complaining of poor working conditions, and this has the potential to be viewed as an invasion of privacy if implemented. Amazon believes that the technology could greatly improve the productivity of its workers while giving them less time using scanners or computers. However, others think it would be an unethical method and could strain relationships with employees even further.

What do you think? Does company-issued wearable tech belong in the workplace? Is it ethical and productive? Or will it only hurt Amazon’s relationship with its workers?

Source: http://money.cnn.com/2018/02/02/technology/amazon-employee-tracker/index.html

How can companies keep abreast to data?

As companies started shifting from data-generating to data-powering phase, the value of data analytics becomes more and more essential. How can companies, nowadays, keep pace with the revolutionary change? Here are the major 4 approaches:

 1. Make data valuable. 

While companies storage tons of data, investing a huge amount of capital for, the question comes down to its value. It’s time for them to figure out how to make good use of those data.

 2. Bring CDO (Chief Digital Officer) onboard.

The emerging trend of data-driven business is casting a message that companies need an incumbent dealing with “digitals”. Together with resources and skills, CDOs will generate the most successful accomplishments for their organizations.

 3. Traffic “police” come into the center of data.

As different departments playings roles, they will be using different systems which generate different data all the time. Who will be directing them? And who will be organizing them? The answer is Data Curator. By conducting and dealing with data related activities, data curators will ensure the whole process perform as it supposed to be.

  4. Data governance.

European Union has passed General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) which directly influences on all the companies that have business with EU residents. A company which breaches the regulation will face a fine up to 20 million Euros. Therefore, for those company, the governance over their data is going to impact on their fates. And the U.S. companies are the very first likely victim of this regulation according to Zachery Bosin, director of solution marketing at Veritas Technologies.

Among those 4 approaches, which you think is the most impending crisis a company needs to deal with? For small companies, is data the key to success or the impact can only be prominent for big companies? Will GDPR instigate such tremendous movement toward the world, and other organizations or governments will respond?

 

Sources:

https://www.cio.com/article/3251720/analytics/4-data-analytics-trends-that-will-dominate-2018.html

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/General_Data_Protection_Regulation

Amazon Go: the store of the future

 

 

 

 

 

 

When the CEO of Amazon, Jeff Bezos, purchased the conglomerate Whole Foods in early 2015, he envisioned an innovative way for consumers to shop at stores. At the end of 2016, Amazon unveiled its plan to implement cashier-less grocery stores across the nation. The futuristic supermarket, Amazon Go, is designed with advanced cameras and technologies that allow customers to pick items and walk out of the store without going through the checkout process. Instead, the items taken from the store will be automatically charged to your personal Amazon Prime account after leaving.

This brick-and-mortar supermarket will eliminate the need for cashiers. According to the article, there are 3.5 million cashiers in the United States who could potentially lose their jobs to automation if Amazon Go is a success. The first store just opened in Seattle on January 22nd and it’s only a matter of time before more start popping up.

Do you think it is economically ethical to implement these types of stores? Would you be interested in shopping at a brick-and-mortar Amazon store? When will Amazon reach its peak?

Source: http://money.cnn.com/2018/01/26/technology/amazon-go-store/index.html

The Future of Automobiles

Technology is advancing every day and it is also reshaping our driving experience.  What the world has been accustomed to in driving for the past 50 – 60 years is forever changing.  Cars are increasingly becoming electric and will eventually overtake the market. With almost all car manufactures investing in production of electric cars a strong statement has been set out on the importance of electricity. Car manufactures are also investing in car charging networks along America’s highways as more people purchase these type of vehicles.

Advances in sensors and computer software are also making self-driving cars possible. Many newer vehicles can already pretty much drive themselves with humans making minimal intervention. The difficult part about self-driving cars will be the ability to drive in complex urban environments. Places where traffic lights and pedestrians are rapidly changing for sensors to quickly detect. With so much taken from the driving experience car-sharing is becoming more popular. Users are sharing their cars when they don’t need them to companies like lyft and Uber so other drivers can make money. Technology is reshaping automobiles and soon the driving experience will forever change.

Do you think self-driving cars will bring a positive or negative driving experience in the future ? Will gasoline and diesel powered cars soon diminish on the roads ? How much has Uber and lyft already changed on the driving experience ?

http://money.cnn.com/2017/05/24/technology/future-of-cars/index.html