The Next Big Thing
Posts about next generation technologies and their effect on business.

HP Matter: Healthcare

Mobile Healthcare.pngEarlier this month HP released a Healthcare industry specific issue of its HP Matter e-magazine that is created in partnership with FastCompany.


This joint activity covers a wide range of design, culture, experience and trending issues. For example:

Just to name a few of the articles. This wide-ranging set of material is taking the previous industry specific material to a whole new level from a range of perspectives. Next month will be focused on the Telecom industry.

Looking at the smart home and wondering about the smart enterprise

business questions.pngI came across this post about a self-actualization-house and it made me wonder about the application of these techniques within an enterprise. The concept of this house definitely takes the concept of an environmental view of the IoT to a whole new level.


Although the concept of a house that can create energy and address its needs would be nice for an enterprise as well, there are so many more resources that enterprises consume that needs to be optimized beyond just energy.


With the use of analytics and other techniques having a ‘dumb’ enterprise may be just as unacceptable as the ‘dumb’ house in the article. Business process autopilots will be as common as thermostats. I’ve not really thought about the needs from the same level of stage 1-8 that the article has done for the house but I can see it coming. Taking the articles final thoughts and replacing:

Born -> Hired

Home -> Business

Live -> Work

Family -> Co-workers


Leads to an interesting perspective of the enterprise of tomorrow.

Data and decision latency expectations shifting

Analytics time.pngOne of the issues I’ve talked about many times over the year is the need to shift our understanding and expectation of latency and action. I came across this post: Analytics Time Lags Result in Lost Opportunities. It also discusses the fact that the data gathering and analytics that were great a short while ago are now viewed as insufficient, stating that “72% of analytics and business leaders surveyed were dissatisfied with the time it takes to get data-driven results”.


Unfortunately, it didn’t really do more than imply that solutions exist. Fact is most solutions deployed today are based on hindsight. There is little doubt that the vast amounts of data available are going to require an exceptional command of information, far beyond just hindsight. It will require a refocusing of skills and perspective that are based on generating value from the abundance of computing and data available. This will require new techniques for computing as well as data gathering and integration. The work going on in HP labs related to The Machine will help address these needs, when this platform is released.


We have data coming in from sensors and mobile devices creating an ever increasing amount of Dark Data where value can be generated. We can also build context from the other data about what happened when, who or what was involved or happened at the same time. This derived data or metadata can sometimes be more valuable than the raw data itself, since people don’t really make decisions off the data but the context the data describes. Organizations are recognizing that all this data will provide a depth of understanding about what happened in the past, present and future that we’ve not really taken advantage of before.


We can develop a greater depth of understanding about what is happening right now that can enable us to automate decisions or concentrate that rare resource – employee attention - on those areas that really need it. There are relatively new technologies that most teams have not even looked at like software defined networks… that can operate on data on the fly instead of just data at rest. This will eventually enable a more active, organizational approach to tackling opportunities.


Finally, over the years we’ve learned that getting to zero response time is very difficult. It may actually be easier to move to a negative response time, where you predict what is likely to happen and adjust to be ready to address it or even shift the outcome. Tools to address all these various perspectives of data and enabling right-time decisions are available to improve your ability to optimize time-to-action are available today.

Why is the IoT viewed with such potential and confusion?

Internet of things.pngThere is a fundamental shift underway from dumb devices where organizations guess about how their being used, when and by whom. Now a physical product (from almost any industry) has the potential to be a first-class participant in its own value chain. It can talk back to its creators in engineering and manufacturing as well as those who service it, cutting downtime and improving its use. It has the potential to talk with (where everyone seems to be focused) those that actually use it, making their life better and more productive. There is also the potential to collaborate with sales and marketing to share what users are thinking based on where, when and how it’s used. Devices/products are becoming members of an environmental view of the context that surrounds them. Although it involves information technology, it is about a shift in business value.


This challenges the foundations of many of our existing products and services. Devices can have an active role in CRM and marketing. We can shift the analytics view from the past to the future. We can use the information to gamify processes and shift behaviors. As this understanding increases, what is measured and the decisions made will shift.


As I mentioned last month, the impact on our definition of services will shift as we understand and embrace the potential. This change will shift much of what exists (people, products and services) in our environment/industry.

2015 resolutions for technologists??

Happy New Year.jpgI was looking at the January 1st issue of CIO magazine over my holiday break and saw an article by Steve Andriole titled: Go Play with Technology (unfortunately, there was not a link to it on line – yet). It discussed the value of experimentation vs. gathering requirements, especially in areas that are new. The article advocated getting your hands dirty with some of the newer technologies, since access is now cheaper and more flexible than it has ever been before.


Lately, I’ve been talking to some individuals for a set of architect roles and one of the questions I always ask is: “What’s been your experience in setting up a virtual machine in the public cloud?” Not to find out if they are an expert, but more to determine their level of curiosity and experience. If the role they are targeting is dealing with analytics then I ask them about their various data warehouse or even DBA experiences. No matter the level of experience described, it is always a useful discussion.


We all need to push each other to know and experience more. Pushing each other would be a good resolution.


If you want to define a new year’s resolution about getting up to speed on some of the newer technologies, there are plenty of on-line (free) courses taking place. Here is another CIO magazine article that might be of some use: 8 Free Online Courses to Grow Your Tech Skills

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About the Author(s)
  • Steve Simske is an HP Fellow and Director in the Printing and Content Delivery Lab in Hewlett-Packard Labs, and is the Director and Chief Technologist for the HP Labs Security Printing and Imaging program.
The opinions expressed above are the personal opinions of the authors, not of HP. By using this site, you accept the Terms of Use and Rules of Participation.