This week I had the opportunity to attend one of Leon Kappelman’s classes at the University of North Texas to participate in interactions with students about their senior project/presentation. The teams of students were covering a number of topics like BYOD, Cloud adoption, Biometric based security… All topics where I felt fairly comfortable.
One presentation was focused on Data Management in the Age of Big Data and they had one concept well understood that many analysts miss.
The opportunity for better decision making.
The team focused on 5 key issues. The lack of:
- Data Governance
- Data Quality standards and management
- Data Architecture and Security
- Operations support
- Business buy-in
We had quite a discussion about the business buy-in issue, since we needed them to explain why it would get this far without buy-in but they explained that the issue orbited around business culture and the implications advanced analytic techniques would have on the culture.
I was happy to see these students internalized these concepts, and hope the organizations they move into after graduation are ready for their perspective.
Lately I’ve been in a number of discussions about processes and automation. When you look at traditional ERP/CRM systems, they have already automated the processes and it is up to you to figure out how to run your business within them.
As we develop more sophisticated systems that can begin to recognize patterns of behavior, new software solutions that adapt to changing needs are possible. One area of this effort is adaptive case management.
“Adaptive Case Management (ACM) is information technology that exposes structured and unstructured business information (business data and content) and allows structured (business) and unstructured (social) organizations to execute work (routine and emergent processes) in a secure but transparent manner.”
I usually talk about standards as allowing us to focus our innovation. In the case of processes though I have to ask: Is the future less about standard ways of doing things and more about adaptive approaches that adjust dynamically to the needs of the day? I think it is.
At the end of every year I grade my predications made in the previous December (2006, 2007,2008, 2009, 2010, 2011), so it has come time to look at those for 2012. 2012 has been quite a year for HP as well as the IT industry as a whole.
I said that 2012 would be a year of disruption with many of the issues and conflicts that I’ve discussed coming to a head. Issues like BYOD and the post PC era have had an effect on the IT market far outside just PCs. The continued slow economy has also taken its toll. On the other hand, many new technologies and investments have come to fruition, even if the market is not quite ready to embrace them.
I’ll grade myself with the following scale again this year:
- A: Big changes during the year that are having wide effect.
- B: Notable progress through the year and isolated areas of significant impact.
- C: Progress with some impact
- D: Little progress or impact – but work still taking place
- F: No progress or the concept abandoned in any commercial sense.
The demise of one of the large social media players
Twitter, Facebook and Linked-in are as strong as ever. I know of very few people who continue to use Google+, but it is still in use. There have been numerous new entries in the social space like Pinterest, so there is still room for significant innovation.
Revitalization of CASE tools
Although I see tools like this coming on the market, I’d say their impact was marginal. I think it will still happen, but this year has not been the turning point.
Analytics and complex even processing
Although we still have much further to go, analytics has been the big buzzword of 2012.
Use of more GPU and low power processors in computing platforms
We have definitely seen more activity in this space, and will likely see more in 2013.
Cloud computing will enter a new level of sophistication
The growth of standards and some of the lessons learned through failures in 2012 are making this happen.
2012 the year of Windows 8
Windows 8 has not taken off like a house afire, but it is definitely forcing organizations to rethink their interface and future in the windows environment. You can blame it on the end of the PC era or the poor economy or the fact that many of the biggest improvements from an enterprise perspective are just not all that noticeable at first glance. I think it is universally viewed that the removal of the “Start” button was a bridge too far for most of the users.
The adoption of enterprise app stores
This has also not taken place as rapidly as I’d thought. There are efforts underway and the value is well understood, but it has not yet reached a tipping point.
Based on these scores, my predictions were not as conservative as in recent years. As I finished up the post last year, since I’ll have my predictions for 2013 before the end of the month.
“Having said all that, it is a great time to be in IT. Most of our concerns are currently driven by an overabundance of capabilities that most organizations have not tapped into effectively. Those who can have the vision will be in for quite a ride this year as they look to do more with more.”
I’ve been working with a group of leaders from across numerous technical, academic and service organization on the formation of an group called the International Society of Service Innovation Professionals. It is a democratically-run non-profit organization promoting service innovations for business and society and recognizing and expanding opportunities for service innovators.
Within the last decade service innovation has become a focus of businesses and nations seeking ways to improve productivity, quality, compliance, sustainability, and other KPIs (Key Performance Indicators) of value co-creation between customers, providers, and other stakeholders.
Many existing professional associations have added service-science-related special interest groups or conference focus areas (e.g., INFORMS, AMA, AIS, ACM, IEEE, IIE, HFES, INCOSE, EPIC). ISSIP looks to bridge these associations and supports their conferences and publications, linking members from academia, industry, government, and social sectors. Its mission is to “promote service innovations for our interconnected world.”
Today’s global environment depends on service system performance and outcomes. For example, in the United States the service segment of GDP is estimated at almost 80% in 2011. Yet the domain of service is typically a secondary focus at best for most societies and nations.
Service innovations become sustainable when they improve shared technology capabilities, people’s skills, organizational governance, and inform shared goals, such as improving quality-of-life of individuals and effectiveness of institutions as platforms for working together to co-create value. One of the things we talk about continuously during the ISSIP formation sessions was the growth of T-shaped individuals in the services space (those with both depth and breadth) and their need to interact with others with similar and diverse perspectives – moving all of them forward to address market needs.
ISSIP’s objectives are to “recognize service innovators who make significant contributions and expand opportunities across five areas, including…”
- Professional Development (e.g., career paths)
- Education (e.g., diverse life-long learning)
- Research (e.g., open data sets and analytics)
- Practice (e.g., technical standards and tools)
- Policymaking (e.g., innovativeness, security, sustainability, resiliency of service systems.)
Although the effort is in its infancy, you can join at the web site and soon start to work together with others to define what “the new and improved service systems of tomorrow” should be.
ZDnet had a story recently titled: Cloud computing: 10 ways it will change by 2020. In the article, one of the people they talked with was John Manley - director of HP's Automated Infrastructure Lab (and someone who I’ve actually had lunch with a few times). One of the statements John made was:
"Cloud computing is the final means by which computing becomes invisible,”
One of the goals of platform as a service is to abstract the software away from the underlying hardware and OS – including what we think of as IaaS today. We’ve only seen the early stumbles of these efforts, but with cloud standards developing over the next few years this 2020 vision should be possible.
IT organizations spend time wringing their hands over issues that will shift - those constraints that are worried about today will no longer be on the critical path tomorrow. I am sure there will be a whole new set of constraints to take their place though. I used to tell people that hardware without software is just a commodity, but software without hardware is using your imagination. Maybe this will change to “software without a platform…” is just using your imagination.
2020 is less than a decade away, fortunately there will be a new crop of technical and business leaders who will have a natural understanding of this new view of the world. The business pressures of today and the innovations being worked upon will push us all to make this happen.