|By Kevin Benedict||
|February 24, 2017 04:00 PM EST||
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:
- Start and stop tasks times
- Travel times
- Traffic conditions
- Available workforces and associated costs
- Available equipment
- Business process steps
- Security steps
- Compliance tasks
- Performances against KPIs (key performance indicators)
- Actors (customers, partners, suppliers, contractors, employees, etc.)
- Supplies, materials and equipment tracking
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:
- Radios and frequencies for communicating between forces (tanks, infantry and aircraft) in real-time
- Strategies for coordinated actions between the three groups
- 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:
- New ways of selling
- New business models
- New ways of managing
- New business processes
- New ways of collaborating
- New ways of making decisions
- New ways of engaging customers
- New ways of working with products
- 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
SYS-CON Events announced today that Hitrons Solutions will exhibit at the 19th International Cloud Expo, which will take place on November 1–3, 2016, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA. Hitrons Solutions Inc. is distributor in the North American market for unique products and services of small and medium-size businesses, including cloud services and solutions, SEO marketing platforms, and mobile applications.
Feb. 26, 2017 07:00 AM EST Reads: 111
In an era of historic innovation fueled by unprecedented access to data and technology, the low cost and risk of entering new markets has leveled the playing field for business. Today, any ambitious innovator can easily introduce a new application or product that can reinvent business models and transform the client experience. In their Day 2 Keynote at 19th Cloud Expo, Mercer Rowe, IBM Vice President of Strategic Alliances, and Raejeanne Skillern, Intel Vice President of Data Center Group and G...
Feb. 26, 2017 06:00 AM EST Reads: 4,282
Financial Technology has become a topic of intense interest throughout the cloud developer and enterprise IT communities. Accordingly, attendees at the upcoming 20th Cloud Expo at the Javits Center in New York, June 6-8, 2017, will find fresh new content in a new track called FinTech.
Feb. 26, 2017 06:00 AM EST Reads: 6,292
@GonzalezCarmen has been ranked the Number One Influencer and @ThingsExpo has been named the Number One Brand in the “M2M 2016: Top 100 Influencers and Brands” by Onalytica. Onalytica analyzed tweets over the last 6 months mentioning the keywords M2M OR “Machine to Machine.” They then identified the top 100 most influential brands and individuals leading the discussion on Twitter.
Feb. 26, 2017 06:00 AM EST Reads: 5,783
20th Cloud Expo, taking place June 6-8, 2017, at the Javits Center in New York City, NY, will feature technical sessions from a rock star conference faculty and the leading industry players in the world. Cloud computing is now being embraced by a majority of enterprises of all sizes. Yesterday's debate about public vs. private has transformed into the reality of hybrid cloud: a recent survey shows that 74% of enterprises have a hybrid cloud strategy.
Feb. 26, 2017 05:00 AM EST Reads: 4,851
Manufacturers are embracing the Industrial Internet the same way consumers are leveraging Fitbits – to improve overall health and wellness. Both can provide consistent measurement, visibility, and suggest performance improvements customized to help reach goals. Fitbit users can view real-time data and make adjustments to increase their activity. In his session at @ThingsExpo, Mark Bernardo Professional Services Leader, Americas, at GE Digital, discussed how leveraging the Industrial Internet and...
Feb. 26, 2017 03:45 AM EST Reads: 8,498
SYS-CON Events announced today that delaPlex will exhibit at SYS-CON's @CloudExpo, which will take place on June 6-8, 2017, at the Javits Center in New York City, NY. delaPlex pioneered Software Development as a Service (SDaaS), which provides scalable resources to build, test, and deploy software. It’s a fast and more reliable way to develop a new product or expand your in-house team.
Feb. 26, 2017 03:15 AM EST Reads: 2,030
Information technology (IT) advances are transforming the way we innovate in business, thereby disrupting the old guard and their predictable status-quo. It’s creating global market turbulence. Industries are converging, and new opportunities and threats are emerging, like never before. So, how are savvy chief information officers (CIOs) leading this transition? Back in 2015, the IBM Institute for Business Value conducted a market study that included the findings from over 1,800 CIO interviews ...
Feb. 26, 2017 02:30 AM EST Reads: 2,338
"We host and fully manage cloud data services, whether we store, the data, move the data, or run analytics on the data," stated Kamal Shannak, Senior Development Manager, Cloud Data Services, IBM, in this SYS-CON.tv interview at 18th Cloud Expo, held June 7-9, 2016, at the Javits Center in New York City, NY.
Feb. 26, 2017 01:45 AM EST Reads: 6,221
Extreme Computing is the ability to leverage highly performant infrastructure and software to accelerate Big Data, machine learning, HPC, and Enterprise applications. High IOPS Storage, low-latency networks, in-memory databases, GPUs and other parallel accelerators are being used to achieve faster results and help businesses make better decisions. In his session at 18th Cloud Expo, Michael O'Neill, Strategic Business Development at NVIDIA, focused on some of the unique ways extreme computing is...
Feb. 25, 2017 10:45 PM EST Reads: 8,596
The explosion of new web/cloud/IoT-based applications and the data they generate are transforming our world right before our eyes. In this rush to adopt these new technologies, organizations are often ignoring fundamental questions concerning who owns the data and failing to ask for permission to conduct invasive surveillance of their customers. Organizations that are not transparent about how their systems gather data telemetry without offering shared data ownership risk product rejection, regu...
Feb. 25, 2017 10:30 PM EST Reads: 1,877
Due of the rise of Hadoop, many enterprises are now deploying their first small clusters of 10 to 20 servers. At this small scale, the complexity of operating the cluster looks and feels like general data center servers. It is not until the clusters scale, as they inevitably do, when the pain caused by the exponential complexity becomes apparent. We've seen this problem occur time and time again. In his session at Big Data Expo, Greg Bruno, Vice President of Engineering and co-founder of StackIQ...
Feb. 25, 2017 09:45 PM EST Reads: 9,330
The security needs of IoT environments require a strong, proven approach to maintain security, trust and privacy in their ecosystem. Assurance and protection of device identity, secure data encryption and authentication are the key security challenges organizations are trying to address when integrating IoT devices. This holds true for IoT applications in a wide range of industries, for example, healthcare, consumer devices, and manufacturing. In his session at @ThingsExpo, Lancen LaChance, vic...
Feb. 25, 2017 09:00 PM EST Reads: 9,136
FinTech is the sum of financial and technology, and it’s one of the fastest growing tech industries. Total global investments in FinTech almost reached $50 billion last year, but there is still a great deal of confusion over what it is and what it means – especially as it applies to retirement. Building financial startups is not simple, but with the right team, technology and an innovative approach it can be an extremely interesting domain to disrupt. FinTech heralds a financial revolution that...
Feb. 25, 2017 08:45 PM EST Reads: 1,951
With major technology companies and startups seriously embracing IoT strategies, now is the perfect time to attend @ThingsExpo 2016 in New York. Learn what is going on, contribute to the discussions, and ensure that your enterprise is as "IoT-Ready" as it can be! Internet of @ThingsExpo, taking place June 6-8, 2017, at the Javits Center in New York City, New York, is co-located with 20th Cloud Expo and will feature technical sessions from a rock star conference faculty and the leading industry p...
Feb. 25, 2017 08:00 PM EST Reads: 1,921
In his session at DevOps Summit, Tapabrata Pal, Director of Enterprise Architecture at Capital One, will tell a story about how Capital One has embraced Agile and DevOps Security practices across the Enterprise – driven by Enterprise Architecture; bringing in Development, Operations and Information Security organizations together. Capital Ones DevOpsSec practice is based upon three "pillars" – Shift-Left, Automate Everything, Dashboard Everything. Within about three years, from 100% waterfall, C...
Feb. 25, 2017 08:00 PM EST Reads: 11,340
Addteq is one of the top 10 Platinum Atlassian Experts who specialize in DevOps, custom and continuous integration, automation, plugin development, and consulting for midsize and global firms. Addteq firmly believes that automation is essential for successful software releases. Addteq centers its products and services around this fundamentally unique approach to delivering complete software release management solutions. With a combination of Addteq's services and our extensive list of partners,...
Feb. 25, 2017 07:45 PM EST Reads: 618
In his keynote at @ThingsExpo, Chris Matthieu, Director of IoT Engineering at Citrix and co-founder and CTO of Octoblu, focused on building an IoT platform and company. He provided a behind-the-scenes look at Octoblu’s platform, business, and pivots along the way (including the Citrix acquisition of Octoblu).
Feb. 25, 2017 07:30 PM EST Reads: 1,833
SYS-CON Events announced today that IoT Now has been named “Media Sponsor” of SYS-CON's 20th International Cloud Expo, which will take place on June 6–8, 2017, at the Javits Center in New York City, NY. IoT Now explores the evolving opportunities and challenges facing CSPs, and it passes on some lessons learned from those who have taken the first steps in next-gen IoT services.
Feb. 25, 2017 07:00 PM EST Reads: 1,731
You think you know what’s in your data. But do you? Most organizations are now aware of the business intelligence represented by their data. Data science stands to take this to a level you never thought of – literally. The techniques of data science, when used with the capabilities of Big Data technologies, can make connections you had not yet imagined, helping you discover new insights and ask new questions of your data. In his session at @ThingsExpo, Sarbjit Sarkaria, data science team lead ...
Feb. 25, 2017 07:00 PM EST Reads: 8,846