On the occasion of the Solutions Connect event this fall, IBM presented the situation and trends of a fast developing market. I have already tackled these trends in a former article The new SMAC!, reflections that have been confirmed on this Solutions Connect day. This new article is about maintaining the SMACS by adding the Security dimension to Social-Mobile-Analytics-Cloud.
It is always difficult to decide what conference to attend when having to choose from among 7 different fields. My choices were as follows:
- Social Business: Why adopt a social and digital strategy for your company?
- Big Data: Identifying fraud actions in an ocean of data. Where to start from?
- Mobile: How will the Internet of Things revolutionise company business?
- Cloud: Open Cloud Bluemix, the fast evolving PaaS.
- Remaining conferences: Research and Perspective, Security, Infrastructure Solutions.
Big Data & Watson
Big Data is today’s buzzword and must be re-put into perspective. It is necessary to understand that data is gold. One must consider it as such to be able to:
- Try to have as much as possible
- Make gold with gold, that is, extracting new data values
- Ensure data protection at its value level
Data is not only necessary to make decisions, steer with the past but also to predict the future, search through data, etc. It is about the strong comeback of statistical practices. Does anyone remember STAT-ITCF?
Yes, it’s a big thing since there is variety, volume, speed, but especially data, Business Intelligence. Before changing the means to keep pace, one must first change the relationship with one’s data. Just imagine the added value that sales predictions, fraud detection results, etc. might bring you!
IBM is putting forward Watson, a cognitive technology and a knowledge browser that reads natural language and relies on infinite data sources to find the answer. A never ending manager dream, and this is only the beginning.
A company’s digital transformation is often perceived as an insurmountable task: permanent mastery of the new practices, technologies, etc. This transformation is, first of all, about leading change with new means, new business practices (more agility) and, ultimately, new technologies. By projecting transformation on SMACS, one can tell where the best improvements lay.
This being said, I agree with Evgeny Morozov when saying that one must not blindly embrace solutionism by taking digitalization to the extreme.
Internet of Things
That IoT (Internet of Things) is already booming is yesterday’s news. IoT means scalability (large quantity), communication (API), ability to adapt, data processing, etc. IoT is surrounded by a range of functions adaptable to mass production. The ecosystem and interoperability ability will be important aspects for ensuring the success and sustainability of the IoT projects.
In a Lean world, one must quickly experiment before adapting for the following step. The PaaS (Platform As A Service) have long been robust execution platforms invoiced according to consumption.
With a service like BlueMix, we reach an advanced level of the PaaS platform (based on CloudFoundry) where the upper layer offers agnostic services and the integration is facilitated. We are closer and closer to the ultimate promise: a simple IT! (BPM, DevOps, DBs, Watson, etc.)
Once all the design and implementation phases are reduced, investments and implicitly the heavy IT legacy are also reduced. There is a direct consequence on decisions, while changes are simpler and quicker since the burden of the past is obviously smaller.
Although I haven’t specifically participated in a security session, one must be aware that this topic is omnipresent for all the above-mentioned themes. It is a concern that must be taken into account and integrated into decisions.
Research on this topic confirmed my vision on business digital transformation:
- Transformation is launched but is less obvious than in the last 150 years. Models must be reviewed.
- Data is gold, and flair is indispensable to succeed.
- IT legacy is a burden, and one must ensure a minimum heritage in business IT to remain agile.
- Clients and collaborators are core players, thus their satisfaction (i.e. happiness) must be met.