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Top 10 Strategic Tech Trends for 2018 (via gartner)

tech, trends, AI, ai, internet of things, iot, cybersecurity, security, machine learning, deep learning

Source: www.gartner.com

Introduction  

With all the trends coming out for this year alone, I decided to look at strategic information systems planning (SISP) trends for a change.  It’s very interesting to see how they actually plan on possibly implementing these new trends that are coming out all the time.  Here’s the list… 

 10 Trends for Strategic IS Planning

AI and Machine Learning Immersion

  1. AI Foundations – This is considered to be the next big battlefield between vendors who build these systems until at least 2020.  AI is so popular and in demand that it can be no other way.  Now how to use AI is the next big question that needs answering by the vendors and the customers who buy it.  Artificial intelligence needs to be able to help make strategic decisions, enhance the business model and ecosystem, and drive user/customer experiences through to 2025.   Strategic planning in this aspect involves data preparation, integrations, creating new algorithms to run AI, new ways to train personnel how to use AI, and creating new data models.  Personnel involved here are data scientists, developers and business process owners who will have to work together closely. 
  2. Intelligent Apps and Analytics – Apps are beginning to implement AI in how they work.  They cannot exist without AI and machine learning capabilities.  Because of this, it is, in turn, changing how people and systems work together at the workplace.  It doesn’t replace people. It’s a strategic area where analytics uses machine learning to better automate data prep and finding and sharing insights.  People in the company using this are business users, operational workers, and citizen data scientists.   
  3. Intelligent Objects – These are physical things that use AI to operate.  Included here are self-driving cars, robots, and the Internet of Things.  Self-driving vehicles are already in use in agriculture and mining but will take more time spreading to other vehicles, like cars.  By 2022 more streets will become more user-friendly towards them, but more studies need completing. 

Blending of the Digital and Physical Worlds

  1. Digitial Twins –  It defines a representation of real-world entities and/or systems.  This deals with IoT for the most part.  If the twin is built correctly then it can really support improving business decision making processes.  The twin is linked to their counterpart in being able to better understand the state of the system, better responding to changes, improve operations and add more value to the company as a whole.  In the future, they will fuse together with their counterparts and AI type capabilities.  Consequently, people in the company who will use this are city planners, digital marketers, healthcare professionals, and industrial planners. 
  2. Edge Computing – This is where information processing, gathering and delivering content is put closer to the sources of information.  Companies need to begin using edge computing as it supports IoT, creating better connectivity, bandwidth, and functionality.  Cloud helps support this as it doesn’t need a central location.   
  3. Conversation Platforms – This is going to be the one that drives the next change with how people perform and interact with the digital world.  People can talk to computers and the system will be able to act on it.   If the person using the computer is confusing it, it can ask for clarification.  It’s becoming a primary design goal using with hardware, core OS features, platforms, and apps.  Developers need to work on the communication aspect of the platforms, as it’s still very difficult to make them work.  People need to speak very clearly about what they want, and it causes more frustration than anything else right now.   
  4. The Immersive Experience – Virtual, Augmented and Mixed Reality are all here.  For any benefits for business, they need to look at how it can help employees work better.  The design, training and visualization process is key to making this work.  When dealing with Mixed Reality, it’s creating some great technology that might actually be good for the work environment.  Tools already developed and in use includes Head Mounted Displays (HMD) for VR and AR, smartphones and tablet-based AR and environmental sensors. 

Exploiting Connections

  1. Blockchain – This technology is rapidly spreading everywhere, not just for the cryptocurrency.  The blockchain is a disruptive technology as it changes how business is ran, for both startups and enterprises.  The only problem here is that blockchain technology is more promise right now as it’s immature for the next two or three years. 
  2. Event Driven – This includes anything from recording an electronic purchase at your website, to a recording when a plane lands.  Anything action completing dealing with the company is an event.  Because of this IoT, cloud computing, the blockchain, memory data management, and AI are included here.  With these platforms, its ability to find and analyze events more thoroughly grows.  As a result, people involved here include IT leaders, planners, and architects. 
  3. Continuous Adaptive Risk and Trust –  This deals, for the most part, cybersecurity.  There have to be real-time, risk and trust-based decisions and adaptive responses.  Basically, the company needs to embrace opportunities and manage the risk involved with having digital business actions completed.   

Summary 

Strategic information systems planning is very complex.  There are so many different areas needing planning in the next five years in order to keep up with all the new technology.  Most are in its infancy, but it’s growing fast.  Better start planning now! 

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Information Technology Trends 2018 (via comptia)

IT trends, trends, it, IT, information technology, technology

Source: www.comptia.org

Introduction

This has to be one of the most detailed lists of information technology trends for this year from Comptia.  I love Comptia!  It has treated me very well when I take classes in computer systems, programming and such.  Anyways, back on subject.  The trends talked about here are focusing on areas where there are higher expectations in business value, security, transparency and equal access.  

3 Key Points 

  1.  The IT sector projections are that it’s to grow 5% this year 
  1. Evolving tech labor market will create both challenges and opportunities 
  1. There’s a balancing act of incrementations and transformations 

12 Trends of Information Technology to Watch 

1.  Open Source Concepts – Allows more people to create in more inventive ways.

  • Able to build more applications using blockchain, natural language, and context-aware algorithms 
  • Use cases include drones, robotics, and 3D printing 

2.  Cloud Keeps on Growing – Presently for non-critical use. 

  • Moving data on to where companies can store and use any program in the Cloud 
  •  The system is rebuilt to maximize cloud characteristics 
  • Companies have to change policies and workflow which will be more difficult than dealing with implementing the Cloud itself.  Something to consider.

3.  Internet of Things – These types of devices are really making an impact in the business world.  

  • There are many benefits for using these devices, but companies aren’t considering system connectivity and optimization, plus IT responsibilities 

4.  Artificial Intelligence –  This is the one to focus on. 

  • The one most likely to change the IT environment 
  • Requires computational resources which found in the Cloud 
  • Algorithms allowing learning through making new products or services 
  • The contextual awareness which can come from IoT devices or big collections of data  

5.  Cyber Security – Incidents are occurring more and more. 

  •  It has to change to meet the challenges that attackers give them 
  • More and more advanced methods of attack to face down 

6.  IT May No Longer be Given the Benefit of the Doubt – Tech is so pervasive that we don’t know where it begins or ends. 

  • Because of how beneficial tech is to us, when something flops we usually give the benefit of the doubt 
  • Signs are showing that we’re now beginning to hold technology accountable for mistakes that happen unlike before
  • Questions dealing with security, privacy and screen time issues come up all the time now 

7.  Insights Economy – Learning about customers wants and needs. 

  • Machine learning and artificial intelligence are driving this and supporting it 
  • Pattern recognition, predictive analytics, natural language processing, and computer vision is what supports the new insight economy  

8.  Upgrading Digital Expertise in the Boardroom – Got to have people who are tech savvy so they can run things smoothly 

  • Tech initiatives include infrastructure, mobile environments, data, and integrations 
  •  Have to have the feel for the tech landscape in the boardroom 
  • Cybersecurity and data governance will be followed, not just known like before

9.  New Collar Jobs Increasing – How does technology work in different industries? 

  • IoT is making new jobs, new categories of learning and technologists 
  • Learn both hard and soft skills, not just a four-year degree  

10.  Online Marketplaces – Friend or Foe of the Traditional Market 

  • Online stores are changing the market in all sectors 
  • Brick and mortar stores just have to make some changes to keep up, along with looking out for new challenges, but it can be done 

11.  Subscription Prices Harder to Figure Out – How will you price your products and/or services? 

  • Make sure to learn Accounting Standards Codification 606 which came out in December 2017 
  • PSA tools like ConnectWise can possibly help with that

12.  As-A-Service World – That’s the tech landscape in a nutshell.   

  • New technologies are beginning to intrude into the as-a-service world 
  • More and more customers are using as-a-service and expect much from it.  Companies have to make sure that they are really up to date and not just talking.   

Summary 

There are huge changes that are coming and your company needs to keep up or be left.  There are new markets coming to play that can be taken advantage of.  For example, there’s authentication-as-a-service, analytics-as-a-service, artificial-intelligence-as-a-service, drones-as-a-service with many more coming along.  To keep up with all the changes invest in training for new skills, workforce development, and many more areas to be able to take better advantage.  Time to start planning for the future. 

 

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What is Blockchain? 2 Positives and 2 Negatives

blockchain, ai, machinelearning, computers, IT, iot, internetofthings

Source: Digital Trends

Introduction

What exactly is blockchain and how can it help your business?  That’s a good question where the answer is changing all the time.  It’s a new technology so many studies and trial and error are going to be completed before that can even begin to fully answer that question.  Here’s what is known right now, which is plenty. 

Positives of Using Blockchain

  1. The blockchain is located in one location – Nobody has control of any of the information going in or out.  This means that all the work that enters and exits is original content that has not been modified.  It’s a public ledger that is extremely difficult to tamper with.  The built-in layer of protection used to encrypt everything is something that standard technology cannot imitate.  
  2. Blockchain has been around for over 40 years – The technology is new and only a decade old, but people have been studying it since at least 1976.  The blockchain is something that will take time before it can become fully useful for what companies really want to use it for.  The technology right now is just so expensive to get as blockchain uses such advanced calculations.  The power these systems need is what has to be taken into consideration.  This is the reason that cryptocurrency was introduced first.  It rewards people for using its technology through monetary means. 

Negatives of Using Blockchain 

  1. The Computing Power Needed (electricity) – Large blockchain systems eat up tons of electricity.   It’s equated to the amount of power a small country uses.  Not very appealing for emerging markets or developed nations. 
  1. The Speed of Transactions – Block in chains that are created takes time to verify in the distributed network.  At worst verification took over 41 hours.   The fastest is 15 seconds.  Still too long if someone wants to buy something.   

Summary 

The problems will be fixed over time as blockchain is used more.  The question is how long will it take before it’s up to standards for full use in the business environment?  Right now, it’s used for smart contracts and maybe protecting people’s personal information, but that’s about it.  It will take some time before it can handle data more quickly so it can be used for more types of business transactions. Patience is key! 

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4 Things to Know About the Blockchain System

blockchain, innovation, business, competitive advantage

Source: Harvard Business Review

Introduction

Why is blockchain becoming a trend for businesses?  There’s one area for improvement that needs help in systems today.  It’s contracts, transactions, and records of actions completed.  Paperwork all over the place.  The system in place hasn’t kept up with the rest of the digital age.  Blockchain can help in this arena if companies started to take advantage.   

The blockchain is open source and takes care of virtual currencies. It records transactions between two people buying and selling currency in permanent ways. If blockchain is in the business world, imagine the possibilities.  Storing contracts without worrying about tampering.  All agreements, process, task, and payment go into the records.  People, agencies, machines, and algorithms would be able to contact and communicate with each other with little trouble.   

The problem here is looking after security and breaking down barriers already in place.  The blockchain isn’t considered a disruptive technology because it will create new foundations.  The ramifications are huge.  

The 4 Adaptations for Blockchain

  1. Single Use – Low coordination applications to make better, cheaper, highly focused solutions. 
  2. Localization – High in innovation but don’t need many users to create usefulness. It makes it easier to promote to the rest of the agency. 
  3. Substitution – These build on what’s already in place.  And here there will be high resistance.  It requires coordinating and replacing systems already fully integrated into systems. It could take years to put in place and start using.   
  4. Transforming – These are new items that will be placed into use, creating fast change to economic, social and political systems.  Smart contracts are the best options to start with now.  It automates payments when conditions are met.   

Summary 

Start the blockchain in single-use applications.  There won’t be as much risk taken during changes as they aren’t new and don’t involve much coordination with third parties. Blockchain can help to find problems quickly through tracking processes agencies have in place already.  Another cool thing is that it could possibly cut costs of transactions.  The big thing to consider is this, if blockchain becomes big in business, it will affect your company in some manner.   

 

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5 ways companies are using big data to help their customers (via VentureBeat)

big data, enterprise data, analytics, data analytics, data modeling, data science, data modeling, data model, data, data science, data scientist, data management,

Five ways companies are using big data to treat customers more like individuals — and build better long-term relationships so those customers happily buy more and more

Source: VentureBeat

Review

As we all remember, back in the day you could go to the store and the clerk would know you personally.  They would ask you how you are and how your family is. It was a very personal relationship you would have, therefore creating loyalty between you and the store.  It has been lost for a while when stores started to sell online.  There were no programs to make your shopping experience more personal or enjoyable.  You just went online to search and buy.  Big data helps to build relationships again as it can help companies offer better service to customers if used.   Here are the five ways that big data helps online stores to treat their customers more like people instead of just numbers.

5 Methods to Use Big Data

  1. Prediction – Big data can help analyze past behaviors of customers to build a more personalized experience for them. This in turn creates satisfaction for the person and increases purchases.
  2. Excitement – This is more for wearable technology. FitBit and other companies spew out the data they gather to their clients, which makes the client more interested and excited to see improvements.  This is completed in other industries too, not just the health industry.  There are apps to help track finances too and make people excited to invest more.  Showing the data makes the client happier.  It can show them where they need to work to improve themselves too.  It’s a good tool for the customer to use.
  3. Improvement – Customer service is just as important as effective marketing and product development. Big data can help in all these areas too.  Representatives can answer questions more quickly and effectively when the correct data is in front of them.  This way the customer doesn’t feel like they are being badgered.  The data helps as the customer has so many ways to get a hold of companies now than before.
  4. Identify – Find the difficulties customers are having to improve their experience. It’ll make for happier and more loyal customers.
  5. Reduce – This deals with the health care industry for improving quality of patient care. It helps to cut cost and improve treatments.

Summary

Big data helps companies now to understand their customers better.  This helps agencies give better services and build relationships again, in a more modern way.  Just consider all the possibilities.  I would think about switching over myself if I had a bigger company and could afford it.

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84% Of Enterprises See Big Data Analytics Changing Their Industries’ Competitive Landscapes In The Next Year (via Forbes)

big data, data science, big data analytics, analytics, data modeling, data management, smart data, data mining

87% of enterprises believe Big Data analytics will redefine the competitive landscape of their industries within the next three years. 89% believe that companies that do not adopt a Big Data analytics strategy in the next year risk losing market share and momentum. These and other key findings are from an […]

Source: Forbes

I just thought that I would share this article.  It has some great statistics on why Big Data is now considered essential for any type of competitive growth.  For example, only 13% use Big Data analytics in predictive modeling, while only 16% are using the information that they find to improve processes.  If you were to use Big Data analytics, image what kind of growth your business could have…

I love studies as they always show the numbers to help strengthen their arguments.  Just wanted to share this with you all.

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Steps to create Data Model (via learndatamodeling.com)

Big Data, big data, data modeling, data, data science, data scientist, data management, analysis, data analyzing, technology, tech

Source: learndatamodeling.com

Review of Article

These is general guidance for creating standard data models.  I’m not going to include all the steps as it’s over 24 separate steps, but depending on what your business requires you might not need to have all the steps anyways.  The link to the article is above if you’d like to see the entire list of what you can include.

Steps for Building Logical Data Models

  1. Gather up the business requirements
  2. Analyze business requirements
  3. Select target database – the data modeling tool will build the scripts to create reports
  4. Assign data type to attributes created to find data
  5. When analysis complete create columns to sort data
  6. Build subject areas to add the data
  7. Validate data model
  8. Create reports

Steps for Building Physical Data Models

  1. Get the logical data model and build a physical one from it
  2. Add properties to sort data
  3. Create SQL scripts
  4. Compare the database from the data model
  5. Create change log to document changes that have occurred

 

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Data Modeling Trends in 2018 – DATAVERSITY (via DATAVERSITY)

data modeling, data science, data scientist, data, data security, ai, machine learning, deep learning, big data, Big Data, enterprise data, data management, internet of things, iot, smart data

The Database Management and Data Modeling landscapes have evolved much in the past few years, from the traditional relational model to now include non-relational models as well.

Source: DATAVERSITY

Review of Article

Advantages of Data Modeling

  1. Provides clear framework for development projects
  2. Enables high performance
  3. Corrupt datasets are found quickly and cleaned before using
  4. Offers tested models for building software
  5. Outlines scope and risks during development
  6. Includes detailed documentation which helps with future maintenance

New Trends

  • Wide variety of machine facts to include Internet of Things (IoT)
  • Scale and speed of data increasing along by machine learning
  • Demand of aggregated data is increasing
  • Public, private on-site Cloud storage
  • Huge amounts of data collected into what is Data Lakes (unchanged data) for data scientists to analyze later
  • Automated data modeling (algorithms)
  • Predictive modeling with advanced machine learning
  • Semantic data models

SQL Database Trends 2018

  • Adoption rates will differ as companies due to security concerns
  • Cloud adoption
  • AI capabilities are increasing
  • SQL Servers for Linux
  • There are new schedules for software updates (handled by the vendors themselves, not Microsoft like before)
  • Use of Data Vaults

Summary

It sounds pretty exciting doesn’t it?  So many changes to look forward to trying out for your business.

 

 

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10 Key Big Data Trends That Drove 2017 (via Datanami)

hadoop, big data trends, big data, analytics, data modeling, data science, machine learning, ai, deep learing

2017 has come and (almost) gone. It was a memorable year, to be sure, with plenty of drama and unexpected happenings in terms of the technology, the players, and the application of big data and data science. As we gear up for 2018, we think it’s worth taking some time to ponder about what happened in 2017 and put…

Source: Datanami

10 Big Data Trends

  1. The re-emergence of AI, deep learning and machine learning
  2. Hadoop becomes less popular
  3. Graph databases grow in use
  4. Apache Spark is keeping up with the competition
  5. The Cloud is super popular for storing Big Data
  6. Big Data fabric bypasses integration problems
  7. Big Data swamps are becoming a problem with too much data saved
  8. Big Data company IPOs are becoming popular
  9. Data Science platforms and vendor choices are growing
  10. Look out for GDPR (General Data Protection Regulation) that goes into effect on May 25, 2018
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10 ERP Upgrade Mistakes to Avoid

ERP, strategic planning, business, upgrade, IT, information technology, information systems, competitive advantage

What Is ERP?

Enterprise Resource Planning (ERP) has to be considered part of the plan when upgrading your system. In this information technology (IT) has to be combined with the business process to help bring a competitive advantage to others in the same industry. It is anything from reading an e-mail to updating records of procedures. An ERP is an application that uses a centralized database to run the entire company. This medium allows data from one department for viewing in other branches of the same company. It can be bought either as modules for different parts of the agency, or a subset. ERP systems are there to enforce processes that your business will adopt.

Upgrade Mistakes

  1. Not explaining what new systems means to users before starting the project – If the users of the upgrades don’t know why it’s happening and are in agreement, the update will fail.
  2. Not load testing systems with scripts and end users – How do you know if your file loads are typical? Load testing with scripts and users will complete real tests in this area to make sure that the process will work or not.
  3. Not performing tests of the new process to see if it works or not – Will everything work as planned?
  4. Not taking change management or testing sincerely – Know everything you need to know about the change and regression tests beforehand, so you aren’t surprised by “new opportunities.”
  5. Assigning internal personnel as project managers – Get a consultant project manager as they will focus on the upgrade only. They’ll catch the mistakes made and keep things on schedule and budget.
  6. Not telling others of changes before they happen – End users don’t like change so make sure to communicate before so they aren’t caught off guard.
  7. Giving classroom training only – Allow for video training that the users can find and use if they come across a problem they can’t fix. Create a Knowledge area that they can access to see before elevating.
  8. Not moving components to open business standards – This speeds up future upgrades that will happen. Try to change reports and interfaces to open business standards. It will help a lot in the future, and possibly save money with more completed upgrades.
  9. Not archiving before upgrading and keeping up security during – Archiving before upgrading will save you time and money. It speeds up queries on large tables, and table conversions as they are will run quicker. Security wise, upgrades are to be need-to-know only. There’s no use in upgrading if spies find a way to get the information out to your competitors.
  10. Assuming internal tech personnel will pick up years of experience in weeks – Keep the consultants around for a while after the upgrade is complete. Enhancements aren’t easy to learn, and someone has to be there who knows how to run the system. Or at least until the first workers understand the system as well.

Impact of IT on Business

IT has a significant impact on how companies design, build and support their business processes. Information systems have a considerable effect on how these methods work. Agencies improve effectiveness and quality of products and services through empowering their employees. Something to consider.