Internet of Things (IoT) Trend and Prediction Articles for 2014

The Internet of Things (IoT) is made up of physical objects (“things”) that have chips, sensors and actuators embedded in them that allow the sensing, capturing and communication of all types of data. These devices are then linked through both wired and wireless networks to the Internet. The IT challenge is to design IoT enabled systems and then leverage the information collected as a tool to help decision makers make better decisions.

I recently published my trend report Internet of Things: Trends to Watch in 2014 out on slideshare.   The report provides an overview of Internet of Things (IoT) and what to watch in 2014. Below I’ve provided you some articles on this trend that I thought you would want to read.

Source Title
InterSog How wearable technology will change future mobile paradigm [Part 1]
ComputerWorld.IN Internet of Things: 2013 Highlights & Outlook 2014
CNBC Wearable tech: What it needs to be a game-changer
Credit Suisse The Future of Wearable Technology
ZDNet AT&T’s predictions for the enterprise in 2014
Cisco Predictions 2014: Wager on the Internet of Everything
Digital-MR Driving Better Business Decisions With Social Media Research And The Internet Of Things
Forbes Credit Suisse Says Warable Tech The Next Big Thing
InfoTales 5 Things to Look Forward to in the Future of Wearable Technology
MsM News Will the ‘Internet of things’ be a thing in 2014?

 

10 Cloud Computing White Papers From IBM

image Cloud computing continues to be a disruptive trend in the information technology industry so I like to keep up to date on the IT and business issues related to the adoption of this trend.  

Cloud computing promises a new approach to IT economics—but also presents new challenges.  All IT users have come to expect a new standard from information technology, including masking complexity, providing enterprise-class security, delivering “dial tone” reliability, and wrapping it all in a friendly, easy to use self service package.  Fulfilling these expectations is a monumental task for IT departments.

I recently visited IBM’s Cloud Computing page looking for content about the cloud computing trend.   Here are some cloud computing white papers that are featured on the ibm.com site that discuss the key issues involved in adopting cloud computing technology and services. 

Get started with cloud through the right business based IT strategy (May 2011).  This is a 4 page Solution Brief written by IBM’s Strategy & Transformation Services team.  Cloud affects all dimensions of your organization, from business and operations, to technology, organization design and communication.  IBM’s Strategy and Change Services for Cloud Adoption uses proven methods to address these dimensions in creating your end-to-end cloud strategy.

Capturing new cloud business opportunities – with the right strategy.   (May 2011)  This 4 page solution brief from IBM’s Strategy & Transformation Services team says now is the time to act. Market leaders see the potential of cloud and are moving fast to get there first. Partnerships and alliances are quickly taking form. Those who are the last to move risk being excluded from this new, networked world. '

Getting cloud computing right: “The key to business success in a cloud adoption is a robust, proven architecture”.  (April 2011)   Making full use of an integrated  public compute cloud depends on how well customers can leverage the software assets they already own.  This 7 page white paper, written by IBM’s Global Technology Services team, acknowledges that CIOs and business leaders face a big challenge making sense of all the vendor offerings in the marketplace about cloud computing.   The white paper points out that it is important to remember that cloud computing is not just about data center technology. It’s about streamlining business processes to make organizations and people more strategic, more responsive to change and more oriented to service delivery.

Private Clouds Float with IBM Systems and Software (February 2011).  This white paper was written for IBM by IDEAS International.  The primary challenge for most IT departments is to stage the gradual adoption of private clouds in a way that allows the benefits of cloud computing to be accrued as quickly as possible. By methodically addressing the operational requirements at every level of private cloud infrastructure, IBM provides the necessary foundation to fulfill much of the economic promise of cloud computing.

How IBM is shortening the gap between customers and development value (February 2011).   Cloud computing will be a journey for IT departments, not a destination.  This 9 page white paper, written for IBM by Allan Krans of TBR Software Practice, examines the challenges CIOs, IT managers and  application development managers face as they attempt to select a cloud computing vendor that can help them address development and test requirements.

How IBM Smart Business Cloud can be a catalyst for IT transformation (January 2011).  This paper was written for IBM by Stuart Williams of TBR Software Practice.  This white paper examines the challenges CIOs and IT Managers face as they attempt to select a cloud computing vendor that can help them address their immediate requirements, as well as address their long-term needs for a holistic computing strategy.

Strategies for assessing cloud security (November 2010).  This is a 5 page Thought Leadership White Paper from IBM Global Technology Services.  Although the benefits of cloud computing are clear, so is the need to develop proper security for cloud implementations—whether public or private.  Cloud computing introduces another level of risk because essential services are often outsourced to a third party, making it harder to maintain data integrity and privacy, support data and service availability, and demonstrate compliance.  Embracing cloud computing without adequate security controls can place the entire IT infrastructure at risk.

IBM Cloud White Paper Cloud computing insights from 110 implementation projects (October 2010).  This is a 12 page white paper from IBM’s Academy of Technology.  The survey represents the findings from 110 case studies of cloud computing implementations in a survey conducted in August 2010.  The case studies are mainly from mature markets and mainly from companies with more than 5,000 employees. With the exception of the chemical and petroleum industry and industrial products, virtually every industry is represented.

Integrated service management and cloud computing: More than just technology best friends (September 2010).  This is a 12 page white paper from IBM’s Global Technology Services that discusses the importance of an integrated service management strategy to a successful cloud computing implementation.  Integration is crucial to success in cloud environments because of the need to orchestrate the actions of partners, vendors and customers in keeping with the firm’s strategic intent for IT. The requirements are clear: Integrated Service Management is more, not less, important in a cloud environment. In fact, it is indispensible.

Leveraging security from the cloud:  The who, what, when, why and how of cloud-based security services (July 2010).  When it comes to delivering information security, cloud computing provides several advantages relative to on-premise security software and appliances.  This 6 page white paper reveals how security can be used to reduce risk, optimize resources, improve flexibility and address regulatory requirements—without breaking the bank.

For more on IBM and cloud computing, go to it’s main cloud computing website: http://www.ibm.com/ibm/cloud/

Frost & Sullivan: Global Megatrends Shaping Our Future

Today I attended a webinar offered by research firm Frost & Sullivan that was titled “Mega Trends that will Shape the Future of the World”.  The stated purpose of the webinar was to discuss the most important global mega trends, potential scenarios of specific trends in 2020, and the implications of these mega trends in transforming society, markets and cultures. 

The webinar was jointly led by Frost & Sullivan Partner Sarwant Singh and Frost & Sullivan Team Leader Archana Amarnath. For those of you who want to view the webinar, at the end of this post I have the embedded the webinar, courtesy of Frost & Sullivan and Bright Talk.

I really enjoyed the webinar.  Here is my review of the megatrends covered during the webinar.

1)  Urbanization.   Frost confirms a trend that we’ve seen mentioned by others.  That is that the world’s population is increasingly shifting towards an urban environment.  Frost says that this trend will result in mega cities, mega regions, and mega transportation/business corridors.   Technology will be applied to enhance living and business activities within these mega-environments.

As a result of the urbanization trend, technology companies will try to address issues that impact consumer and business activities.  Frost predicts there will be an increased focus on making cities ‘Smarter’.  There will be over 40 global cities to achieve a designation of being “SMART” by 2020.  Frost says that more than 50% of the smart cities of 2025 will be from Europe and North America.   As the worlds businesses competes to realize the smart city opportunity, Frost expects there to be a convergence of smart city technology that will ultimately lead to convergence of competition in three different industries 1) Energy Infrastructure Players, 2) IT Players, and 2) Automation/Building Control Players.

2) Social Trends.  Frost mentioned three sub-trends here 1) Geo Socialization, 2) Generation Y and 3) Reverse Brain Drain.   

Geo Socialization.  Frost says Geo Socialization services will become an important part of the landscape in 2020 as we’ll see all sorts of location based services being pushed to mobile consumers and mobile business workers.

Gen Y.  There will be an increased focus placed on new and innovative products and services that cater to the values, beliefs, interests, and lifestyles of the younger generation.  A prime market will be the younger generation in India and China, who are increasingly displaying four key characteristics as consumers

  • Personalization and Individualization
  • Techno Savvy and Connected 24×7
  • Civic and Environmentally Friendly
  • Demanding and Impatient – “Fast and the Furious

Reverse Brain Drain.  Frost expects there to be a migration of skilled and educated workers from developed companies back to their homelands to fill a shortage of CXO Positions In BRIC countries.  Frost also says that many Europeans and Americans will seek jobs in these developing countries in the future in order to participate in the huge growth economies that are materializing.

3) Increased Satellites In Orbit.   Frost expects that by 2020 there will over 900 satellites will be launched annually around the globe. While this will cause a traffic jam in space, all those satellites will enable a whole set of new and innovative applications and services.

4) Cyber Warfare.  Frost is concerned that by 2020 cyber warfare will become an everyday occurrence.  In fact, Frost says that if there is a World War 3 in our future, cyber warfare will play an important part. 

5) Robot Technology.   Frost paints a strong future for robots across all sectors of the economy.  Future robots will utilize artificial intelligence and predictive analytics to be able to help us with everyday decision making.  The top applications for industrial robots will be in Robots in Space, Military, Healthcare

6) Virtual Worlds.  Frost says that by 2020, 3D simulated environments will be used to significantly enhance consumer and business activities.   Simulation and virtual world technology will change the way we interact with users and data.  For example, virtual shopping will allow customers to try products without leaving their homes.   Virtual surgeries will allow doctors to train for new types of procedures just like airplane pilots train in flight simulators today.  Frost explained that haptic technology is an an enabling technology for these immersive virtual and simulation environments in the future.

7) Cloud Computing.   Frost says we will have smart clouds by 2020.  These will be flexible and customized clouds created by consolidation of different off premise hybrid cloud services.  Cloud computing will allow future information technology infrastructures to  be scaled up or down as the workload demands.  Key enabling technologies will be  API standards and cloud security standards.

8) Innovating to Zero.   As we move towards 2020, there will be a focus on using emerging technologies to minimize failures.  Governments and businesses alike will strive to reach a level of zero security accidents, zero facility failures, zero emissions, zero accidents.   Frost mentioned initiatives in Norway as well as initiatives in the power generation generation industry to enable innovative zero emission technologies including Wind energy, Solar PV Cells, Ocean energy, Geothermal Energy, Bio Fuels, and Travelling Wave Reactors.

9) Infrastructure Development and New Transportation Corridors.  Frost expects higher spending on travel, transportation, and utilities infrastructures.  Frost mentioned the highest spending may be in water management systems, but also mentioned power generation/distribution, Road & Rail, and Air/Seaports.    Frost provided the example of the Trans-Siberian railroad.   This new transportation corridor will result in industrial and business hubs along the railroad, much like “Route 66” did to the American landscape.  Development of Trans-Siberian railroad will have significant socio economic and business impact to Russia. 

10) E-Mobility.  Frost expects that over the next decade all sorts of new forms of personal transportation vehicles will make its way to the economy.  Many of these will target urban commuters who just need to get to work and back.  Frost says that 40 million electric 2 and 4 wheeled vehicles will be sold annually around the globe by 20120.   

11) Healthcare:  Spending will rise globally.  Frost says that if the current spending trend continues, Healthcare spending will almost double by 2050.  Some countries will end up spending 20-30% of their GDP on Healthcare.   Spending will transition away from treating and more for predictive analytics that will be used to help diagnose and monitor conditions before they become serious.


A BrightTALK Channel

For more information.

A Primer On Water Management Issues

IBM Water Mgmnt Icon Today is Blog Action day at water.org.  It's a good time to get the word out to everyone on water management issues. Read more about water.org's blog action day at Blog Action Day – Working Together To Solve The Water Crisis.  This post is my contribution to the Blog Action Day.

Most of us reading this post take our access to water for granted.  However, I would imagine that we all realize that water is critical to sustaining life on our planet.  Water makes up 60 to 70% by weight of all living organisms and is essential for photosynthesis.  If the Earth’s water supply vanished, there would be no plants, no animals, and no people. 

While the Earth’s water is not vanishing, many scientists believe that our global water supply is in crisis.  We may or may not be at the crisis stage, but we definitely need to take action to solve our water management issues.

Some Quick Facts About WaterWater Wasted

  • Water covers 75% of the earth's surface.  Nearly 98% of the earth's water is in the oceans.  Fresh water makes up less than 3% of water on earth, over two thirds of this is tied up in polar ice caps and glaciers.  Fresh water lakes and rivers make up only 0.009% of water on Earth and ground water makes up 0.28%.
  • It takes 700 gallons of water to make a cotton T-shirt, 2,000 gallons to make one gallon of milk, and 39,000 gallons to make a car.
  • Global agriculture wastes an estimated 60% of the 2,500 trillion liters it uses each year. 
  • Municipalities lose as much as 50% of their water supply through leaky infrastructure.  
  • More than one trillion gallons of water are wasted in U.S. homes each year from easy-to-fix leaks.
  • 1 in 5 of the word’s population still lacks access to clean, safe drinking water. 
  • The United Nations predicts that nearly half the world’s population will experience critical water shortages by the year 2080.
  • There are nearly 53,000 different water agencies in the United States alone, each managing a short stretch of river or a handful of reservoirs. 
  • In the last 100 years global water usage has increased at twice the rate of population growth.

For those of us living in developed nations, our water infrastructure is many decades old.  In fact, in some places it is centuries old.  As our demand for water is increasing, we need to modernize the existing infrastructure.  One way to do that is to apply information technology.

Today’s water management systems are operating without enough data and insights.   The planet needs new water management systems, based on smart technology that can collect and analyze real-time data.  These new systems will provide water authorities with the insights they need to supply more water to more people with lower energy-use and cost. 

How Can Technology Help?

What is needed are water management systems that can provide real time collection and analysis of all sources of data.  This includes integrating disparate sensor technologies that produce disparate data formats along with other data from an array of partners.  Information technology solutions are needed that can take data that’s coming in fast and turn it into intelligence that augments the ability to improve decision making about water distribution.  These solutions need to connect the folks in the central control room with those working in the field building bridges, dams, dykes to the sensor experts and sophisticated modelers.

  • Technology can monitor, measure and analyze entire water ecosystems, from rivers and reservoirs to the pumps and pipes in our homes.
  • The latest water meters, combined with appropriate Water Management solutions can provide a single, reliable, up-to-the minute and actionable view of water use for a government, a business, or a home.   These ‘smart’ water meters can provide real-time insight into water use, raising awareness, locating inefficiencies and decreasing demand.
  • Advanced sensors can help us collect all sorts of new data on water usage.  For example, sensors on levees can monitor changing flood conditions and respond accordingly.  Sensor based systems can provide the agriculture industry with detailed information on air quality, soil moisture content and temperature to calculate optimal irrigation schedules.
  • Advanced computing, analytics, and simulations can help us all move beyond “real time” to prediction, supporting better-informed policy and management decisions.
  • Technology can also be applied to our oceans to gather data on water temperature, currents, wave strength, salinity and marine life, and applying algorithms that can forecast everything from wave patterns over 24 hours to the right time to harvest mussels.

IBM Water Management Solution Areas

IBM is taking a leadership role among technology vendors in researching, piloting and developing a whole suite of water management solutions.  Taking a look at what IBM is doing can help us see the areas where technology can be applied to solve water management issues

  • Natural Water Resources – Provides sensor data integration, analysis and visualization to enable the measurement, modeling and management of water levels, usage and quality in natural water resources.
  • Water Utilities – Enables water providers to make rapid decisions regarding business processes and operational efficiency to maximize their return on investments as well as foresee and quickly respond to contamination issues and emergencies.
  • Water Infrastructure – Provides sensing systems for managing water infrastructure, such as levee oversight management and flood control.
  • Water Metering – Improves management of water supply and demand by integrating data between the dozens of stakeholders involved. Provides all stakeholders with consistent, real-time information to help them work together to make critical decisions about water supply in a geographic region.
  • Green Sigma for Water™ – is a business consulting service that identifies where water is being used, measures and monitors usage, and creates process improvements to reduce water use. IBM pilots have achieved reductions in water usage of 30%.
  • SmartBay Sensor System – Monitors wave conditions, marine life and pollution levels.  Provide real-time information to stakeholders in the Irish maritime economy, runs on a cloud computing platform, and is able to predict water conditions critical to those stakeholders.

Innovative Water Management Vendors

The Artemis Project held its second annual Artemis Project Top 50 Water Companies Competition during the spring of 2010.   These vendors are all coming up with some very innovative and creative solutions to Water Management issues.  Check out the winners:  A list of the 50 is here.   View a poster show of this year’s winners here.

What Is Needed

More work is needed as we transform the water infrastructure to digital technology:

  • Continue to Build Awareness for Water Issues.  Many in leadership positions are not aware of the critical need for water management information technology solutions.
  • Continue Market Testing & Solutions Platform Development.  Technology vendors need to continue to build assets and test solution platforms.  Stronger linkages are needed across the growing ecosystem.
  • Continue to Build Thought Leadership Deliverables.  Tech vendors need to develop content highlighting case studies, references, demonstrations, and white papers.

For More Information

There is a bunch of more reading material available.  Here some links…

New Transportation Study Says Urban Sprawl Causes Congestion

Driven Apart For years now, The Urban Mobility Report, issued every two years by the Texas Transportation Institute, has been regarded by many transportation and urban planning experts as the ‘bible’ on traffic congestion issues.   The report has been used to justify large road improvement projects throughout the country in an attempt to solve major metropolitan traffic congestion problems.

However, a new report from CEOs for Cities offers a dramatic critique of the 25 year old industry standard created by the Texas Transportation Institute’s Urban Mobility Report (UMR).  The report provides a new look at traffic congestion and suggests there are additional reasons why  Americans spend so much time in traffic.  The report

The new report titled Driven Apart: How sprawl is lengthening our commutes and why misleading mobility measures are making things worse says the solution to the congestion problem has much more to do with how we build our cities than how we build our roads.  The report says that we need new metrics like 'total trip distance’ and ‘total travel time’, metrics that are not currently in the The Urban Mobility Report.

The report ranks how long residents in the nation’s largest 51 metropolitan areas spend in peak hour traffic, and in some cases the rankings are almost the opposite of those listed in the 2009
Urban Mobility Report.  Here’s a list from the report of the 10 cities (out of the 51 studied) where commuters spend the most time getting to work every day. 

Cities Avg. hours per year in traffic
Detroit – Warren – Livonia 179
Indianapolis – Carmel 166
Louisville / Jefferson County 165
Raleigh – Cary 161
Birmingham – Hoover 159
Oklahoma City 154
St. Louis 153
Memphis 152
Richmond 147
Kansas City 142

The report says that compact cities are the real answer to reducing traffic delays.  The key is to have land use patterns and transportation systems that enable their residents to take
shorter trips and minimize the burden of peak hour travel.   These conclusions are very different than those of the UMR, which has long been used to measure traffic congestion and has been used to justify road improvement projects costing millions of dollars.

It’s nice to have a fresh look at the traffic congestion issue.  Thanks CEO for Cities!

For more information, you can access the report (exec summary AND the detailed report) and supporting press release, graphics, etc. by heading over to http://www.ceosforcities.org/work/driven-apart

Ten Popular IBM Smart Service Oriented Architecture SOA Articles

IBM SOA Newletter - July I’m on a distribution list for the IBM Smart SOA and BPM Newsletter, which is a great newsletter (it received a 2009 Hermes Award in the e-newsletter category). 

The June 26, 2010 newsletter had a number of interesting articles, including:

  • How agile companies create and sustain high ROI
  • Connect cloud and on-premise applications
  • Resources for smarter banking

However, the one article that caught my eye was an article titled “Top IBM Smart SOA articles”.  I’ve been interested in Business Process Re-Engineering topics since leading a early-mid 1990’s IBM team on a journey to rewrite and deploy new marketing management processes.  That was a multi-year effort that spanned every division and geography in IBM.  I learned a bunch from that experience about how to architect a business for marketing management processes.

Service Oriented Architecture (SOA) is a great tool that we did not have in the mid 1990’s.  SOA promises to create greater alignment between IT and line of business while generating more flexibility – IT flexibility to support greater business flexibility.   We all know that the explosion of the Internet is creating new business models and this is causing business processes to change faster and faster.  To be competitive, businesses requires the flexibility that SOA can provide. 

The article “Top IBM Smart SOA articles” provides a nice list of the most popular articles (as downloaded by readers).  The list covers a wide range of topics related to SOA and the articles are great reading for any business or IT leader that is passionate about improving business processes.  I’ve summarized the list here for you.

  1. Managing the complexity of business processes  This article discusses an approach to controlling the development and maintenance efforts for business processes by limiting their complexity.
  2. SOA and integration in the cloud bring agility and value down to earth.  Leveraging a cloud-based integration solution delivered as a service provides an easily scalable approach to business integration.
  3. Make a BPM business case and learn 11 habits for success
    Links to two new white papers that help you make a case for BPM and understand how to be successful.
  4. Getting started with BPM: Find the best entry point
    In this article, IBM describes three common entry points to BPM, helping you understand how to get started with BPM.
  5. Advanced case management and BPM: Better together
    This article describes two concepts and how they relate to each other 1) the value that business process management (BPM) brings to the knowledge worker, and 2) the value of the additional technology components behind advanced case management (ACM)
  6. Ideas for innovation from the Smart Work Jam
    This article provides an overview of the highlights and insights as harvested from the Smart Work Jam, where for 72 hours, more than 2,000 participants from 68 countries "jammed" with nearly 5,000 posts across seven topics around the topic of working smarter.
  7. Outperforming companies share new way of working
    This article summarizes findings from an IBM Institute for Business Value study called "A New Way of Working: Insights from Global Leaders."   The study was designed to find out what makes leaders more dynamic, collaborative and connected; and the common barriers that prevent them from working smarter.
  8. Making SOA governance fit your organization
    This article helps you tailor Service Oriented Architecture governance to your organization, with tips from a book by IBM authors, based on their experiences with customers. 
  9. How SOA can ease your move to cloud computing
    This article helps those of you wanting to get started with cloud computing.  It describes how taking time to set up your SOA environment can give you an important jump start on cloud computing.
  10. Serious games for smarter skills: The future of learning
    Gaming is only for play time.  this article describes how gaming technology can play a role in helping us improve business processes.

So if you are thinking your business processes need some re-engineering, I’d recommend taking a look at applying Service Oriented Architecture methodologies upfront.  SOA can provide your company with an architectural model for integrating business partners’, customers’ and suppliers’ services into an enterprise’s business processes.

You can access the online issue of the whole newsletter, IBM Smart SOA & BPM Newsletter – Vol. 43.  You can also access all back level issues of the newsletter via http://www-931.ibm.com/bin/newsletter/tool/parchive.cgi?nlId=10481 where you can also set up a subscription for yourself so you get the newsletter emailed directly to you every month.

IBM Cloud Computing White Papers

IBM Cloud White Papers In 2008 I was focused on researching and analyzing the Cloud Computing marketplace, which back then was just emerging.  It was a year of hype with vendors scrambling to define it and rename their offerings with the Cloud name somewhere in the offering.   The cloud topic was featured in many posts here during the 2008 calendar year.  While I no longer am focused on cloud, I still try to keep abreast of what is going on. 

The fact is that cloud computing is no longer just hype.  It is recognized as a key transformational trend in IT today.  The adoption of private, public or hybrid cloud environments can help significantly help organizations reduce IT management complexity and skill requirements; share resources among multiple applications; accelerate time to market; and support both existing and emerging, data-intensive workloads.

Here are some cloud computing white papers from IBM.  IBM has been an leader in the push towards enterprise-based cloud computing.

  • Dispelling The Vapor Around Cloud Computing     IBM conducted a survey in June and July of 2009 of 1,090 IT and line-of-business decision makers around the world.  The objective was to better understand the current rate of adoption, as well as drivers, barriers, and considerations that are influencing the adoption of cloud computing.  This white paper shares the survey findings and provides IBM’s point of view regarding key steps and considerations for cloud adoption.  A nice feature of this white paper are two sections near the end.  One section covers key success factors in implementing cloud and the other covers a list of steps required to the adoption of cloud computing
  • Security and Cloud Computing.  Although the benefits of implementing the different cloud computing models are clear, so is the need to develop proper security for cloud implementations.  Many organizations are embracing both public and private cloud computing models by integrating the two models into ‘hybrid clouds’.  These hybrid cloud implementations are designed to balance both business and technology requirements, helping to optimize security
    and privacy with a minimum investment in fixed IT costs.  This white paper provides an overview of key security issues related to the different cloud
    computing models, discusses the IBM Cloud Security Framework, and concludes with IBM’s thoughts on how to implement a secure cloud architecture and environment.   For those wanting more detail, there is an IBM Redbook available by the title of Cloud Security Guidance:  IBM's Recommendation for the Implementation of Cloud Security
  • Capturing the Potential of the Cloud   This paper comes from IBM’s Global Services team and discusses how cloud computing models are helping enterprises,
    governments and industries meet current challenges by focusing in on what the paper calls ‘Cloud Value Drivers’.  The paper says that organizations should take a holistic approach to developing a cloud strategy due to the broad impact cloud can have on an organization’s business models, operating principles, processes, technology and organization design.   Understanding the key cloud value drivers can help business and IT leaders jointly develop a framework for building successful business and IT strategies.
  • Business Strategy for Cloud Providers  -  This white paper is targeted towards companies that are hoping to provide cloud computing services as part of their offering strategy.    The paper answers questions such as
    • What are the key attributes of a winning cloud • provider business strategy and model?
    • How can partnering across the ecosystem accelerate my success?
    • What are the implications if I do not act now?
  • Benefits of Cloud Computing (634kb)   This paper examines the challenges facing IT leaders today and then discusses the benefits to enterprises that implement cloud computing technology.  The paper drives home the point that cloud computing is not just about data center technology.  It’s more about streamlining business processes in order to make organizations and people more competitive, more responsive to change and more oriented to service delivery.
  • Beyond the Platform:  Choosing the Right SaaS Delivery Partner.  The
    cloud market is broad and fragmented with thousands of suppliers
    offering products and services that fulfill niche needs.  As such, ISVs
    are often daunted by the process of researching providers' and
    consultants' offers.   Stratecast, a Division of Frost & Sullivan,
    has just published an IBM commissioned white paper entitled "Beyond the
    Platform: Choosing the Right SaaS Delivery Partner".  Author, analyst
    Linda Stadtmueller examines the fragmented and still evolving
    cloud-based Software as a Service market.  The white paper looks at the
    pitfalls and benefits to ISVs, along with considerations to guide the
    decision to enter the cloud.  Finally, it highlights the IBM ISV Partner
    Program as a high-value option for helping ISVs build and execute a
    SaaS strategy.  

For more on IBM and cloud computing, go to it’s main cloud computing website: http://www.ibm.com/ibm/cloud/

HorizonWatching at Tumblr is one year old today

A little over a year ago, I started contributing to the Smarter Planet blog on Tumblr at http://smarterplanet.tumblr.com/.  The Smarter Planet blog on Tumblr is the brainchild of Jack Mason at IBM and it has been fun contributing to that blog for the past year.  That blog, and it’s sister blog on Tumblr, Smarter Cities Scan is a great source for thought leadership content relating to emerging technologies and trends

As I started sharing content on the Smarter Planet blog, I found Tumblr (http://www.tumblr.com) to be an innovative platform for blogging.   I decided to start a HorizonWatching blog on Tumblr ( http://horizonwatching.tumblr.com/) to experiment with the Tumblr platform.  I wanted to have a place other than the HorizonWatching blog here on Typepad to experiment with content sharing.  

On the HorizonWatching Typepad blog I communicate my own insights and content.  I use the HorizonWatching blog on Tumblr to share other’s content (usually direct quotes, videos, webcasts, photos, etc) that I have found interesting.   I’ve also linked those Tumblr posts to a HorizonWatching page on Facebook

Today, I got an email from the Tumblr team indicating that I had been blogging a whole year.  I thought I’d use the occasion to introduce you to the HorizonWatching Tumblr blog and provide you with some direct links to some content I have posted on Tumblr. 

So to celebrate the 1st birthday to the HorizonWatching blog at Tumblr, check out some of links to the posts I have embedded below.

A Primer on the Smart Grid and Intelligent Utility Network Trend

Smart Grid2 In a world where increased focus is on reducing CO2 emissions, governments and energy & utility companies are looking for ways to modernize and transform their utility infrastructure in order to improve energy efficiency and reliability. 

For developed economies, the traditional way power has been generated is based on a central generation model with one-way power and information flow from large, often distant generating stations, via transmission and distribution lines to end consumers.   Most of these generation systems contain an aging infrastructure with some equipment dating back 60 years.  This traditional infrastructure lacks sufficient technology and communications at the distribution and end-use level that would enable grid automation & monitoring capabilities.   The model has been a push model, meaning that there is little to no automated information coming back to the central sites from those that use the power.  So if the user suddenly has no power, the only way the utility company knows about it is if they get a call from the users.  Furthermore, the user has very little information available to help them understand how much power they are using, when they are using it, and what they are using it for.

The Smart Grid (also called Intelligent Utility Network) technology is an important emerging trend within the Energy and Utility Industry.  As consumers, we are increasingly aware that the way we consume and save energy can be improved.  Within the energy and utility industry, energy efficiency is also on the minds of the industry leaders.  And our governments are all interested in finding new sources of energy.   By embedding technology into the electrical distribution network, a Smart Grid can transform the way power is distributed and used.  Intelligence throughout the grid can dramatically reduce outages and faults, improve responsiveness, handle current and future demand, increase efficiency and manage costs.

The following video from IEEE will provide some additional introduction into the concept of the Smart Grid.

Produced by IEEE and ScienCentral, Inc.

A Smart Grid can present many opportunities for consumers, businesses, and utilities to benefit from the efficient distribution of energy and availability of intelligent equipment and devices.  For governments, it offers significant opportunities to wisely manage a country’s fuel resources by potentially reducing the need for additional generation sources, better integrating renewable energy sources into the grid’s operations, reducing outages and cascading problems, and enabling users of power to better manage their energy consumption.

The Smart Grid technology will enable energy customers to

  • manage electricity consumption to meet specific household/business goals such as cost, availability, and environmental impact
  • seek energy providers, information, and technologies that help them meet their goals
  • do business with utility companies who communicate a set of energy-related values consistent with their own
  • seek convenient and more personalized ways to interact with their utility to negotiate customized solutions to allow them to meet their needs
  • act on their own wants and needs where regulatory representation does not provide results satisfying these specific needs, primarily through execution of alternative solutions (e.g., self-generation)

So what exactly are the characteristics of a Smart Grid?  The US Department of Energy has characterized a smart grid as having the following attributes:

  • Self-healing from power disturbance events
  • Enabling active participation by consumers in demand response
  • Operating resiliently against physical and cyber attack
  • Providing power quality for 21st century needs
  • Accommodating all generation and storage options
  • Enabling new products, services, and markets
  • Optimizing assets and operating efficiently

The consumer of power from a future Smart Grid will see many differences as a result of adding intelligence into the network.   Some examples are:

  • Smart electricity meters, water meters, and gas meters that collect real-time data on utility usage.
  • Distributed generation, such as solar panels and other micro generation.  These new generators could be located at the home, in the neighborhood, or in the local community.
  • Dedicated energy display units and smart thermostats that provide the user with feedback on energy usage in real-time.
  • Smart appliances with connectivity to the intelligent utility network via the in home meters and display units.
  • Plug-in vehicles as a both source and consumer of energy.  The vehicles, when plugged in would provide information on energy usage.
  • Linked connection to the in-home network and home PCs for further analysis of all the information collected.

The Smart Grid transformation is much more than installation of new technology in a piece-part fashion.  The call for the transformation to a Smart Grid impacts every part of the utility infrastructure including generation, distribution, and usage.  It will be a disruptive change, but a change that will provide huge rewards for the future.  For the utility industry itself, changes needs to happen in four key areas:

  1. Strategy.  We need a  fundamental rethink of business strategy and industry business models across the board.
  2. Collaboration.  Utility providers will need to develop a much closer collaboration with customers, regulators, financers, researchers, technology and service vendors, and other stakeholders than ever before.
  3. People.  The change will be very disruptive to utility companies.  They will need a renewed focus on staff, their roles, competencies, compensation, performance and structure.
  4. Process.  Utility providers will need to re-architect business processes and applications.

There is much work to be done to transform old utility infrastructures to a Smart Grid system.  The transformation will not happen overnight, but could happen over a series of decades.  When complete, countries that transform their utilities infrastructure to an Intelligent Utility Network will have a modern network of sensor-based interactive technologies that will give utilities and consumers unprecedented control over managing energy use, improving energy grid operations, and significantly reducing energy costs. 

There is a ton of information available on Smart Grids.  Here are a few example resources for you to explore….

For other “Primers” here on HorizonWatching, check out http://horizonwatching.typepad.com/horizonwatching/primer/

IBM and SeeClickFix: A Social Collaboration Challenge on the Smarter Cities Scan

seeclickfix challenge

Are you aware of some non-emergency issues going on in your community that if fixed that could help improve the quality of life in your town?  Some examples might be:

  • A dangerous intersection for pedestrians
  • A bike lane that is always blocked
  • An area that always floods whenever it rains
  • A building with broken windows
  • A vacant lot that needs to be cleaned up
  • Potholes on a certain street that never get fixed
  • Cracked sidewalks that need to be fixed
  • Unsafe activity going on in your neighborhood

The SeeClickFix Challenge:

There’s a very interesting crowdsourcing effort going on I thought you might be interested in checking out.  The folks at SeeClickFix have partnered up with IBM’s Smarter Cities Scan in an effort called the “SeeClickFix Challenge on the Smarter Cities Scan”

SeeClickFix empowers residents to actively care for and improve their neighborhoods by engaging them to report on things they think needs to be ‘fixed’ by posting information of those things on the web.  Residents pinpoint the exact location on a map and can upload pictures of the problem.  The IBM Smarter Cities Scan team recognized this service as a novel approach to help us all improve the cities we live in.  So the two teams are now partnering in this unique social collaboration challenge.  The crowdsourcing effort will run from February 8-21 on the Smarter Cities Scan.   And you can participate!

How You Can Participate:

  1. See – spot a non-emergency issue in your neighborhood, go to http://seeclickfix.com/citizens and enter your city name to begin the process
  2. Click – “Report an Issue” to open a ticket describing the issue and what can be done to resolve it
  3. Fix  – Monitor your ticket and the issue you reported to see how your city responded.
  4. Share – Go back to the Smarter Cities Scan site and report on your SeeClickFix experience by sharing your SeeClickFix story.   We want to understand how citizens and  communities put SeeClickFix to new uses in all urban environments.  In the process perhaps we can generate some new ideas on how to make our cities better places to live in.  So please share your story!!

I just entered my first ‘problem’ into the SeeClickFix database for my community and found the process easy.  There’s a walking/bike path in my community that needs repairing in a certain spot.  It is not paved and doesn’t drain well…so it gets all muddy.  The path is just a few feet from a 50mph road and I am worried some runner or biker will slip and fall into traffic. 

Want More Information?

Spread The News!

The more people we have contributing stories, the more we all learn in the process.  Help publicize this collaboration challenge to your social networks via email, Facebook, and Twitter (use tag #seeclickfix).  And If you blog, consider authoring a post about this challenge as I have done here.

IBM SOA Newsletter: Innovative Ideas From The Smart Work Jam

IBM SOA Newletter I subscribe to the IBM Smart SOA Newsletter, a monthly e-newsletter sent out by IBM.   The newsletter always provides interesting articles on current information in Service Oriented Architecture (SOA) and related trends in Business Process Management (BPM).  

Today I opened the most recent newsletter in my in-basket. This article has an interesting lead article on Smart Work that I thought you’d enjoy.   You can see the full online version at IBM Smart SOA Newletter.  Here’s a list of the articles in the current issue:

Lead Article: 

  • Ideas for innovation from the Smart Work Jam:   On September 16-18, 2009, IBM hosted the Smart Work Jam, engaging industry and university thought leaders, clients, Business Partners and IBMers to discuss how we can work smarter together. For 72 hours, more than 2,000 participants from 68 countries “jammed” with nearly 5,000 posts across seven topics.  The Smart Work Jam Report, which details the results of that conversation, is now available.   Access the article here Ideas for innovation from the Smart Work Jam

Other Articles Include:

  • Impact 2010:  Impact is a great conference for both business and IT leaders. It will be held May 2-5 in Las Vegas.  Read article here.
  • BPM BlueWorks Adds Resources For Process Improvement:  How organizations in 90 countries are jump starting Business Process management   Read article here
  • An Approach For Working Smarter in Retail:  Use it to improve supply chains, customer loyalty and margins.  Read article here
  • Proven Practices:  Enhancing performance of business rules projects  Read Redpaper here.
  • Business Process Management Software News:  IBM closes its acquisition of Lombardi Software.  Read article here.
  • New Electronic Support:  New consolidated, customizable online tools for full technical info.  Access a webcast series describing the new features.  Read article here

If you are interested in SOA and BPM topics, you’d enjoy the newsletter.  The newsletter has been delivered monthly since January 2007 and is full of the latest information, best practices, technical tips, resources and more, on service oriented architecture (SOA).

To access the online newsletter http://www.ibm.com/vrm/newsletter/10481 .  To access all previous issues of this newsletter, check out the archives.  To subscribe to the IBM Smart SOA e-newsletter, go to manage your subscriptions.  You’ll need to register and sign in with your email.  And then you can manage all your subscriptions from IBM. 

Scientific American: 20 World Changing Ideas in Science

Scientific American 20 World Changing Ideas Scientific American published an article back in December titled “World Changing Ideas” that caught my eye.   The article provides a laundry list of ideas that Scientific American says have the potential to improve our lives and our planet.  The magazine has been running similar articles on an annual basis for a number of years.

The December article covers ideas in five general categories (Energy,Transportation, Environment, Electronics, and Health) that highlight the power of science and technology to improve the world.

Here’s a summary of some of the 20 ideas from this article

Energy

  • Pay for solar panels on your house like you pay for a house mortgage.
  • Biofuels from genetically engineered plants.
  • Innovations in Nuclear Power production that can stem nuclear proliferation
  • Smart meters in the home
  • Wind Power harvested from a fleet of high-flying giant kites or windmills

Transportation

  • Plug-in hybrid trucks for short-haul cargo trips
  • Subway-like bus lines

Environment

  • Someday the oceans might be regulated by a worldwide marine planning and zoning committee
  • Harvesting energy trapped in garbage via a technology called plasma gasification
  • Cement that naturally absorbs carbon dioxide as it hardens
  • Introducing new honeybee colonies to our farms
  • Developing crops that can handle saltwater

Electronics

  • HP’s Central Nervous System for the Earth (CeNSE) project
  • Smartphones that can act as real-time language translators
  • Advances in Personal Robotics

Health

  • Biomarkers can help understand the causes of complex diseases
  • Satellites can help track and predict the spread of diseases
  • Better and cheaper ways to help blood clot quicker
  • Performing blood tests in real time by putting a drop of blood on a computer chip
  • Innovations in dental care.

The 20 ideas above are all interesting and innovative trends in science and technology.  Some I would say are more ‘world changing’ than other ideas.  And I am sure we could all come up with another 20 trends / ideas in science that are not listed above.

There’s much more detail in the article.  Scientific American articles are available to subscribers only, but at the time of the writing of this post, I found the article at Scribd here: http://www.scribd.com/doc/23475128/20-World-Changing-Ideas.  Also…you can listen to a podcast where Scientific American magazine Editor in Chief Mariette DiChristina and editor Michael Moyer talk about the "World Changing Ideas" feature ( Download this podcast ).