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Technology trends and Need for simple software

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Web technologies are increasingly moving away from App server (3 tier) to mirco services architecture More details here : http://de.slideshare.net/ewolff/java-application-servers-are-dead and http://martinfowler.com/articles/microservices.html

Balancing IT budgets between specific application needs to generic services/solutions supporting E2E optimization (generic tool adaption in agile DevOps world not be practical). This blog post highlights this dilemma for the SAP aware folks http://scn.sap.com/community/hana-in-memory/blog/2014/10/18/hana-and-the-solman-syndrome. It is helpful to think in terms of Jobs to be done and tools needed to support this, a concept presented well by Harvard Prof. Clayton M. Christensen at a tech event here: http://events.sap.com/sapphirenow/en/session/9602 The trend is towards open platforms where knowledge sharing in network increases value of product/service to unlock trapped value, see link for details http://srobbins.wordpress.com/2014/10/10/a-different-kind-of-trapped-value/

What are the major vendors doing in this context? From the recent Oracle keynotes https://www.oracle.com/openworld/live/on-demand/index.html and SAP TechEd keynotes http://events.sap.com/teched/en/session/13493 the common thread is in bridging the SaaS apps with the on premise apps using PaaS technologies. While the legacy vendors try to simplify their offering using “cloud” cover its really startup and open source solutions that are pushing the innovation envelope.

Multiple layers of abstraction in people and technology stacks is the root of all legacy driven complexity. Simplification needs decision making / smarts to be handled in micro nodes for scalable processing in human and technology contexts. Paradigms: Top down vs Bottom up  – Centralized vs decentralized – Big data / Network optimization / New Biz processes / next gen resource management – Cloud standardization vs custom extension needs (core and context). Cloud apps need fast/productive turnover times for build/deploy cycles which is pretty disruptive for legacy Dev/deploy models (on premise and early j2ee cloud) to compete with. Key part of TCO is TCD in Dev/Ops cycle including maintenance/support/upgrade with extension support.

Change is about people and mindsets. Simplicity starts in the mind. Given individual mindset changing behavior needs transformational leadership.  Fear of change, job loss, uncertainty, insecurity can make people do things which are anything but simple and smart and technology can only accelerate this trendSad smile

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Written by srinivasreddy

November 11, 2014 at 7:30 am

Posted in opendata, SAP, Technology

What’s all the “(Big) Data Hype” all about anyway?

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Its been a long time I blogged, it feels good to get back to it again. With all the digital data around it sure is difficult to take some time out to think what does it all mean anyway. This blog post is an attempt in this direction. We have been hearing the statement “Data is the next intel inside” for some time now. A recent statement by IBM CEO “Data is the next natural resource” is really a much stronger statement and needs some introspection into.What’s all the (Big) Data hype all about anyway?

As predicted here a decade ago, data has grown explosively in the 3-Dimensions of Volume, Variety and Velocity. The database landscape graph here is good portrayal of how the tech community is trying to address this problem in the different dimensions.   As of 2012, about 2.5 exabytes of data are created each day. The info graphic below shows some sources for this data.

 

Given that there is already a huge amount of digital data existing and much more being created everyday why should be care? I was recently at the CeBIT tech exhibition show with the theme “Shareconomy” and how (Big) Data driven “Smart” applications are and will change the world was a common theme at different exhibits. While cloud computing (be it IaaS, PaaS & SaaS) has mostly focused on reduced infrastructure costs its really value is in ability to enable companies learn from the data usage and help them focus on things that really matter for their customers. New business models are enabled by big data. While some companies like Salesforce see the data deluge as an opportunity to build “facebook like” user interface for enterprise end users to ease consumption. Other companies like KhanAcademy leverage the data to create a “flipped classroom” education platform where “learning” is emphasized than “teaching”. Data enables “feedback loops” to “validate learning” which is the key principle for lean startups to enable sustainable business. Advances in IT enable leveraging the unstructured (big) data with the structured (enterprise) data to engage with customers in new ways in real time. Products and services are being built much faster and customer acceptance measured to improve or kill the new offering based on such “experiments” in real time. Such “Agile” enterprises are the one setting the “speed of innovation” for their industries. Facebook’s recently announced “Home” interface for mobile highlights the importance about owning the data interface to end users. If you can “engage” the users you can have a greater impact on your companies bottom line. This quality is best highlighted by Amazon and its letter to its shareholders is very insightful in this regard.

Given that (Big) data is important how can we best profit from it? Given that we live in ever increasingly digital (thanks to our mobile devices) world we need to be smart as to where we are engaging in the “digital world” and why. “Time” is the critical resource and we need to use it in the optimal way. (Big) data needs “Big filters” to help us not be drowned in the data. One needs to develop skills to do “Data driven experiments” to learn from the “consumption” patterns to create sustainable business value. While “Open Data” access to different data sets is partly driving the current (Big) data hype. Its important to ensure “openness” of critical data sets at the same time taking care of the privacy and intellectual property rights concerns.

We will have much more data in the future, thanks to devices like goolge glass. Given a lot of IT innovations are still needed to make Big data vision a reality we will do well to enable this data driven disruption than be surprised by it.

Written by srinivasreddy

May 3, 2013 at 10:00 am

Posted in Mobile, opendata, SAP, Technology

Open Aid data reflections

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I would like to share my idea that I had submitted to “Open Data Challenge” in this blog. Even if the idea has not made it to the winners, I think the idea is worth reflecting upon and hopefully implement it as well. The idea aims to use the “Open Knowledge Foundation” project IATI registry that maintains references to standardized XML file released by aid recipients, donors and intermediaries.

The idea is to create Datasets on grassroots agencies (NGO’s) working in development projects in a standard format (IATA format) by enabling ‘Self Service’ entry of such data by these organizations, including building useful visualizations on the datasets. This idea can take a lot inspiration from the World Bank aid visualizations that are currently available and AidData portal that tracks development finance. What I miss in the current solutions is a “Self Service” interface where recipients, donors and intermediaries can maintain the data for their grassroots development projects in a standardized format.

Who will benefit from this idea?

  • This will provide transparent information access to (potential) grassroots aid donors on current funding agencies, causes and recipients
  • Help (potential) receivers transparently access information on current funding agencies and causes
  • Help funding intermediaries better match the interests of donors and aid receivers
  • Enhances current aid data sets with grassroots aid data and makes the data more representative

What will be needed to implement this idea?

  • Need user studies with grassroots agencies on “open aid data” needs and willingness to contribute to “Self Service” data entry
  • Need to explore ways to aggregate grassroots aid data (both automated and manual)
  • Build infrastructure / tools to help ‘Self Service’ data entry of aid data in IATA format
  • Leverage related efforts regarding map features, API & Technology tools to help build visualizations. While CKAN IATI provides the basis needed for building grassroots aid data format and AidData platform can be extended with grassroots datasets it needs to be seen if data format needs changes/simplifications and to what extent current open visualization platforms can be reused

I would expect getting grassroots agencies to contribute to Open Aid data (be it manual or automated means) would be the biggest challenge. Given the potential transparency benefits for the Aid process it is well worth the effort to give it a try :)  Would be interesting to hear the views of others on it…

Written by srinivasreddy

June 19, 2011 at 6:35 am

Posted in CSR, opendata, Technology