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Connectivity, Industry and the Internet
This todaynote entry is about a forrester.com post entitled “The Next Decade Will Be About The Industrial Internet.” The post makes an interesting point about the evolution of the “internet of things” and how it may drive the character of connectivity in the coming years. The post is based on remarks by William Ruh, CEO of GE’s Digital arm, made the Mobile World Congress, 2016.
The post, by Dan Bieler at Forrester, discusses key opportunities for companies to benefit from digitization. Among these are: improving productivity with better technology, improving the efficiency of technology using stronger analytical capabilities, and offering a better customer experience derived from value-adds associated with emerging digital technologies.
Ruh summed it up with this quote: “The industrial companies that can bring together cloud, open source, and real-time process management with industrial product cycles will be the ones that will win in the digital transformation process.”
This is an informative post, and worth the minute it will take to read.
In our most recent todaysnote Smarthomes and the Elderly, we discussed applications of Smarthomes for the elderly and sick, who may need special monitoring. Today’s quicknote explores one product that may ultimately come into play in this market. A California company, Vital Connect, manufactures several sensors that are designed for a connected environment. (There is no relationship between Vital Connect and todaysnote).
The sensors are described in this Vital Connect article on Bloomberg on the Bloomberg Business site. While I believe they are aimed at use by doctors today, it seems possible that they can be used in the home either after being prescribed by a doctor, or potentially for patient directed use at some future point in time.
If you know of other, similar products, please leave a comment below.
Connected and SmartHomes and the Elderly
Todaysnote discusses the following post at Ovum.com: Analyst Opinion: Smart homes are unsettling, but could be great for the elderly. Ovum is a London based telecom analysis firm, and their site, ovum.com, produces many interesting posts; this is the first one of their posts to be reviewed at todaysnote, but I encourage you to check out their content if you have an interest in Telecom. The author of the post is Nick Wallace; I could not find a twitter handle for him.
The post discusses the a deal made between a Latin America telecom provider and a Chinese internet technology company named Huawei. The deal will help deliver Huawei’s smart home technology to Telefonic’s Latin America customer base. Wallace’s take is simple: “Telefónica can offer customers a service none of its rivals in Latin America currently do and Huawei gets to sell through the second-largest telecoms firm in the region.”
But the really interesting observation Wallace makes draws out a broader application of the technology. Wallace’s take implies that he believes Smarthome technology may be a bit overblown, but has truly important implications for people with extra needs: the elderly or those with certain medical conditions that require special monitoring or support. In his words, “Some see smart homes technology as intrusive, but those faced with a move to a depressing care home or endless hospital visits might see that as a price worth paying. ”
The analysis goes on with this insight:
“Smart homes and smart cities are both underpinned by connectivity and the Internet of Things (IoT), but they should be seen as separate concepts: cities are public spaces, and homes are private spaces. However, connected cities and connected homes present opportunities for personalized public services in both. “
I had a little trouble finding specifics about Huawei’s offerings. There is interesting material at their website, huawei.com, but their Smarthome section doesn’t show a lot of products beyond connectivity technology. Huawei is on twitter at https://twitter.com/Huawei.
So it’s not entirely clear whether Huawei has health specific offerings for Telefonica’s customers, or is simply offering some foundation for that. Wallace suggests several possible scenarios or applications of the connectivity:
“Those with long-term conditions such as diabetes or heart disease could use connected medical devices for routine checkups at home
Dementia sufferers could continue to live at home for longer, instead of in care homes, supported and kept safe by automation and connected sensors
This is to say nothing of the money it could save health and social care services.” [bullets and formatting are mine]
There is some material available on the internet describing services and products that fit into this model. A simple google search turned up products such as these: http://www.smarthome.com/assisstivetech.html. Also, there are a number of articles discussing the support of the elderly using technology, for example to avoid or delay nursing home support. One such article is Devices Help Seniors ‘Age in Place’. Finally, there is an interesting legal note discussing the need for regulation on this topic.
Wallace’s post has scratched the surface of a very interesting topic, and one which will undoubtedly grow in intensity in the coming years. Wallace’s post is well worth a quick read. I hope you will enjoy it. Please leave your thoughts about smarthome support in the comments below.
In honor of Twitter’s 10th anniversary, I am reposting this piece from 2011, which explores “connectedness” and media like twitter. The original article is by Lucy Marcus, who is worth following and reading, now or then. The original link is still good, so enjoy!
As I’ve mentioned in the past, I am a big fan of the HBR.com blog site. Numerous fine authors contribute content, and one of my favorites is Lucy Marcus (@lucymarcus on Twitter). Her recent post on the site is “What it means to be ‘Connected.'” The post begins
“I was recently selected as one of Britain’s “best connected” women by Director, a business magazine. This prompted me to reflect on what it actually means to be “connected.” I began to explore the meaning of connectedness, both in person, and in an ever more virtual world, and to consider whether the two forms are so different.” [as always, italics are added by me to denote quotes from the article]
First of all, you have to be impressed by anyone who can be named “one of Britain’s best connected women.” Frankly, it sounds fairly exhausting to me. But I think Marcus wears…
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Today’s quick note involves a March 4 post at emarketer.com titled “Internet Users in Germany Hope for a Balance of Safety and Privacy.” This post offers a short but revealing glimpse at German attitudes toward data privacy and security.
The post tells us that Germans don’t think much of service providers’ ability to keep their data safe. In fact, only 10% of Germans feel U.S. service providers can keep their personal information secure, and only 22% of them trust European service providers. Ironically, 83% believe retailers will keep their personal data secure!
Not surprisingly these trust statistics also reveal something about how Germans relate privacy, security and risk: “Those who feel that using the internet means accepting a certain level of surveillance and limited data security has grown by 12 percentage points over that same period, from 56% to 68%.” And nearly 40% of those surveyed now report that they accept that their private phone and internet communications could be monitored to keep them safe!
The post sums up by concluding: “But at the same time, there is a growing sense that the federal government isn’t doing enough to protect the data of its citizens.” Go figure. The post is short, but packed with interesting statistics and well worth the few minutes it will take to read. Fresh from this perspective, let me ask you: Do you trust your internet service provider more with your data than your department store? Please post your thoughts in comments below! The discussion is sure to be interesting!
A few prior todaynote pieces have covered privacy issues. You might want to check back on those:
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Today’s post is the second in our Open Government series. As we discussed in Part 1, open government principals advocate transparency and accountability in government, and seek to improve service and trust be enabling better interaction between government and the public. In that post, we explored examples of improved government service, cost savings and freer flow of information. All of this would seem to be win-win, so it is a “no brainer” that everyone should be bought in, right? Not so fast.
This todaysnote post will discuss a post with an entirely different take. Risk Parrish, a Forrester analyst focusing on federal government customer experience topics, published “The Public Is Still Skeptical of Federal Digital Customer Experience.” This piece explores public attitudes about digital government in the United States, and it reports some surprising news. Parrish has been studying trends in public receptiveness to digital government for several years, and his post explains that Americans have very mixed feelings on the subject. The most surprising finding may have been this:
“Even fewer customers want digital interactions with federal agencies. That’s right —39% of federal customers said they want Washington to focus on offering more digital services, a 2% decline from 2014. ”
Barely a third of Americans want to see more federal government services online. In this day of iPhones, mobile apps, ubiquitous social media, text alerts and Web based…everything…Americans largely do not want more federal services to leverage these technologies. Perhaps we Americans are reluctant to trust the Feds with our data in light of the alarming number of federal security breaches that have emerged in recent months. This distrust, coupled with paranoia about government monitoring of cellular communications is likely a factor in public attitudes, which are further illustrated by this fact from Parrish’s study: “Fewer than a third of Americans wanted federal mobile apps that tailor safety alerts and other government information to the user’s location. ”
Parrish’s seems to agree that security is a key factor in this distrust, and he advocates that federal officials focus on striking a balance between security and service:
“One tactic that I’ve written about extensively is protecting digital CX from overbearing security practices. In the wake of so many high-profile hacks of federal systems, it’s good that agencies are focused on cybersecurity. But high security is at best a pyrrhic victory if it makes digital channels more confusing or difficult to use. Luckily, security and CX don’t have to be mutually exclusive. ”
I have not read any of Parrish’s extensive writing about “protecting digital CX from overbearing security” requirements, so I can’t comment on this aspect of the discussion. In light of the distressing the pattern of security failures in federal government agencies, the argument that federal services suffer from too much security struggles to convince. But Parrish’s last observation, “security and CX don’t have to be mutually exclusive” speaks loudest on this topic. Finding this careful balance between accessing and using information, and securing it, with powerful user or customer experience is a task not only for the federal government, but for application and service designers everywhere.
Security concerns aside, there seems to be much work to do to earn public trust and energize the vision of digital government. As the rewards of open, digitally enabled, government services and information are great, stakeholders at the federal and state level, and in the private sector should be working hard to realize those rewards.
Rick Parrish can be found on twitter at @RickParrishGCX. His blog post, which todaysnote reviewed in this piece, is a summary of a paid report, bearing the same name as the post, which I have not read but which can be purchased for $499 at Forrester. Parrish’s coverage of this topic is quite good, and I recommend his blog and twitter feed for anyone interested in Open or Digital Government.
What did you think of Parrish’s post? Do you want to see more federal services in digital form? Or is security too big a concern for you? Please leave your thoughts in the comment area below.