One of the best practice digital principles we talk about at Endava is regular rollouts to users. The more regular and automated you can make them, the quicker you can provide additional functionality to your users.
TechUK held an event called “Can the IoT (Internet of Things) become a reality without the Cloud?” and whilst the event didn’t really answer the headline question, it was interesting in other unexpected ways.
The last couple of events I’ve attended at TechUK have been a little dry, lacking anything interesting to report here. As I left the office for the IoT event I remarked to a colleague that if this event was also dry, I might reduce the number of TechUK events I attend.
There were four speakers supported by the chair Stephen Pattison, VP, ARM Holdings:
Paul D’Cruz, Chief Technical Officer, Cisco UK Public Sector
Barry Jennings, Associate, Bird & Bird
Nick Hyner, Director Cloud Services EMEA, Dell
Gabriel Vizzard, Internet of Things Lab Services Foundry, IoT Solution Architect, IBM
Stephen, Paul, Nick and Gabriel naturally promoted their employer’s latest product offerings, with varying degrees of humour.
Surprise surprise Cisco said the current network (Internet) doesn’t have the bandwidth for billions of devices (I wonder who sells network equipment….) and Dell talked about more Cloud computing which ultimately translates into more [Dell] servers. Every time thw word “security” was mentioned, we were served a reminder of how much ARM are investing in IoT security protocols.
In October I’m giving a keynote speech at an insurance event and I’ve been asked to speak about new technologies and trends. Separately, one of the readers of this site, Doug, recently emailed me asking whether I had “any insight into the insurance sector, and company’s use of Internet of Things technologies?”
Here are some thoughts which I’ve been thinking about for a while.
Last week I handed over my perfectly working Surface Pro 3 to our IT department who upgraded it from Windows 8.1 to Windows 10. Here’s my report after spending a week with Microsoft’s latest operating system on Microsoft’s latest tablet/laptop.
Firstly, it’s stable. I have used beta versions of Windows before, from XP to Vista to Windows 8. They all have their own niggles, but Windows 10 is fine. I haven’t had a single crash, despite plugging in all sorts of displays, docking stations, printers and USB devices. Continue reading Windows 10 one week on→
Many organisations are finding themselves asking “What is Digital?” It’s a difficult question which sounds easy at first. After all, isn’t everything that we do today that involves electronics, digital in some shape or form?
If an organisation has a CTO (Chief Technology Officer), why does it also need a CDO (Chief Digital Officer)? If an organisation already has an IT department, why does it need a digital one too?
This week, the website Fotopedia closed down, and this heralded a key stage in the Internet’s maturity.
We’ve seen various Google products shutdown in the past, sometimes with more publicity than they attracted while the product was ‘live’, such as Google Video and Wave. However Fotopedia signals the dangers that lurk behind relying upon consumer-focussed cloud services.
Earlier today I gave a short presentation to the Digital Finance Masterclass in London. I only had ten minutes, followed by 8 sessions of pretty intense ‘Digital Surgeries’ – a great format, but quite tiring.
Before the event, I had been told that the Digital Surgeries were like speed dating – thankfully I got married before speed dating, because I can’t imagine going through that process in a relaxed, sociable setting.
With only ten minutes for the first presentation, to a varied audience across Financial Services, I focussed on the following topics, shown in the attached Slideshare presentation:
Four and a half years ago, Endava took over the Digital Media arm of IMG. We looked at the service IMG were offering our customers at the time, and remarked that we were providing a Digital Media PaaS (Platform as a Service), or more specifically, SaaS (Software as a Service) way ahead of the rest of the market.
We were ahead of the curve and spent the next couple of years educating organisations and suppliers about PaaS, SaaS and cloud hosted Digital Media products. Various organisations joined our platform.
Some didn’t agree with this approach and continue to buy licences, servers and host internally, until usually something goes wrong or the key resource who holds everything together leaves the organisation.
There have been three key tipping points in the industry which has helped promote SaaS offerings over traditional licensing and hosting internally:
Salesforce.com has become almost ubiquitous for CRM systems. In the commercial world, Salesforce.com has become a household name, and organisations accept that Salesforce.com is a cloud based platform. Salesforce.com holds sales leads and invoicing – really confidential stuff, which has made IT organisations accept that not all systems need to be inside the corporate firewall.
Organisations are moving their email systems to cloud hosted servers such as Google Apps or Office 365, again relinquishing control of their data to a third-party.
Adobe Marketing Cloud. Adobe bought Day Software in 2010 and have spent a huge amount of money marketing it, not only in the industry press but in the mainstream media too. Together with the power of the Adobe brand, a cloud based marketing solution became acceptable.
These tipping points sold the IT organisation and marketing organisations the benefits of SaaS.
My recent visit to New York confirmed that SaaS is now a standard requirement when companies asked us to confirm “And you’ll be hosting this, yes?” and “Do you have your own cloud hosting, or will you be using a public cloud?”
The concept of asking the client how they’ll host the solution themselves is as alien now, as asking about SaaS four years ago.
My concept of the Single Sign On solution is similar to Facebook Connect, but from a trusted, strong, long term brand. Facebook still needs to prove its credibility in the trust arena. I only use Facebook Connect for some personal sites where I want to reduce, or even avoid, the time it takes to register.
Would I use Facebook Connect for tax returns, or my road tax, or my company’s payroll system? Nope.
I do a fair amount of travel and seem to need my passport number (and sometimes other passport details) from time to time. I once scanned my passport and I keep it as a digital image on some secure digital storage where I know I can access it everywhere (interestingly the UK Government also recommends to “store it online using a secure data storage site“). The same goes for my National Insurance card, photos of my bikes’ frame numbers and stuff like that. When I speak to other people about this, they have similar solutions, and I know some people who keep these solely as photos on their phone. We all have different levels of security that we’re comfortable with, but I really wouldn’t advise the phone method.
Last week I heard about a new service from Barclays Bank called Cloud It. Cloud It enables, well actually it encourages, users to upload important documents. It then adds additional functionality such as alerts for expiring documents, or regular renewals (e.g. MOT certificates and insurance).
I have no proof whether Barclays Cloud It is any more or less secure than say, BT, Google, Microsoft or Dropbox, but the fact that a bank is storing your document ‘feels’ more secure.
The next step of Cloud It really should be Single Sign On. I would trust my bank to authenticate me into other services.
Trust a bank?
I spoke about this concept of a bank offering Single Sign On at a conference earlier this year. Over lunch afterwards I was asked whether people really trust banks after the recession, and the bad press that bankers often receive. One person on the table categorically stated that he wouldn’t trust his bank.
My answer to this is simple: people still keep their money, one of our most valuable day to day assets, in banks once they’ve been paid and they still go to banks to borrow money for their houses and cars. Conversely, if people didn’t trust banks, we’d be hearing a lot more about mass withdrawals after being paid. But people don’t withdraw their money based on lack of trust (except Cyprus), and this proves that people do trust them, and in the future we’ll be trusting them to log in to all sorts of systems across the Internet.