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Time to Invest in Deployment By @Itransition | @DevOpsSummit [#DevOps]
You can’t be sure that every one of your app deployments will be smooth sailing

Why Now Is the Right Time to Invest in Deployment Automation

Isn't it great to treat your girlfriend by cooking her favorite omelet every morning? In theory, sure, but in reality, chances are most of the time you end up with darn scrambled eggs instead. Let's face it: you're a great boyfriend but a terrible cook. Believe it or not, this is quite analogous to app deployment. You can't be sure that every one of your app deployments will be smooth sailing; every now and then you will mess up a thing or two (or a dozen) along the way.

Be it a critical urge to rapidly roll back to a previous release or the inability to find the phone number of that one guy responsible for deployment, the opportunities for things to go terribly wrong are endless. As a rule, there are two reasons behind your worst nightmares coming true:

  • You're good at development but operations isn't your strong suit.
  • You're not using deployment automation.

In this article, we'll focus on the second point - deployment automation.

The automating software deployment process for .NET has pretty much become a ‘no-brainer' during the past few years. New tools have made it extremely easy to make deployments faster and less risky at costs tending to zero. Not using automatic deployment in 2014 is like not using source control; it's possible to live without it but having it in place keeps you safe while requiring such little effort. Yet, many still resist given their perception of the hassle around the creation, configuration and maintenance of automated deployment. And they‘re really missing out.

There are many reasons to start investing in deployment automation for .NET, including a drastic increase in deployment success rates and frequencies, but most important, it is good for business. Here's why:

Stable Manual Deployment Is a Utopia
Let's have a brief look at what it usually takes to deploy an ordinary application:

  1. Checking out the version of the source code that you want to deploy (e.g. the latest commit of the /Release_01 branch);
  2. Building solution with appropriate settings applied;
  3. Transforming configuration appropriately;
  4. Publishing/packaging new version;
  5. Stopping the application/tuning load balancer so that users don't hit the app in the middle of deployment;
  6. Backing up the database;
  7. Updating the database structure/data;
  8. Removing old files (but keeping some, e.g. /Uploads folder);
  9. Copying new version to production server;
  10. Setting appropriate ACL permissions/other environment settings;
  11. Deploying dependencies recursively;
  12. Starting the application;
  13. Executing health-checks.

That's only the basic list; of course, every application is unique and has a slightly different process (so your app may have additional steps or not require some of the aforementioned ones, but most deployments are similar).

All those steps may seem easy enough to perform manually without anything going wrong. Well, day-to-day experience says that deployments always go wrong from time to time if executed manually, mainly due to our nature. Humans (particularly creative people like developers) are not very good at performing routine repetitive tasks; that's why we have computers. Here are a few examples of some of the most avoidable manual deployment errors I've seen:

  • Checking out the version of the source code that you want to deploy:
  • Ever had /Dev branch deployed to Production environment just because the guy who executed deployment was sure he switched to /Dev branch when, in actuality, he didn't?
  • Or even worse: getting /Production branch deployed with local intermediate changes never checked in the source control (it's so easy to forget about your local changes when you are to deploy a hotfix). So no one actually understands why the application misbehaves (I've seen people decompiling production .dll with reflector to understand what is in there, because production code is different than any version in the repository).
  • Building solution with appropriate setting applied:
  • It's so easy to forget to switch Visual Studio to Release configuration before you build the source code. And it's so sad to find out that your app is too slow in production because of DEBUG compilation.
  • Transforming configuration appropriately:
  • There's not much joy in discovering that your production application uses a development database after a new release when "data loss" is reported by end users (somebody forgot to replace connection string in web.config). In general, manual configuration transformation is a bad idea, because usually it is not versioned (meaning developers have to figure out how production configuration files differ from the dev version and "merge" them manually every time. As a result nobody is actually sure what the production configuration is and when/why it was changed); "What's the requestTimeOut in production? - hmm, I see it's 300 seconds now, but it was around 100 last week - who changed it?"
  • Backing up the database:
  • Discovering you forgot to back up the production database just at the moment your migration script fails corrupting the data.

You get the idea. I have no doubt you've encountered some of the aforementioned errors and can easily add a ton of others. The key problem with these errors is the fact that it's very easy to make any of them but very hard to get to the bottom of them. As a rule, it takes a lot of effort and nervous hours to detect and fix them.

Therefore, you are forced to have either a deployment document (checklist) or a special "deployment" guy on your team (or both). Each of these approaches has major drawbacks:

  • Deployment checklists are often outdated (developers are generally bad in maintaining documentation - and they are bad for a reason; maintaining docs is boring). Moreover, new team members still need to undergo deployment training when they join the project (and it takes time).
  • Your team's bus factor is 1. No new version/hotfix can be deployed if your "deployment" guy is on vacation.

These issues will not occur if deployments are done automatically, because computers are good at repetitive tasks (humans are not).

Time Is Money: Gain Both
If you'd rather have a million dollars straight away than a penny doubled every day for one month you should revisit your math, because the latter would result in you becoming over $10M richer. The story is exactly the same when investing in deployment automation. In addition to streamlining release operations, you're gaining profit and saving resources; in other words, you're increasing ROI.

In my experience, carefully going through a deployment process manually takes at least an hour for an average developer for a small project. In an agile environment, you usually want to have frequent deployments to QA/UAT platforms, so features are delivered and validated quickly (i.e., have 3-4 QA deployments per week [meaning manual deployment costs you at least 12-16 hours per month]). On the other hand, configuring automated deployment for a simple project rarely takes more than 16 hours, while deployment itself would then be just a click away. It truly is as simple as that; automation wins even with a tight time frame. Now add up time needed to train new developers to do the deployment plus time spent to troubleshoot deployment errors. It turns out that you can save about 25-40 hours per month with automation, which translates to about $500-800.

Another important aspect is the fact that overall team performance increases, because the QA team does not need developers to be distracted from new features when QA needs a new build to be delivered for validation which; this, in turn, means greater flexibility.

Take a look at this graph from McConnell's "Software project survival guide":

The longer it takes from introducing an error to its detection, the more time (and money) it takes to fix it. Being able to deploy without a developer's involvement means much more frequent deployments, which means much quicker error detection (i.e. allows your team move even faster!).

It's also about making errors less risky, which again means higher deployment frequency. And higher frequency entails faster feedback from testers and end users.

But there's more. If done intelligently, deployment automation also provides for automated reporting into the process, which results in zero efforts and money put into complying with audit requirements, and a significant unlikelihood of audit failure.

Sound too good to be true? Here's a summary of what our team achieved in terms of ROI when we introduced deployment automation in one of our .NET projects:

Overall efforts

90 man-months

Duration

20 months

 

Manual Deployment

Automated Deployment

Deployment time

2 man-hours/deployment

16 man-hours for one-time implementation

Deployment frequency

Twice a week

Once every day

Deployment error rate

10%

2%

Deployment cost

$16h/month

16h (one-time)

Overall benefits

 

$6,400 (320 man-hours) saved

200% increase in deployment frequency

5x decrease in deployment errors

 

And that's just a simple case. For complex projects/projects with high deployment frequencies, teams can save more than a thousand of hours per year.

New Opportunities Made Possible By Deployment Automation
I am a strong advocate of deployment automation for two main reasons:

  • It saves developers from routine error-prone tasks (which saves money).
  • It opens up several new opportunities that can make a great difference to your project's overall success.

I personally think the second reason is the most important for business, because of the following:

  • Integration tests as part of your daily workflow:

Everybody knows it is cost-effective to automate regression checks. Nowadays, we have plenty of cool tools to help implement integration tests. A good suite of UI regression tests is crucial for long-running projects' sustainable development; otherwise, in a year or two, you get to a point when you can't add new features because you are in a constant rush fixing the old ones. Automatic deployment is required in order to run these tests frequently and in an automated fashion. I recommend running them throughout the day (ideally - for every check in) - this saves money and helps you keep up with the schedule as you detect errors in under an hour from introducing them (see graph above).

  • Provide visibility with nightly builds:

Everybody wants visibility in agile development. The sooner you get something done and give it to product owners/target users, the sooner you understand what they actually need from the software (so you eliminate "you built exactly what I asked you, but it is not what I need" situation). A great way to provide visibility at no cost is to set up a nightly build, which deploys the current development version to a test environment just for reference. That way, everybody who is interested (stakeholders, managers, beta users, etc.) can see what has been built on a daily basis.

  • DevOps:

If you want your team to get into the DevOps world, be ready to invest in deployment automation. Developers tend to not like ops tasks, but they love automating stuff (that's why we automate email replies and program our coffee maker to run every morning). So a boring task to configure a new UAT platform becomes a challenging, exciting thing when you want to automate it.

  • Continuous deployment:

Continuous deployment, where every change that passes automated testing is deployed to production automatically, has been gaining traction over the last few years with most major tech companies adopting it (WordPress, Google, Facebook, Amazon).

Standard workflow with automated acceptance (integration tests) employed.

The bottom line is there is no excuse these days to not to do automatic deployment on .NET web projects. Technology is mature and easy to use, it saves time and money, it eliminates hard-to-troubleshoot errors because the process is reproducible and versioned, and it allows your team to be more flexible and move significantly faster.

About Ivan Antsipau
Ivan Antsipau is a senior .NET developer at Itransition specializing in architecting and implementation of business-specific web applications. With a specialist degree in Radiophysics and Computer Science, a knack for team leading, and years of hands-on programming experience under his belt, he sees the key to sustainable and accelerated delivery of software projects in elimination of stressful manual efforts with the help of continuous integration and automated testing.

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SYS-CON Events announced today that Evatronix will exhibit at SYS-CON's 21st International Cloud Expo®, which will take place on Oct 31 – Nov 2, 2017, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA. Evatronix SA offers comprehensive solutions in the design and implementation of electronic systems, in CAD / CAM deployment, and also is a designer and manufacturer of advanced 3D scanners for professional applications.
Leading companies, from the Global Fortune 500 to the smallest companies, are adopting hybrid cloud as the path to business advantage. Hybrid cloud depends on cloud services and on-premises infrastructure working in unison. Successful implementations require new levels of data mobility, enabled by an automated and seamless flow across on-premises and cloud resources. In his general session at 21st Cloud Expo, Greg Tevis, an IBM Storage Software Technical Strategist and Customer Solution Architec...
To get the most out of their data, successful companies are not focusing on queries and data lakes, they are actively integrating analytics into their operations with a data-first application development approach. Real-time adjustments to improve revenues, reduce costs, or mitigate risk rely on applications that minimize latency on a variety of data sources. In his session at @BigDataExpo, Jack Norris, Senior Vice President, Data and Applications at MapR Technologies, reviewed best practices to ...
An increasing number of companies are creating products that combine data with analytical capabilities. Running interactive queries on Big Data requires complex architectures to store and query data effectively, typically involving data streams, an choosing efficient file format/database and multiple independent systems that are tied together through custom-engineered pipelines. In his session at @BigDataExpo at @ThingsExpo, Tomer Levi, a senior software engineer at Intel’s Advanced Analytics gr...

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New York Call For Papers Open
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Internet of Things at Cloud Expo
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[June 5 - 7 2018]


Internet of Things at Cloud Expo 2018 East
Sponsorship Opportunities
Please Call
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events (at) sys-con.com
Sponsorship opportunities are now open for Internet of Things at Cloud Expo 2018 New York, taking place June 5-7, at the Javits Center in New York, NY, and Internet of Things at Cloud Expo 2018 Silicon Valley, November 6-8, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA. For sponsorship, exhibit opportunities and show prospectus, please contact Carmen Gonzalez, carmen (at) sys-con.com.



@ThingsExpo Silicon Valley All-Star Speakers Include

MATTHIEU
Octoblu

MAHADEV
Cisco

MCCARTHY
Bsquare

FELICIANO
AMDG

PAUL
VenueNext

SMITH
Eviot

BEAMER
goTraverse

GETTENS
goTraverse

CHAMBLISS
ReadyTalk

HERBERTS
Cityzen Data

REITBAUER
Dynatrace

WILLIAM-
SON

Cloud
Computing

SCHMARZO
EMC

WOOD
VeloCloud

WALLGREN
Electric Cloud

VARAN-
NATH

GE

SRIDHARA-
BALAN

Pulzze

METRIC
Linux

MONTES
Iced

ARIOLA
Parasoft

HOLT
Daitan

CUNNING-
HAM

ReadyTalk

BEDRO-
SIAN

Cypress

NAMIE
Cisco

NAKA-
GAWA

Transparent
Cloud

SHIBATA
Transparent
Cloud

BOYD
Neo4j

VANDER-
MINDEN

Flatiron
Strategies

JAME-
NSKY

Embotics

KOCHER
Grey Heron

SPROULE
Metavine

BLACK
SQLstream

WARD
DWE

MILLER
Covisint

EVAVOLD
Covisint

MEINER
Oracle

MEEHAN
Esri

WITECK
Citrix

LIANG
Rancher Labs

BUTLER
Tego

ROWE
IBM Cloud

SKILLERN
Intel

SMITH
Numerex
@ThingsExpo New York All-Star Speakers Include

CLELAND
HGST

VASILIOU
Catchpoint

WALLGREN
Electric Cloud

HINCH-
CLIFFE

7Summits

DE SOUZA
Cisco

RANDALL
Gartner

ARMSTRONG
AppNeta

SMALLTREE
Cazena

MCCARTHY
Bsquare

DELOACH
Infobright

QUINT
Ontegrity

MALAUCHLAN
Buddy Platform

PALIOTTA
Vector

MITRA
Cognizant

KOCHER
Grey Heron

PAPDO
POULOS

Cloud9

HARLAN
Two Bulls

GOLO
SHUBIN

Bit6

PROIETTI
Location
Smart

MARTIN
nfrastructure

MOULINE
Everbridge

MARSH
Blue Pillar

PARKS
SecureRF

PEROTTI
Plantronics

HOFFMAN
EastBanc

WATSON
Trendalyze

BENSONOFF
Unigma

SHAN
CTS

MATTELA
Redpine

GILLEN
Spark
Coginition

SOLT
Netvibes

BERNARDO
GE Digital

ROMANSKY
TrustPoint

BEAMER
GoTransverse

LESTER
LogMeIn

PONO
-MAREVA

Google

SINGH
Sencha

CALKINS
Amadeus

KLEIN
Rachio

HOASIN
Aeris

SARKARIA
PHEMI

SPROULE
Metavine

SNELL
Intel

LEVINE
CytexOne

ALLEN
Freewave

MCCALLUM
Falconstor

HYEDT
Seamless

@ThingsExpo Silicon Valley All-Star Speakers Include

SCHULZ
Luxoft

TAMBURINI
Autodesk

MCCARTHY
Bsquare

THURAI
SaneIoT

TURNER
Cloudian

ENDO
Intrepid

NAKAGAWA
Transparent

SHIBATA
Transparent

LEVANT-LEVI
testRTC

VARAN NATH
GE

COOPER
M2Mi

SENAY
Teletax

SKEEN
Vitria

KOCHER
Grey Heron

GREENE
PubNub

MAGUIRE
HP

MATTHIEU
Octoblu

STEINER-JOVIC
AweSense

LYNN
AgilData

HEDGES
Cloudata

DUFOUR
Webroot

ROBERTS
Platform

JONES
Deep

PFEIFFER
NICTA

NIELSEN
Redis

PAOLALANTORIO
DataArchon

KAHN
Solgenia

LOPEZ
Kurento

KIM
MapR

BROMHEAD
Instaclustr

LEVINE
CytexOne

BONIFAZI
Solgenia

GORBACHEV
Intelligent
Systems

THYKATTIL
Navisite

TRELOAR
Bebaio

SIVARAMA-
KRISHNAN

Red Hat
Cloud Expo New York All-Star Speakers Included

DE SOUZA
Cisco

POTTER
SafeLogic

ROBINSON
CompTIA

WARUSA
-WITHANA

WSO2 Inc

MEINER
Oracle

CHOU
Microsoft

HARRISON
Tufin

BRUNOZZI
VMware

KIM
MapR

KANE
Dyn

SICULAR
Basho

TURNER
Cloudian

KUMAR
Liaison

ADAMIAK
Liaison

KHAN
Solgenia

BONIFAZI
Solgenia

SUSSMAN
Coalfire

ISAACSON
RMS

LYNN
CodeFutures

HEABERLIN
Windstream

RAMA
MURTHY

Virtusa

BOSTOCK
IndependenceIT

DE MENO
CommVault

GRILLI
Adobe

WILLIAMS
Rancher Labs

CRISWELL
Alert Logic

COTY
Alert Logic

JACOBS
SingleHop

MARAVEI
Cisco

JACKSON
Softlayer

SINGH
IBM

HAZARD
Softlayer

GALLO
Softlayer

TAMASKAR
GENBAND

SUBRA
-MANIAN

Emcien

LEVESQUE
Windstream

IVANOV
StorPool

BLOOMBERG
Intellyx

BUDHANI
Soha

HATHAWAY
IBM Watson

TOLL
ProfitBricks

LANDRY
Microsoft

BEARFIELD
Blue Box

HERITAGE
Akana

PILUSO
SIASMSP

HOLT
IBM Cloudant

SHAN
CTS

PICCININNI
EMC

BRON-
GERSMA

Modulus

PAIGE
CenturyLink

SABHIKHI
Cognitive Scale

MILLS
Green House Data

KATZEN
CenturyLink

SLOPER
CenturyLink

SRINIVAS
EMC

TALREJA
Cisco

GORBACHEV
Systems Services Inc.

COLLISON
Apcera

PRABHU
OpenCrowd

LYNN
CodeFutures

SWARTZ
Ericsson

MOSHENKO
CoreOS

BERMINGHAM
SIOS

WILLIS
Stateless Networks

MURPHY
Gridstore

KHABE
Vicom

NIKOLOV
GetClouder

DIETZE
Windstream

DALRYMPLE
EnterpriseDB

MAZZUCCO
TierPoint

RIVERA
WHOA.com

HERITAGE
Akana

SEYMOUR
6fusion

GIANNETTO
Author

CARTER
IBM

ROGERS
Virtustream
Cloud Expo Silicon Valley All-Star Speakers

TESAR
Microsoft

MICKOS
HP

BHARGAVA
Intel

RILEY
Riverbed

DEVINE
IBM

ISAACSON
CodeFutures

LYNN
HP

HINKLE
Citrix

KHAN
Solgenia

SINGH
Bigdata

BEACH
SendGrid

BOSTOCK
IndependenceIT

DE SOUZA
Cisco

PATTATHIL
Harbinger

O'BRIEN
Aria Systems

BONIFAZI
Solgenia

BIANCO
Solgenia

PROCTOR
NuoDB

DUGGAL
EnterpriseWeb

TEGETHOFF
Appcore

BRUNOZZI
VMware

HICKENS
Parasoft

KLEBANOV
Cisco

PETERS
Esri

GOLDBERG
Vormetric

CUMBER-
LAND

Dimension

ROSENDAHL
Quantum

LOOMIS
Cloudant

BRUNO
StackIQ

HANNON
SoftLayer

JACKSON
SoftLayer

HOCH
Virtustream

KAPADIA
Seagate

PAQUIN
OnLive

TSAI
Innodisk

BARRALL
Connected Data

SHIAH
AgilePoint

SEGIL
Verizon

PODURI
Citrix

COWIE
Dyn

RITTEN-
HOUSE

Cisco

FALLOWS
Kaazing

THYKATTIL
TimeWarner

LEIDUCK
SAP

LYNN
HP

WAGSTAFF
BSQUARE

POLLACK
AOL

KAMARAJU
Vormetric

BARRY
Catbird

MENDEN-
HALL

SUPERNAP

SHAN
KEANE

PLESE
Verizon

BARNUM
Voxox

TURNER
Cloudian

CALDERON
Advanced Systems

AGARWAL
SOA Software

LEE
Quantum

OBEROI
Concurrent, Inc.

HATEM
Verizon

GALEY
Autodesk

CAUTHRON
NIMBOXX

BARSOUM
IBM

GORDON
1Plug

LEWIS
Verizon

YEO
OrionVM

NAKAGAWA
Transparent Cloud Computing

SHIBATA
Transparent Cloud Computing

NATH
GE

GOKCEN
GE

STOICA
Databricks

TANKEL
Pivotal Software


Testimonials
This week I had the pleasure of delivering the opening keynote at Cloud Expo New York. It was amazing to be back in the great city of New York with thousands of cloud enthusiasts eager to learn about the next step on their journey to embracing a cloud-first worldl."
@SteveMar_Msft
General Manager of Window Azure
 
How does Cloud Expo do it every year? Another INCREDIBLE show - our heads are spinning - so fun and informative."
@SOASoftwareInc
 
Thank you @ThingsExpo for such a great event. All of the people we met over the past three days makes us confident IoT has a bright future."
Yasser Khan
CEO of @Cnnct2me
 
One of the best conferences we have attended in a while. Great job, Cloud Expo team! Keep it going."

@Peak_Ten


Who Should Attend?
Senior Technologists including CIOs, CTOs & Vps of Technology, Chief Systems Engineers, IT Directors and Managers, Network and Storage Managers, Enterprise Architects, Communications and Networking Specialists, Directors of Infrastructure.

Business Executives including CEOs, CMOs, & CIOs , Presidents & SVPs, Directors of Business Development , Directors of IT Operations, Product and Purchasing Managers, IT Managers.

Download Cloud Expo Show Guide
Cloud Expo Show Guide
Download PDF

Join Us as a Media Partner - Together We Can Rock the IT World!
SYS-CON Media has a flourishing Media Partner program in which mutually beneficial promotion and benefits are arranged between our own leading Enterprise IT portals and events and those of our partners.

If you would like to participate, please provide us with details of your website/s and event/s or your organization and please include basic audience demographics as well as relevant metrics such as ave. page views per month.

To get involved, email Lissette Mercado at lissette@sys-con.com.

@ThingsExpo Blogs
When shopping for a new data processing platform for IoT solutions, many development teams want to be able to test-drive options before making a choice. Yet when evaluating an IoT solution, it’s simply not feasible to do so at scale with physical devices. Building a sensor simulator is the next best choice; however, generating a realistic simulation at very high TPS with ease of configurability is a formidable challenge. When dealing with multiple application or transport protocols, you would be looking at some significant engineering investment. On-demand, serverless computing enables deve...
In his session at 21st Cloud Expo, Carl J. Levine, Senior Technical Evangelist for NS1, will objectively discuss how DNS is used to solve Digital Transformation challenges in large SaaS applications, CDNs, AdTech platforms, and other demanding use cases. Carl J. Levine is the Senior Technical Evangelist for NS1. A veteran of the Internet Infrastructure space, he has over a decade of experience with startups, networking protocols and Internet infrastructure, combined with the unique ability to iterate use cases, bring understanding to those seeking to explore complicated technical concepts and ...
There is a war a-brewin’, but this war will be fought with wits and not brute strength. Ever since Russian President Vladimir Putin’s declaration that “the nation that leads in AI (Artificial Intelligence) will be the ruler of the world,” the press and analysts have created hysteria regarding the ramifications of artificial intelligence on everything from public education to unemployment to healthcare to Skynet. Note: artificial intelligence (AI) endows applications with the ability to automatically learn and adapt from experience via interacting with the surroundings / environment. See the b...
Will I ever understand the nuances of the advanced analytics landscape? Well, maybe the better question is will the advanced analytics landscape ever stop changing? The advanced analytics landscape, into which I include Deep Learning (DL), Machine Learning (ML), Reinforcement Learning (RL) and Artificial Intelligence (AI), seems to be in a constant state of evolution. New advanced analytic algorithms and tool sets seem to be coming out of every university, every startup, every digital media company and every technology company. And many of these new advanced analytic algorithms and tool sets a...
So data warehousing may not be cool anymore, you say? It’s yesterday’s technology (or 1990’s technology if you’re as old as me) that served yesterday’s business needs. And while it’s true that recent big data and data science technologies, architectures and methodologies seems to have rendered data warehousing to the back burner, it is entirely false that there is not a critical role for the data warehouse and Business Intelligence in digitally transformed organizations.
"IBM is really all in on blockchain. We take a look at sort of the history of blockchain ledger technologies. It started out with bitcoin, Ethereum, and IBM evaluated these particular blockchain technologies and found they were anonymous and permissionless and that many companies were looking for permissioned blockchain," stated René Bostic, Technical VP of the IBM Cloud Unit in North America, in this SYS-CON.tv interview at 21st Cloud Expo, held Oct 31 – Nov 2, 2017, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA.
Coca-Cola’s Google powered digital signage system lays the groundwork for a more valuable connection between Coke and its customers. Digital signs pair software with high-resolution displays so that a message can be changed instantly based on what the operator wants to communicate or sell. In their Day 3 Keynote at 21st Cloud Expo, Greg Chambers, Global Group Director, Digital Innovation, Coca-Cola, and Vidya Nagarajan, a Senior Product Manager at Google, discussed how from store operations and optimization to employee training and insights, all ultimately create the best customer experience b...
Recently I read somewhere this statement – As we end 2017 and look ahead to 2018, topics that are top of mind for data professionals are the growing range of data management mandates, including the EU’s new General Data Protection Regulation that is directed at personal data and privacy, the growing role of artificial intelligence (AI) and machine learning in enterprise applications, the need for better security in light of the onslaught of hacking cases, and the ability to leverage the expanding Internet of Things.
“Why incur the expense of generating and collecting all of this IoT data if you’re not going to monetize it?” Organizations are racing to embrace the Internet of Things (IoT) as the pundits create “visions of sugar-plums dancing in their heads.” McKinsey Global Institute released their study “The Internet of Things: Mapping the Value beyond the Hype” in June 2015 that highlighted the staggering financial value that IoT could create! (See Figure 1.)
Well, my developer friends, 2018 is your year. Businesses in practically every industry have a fever. And the only prescription? You. I know, I know. The demand for developers is nothing new. But 2018 is different. 2018 is the year where we see some of this decade's most exciting technologies become commercially viable, and others finally go mainstream. We'll see new forms of immersive entertainment, and inanimate objects will come alive in ways that really feel real. Trying to undermine this progress are intelligent and dangerous threats that must be outsmarted and outworked. There's endles...
Since releasing the University of San Francisco research paper on “How to Determine the Economic Value of Your Data” (EvD), I have had numerous conversations with senior executives about the business and technology ramifications of EvD. Now with the release of Doug Laney’s “Infonomics” book that builds upon Doug’s EvD work at Gartner, I expect these conversations to intensify. In fact, I just traveled to Switzerland to discuss the potential business and technology ramifications of EvD with the management team of a leading European Telecommunications company.
Special thanks to Brandon Kaier (@bkaier) for his research and thoughts on the Digital Twins concept. Unilever, one of the Consumer Package Goods (CPG) industry’s titans with over 400 brands and annual sales greater than $60B, recently bought Dollar Shave Club for $1B. Now normally I would not think twice about such an acquisition, peanuts in the world of mergers and acquisitions. However, this one feels different. Two billion people use Unilever products every day according to Unilever’s 2015 annual report. Dollar Shave Club only has around two million members; the vast majority of w...
From government to retail to oil and gas, it seems like everyone is exploring how to use AI in their industry or business. It’s time for you to do the same. There’s no question that Artificial Intelligence (AI) is on a lot of people’s minds these days, and is beginning to grow rapidly in adoption. Quoting Accenture, Forbes reports AI-driven productivity gains of perhaps 40% by 2035, and publications like the New York Times are noting the buzz, even as they ask, why now? Even if you don’t think you’ll be adopting AI for yourself just yet, you need to at least consider the broader impact the te...
A strange thing is happening along the way to the Internet of Things, namely far too many devices to work with and manage. It has become clear that we'll need much higher efficiency user experiences that can allow us to more easily and scalably work with the thousands of devices that will soon be in each of our lives. Enter the conversational interface revolution, combining bots we can literally talk with, gesture to, and even direct with our thoughts, with embedded artificial intelligence, which can process our conversational commands and orchestrate the outcomes we request across our persona...
SYS-CON Events announced today that Evatronix will exhibit at SYS-CON's 21st International Cloud Expo®, which will take place on Oct 31 – Nov 2, 2017, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA. Evatronix SA offers comprehensive solutions in the design and implementation of electronic systems, in CAD / CAM deployment, and also is a designer and manufacturer of advanced 3D scanners for professional applications.
This month, an AI (artificial intelligence) system passed a medical exam in China for the first time. I wonder how its bedside manner will be? In addition, Saudi Arabia granted citizenship to a robot named Sophia. With all these rapid advancements, I think it is time we explore the spiritual life of robots. Up till recently, programmers coded and configured algorithms, AI, automation and machine learning system and took personal responsibility for all the code. Today, however, AI has escaped the confines of human oversight and has been empowered and employed to self-program, self-optimize, ...
The Federal Communications Commission announced that it will vote on December 14 to enact the exceptionally misleadingly titled “Restoring Internet Freedom” order. If passed, it will do the opposite of restoring anything resembling freedom — it will repeal the current net neutrality rules which were enacted to ensure that Americans would have equal access to the Internet. If you’re reading this, chances are you’re already interested in the topic. Still, some quick background: Renamed “Open Internet” a while back, net neutrality provided a regulatory framework that specifically prohibited:...
Digital technologies have altered how people and businesses interact. The potential for dislocation from ongoing digital transformation has created unprecedented levels of C-suite discussion. The decisive market leaders have heeded the warnings and taken bold actions. That said, if you’re one of those Chief Technology Officers (CTO) that previously responded to this scenario by making small incremental adjustments to your IT agenda, then you’re potentially at risk. Any relief from those prior tweaks tend to be short lived. The same issues will likely resurface.
Over the last few years, the Internet of things (IoT) has become a trending phrase for consumers and a top priority for businesses embarking on their digital transformation. Even with the growth and interest in IoT however, the meaning can still confuse people. So, what is IoT? IoT is a network of things connected to the internet and is uniquely identifiable through its embedded computing system. These “things” may include a variety of devices like home appliances, commercial vending machines, fitness trackers, industrial gateways, connected cars, and smart factories.
I love it when I get feedback from a blog that I’ve written. I appreciate the different perspectives and insights that others bring to a topic of interest. And no blog that I’ve written has drawn more comments than my blog, “Isaac Asimov: The 4th Law of Robotics.” The section of the blog that fueled the most comments stem from a scene in the movie I, Robot where Detective Spooner (played by Will Smith) is explaining to Doctor Calvin (who is responsible for giving robots human-like behaviors) why he distrusts and hates robots. He is describing an incident where his police car crashed into anot...