2019: Ending Another Decade

Here we are at the beginning of the end of another decade. 2019 marks the end of this decade with an eye on 2020. (So what will 20/20 be called after this year?) The irony in all of this is since the 1980 and every decade since, technology advances with the goal of making businesses operate more smoothly, streamlined, and every other term you can think of, but we are still dealing with the same old business problems.

The reason is not the technology per se, but mainly the human factor and a reluctance to move forward with technology for various reasons. These reasons can and often include a lack of understanding about the technology, lack of education in the technology, unrealistic expectations of what the technology can and will do for them, and my favorite of all – a lack of focus or purpose for the technology in the business. What business problem are you trying to solve or process are you trying to improve? What is the business goal of your efforts?

In My View

2019 can be the year where businesses truly focus on specific goal sets, get the training and understanding that is needed to move their organizations forward in flowchartwell planned business transformations using technology. The direction for this must come from the top and seen as a priority. We talk about seamless information access, yet interoperability and integration across systems is still not there. We talk about simple user interfaces, yet complexity still dominates when capture, search, and finding information.

It doesn’t help that our Federal Government leaders continue to promote the use of paper for balloting with the belief it is more secure than digital and nearly infallible as proposed in the 2019 Federal Congressional House Resolution 1. Yes, I agree that digital can be hacked, but paper ballots in this century should be retired as they too are subject to manipulation, disposal, and misinterpretation.

If you believe in making New Year resolutions, let’s make this year the year we all become more aware of technology capabilities, learn how it is best applied and where is can help solve business problems, and truly plan for it by setting goals, proper expectations, and measurements to ensure successful business transformation.

Bob Larrivee is President and Founder of Bob Larrivee Consultancy, a recognized expert in the application of advanced technologies and process improvement, a Journalist on Information Technology for Document Strategy, and Advisory Board member to several software companies. In his career, Bob has led many projects and authored hundreds of eBooks, Industry Reports, Blogs, Articles, and Infographics. In addition, he has served as host and guest Subject Matter Expert on a wide variety of Webinars, Podcasts, Virtual Events, and lectured at in-person seminars and conferences around the globe.

Bob can be reached at bob@boblarriveeconsulting.com and his website is www.boblarriveeconsulting.com

 

The Universal Enterprise

For many, the enterprise represents some corporate boundary whether local or global in size. It is our business space where business transacted, data created, collected and managed. It is that sphere through which all things pass. are governed, and churned into products, services, and revenue. It is the extension of our businesses and data collection capabilities through use of technology and the Internet of Things on this planet we call Earth.

While we may not realize it, the enterprise for NASA extends beyond our planet into the far reaches of our solar system and beyond, creating the Universal Enterprise. Voyagers 1 and 2 have left our solar system and are still sending data back to NASA project personnel. The moon projects proved that humans can travel to and from other planets with the Moon projects where Astronauts successfully landed, traveled to different areas of the moon using the Rover, NASA Mars Landercollected data, and brought back samples for scientists to work with here in Earth.

Now NASA has deployed and is successfully collecting data from MARS using the Mars Rover – an extension of IoT devices, with plans to colonize that planet in the future. If you haven’t looked, I encourage you to visit NASA and look at the pictures being sent from MARS, as seen in the picture from NASA I inserted here. The clarity, definition, and view is amazing. This leads me to a discussion about business in the future and the extension of the business enterprise.

In the future, there will be opportunity to conduct interplanetary business and in fact to a certain level, this is in place today with the International Space Station (ISS). Supplies are purchased, for the resident Astronauts, and transported to the ISS by both governments and commercial logistics companies. This means that business data – transactional data – is being collected relating to a more galactic region. Additionally, there is data collected, analyzed and used for improvement purposes from the vehicles used to transport the goods, the Astronauts using the supplies, and the ISS itself.

In My View

The Universal Enterprise is here and growing. Plans exist to colonize the Moon, Mars, and who knows how far this could go. Looking forward, businesses will need to adopt new methods of transacting business, delivering supplies, and servicing the needs of humanity beyond the bounds of Earth. NASA along with commercial business, have broken some of the barriers, and is now on the cusp of initiating the expansion of humanity across the Galaxy.

This translates to opportunity for business expansion, interplanetary transaction, and a galactic presence with the need to establish new enterprise boundaries on a universal scale. Imagine not only a colony on Mars, but maybe one on the Moon serving as a logistical transfer station for supplies transportation. Perhaps even a series of ISS spread across the Galaxy serving as the truck stop of today where space craft and travelers could stop, refresh themselves and their supplies, before continuing on to their destinations. All of this requires data collection. Data about the vehicles, travelers, supply levels, and all of those things that keep commerce in motion here on Earth.

The question I have or you is this, Are you ready to meet the data and business challenges of tomorrow’s interplanetary markets? Are you even ready to meet the business challenges of today, here on Earth? Tomorrow is only a day away, and businesses must be ready for what tomorrow brings.

Bob Larrivee is President and Founder of Bob Larrivee Consultancy, a recognized expert in the application of advanced technologies and process improvement, and Journalist on Information Technology for Document Strategy. In his career, Bob has led many projects and authored hundreds of eBooks, Industry Reports, Blogs, Articles, and Infographics. In addition, he has served as host and guest Subject Matter Expert on a wide variety of Webinars, Podcasts, Virtual Events, and lectured at in-person seminars and conferences around the globe.

Bob can be reached at bob@boblarriveeconsulting.com and his website is www.boblarriveeconsulting.com

 

My 2019 Predictions

Yes folks, it is that time of year when many of the analyst firms make their predictions for the future of technology, adoption, market trends, and more elements than you can possibly fathom. It is December 2018 after all, and as the year ends, we try to look ahead. So here are a few predictions of my own – not necessarily in any special order.

  • There will be predictions but few will look back to see if they were right or readjust based on the constantly changing consumer demands.
  • Many predictions will seem obvious. (For example: Internet usage will increase over the next 5 years.)
  • Mergers and acquisitions will continue as suppliers try to expand their capabilities and market share.
  • There will be an increase in small/emerging businesses by talented personnel seeking new opportunities, as a result of mergers and acquisitions.
  • We will see a rise in interest for software robots to automate back office operations, and begin to address customer facing interactions.

In My View

I know, I am poking fun at some of these, and at times it seems this is all we get. Crystal BallThere are legitimate predictions supported by data, provided by Gartner, Forrester, IDC, and some other firms that should be seriously considered. My point in all of this is that the future is an ever shifting sea of change. There will be changes in your business requirements, regulatory and legal compliance demands, and of course, technology.

While it is good to have these analyst predictions available for use as a guide to what’s coming, what happens for your business is completely dependent on changes to your business or outside forces that cause you to change. Know that the future is always uncertain and preparation is key in order to react accordingly and adapt to those changes.

By all means, pay attention to the predictions coming form the analyst firms as they do have supporting data to predict future trends. Knowing what they see and think helps you prepare for your future, and that is really what this is all about.

Bob Larrivee is President and Founder of Bob Larrivee Consultancy, a recognized expert in the application of advanced technologies and process improvement, and Journalist on Information Technology for Document Strategy. In his career, Bob has led many projects and authored hundreds of eBooks, Industry Reports, Blogs, Articles, and Infographics. In addition, he has served as host and guest Subject Matter Expert on a wide variety of Webinars, Podcasts, Virtual Events, and lectured at in-person seminars and conferences around the globe.

Bob can be reached at bob@boblarriveeconsulting.com and his website is www.boblarriveeconsulting.com

 

Data Data Everywhere…

Remember the famous line by the sailor in the Rime of the Ancient Mariner? “Water water everywhere, Nor any drop to drink”. I often hear this about data from business people. There is so much data being collected by IT and the information management (IM) systems and yet no one seems to have a clue of exactly what data they have or what to do with it. And when they do search for a specific data element, the difficulty becomes one of find. They search, but do not easily find what they are looking for, leaving the impression that all of this data collection seems to be useless. Could it be that data is being collected because it can be, rather than for specific reasons, purpose, and target audiences?

Over the years we have been fed terms like “Big Data” and “Big Content” – mostly information overloadby the marketing departments of suppliers looking to differentiate themselves and get you to buy their products and services. Is there a need to collect this much data? In many cases, the benefit should outweigh the costs and justify it all but if it is data collection for the sake being able to, why bother. Without purpose, the data will sit dormant and untouched costing your business to maintain it and continue to expand the storage and maintenance for future data that also will not be used.

In My View

There are good reasons to collect data, and like anything in business, it should be addressed strategically before tossing in the technology by asking some simple questions upfront. What data do you need in your business? What purpose does it serve, not just for a singular department but potential use across departments? For example, data collected from the help desk when analyzed, may reveal the customer is trying to do something the product set they have purchased is not designed to handle, training is needed, or perhaps professional services to help them achieve their goals. This is a sales opportunity based on technical support data; data that often goes underutilized by many businesses.

Additionally, your information governance (IG) program should standardize the way data is managed and be flexible enough to enhance the metadata and increase findability by other departments where this data can be reused. The premise b=ing one of intelligent information management (IIM) as outlined by AIIM in that we must become better at how information/data is gathered, managed, and made accessible. Don’t be reactive and collect data because you can, be proactive and design your infrastructure to collect data that is useful and can be shared across departments. Plan.

Bob Larrivee is President and Founder of Bob Larrivee Consultancy, a recognized expert in the application of advanced technologies and process improvement, and Journalist on Information Technology for Document Strategy. In his career, Bob has led many projects and authored hundreds of eBooks, Industry Reports, Blogs, Articles, and Infographics. In addition, he has served as host and guest Subject Matter Expert on a wide variety of Webinars, Podcasts, Virtual Events, and lectured at in-person seminars and conferences around the globe.

Bob can be reached at bob@boblarriveeconsulting.com and his website is www.boblarriveeconsulting.com

Innovating Cultural Preservation

From the beginning of time, communication has been key in the development of communities and civilizations of long past. Archeologists and Historians have found not only how people communicated but also preserved their history using everything from cave drawings to the video capabilities of today, in an effort to preserve those slices of time for future generations.

Today, in a Forbes article titled “Turning To AI Too Save Endangered Languages“, we see that AI is being used to save languages from becoming extinct and forgotten. Not only is this a way to preserve the language, it is also being used to teach these languages to the indigenous people descended from those lost civilizations. In short, AI is learning and teaching in ways that pass this component of a culture to the next generations, when it may have otherwise been lost. Once the responsibility of the community elders, this ensures long-term preservation and transference from generation to generation.

The Sun TeacherAdditionally, preservation of arts, ceremonies, beliefs, and other cultural elements can be made ready through the use of AI. Imagine finding that you are a descendant of an indigenous community, have never been exposed to it, but are interested to learn more about it. AI can help you reconnect with your ancestral heritage and even teach you the language.

In My View

Preservation using AI to archive cultural artifacts like language, art, and more – but also utilize this information as a learning tool for future generations – is an outstanding use of technology. For some years now, we have been scanning documents of all types, preserving historical information. In this scenario AI takes preservation a step further, to where it should be used – teaching . Imagine how this will enhance the capabilities of archaeologists, historians, and preservationists as they continue to reach back in time uncovering the past and prepare for the future.

Bob Larrivee is President and Founder of Bob Larrivee Consultancy, a recognized expert in the application of advanced technologies and process improvement, and Journalist on Information Technology for Document Strategy. In his career, Bob has led many projects and authored hundreds of eBooks, Industry Reports, Blogs, Articles, and Infographics. In addition, he has served as host and guest Subject Matter Expert on a wide variety of Webinars, Podcasts, Virtual Events, and lectured at in-person seminars and conferences around the globe.

Never Say Never

Here is an interesting article I encourage you to read. It is in eWeek and titled “Why Most Executives Believe Their Companies Aren’t Ready for AI“. When you read this, think about how far we have come technologically in the past 30  years. In the 1980s many believed that scanning documents was a fad and would never take off, the technology was far too expensive for general use, and the software too complicated for the average person. Yet today, everyone is not only taking digital photos of whatever they want – paper included – they are editing, saving, sharing/posting, and even making videos.

My point is this, in the article there is a discussion about Artificial Intelligence (AI) how AI will replace humans in some job areas like diagnostics, analytics, and jobs Confusedthat are very routine or repetitive in nature. The discussion continues to point out that AI is a tool and we have to address it as a tool – albeit one that has far more potential than anything we have seen before. We are seeing this now with robotics in the factory, robotic process automation (RPA) in the back office, and even autonomous vehicles – not to mention the advance in robotics to mimic humans. (This about Robbie the Robot and the Robot from Lost in Space or Rosey from the Jetsons.)

During the course of this discussion, it is mentioned that AI is bringing changes to the workforce and how we do business but questions how disruptive it will be and what will it take for executives to position their companies to be ready for it. The reason cited is a lack of understanding or misunderstanding as to what AI really is now, and what it will be in the future. There is a position presented by Kai-Fu Lee, the CEO of Sinovation Ventures that states “The idea of AI becoming some kind of super-intelligence taking over the world is overblown; it won’t happen.”

In My View

I have witnessed and been part of many technological advancements in my career, including the early days of AI. While I feel this article rings true on many levels, I have come to believe that nothing is impossible and that the impossible – as improbable as it may seem – just takes a little longer. Fifteen years ago discussions of nano-technology, rockets that can be used, safely land, and be reused again, driverless cars, micro technology used to track goods and even people were philosophical in nature yet here we are today witnessing their realities coming to fruition.

Could AI become some kind of super-intelligence? In my mind, anything is possible. Is it possible that AI can take over the world as we have seen in the movies? If we are not careful with it, as with any other technology, while it is improbable, it very well might be possible. Never say never because we never really know for sure, until it happens.

Bob Larrivee is President and Founder of Bob Larrivee Consultancy, a recognized expert in the application of advanced technologies and process improvement, and Journalist on Information Technology for Document Strategy. In his career, Bob has led many projects and authored hundreds of eBooks, Industry Reports, Blogs, Articles, and Infographics. In addition, he has served as host and guest Subject Matter Expert on a wide variety of Webinars, Podcasts, Virtual Events, and lectured at in-person seminars and conferences around the globe.

Bob can be reached at bob@boblarriveeconsulting.com and his website is www.boblarriveeconsulting.com

 

I See Right Through You

Growing up, every comic book I read had a series of ads in the back and one of my favorites was the X-ray Glasses. The promotion said you could look through your hands, and even through clothing. I had a friend that actually bought a pair and was a bit disappointed.

Today, I was reading about a real pair of X-ray glasses used to prepare surgeons for various procedures. No, these are not like XRAY SPECSthe ones I remember. According to a HealthImaging article, the solution combines the Microsoft HoloLens with the Novarad OpenSight Augmented Reality System (ARS) and has been given a 510(k) clearance by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA).

In short, this solution allows surgeons to visualize a patients internal structure – multidimensional. In the example provided in the article, the patient is shown lying down with an image of his spine, ribs, hips, etc. displayed for viewing. This represents what the surgeon sees in AR, enabling pre-operative viewing and planning prior to the actual surgical procedure.

In My View

This a prefect example of enhancing technology for the betterment of humankind. In this case, without ever making an incision, surgeons are able to view the areas in question, identify potential risk factors, and plan accordingly without the risk of going in blind. This in turn means that surgery can become much more focused, effective, and potentially take less time based on the prior knowledge gained from this solution.

The next question in my mind, is how long before it is used for other applications like security screening of containers and potentially people. Could this technology be applied in ways that further enhance airport screening, in-bound shipping containers, and even vehicles entering restricted areas?

Would you like to by some X-ray glasses?

Bob Larrivee is President and Founder of Bob Larrivee Consultancy, a recognized expert in the application of advanced technologies and process improvement, and Journalist on Information Technology for Document Strategy. In his career, Bob has led many projects and authored hundreds of eBooks, Industry Reports, Blogs, Articles, and Infographics. In addition, he has served as host and guest Subject Matter Expert on a wide variety of Webinars, Podcasts, Virtual Events, and lectured at in-person seminars and conferences around the globe.

Bob can be reached at bob@boblarriveeconsulting.com and his website is www.boblarriveeconsulting.com

 

Come Mr. Tallyman….

For those of you old enough to remember the Banana Boat Song, the tallyman tallied bananas. Here in Florida and in Georgia, we still await the tallyman to tally all the ballots, and it appears that there are many untallied at this time according to a Reuters article titled “Recounts, runoffs loom over high-profile elections in Florida and Georgia“.

This is not a political statement so please do not turn the page. This is a post about technology and process. From the technology side there are electronic voting systems in Tallymanplace, but not all votes are collected in digital form, and not all votes are deemed acceptable so they are treated as provisional in that someone – a human – must validate the ballot and then submit for counting which is typically after the actual election day. This is a process related issue requiring human intervention that could take even more time based on the level of confirmation required to validate the ballot.

Back to the ballot. Many States now use the old fill-in-the-bubble approach rather than the punch out ballot that caused the hanging chad here in Florida in a previous election. So, now we fill in the bubble on a paper ballot for the candidate of our choice. The ballot is then scanned using recognition technology to record the result.The reaosn for the paper ballot is one of humans having a physical object to reference and review in times of recount or question regarding the selections made.

Then there is online voting as Business Insider highlighted in their article titled “25 states allow some voters to submit their ballots electronically – here’s how that works“. The largest number of states using this approach will accept either email or fax, this is followed by fax only, online portals allowed by 4 states, and West Virginia allows use of a mobile app using blockchain technology as part of their security measures to protect the ballots.

In My View

The current method of voting and tallying those votes, while considered to be stable and proven, is still a major challenge and point of contention for candidates, voters, and the officials charged with formalizing election results. Announcements are made based on projections that are not the true count, as the true count cannot be truly known until well after election day, in some cases. (One must account for the provisional ballots and mail-in ballots that are not tallied until election day or beyond.)

While there are some legitimate concerns over the security of electronic voting systems, I see West Virginia as the leader in trying to break the paper chain mentality of “Paper is the way and only way voting is legitimate” to a more updated, secure, and auditable method using technology. Is blockchain the answer? Not entirely. There are additional ways to ensure voter validation, like the use of fingerprint recognition along with ID and Dual Password requirements.

My  point here is simply that there are better ways to approach voting in the United States that will provide immediate, accurate results, auditability, validation, and security. The first obstacle to overcome is human reluctance. Will it be infallible? I do not believe any system is, but I do believe it would be a better step forward than where we are today and the tallyman could be more efficient and accurate.

Need help with mapping, improving, and automating your processes, or dealing with how to manage the gorwing volumes of intomation in your organization intelligently? Give me a call and let’s talk. The only thing that will cost you is time.

Bob Larrivee is President and Founder of Bob Larrivee Consultancy, a recognized expert in the application of advanced technologies and process improvement, and Journalist on Information Technology for Document Strategy. In his career, Bob has led many projects and authored hundreds of eBooks, Industry Reports, Blogs, Articles, and Infographics. In addition, he has served as host and guest Subject Matter Expert on a wide variety of Webinars, Podcasts, Virtual Events, and lectured at in-person seminars and conferences around the globe.

Bob can be reached at bob@boblarriveeconsulting.com and his website is www.boblarriveeconsulting.com

 

In the Blink of an Eye

November. The political ads will soon end and of course the holiday ads are now beginning. One thing that caught my eye is an article in TopGadgetsDaily.com presenting 18 gadgets they feel will sell out this holiday season. While these are somewhat interesting, the one that really caught my attention is an honorable mention at the end of the article with the comment coming soon. The item presented is the Samsung Smart Contact Lens.

This concept is not new, in fact Samsung was granted a patent in Korea for this in 2016 and even Google is known to be working on this path. What appears to be new here, is that not only is the Samsung Smart Contact Lens a camera, it is also a display that projects directly into the wearer’s eyes, indicating bi-directional transmission capabilities. Imagine what this means in real life. First responders could be fed directions through a building, using the building blueprints, or provide an aerial view of where a suspect or missing person is located.

From a capture perspective, blink your eye and you have now captured information that can be processed and stored on your mobile device and uploaded to a larger Eye Blinksystem. While there is no indication of this, one can imagine that live feed video could also be possible, and that as you are watching something, it is transmitted real-time, to a central command center, and system for storage. (Think body camera, but this one is your contact lens.)

In My View

As technology progresses, is miniaturized, and becomes more readily accessible, our ability to transform what we see and hear into digital format will inevitably play a major role. (And who’s to say it isn’t already in place within some government agencies.)

My point is simply this, within the next few ears, it is possible and believable that we could all be fitted with this type of eyewear. Not only would it enable us to leverage technology in a more hands-free manner, it also gives us the ability to capture information of all sorts with the blink of an eye. From a practical view, this would greatly enhance operational efficiency and effectiveness on many levels.

In healthcare, a surgical specialist could remotely participate in a procedure, providing direction based on the view provided through the attending surgeon’s eyes. Facilities operators could provide guidance to field personnel based on real-time, remote vision, and the list could be endless from here. On the flip-side – ethically speaking – this would also enable capabilities for invasion of privacy and espionage never seen before.

Technology advancement of this nature is encouraged and will provide great benefit to businesses and the human population as a whole. At the same time, it will also created opportunities for misuse, and unscrupulous activities. It is up to us to determine appropriate use, set guidelines, and determine any consequences for those times this technology is used as a tool of crime. I cannot wait to see these in person and perhaps try them out – hint to Samsung. I also cannot wait to see how society adopts and uses this technology.

Bob Larrivee is President and Founder of Bob Larrivee Consultancy, a recognized expert in the application of advanced technologies and process improvement, and Journalist on Information Technology for Document Strategy. In his career, Bob has led many projects and authored hundreds of eBooks, Industry Reports, Blogs, Articles, and Infographics. In addition, he has served as host and guest Subject Matter Expert on a wide variety of Webinars, Podcasts, Virtual Events, and lectured at in-person seminars and conferences around the globe.

Bob can be reached at bob@boblarriveeconsulting.com and his website is www.boblarriveeconsulting.com

The Role of Corporate Leadership

There is a video I ran across and viewed this morning – This Is Why You Don’t Succeed – Simon Sinek on The Millennial – that really got me thinking about corporate leadership today.

In this video, there is discussion about why millennials are the way they are and the reasons they act the way they do. (I will not reveal it all here, as I think this is a video that must be viewed in order to really get the message in context.) In short, what Simon Sinek brings out is that, it is what it is when it comes to millennials in the workplace and corporations must now figure out how to address them and help them assimilate into corporate society – the real world.

For in the real world, there are winners and losers, there is a lot of hard work to be done, and the impact of what you do may take years not seconds to be realized. This is where corporate leadership makes the difference and a lack thereof will result in stress, anguish, and failure.

assistant beard boss business
Photo by rawpixel.com on Pexels.com

When I was coming up through the corporate ranks, there was true leadership with a clear vision of the business we were in, customers we served, and mentoring that helped me channel ideas, focus on goals, and shape myself to be who I am today. Distractions were removed, and interactions with peers and management encouraged. Employees came before all else, which in turn drove job satisfaction, productivity, and customer satisfaction. Mentors helped me understand what was truly expected of me, prepared me for growth within the company, and taught me how to address the political climate – something not taught in schools.

In My View

Simon Sinek is spot on in his assessment of today’s corporate reality. Millennials need the leadership and mentoring of days past, that in many corporations, is sorely lacking. The millennial have great ideas and represent where the future can go, but unless there is a way to engage in a constructive way, innovation will lag, the drive to succeed will diminish, and eventually status quo takes hold.

Corporations, government agencies, and any organization facing the millennial challenge will benefit greatly by embracing millennials and working to channel their ideas, energy, and desire to make an impact in a positive way. Leadership not managing is the way to succeed.

I am not saying that corporations should cater to every whim. What I am saying is this is reminiscent of the days when I entered the workforce. Companies that dictated the ways things got done, because it was the way it had always been done, eventually died. Those who had solid leadership and proactively mentored their employees, grew and became the leaders in their industry. Manage of lead millennials? To me, the choice is clear.

Bob Larrivee is President and Founder of Bob Larrivee Consultancy, a recognized expert in the application of advanced technologies and process improvement, and Journalist on Information Technology for Document Strategy. In his career, Bob has led many projects and authored hundreds of eBooks, Industry Reports, Blogs, Articles, and Infographics. In addition, he has served as host and guest Subject Matter Expert on a wide variety of Webinars, Podcasts, Virtual Events, and lectured at in-person seminars and conferences around the globe.

Bob can be reached at bob@boblarriveeconsulting.com and his website is www.boblarriveeconsulting.com