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Connected Worker – Thinking beyond technology

As companies continue to look for more innovative ways to improve their operations, achieving a Connected Enterprise has proven to be an efficient and cost-effective way to scale business processes. By 2020, it's expected that the majority of manufacturing companies will have adopted IoT connectivity in one form or another. Through the use of smart devices and intelligent systems, companies can reduce their downtime, maximize software efficiency, and increase product quality more than ever before. Within the next year alone, more than 40% of all companies will begin a large-scale digital transformation initiative. However, while IoT continues to play an essential role in every industry, its value cannot be compared to a company's greatest asset—its Connected Workers. IoT adoption in the manufacturing industry For several years now, IoT has been at the core of industrial transformations, including Industry 4.0 which has essentially created smart factories operating at an unparalleled level of efficiency. Many benefits IoT offers are evident in Manufacturing Operations Management (MOM), which includes cyber-physical systems, advanced production planning, performance optimization and monitoring, and human-machine interaction. In fact, revenues associated with smart systems and artificial intelligence are expected to reach $47 billion by 2020. However, despite the operational improvements that IoT affords, adoption of this new technology isn't always easy. IoT is designed to be "disruptive." This disruption, while innovative in design, can be hard for Connected Workers to wrap their heads around. This can cause initial hesitation when it comes to employees accepting new IoT developments in their day-to-day operations. Other groups are skeptical that IoT will actually improve their current processes and that the time and cost of development may not provide the expected return on investment. While the adoption of IoT can meet with initial skepticism, especially from professionals used to running their operations a certain way, recent developments have shown that IoT has greatly revolutionized the manufacturing industry. IoT has changed the way companies approach their manufacturing efforts and how they interact with their Connected Workers. Moreover, IoT has enabled teams to operate on full transparency with global facility insight, tracking production from manufacturing plants through third-party logistics and final delivery to customer sites. How Connected Enterprise is changing job functionality? Manufacturers and industrialists are now able to automate many complex steps involved in the manufacturing process. There are now several ways to leverage newer technology and IoT devices to maximize efficiencies in production and utilize Connected Worker programs. Following are a few ways the Connected Enterprise is transforming the way jobs are completed: 1. Field maintenance: IoT brings many benefits to cost-efficiency and maintenance. The utilization of assets fitted with sensors provides real-time data to maintenance technicians so that they can better understand the status of equipment. Being able to remotely monitor systems enables maintenance teams the ability to properly prioritize and streamline any needed repairs or equipment optimization. IoT also enables automatic support ticket creation and predictive maintenance protocols. Being able to recognize issues before they occur has been a game-changer in the manufacturing industry and has dramatically reduced maintenance problems and the costs associated with correcting them. 2. Assisted manufacturing:Through the use of digitally connected factories, operation managers and factory heads can manage production more efficiently from beginning to end. Real-time reporting can provide recommended adjustments in the refining and packaging process, and thus improving operational costs and goods management. This optimization also helps to reduce waste and enhances production lead time. Big data analytics also provide essential Key Performance Indicators (KPIs) to help improve plant safety and security. With the quality control improvements that IoT has introduced to operational managers, there have been significant reductions in equipment damage, employee injuries, and other costly factory-related incidents. 3. Stocking and picking: Warehousing and inventory management roles have been completely revolutionized, thanks to the Connected Enterprise. IoT applications can monitor events from the final production across the entire supply chain, including third-party logistics companies, external warehouses, and distribution partnerships. Inventory is tracked on a line-item level according to strategic distribution plans, and any deviations is reported to the product managers in real time. This transparency is key to proper inventory management. It ensures that warehouse teams can accurately report demand and manage their tasks efficiently. Moreover, the full traceability of product in and out of the facilities can help operations execute a large-scale product effectively with a high level of accuracy. The importance of Connected Workers beyond the technology Regardless of the level of efficiency and automation that IoT brings to the industrial workforce, the people that operate and drive this technology are equally important to its successful implementation. Much like the fuel of a vehicle is useless without an engine to utilize it, IoT is designed to form a symbiotic relationship between technology and its user base. By equipping industry professionals with cutting-edge technology and helping them perform their functions more efficiently, employees can learn new skills in their trade while consumers are continuously provided with a better purchasing experience. Executing an effective digitization strategy is less about "replacing" as much as it is about "improving." A Connected Worker is equipped with the right tools and data at the right time to help them optimize their work processes. This automation allows them to redirect their focus and professional experience into continuously developing their role and increasing their value. By forming the right digital transformation strategy, companies can continue to benefit from the scalability that IoT affords in their industry while fostering an environment of innovation and development for their connected workforce.

DevOps for Fintech

With the emergence of new wallet services such as Apple Pay, Google Pay and more, the financial services sector has become one of the most fast-paced industries to create drastic economic value by moving as quickly as possible. However, it is quite overwhelming to keep up in a domain where customers expect all their services to be available online while regulatory changes, depending on the geographical location such as eKYC, continues to occur more frequently. FinTech companies, either big or small, are accelerating to deliver content and features at a swift and continuous pace. This is where seamless DevOps practices can play an important role in the development and deployment of software. Despite various challenges, seamless DevOps practices can enable your business in the following four areas:

Why is Zappos’ culture of holacracy catching on?

The culture of a company is crucial and plays a key role in its success or failure. It tends to produce superior results as compared to those with weaker cultures. In the past 20 years or so it’s become a popular point of discussion and relevance as the modern workplace continues to evolve.

Escape the legacy trap: Operational consolidation of grown ecosystems

One of the biggest concerns for CTOs and IT leaders is not being able to harness the power of digitization and mobility due to their legacy IT system. Is your current IT landscape limiting you from integrating with newer technologies? Is your system running on obsolete technologies that are inflexible and preventing you to adopt modern development methodologies such as agile? If the answer to all is yes, then most likely your IT landscape is trapped in a legacy system.

Edge computing: The dawn of autonomous things

With 5G technology, improved hardware at reduced prices and convenient storage options, the “things” in the IoT continuum are getting smarter each day. In fact, it's predicted that approximately 5.6 billion IoT devices owned by enterprises and government bodies will utilize edge computing for data collection and processing in 2020. Major players in device manufacturing, network operations, cloud computing, and end-user experience are proactively investing largely in this space. Let's take a quick look at what is edge computing, why it is needed, and how it can be leveraged in your organization today.

Pros and cons of adhering to standards

Standards are set of published documents used as a measure or a model in relative evaluation. These are applied to build particulars and methodology intended for predictable outcomes to guarantee the dependability of the materials, items, strategies as well as administrations that professionals use every day. Standards address different issues and aren’t bound by different conventions that encourage item versatility, acknowledgment, similarity, and interoperability.

Behavior-driven development in DevOps

When we talk about DevOps, we often reference unicorns like Amazon, Google or GitHub, and how they practice it. We, as developers, think about source-code management, continuous integration, building server, delivery-pipelines, and implementing continuous deployment on every active environment (e.g. development, test, staging, and productive). We seldom think about how to tackle organizational challenges, which often comes across as the hardest thing to achieve.

Check-in for digitization: Vienna International Airport on its way to the future

Our recent Business Breakfast in Vienna, Austria saw more than 100 guests engaged in conversations about the era of digitization. They talked about opportunities in various fields like artificial intelligence, blockchain, user experience, etc. We presented "The Future of IT" in collaboration with the visionary Dietmar Dahmen. Moreover, some guest speakers from our clients such as Vienna Airport, construction giant PORR, Austrian Postal Service, and Austrian Lottery shared their  insights as well.

Chaos engineering: Break it to make it

Netflix. Does it ring any bells? It is 2018 and who doesn't know about Netflix. Netflix has made traditional TV viewing redundant as people watch shows, movies, live stream of events, sports and reality shows; all on the go. Who would have thought that one could stream all content on any device—be it a television set, mobile, laptop, desktop, tablet, or even a gaming console? But, have you ever stopped to think about what goes on on the back end? What kind of infrastructure, technology stack, analytics, data lakes, etc., are running in the background to help you stream content seamlessly? And how do they ensure that the service is always available? Let’s take a quick look at the virtual world of Netflix and how they handle failure.

Leveraging DevOps to connect the dots in your gaming matrix

I remember the days when I created my first online game “Snake” (copy of design by Gremlin Industry). It was classic black and white pattern moving around the screen to capture new stuff and as you progressed, the tail would get longer and if you can’t control the tail before each level completes with speed and accuracy, you are out.