COVID-19: IoT and Edge Computing Could Support Green Recovery for UK Economy

C. Drake

Summary Bullets:

  • Edge computing and Internet of Things (IoT) innovation could play a major role in helping to drive a post COVID-19 recovery for the UK economy.
  • Initiatives to harness the benefits of edge computing will need to be collaborative, as well as addressing important questions about architecture design, energy use and security.

Edge computing involves the use of computer processing, data storage and analytics capabilities close to the places where data is collected and where digital content and applications are consumed. Edge computing is increasingly seen as an essential enabling technology for a wide range of applications related to IoT, including environmental monitoring and traffic optimization sensors as well as IoT solutions that support energy and water management in social housing and public sector buildings. Local processing capabilities remove the need to send data to far-off data centres for processing, therefore accelerating the speed at which IoT sensor data can be processed and acted on. An associated benefit is the lower bandwidth and storage consumption costs that can be gained by not having to send large volumes of data to be processed elsewhere. Continue reading “COVID-19: IoT and Edge Computing Could Support Green Recovery for UK Economy”

Cisco Fleshes Out Its IoT Vision at Virtual Summit

K. Weldon
K. Weldon

Summary Bullets:

  • Cisco’s virtual IoT summit (held on June 18 as a special adjunct to Cisco Live) helped illustrate how its IoT products and those of its partners work together to provide end-to-end solutions to businesses in diverse industrial verticals and help bring together IT and OT constituencies.
  • Recent additions to the IoT portfolio include high-capacity and ruggedized networking equipment to meet industrial requirements, while Cisco’s intended acquisition of Fluidmesh and a variety of partner solutions add differentiated capabilities.

Cisco acknowledges that the customer’s need for visibility and security, IT/OT collaboration, and expanded connectivity is driving its IoT solution mix. It is optimistic about the road ahead for IoT, seeing new opportunities in smart cities, railways, utilities, public safety, manufacturing, oil & gas, ports, and mining. As organizations are converging to all-IP networks, they are also experimenting with use cases such as real-time traffic updates, automated power distribution, predictive maintenance, and wireless backhaul for fast-moving assets. This need for higher performance and bandwidth plays into Cisco’s core routing and switching product portfolio, so it is no surprise that two new products noted at the Summit were for network connectivity equipment. However, beyond routers and switches, the vendor also has products and platforms for IoT connectivity management, data control and exchange, edge computing, and cybersecurity as well as a lot of interesting partner solutions that add to its IoT opportunities. With these building blocks, in Cisco’s words, it can help “build a robust network, identify and secure devices, expand connectivity everywhere, extract data, and drive outcomes.” Continue reading “Cisco Fleshes Out Its IoT Vision at Virtual Summit”

COVID-19: Some Countries Come Under Fire for the Potential Misuse of Contact Tracing Apps

A. DeCarlo
A. DeCarlo

Summary Bullets:

  • As more countries roll out contact tracing apps to notify citizens when they have come into contact with someone who has tested positive for COVID-19, concerns are emerging about how this data could be used.
  • Human rights organization Amnesty International called out the apps from Bahrain, Norway, and Kuwait for not anonymizing end-user data.

Amnesty International is issuing a warning that some of the new COVID-19 contact tracing apps may not just be an invasion of privacy but potentially put lives at risk. Contact tracing – the process of finding and notifying people who have interacted with an infected person so they can be tested and quarantine – is vital to allowing businesses, educational institutions, and governments to resume operations that are closer to normal even as the virus continues to spread. Continue reading “COVID-19: Some Countries Come Under Fire for the Potential Misuse of Contact Tracing Apps”

Lead with Ethical Behavior or Your Customers Will Leave You Behind

S. Schuchart

Summary Bullets:

  • Tech companies must take ethical action when society and the law are unready.
  • Customers are increasingly demanding that companies use suppliers that are ethically sound.

The technology industry moves fast. Often it outpaces the society it serves from a social and legal standpoint. In this gap, it ethically falls to the tech industry not only to restrain itself, but also to set examples and to educate until the social and legal parts of society catch up. The latest example of this is facial recognition technology. Continue reading “Lead with Ethical Behavior or Your Customers Will Leave You Behind”

Mobility and IoT; Have Businesses Changed Their Spending Due to COVID-19?

K. Weldon
K. Weldon

Summary Bullets:

• GlobalData’s latest ICT survey includes questions on 2019 budget and 2020 spending plans for many technologies, as well as pre and post COVID-19 priorities and investment plans. The survey covers diverse areas from digital transformation to cloud services, software, hardware, networking, security, consulting, outsourcing, mobility, IoT, and more.

• Mobility and IoT spending appear relatively static, as the percent of the budget they represent hardly changed from 2019 to 2020. However, 12% of respondents said mobile spending may decrease due to COVID-19, and the percent of businesses planning to invest in subsets of IoT such as telematics, NFC, security and IoT platforms will also decrease due to COVID-19 concerns.

COVID-19 has put a damper on the spending plans of many businesses, especially in hard-hit verticals such as retail, travel and tourism, public and private transportation, retail banking, and non-essential businesses where people normally congregate. Continue reading “Mobility and IoT; Have Businesses Changed Their Spending Due to COVID-19?”

Build 2020: Microsoft ‘Goes Big’ on AI and Demonstrates Thought Leadership

R. Bhattacharyya

Summary Bullets:

• AI was featured prominently during Microsoft Build 2020, with a tagline of ‘Putting AI Into Action’ and a goal of bringing state of the art AI to all developers.

• Microsoft made several announcements that supported this vision, including updates on Microsoft Project Turing model, investments in infrastructure for AI processing, and the preview of Project Bonsai.

Microsoft’s annual developer conference, Microsoft Build 2020, was held as a virtual event on May 19 and 20, with more than 200,000 people registered. When kicking off Microsoft Build 2020, CEO Satya Nadella noted that the technology industry is being called upon to address the world’s most acute needs, and that developers are now more important than ever. He pointed out that organizations need the ability to remote everything at a moment’s notice, and to simulate and automate everywhere to enable more agile responses. Continue reading “Build 2020: Microsoft ‘Goes Big’ on AI and Demonstrates Thought Leadership”

COVID-19: Mitigation Comes Ashore – Video Monitoring for Social Distance Management on European Beaches

J. Marcus

Summary Bullets:

  • Surveillance tools are being used for maintaining health and safety as public beaches reopen in Europe this summer, but connected video cameras are only counting people and their locations, not scrutinizing their actions or identities.
  • Telefonica in Spain and Citymesh in Belgium have both announced new solutions this week.

Just as retailers and restaurants are limiting the number of customers entering their locations at any one time, local authorities are also seeking a way to safely re-open public spaces such as playgrounds and beaches as stay-at-home restrictions are gradually lifted. Limiting numbers of people in a given space is seen as essential to maintaining social distancing in the wake of the first wave of the coronavirus, in order to prevent it from spreading and causing new cases of COVID-19. While people-counting sensors at doorways and gates are useful in spaces with controlled or dedicated entry points, open spaces are more difficult to monitor – especially in beach environments where visitors arrive from multiple directions and where access is not tightly controlled. Continue reading “COVID-19: Mitigation Comes Ashore – Video Monitoring for Social Distance Management on European Beaches”

COVID-19: Pulling Together During Pay Cuts, Furloughs, and Job Losses

S. Schuchart

Summary Bullets:

• There has been widespread evidence of layoffs, pay cuts and furloughs at IT vendors, partners, and their customers and more economic pain on the horizon

• Individuals can help each other, paying forward with job introductions, recommendations, and encouragement

Times are tough for enterprise IT vendors. The economic downturn as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic has hit them hard. Some IT vendors, particularly the ones involved in cloud or collaboration have of course seen great increases in business, but the traditional vendors and of course startups are taking a beating.


Continue reading “COVID-19: Pulling Together During Pay Cuts, Furloughs, and Job Losses”

Virtual PTC LiveWorx Gets Its Message Across

K. Weldon
K. Weldon

Summary Bullets:

  • PTC held a virtual version of its annual LiveWorx event on June 9, highlighting its own products but bringing in discussions from customers, partners, and leaders in related technologies such as augmented reality, the Internet of Things (IoT), and digital transformation.
  • The event worked pretty well with a combination of live and recorded events, losing some of the detailed product discussions while – needless to say – lacking the dynamism of the ‘Xtropolis’ exhibit hall that usually showcased new PTC and partner solutions.

PTC’s LiveWorx has always been a lively and informative show for those interested in areas such as CAD-enabled product development, product lifecycle management (PLM), manufacturing automation, augmented reality, the industrial IoT, and digital transformation. Rather than playing to the analyst community per se, the LiveWorx audience has always included existing and prospective PTC customers as well as a roster of its diverse set of strategic, go-to-market, and integration partners. Continue reading “Virtual PTC LiveWorx Gets Its Message Across”

What Does It Mean to Be ‘Data Driven’?

Ted Cuzzillo,
Principal Analyst – Data Analytics

Summary Bullets:

  • To be ‘data driven’ is to be story driven.
  • Understanding data depends on the knowledge brought to it.

It’s stylish these days to be ‘data driven’ even while almost no one talks about what that really means. Data is just a proxy, the spokes on the wheel, the shorthand for what’s really going on. What’s the real driver?

During a blizzard, for example, we may talk about degrees Fahrenheit or Celsius. But that’s shorthand for the cold and snow, which is what actually drives decisions about what to wear or whether to go out at all.

One vendor that seems to look behind the proxy is Narrative Science. At in early May event, several speakers helped explain what it is to be truly data driven. Two in particular were notable. Continue reading “What Does It Mean to Be ‘Data Driven’?”