Quick Wins in Enterprise Digital Transformation (yet often ignored) – Intelligent Automation

The modern workplace is seeing widespread usage of machines and automation. Enterprise digital transformation, Artificial intelligence (AI), and automation are changing the tide for businesses globally. This means a significant change in the work culture as employees will have to acquire new skills and adapt to the advanced capabilities of machines. 

As per a recent study1 involving over 600 business leaders from 13 countries, more than 50 percent of respondents confessed to having already invested over $10 Million in intelligent automation projects. The AI market globally is presently growing at a CAGR of 40%, all set to touch $26.4 Billion by 2023.

AI,  along with robotic process automation (RPA), voice recognition, natural language processing (NLP), and machine learning (ML), is allowing businesses to blend automation with human capabilities successfully to create intelligent working environments. 

Automation is driving agility for businesses giving them the much-needed competitive edge over others with quick decision-making powers. Clearly, decision velocity powered by AI-driven insights gives you data supremacy to lead in a highly volatile market.

Making a case for Intelligent Process Automation (IPA)

When automation meets artificial intelligence, you get intelligent process automation to scale up your business. While it allows you to off-load routine, repetitive tasks, it empowers better guardrails for all your automation initiatives. It takes the uncertainty out of the picture and enables more personalized execution and processes.

Intelligent automation enhances the overall customer experience. The speed of response has often been a critical consideration while evaluating the customer experience. Intelligent automation is helping organizations meet customer expectations with personalization. Through customized offers, services, and content, businesses are acquiring and retaining customers.

What do the right IPA endeavors ensure?

  • Agile services due to a significant reduction in processing time
  • Greater flexibility and scalability for being able to operate round the clock with capabilities to scale up and down as required
  • Improved quality control due to greater traceability of events and instances and checks at different levels
  • Increased savings and productivity due to a high level of automation
  • Clear, actionable insights to predict and improve drivers of performance

While there is unanimous agreement on the benefits of intelligent automation, not everyone has leveraged these benefits across the organization. What you need is an enterprise-wide approach that promotes a new way of working.

Adding intelligence to the digital mix

A highly automated world does not focus on reducing the headcount but increasing its potential to do more in an agile manner to solve the business challenges of tomorrow. It relies on structured and unstructured data the company collects from the public domain and other stakeholders rather than depending on traditional methods.

Intelligent automation compels you to rethink key business processes. The sales and marketing team gets deeper segmentation to target and sell through advanced analytics. Those working to strengthen the supply chain get to improve production and distribution by leveraging technologies like cloud and analytics across the value chain. Planning and development teams, on the other hand, rely on data-driven insights to integrate them into product performance and boost innovation.

Alibaba Group2 is a classic example of what you can achieve with intelligent automation.

After making significant strides in eCommerce and retail, it has further revolutionized its business processes with its ‘Industrial Vision AI‘ solution for manufacturing and production. It allows the company to inspect raw materials thoroughly to detect minute defects, resulting in a 5X increase in production efficiency. Its automated warehouse is managed entirely by robots taking precision and efficiency to a whole new level.

Regardless of your goal, you need to create a strategic roadmap to align it with your business priorities. This is not possible unless you assess your digital maturity.

What is the role of IT in successful IPA transformation?

Intelligent process automation (IPA) is a melting pot of technologies enabling significant gains for businesses worldwide. IPA should not be confused with robotic process automation (RPA) as unlike RPA that performs repetitive, automated tasks based on predefined rules and inputs, IPA can understand the context, learn, and iterate to support informed decision-making using unstructured and structured data.

Those who have been able to get the full value of IPA have been the ones who have put IT leaders at the helm of their IPA endeavors. CIOs need to strengthen their core with IPA programs to support automation.

Here’s what we recommend:

  1. Assess the high-level value potential

You may start with help-desk requests since that’s where a significant amount of incidents originate. While tickets with low difficulty levels are resolved immediately, those with more complexity are often escalated to specialized teams. Determine how many such requests were handled the previous year, and by multiplying them by the average handling time (AHT) required, you can evaluate the value of this whole exercise.

For instance, an organization with a significant number of requests for password reset or access can leverage RPA bots that work across multiple applications via the user interface to automate ticket resolution and free up employee capacity. Reducing resolution times and a drop in costs associated with outsourcing help-desk support will thus improve performance and profits.

The effort required for these activities often varies. Everything needs to be evaluated critically from backups and patching to security audits and upgrades to understand the effort involved and the value you can garner by planning activities for automation.

  1. Identify the use cases best suited for IPA

Let’s consider the same example mentioned above. In order to automate incidents, organizations need to first identify the ones ideal for automation. An organization may be effectively logging incidents in detail, but due to the large numbers and complexities, support teams may not respond quickly and effectively.

AI can make sense of the chaos and understand the reasons behind the alerts. It may be trained to make appropriate recommendations or even make better decisions to ensure suitable responses.

  1. Elevate customer experiences with better service

AI and automation are changing the customer service landscape for every industry, from retail to aviation. Boeing has a fleet of passenger service robots that operate via sensors installed in their bodies. They are doing their best to reduce the manual work of cabin crews. Though experts argue a human perspective is required for these robots to do what humans can.

The key is to understand the power of automation and integrate it seamlessly into processes and workflows to complement human efforts and endeavors perfectly, as we did in the case of one of our clients Surge Transportation.

The company links shippers and carriers and has an automated tracking and monitoring system to assign loads. But the pricing and quotation were being done manually. This drained their resources, led to a huge turnaround time, and left a long log of emails, calls, and paper trails.

Trigent critically evaluated the complexities in its pricing mechanism to bring down the turnaround time to less than a second. Apart from 100% pricing accuracy, the company improved profits by 25%, revenue by 40%, and reduced the load processing time by 91%. With seamless carrier integration, the company now processes 4000 more loads per day.

Other use cases where AI and Automation are driving value

Cashier-less stores

Amazon is popularizing the concept of cashier-less stores with Amazon Go and Just Walk Out. Robotization of stores helps save operational expenses and gives shoppers a smart shopping experience.

Automated medical appointment scheduling

No-shows have been the cause of losses of over $150 billion a year for the U.S. healthcare system with every unused time slot costing individual physicians $200 on an average. No-shows also impact the health of patients since continuity of care is interrupted. IPA challenges traditional scheduling methods by ensuring error-free appointment scheduling based on the nature of the illness, the convenience of patients, and the availability of doctors and healthcare facilities. While patients get to choose a date and time for different health issues, follow-up appointments can be scheduled automatically along with reminders.

Automated supply chains

The ideal supply chain is where there is neither wastage nor out-of-stock scenarios. In tandem with machine learning, AI predicts demand based on location, weather, trends, promotions, and other factors. Revenue losses of up to $4Trillion have been caused due to supply chain disruptions following the pandemic with 33% attributed to commodity pricing fluctuations as per a report.

The automobile giant Toyota is using AI in its manufacturing environment to address waste control with its ability to predict when excess parts, products, and practices threaten to impede work.

Intelligent Automation is clearly the Winner streak!

The potential value of AI and automation is immense for different sectors and will vary depending on the type of industry, availability of abundant and complex data, use cases, and other factors. To get the most out of your automation initiatives, it is however important to tide over organizational challenges with the right mindset and approach.

Create impact and value with Trigent

Trigent with its team of technology experts empowers you to stay relevant and competitive. It is equipped with insights and intelligent solutions to dramatically boost your bottom line and improve customer engagement.

Allow us to help you grow your business and increase revenue with strategies and solutions that are perfect for you.

Call us today for a business consultation

References
1. https://www.analyticsinsight.net/intelligent-automation-accelerating-speed-and-accuracy-in-business-operations/
2. https://datacentremagazine.com/technology-and-ai/alibaba-group-adopts-ai-and-automation-singles-day

AI Implementation Checklist – 5 Points to Evaluate Before Adopting AI in Your Organization

Artificial intelligence is now all around us in household gadgets as well as business workflows. AI adoption is rampant across sectors; the global artificial intelligence market is expected to reach $ 266.92 billion by 20271 at a CAGR of 33.2% during 2019-2027. Nearly half of the respondents who had participated in a survey confessed to being interested in AI implementation and machine learning to improve data quality.

No doubt, artificial intelligence is the proverbial genie that does everything we want it to do without even rubbing the magic lamp. But the lack of nuance and failure to spell out caveats can result in AI systems that will make us think twice before we wish for anything.

Believe it or not, misaligned AI can be a nightmare.

A classic case is YouTube2, with its AI-based content recommendation algorithms that led to users accusing it of radicalization. Its constant upping-the-ante approach led users to extreme content in a bid to maximize viewing time. So videos on vegetarianism led to veganism, and jogging searches resulted in ultramarathons. This unintentional polarizing and radicalizing highlights one significant challenge: we have yet to define the goals accurately for our AI systems!

The sad truth is that we don’t even know what we want, at least not from our autonomous systems and gadgets and other possessions. For instance, a self-driving car may be too slow and brake too often just the way it was designed to prevent itself from colliding with nearby objects. But the object could be as insignificant as a paper bag that was blown away by the wind.

What we need is goal-oriented AI born with a solid sense of purpose with excellent human-machine coordination. But only after you have answered the question- Do I really need AI?

Here’s is your ultimate AI implementation checklist

AI has ample scope in many sectors. AI can interact on your behalf with customers, as in the case of chatbots, or help healthcare providers diagnose cancer and other ailments. If leveraged well, it can help you turn a new leaf in critical interactions with your customers. Understanding the potential of AI and applying it to enhance critical business values can make a world of difference to your business. The key is to know where you stand and whether AI can help you attain your business goals.

Identify the purpose

Organizations with successful AI implementations are usually the ones that have assessed its financial impact or conducted a thorough risk analysis for AI projects. Having the right metrics in place gives you a sneak peek into the risks and benefits of AI implementation and how it would perform in those chosen areas. While it may not guarantee a positive ROI, it gives you a fair idea about what to expect. 

Accuracy, for instance, is an important metric, but it’s not enough to understand how well your AI systems are performing. You need to correlate  AI metrics to business outcomes to ensure you get the most out of your investments. 

The smart pricing tool created by Airbnb to eliminate pricing disparities between black hosts and white hosts presents a classic example. While the AI-based system performed the assigned tasks with precision, the business results fell short – widening the gap further by 20%. 

Appoint mixed-role teams for all AI initiatives

Those who have implemented AI successfully will tell you how crucial it is to build mixed-role teams comprising project managers, strategists, application designers, AI researchers, and data scientists to ensure a diversity of thought and skillsets. As per a Garnet Research Circle survey3, skills are the first barrier to AI adoption, and 56 percent of respondents believed new skills are required for new and existing jobs.

AI needs experts for it to evolve to its best version. TayTweets, a promising chatbot by Microsoft, was nothing but fun, and people loved talking to her. Until, of course, she became the nastiest chatbot ever in less than 24 hours, responding with offensive tweets. It demonstrates how horribly things can go wrong when AI and ML go awry when left unchecked.

Diversity in technical acumen enhances the value of AI to customers since the people working with AI know-how and where it should be used to have the most significant impact. Whether you want to hire new people or train existing ones for newer roles and responsibilities is something you will have to decide based on the business initiatives you have in mind.

Make a business case for AI

Businesses need AI for different reasons ranging from data security and fraud detection to supply chain management and customer support. You need to identify the use cases and applications to determine how AI can be effectively used. Organizations depend on AI to analyze contextual interaction data in real-time and compare it with historical data to get insights and recommendations.

Data plays a pivotal role in every aspect of a business. While a lot of emphases is placed on coding, math, and algorithms, many organizations are not able to apply the data acquired effectively in a business context. You will have to understand who you are building these solutions for and what technology framework you will require to do so.

As Moutusi Sau, principal research analyst at Gartner4, points out, “Business cases for AI projects are complex to develop as the costs and benefits are harder to predict than for most other IT projects. Challenges particular to AI projects include additional layers of complexity, opaqueness, and unpredictability that just aren’t found in other standard technology.”

Assess your AI maturity

It is impossible to arrive at a strategy without evaluating where you stand against the AI maturity model. Once you know it, you can decide the next steps. Typically, the AI maturity model has five levels:

Ø Level 1 – There is awareness in the organization, and AI implementation is being considered, but no concrete steps have been taken in that direction.

Ø Level 2 – AI is actively present in proofs of concept and pilot projects.

Ø Level 3 – AI is operational, and at least one AI project has made its way to production with a dedicated team and budget. 

Ø Level 4 – AI is part of new digital projects, and AI-powered applications are now an essential part of the business ecosystem.

Ø Level 5 – This should be the ultimate goal where AI is now ingrained in the organizational DNA and plays a transformative role for your business. 

Look beyond the hype

AI can cause ‘cultural anxiety’ as a significant shift in thought and behavior is necessary for successful AI adoption. A compelling story to help employees understand how AI would be beneficial to all is necessary to ease the resistance they might feel towards the change.  CIOs should recognize their fears and anxiety of the possibility of being replaced by machines and encourage an open dialogue with team members. This will build trust and help determine if the organization is ready for AI.

The hype around AI itself can sometimes be the biggest problem as organizations hurry to hop onto the AI bandwagon with insufficient understanding of its impact. Explains Whit Andrews, distinguished vice president analyst at Gartner, “AI projects face unique obstacles due to their scope and popularity, misperceptions about their value, the nature of the data they touch, and cultural concerns. To surmount these hurdles, CIOs should set realistic expectations, identify suitable use cases and create new organizational structures.” 

 AI to Impact

The biggest mistake organizations make when they invest in AI is that they have too many expectations and little understanding of AI capabilities. Rather than getting caught in the hype, you have to be realistic and evaluate its role critically in furthering your business objectives.

AI is an expensive investment that will give you good returns if you know how to use it. A lot of tools are good, but not every AI tool is suitable for your business. What you need is the right AI implementation strategy created with professional help from those who know AI like the back of their hand.

Adopt AI with Trigent

Artificial intelligence is a defining technology that can be successfully integrated into business workflows and applications. We at Trigent have been helping organizations from diverse sectors, including healthcare, retail, BFSI, and logistics, create AI operating models that are optimized for faster and effective outcomes. 

We can help you, too, with everything from strategy and implementation to maintenance and support.

Call us today to book a business consultation

References

  1. https://www.fortunebusinessinsights.com/industry-reports/artificial-intelligence-market-100114
  2. https://firstmonday.org/ojs/index.php/fm/article/view/10419/9404
  3. https://www.gartner.com/smarterwithgartner/3-barriers-to-ai-adoption/
  4. https://www.gartner.com/smarterwithgartner/how-to-build-a-business-case-for-artificial-intelligence/

Efficient Skype Communication in the Age of COVID-19

Globally distributed teams use Skype as a primary communication platform – to conduct scrum meetings, 1-on-1 or group conversations, for screen sharing, and video conferences. During this COVID-19 pandemic, most of us are forced to work remotely, from home. We need to spend more time on Skype and similar tools than before. Here are some tips to increase productivity and efficiency (for all participants) while using Skype or similar tools.

Are you really available?

Skype allows you to set the status to indicate your availability. Make it a practice to use it to show your non-availability – during meetings, presentations, or when you are focused on a task and do not want to be disturbed. On the other hand, just because someone’s status indicates that they are Active, do not assume or expect them to respond to your IM messages immediately. Be respectful of their time schedules, work habits, and deadlines.

Some people use Skype on both laptops and mobile devices. If you use Skype on the phone, your status is always active, and you may want to log out or change status outside office hours.

You also may want to set “Read Receipts” to On, under Settings/Messaging. This will help people to know if you have got the message or not.

Choose wisely

Decide if this conversation can be delayed to a scheduled meeting at a later time, instead of now. Maybe you can send an email instead of interrupting someone with an IM. If you expect a long conversation, you should request a voice call instead of a series of IM exchanges.

Sharpen your ax

If you are going to use Skype a lot, invest in a good headset/microphone device to reduce/eliminate ambient noises, and increase audio quality. Ensure your devices and software work well, all the time. Make sure you have a reliable connection and high bandwidth – especially if you are using the Skype app on a mobile device. You do not want to be having one of those ‘Can you hear me now?‘ conversations.

Keep it short and be direct

Keep your conversations brief, precise, and on-topic. Being short does not imply being rude – so don’t be offended of someone’s short conversation. It is not easy to change our behavior if we are on a voice call or if we are in IM exchanges – since we are using the same platform. If you are using IM, think of that as texting (SMS) someone. Don’t send an IM with just “Hello.” For example, ask directly what you need to know: “In the Acme project – credit card transaction module, what is the transaction sequence for credit card charge reversal?”

Context switching has high overheads and can kill productivity. You may already be interrupting their flow of work. Make it easy on them. They pay a high cost to your “quick” questions.

Keep your conversation professional. Sarcasm, humor, and tone do not translate well in IM. Be clear and direct in your conversation.

End your conversation explicitly, like TTYL, BFN, or something short. Do not leave the other person waiting for you to continue your conversation. If you are going to take time to respond to a message, indicate that with a BRB.

No confidential information

If something cannot be said in an email, do not say it in IM! Avoid sharing sensitive and confidential information in IM.

Ask Permission

Always ask your contacts if it would be OK to use a video call or to share your screen before you initiate the call. It helps to get themselves set up correctly and pay attention to the shared screen, instead of just talking to you with the Skype window minimized.

Summary

Skype and similar IM platforms allow us to work efficiently and collaboratively in a multi-geographic, multi-time-zone environment. Follow these simple suggestions to save time and increase productivity. Always ask yourself if your interactions can be less interruptive and more efficient.

Stay Immune From IT Outages with Disaster Recovery As a Service

Your data is the fuel of your business – it’s irreplaceable and you cannot afford to lose it. Whatever the cause – IT outages, natural disaster, or human error – data loss is hazardous to the life of your business. As your business progresses, you will need a proactive disaster recovery plan that enables workflow automation and simplifies recovery when the worst possible situations arise. Your disaster recovery plan should include the following ingredients:

  • Inventory of hardware, software application, and data
  • Business Impact Analysis (BIA)
  • Personnel Control Program
  • Procedures for Information Services backup
  • Recovery Strategies
  • Test your DR plan regularly

Disaster Recovery entails:

  • Recovery Point Objective (RPO) – How often do you back up your data? Whether you decide if it’s for every five minutes or five hours, that’s RPO.
  • Recovery Time Objective (RTO) – How much time your business can afford to have your systems unavailable? Which all applications are mission critical and which are not? RTO determines that.

Disaster Recovery as a Service (DRaaS) market size is expected to grow from USD 2.19 Billion in 2017 to USD 12.54 Billion by 2022, at a Compound Annual Growth Rate (CAGR) of 41.8%1. DRaaS or Cloud Disaster Recovery Service has become increasingly popular as a way for businesses to:

  • Restore to normal operations within minutes
  • Increase the capabilities to protect their digital assets.
  • Shorten the RTO from days to hours or minutes
  • Reducing the gap in RPO from days or weeks to seconds.
  • Shift to a commodified operational cost model

No data loss, no time loss

Leveraging a complete DR plan will be difficult if your business is struggling with overburdened IT team. Building your infrastructure can take a vast amount of time and resources. In this scenario, a DRaaS provider can be an advantage for you.

Points to consider while selecting a service provider:

  • What is their market presence? – Understand how long they have been in business and offering the solution
  • Scrutinize their offerings for hidden costs – their pricing model
  • Understand their testing capabilities – how often they perform internal tests, how they share results.
  • What are their security and encryption strategies?
  • Verify their compliance certifications meet your industry’s requirements

DRaaS enables businesses to reduce data loss risks at a more affordable cost and fewer capital expenditures than by doing DR on your own. DRaaS saves you the money you need to invest on a duplicate infrastructure, and your ROI becomes quantifiable. Gartner estimates the financial impact of downtime at $336,000 per hour2. With proper planning, practice and the right partner, DRaaS can save that cost.

Trigent’s DRaaS is multi-site, comprehensive, granular, and can be deployed faster and remotely. Our service provides scalable, block-level replication with Recovery Point Objective (RPO) of seconds and Recovery Time Objective (RTO) of minutes. We provide businesses with tight SLAs and offer a cost-effective solution for your disaster recovery needs.

Download our brochure to know more.

Partner with us, and stay immune from effects of downtime and outages.

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Sources

Not just the Vendor, Choose the Right Development Team for Your Product!

Presale discussions with prospective customers can be very interesting!

Initial discussions would focus on one of their products to be built or supported. But, when the prospect realizes that he/she is talking to a solution architect, who is technically sound, and a good problem solver, the discussions would take a detour. It will focus on their issues with other products and we end up winning an entirely different project from them!

To explain further, most of the times, the discussions would focus on the issues related to their existing vendor. They will complain about their current vendor and how their product has suffered because of the poor management by the vendor.

In several such cases, when we delve further, we find that most of the companies have done their best to find a suitable vendor. However, after identifying a good vendor, they have trustingly handed over their product development work to them. They do not find out about the actual developers or conduct background checks on the developers who will be working on their projects. Big mistake I would say!

Build highly scalable, elastic, cloud-native software products

Let me share two recent, interesting presale calls:

First Presale Call:

This was with a prospective customer to discuss some clarifications for their new product RFP (Request For Proposal). However, a few minutes into the call, the discussion took a different direction. The prospect started explaining the issues related to their current website. He was worried about the fact that their website had been hacked three times in a span of four months!

Every time it was hacked, their vendor who had developed their website made few changes, charged them for the work and assured them that the website is safe. But, once again the site would be hacked and down for a few days. He was completely frustrated with the way it is going and was avoiding meeting the senior management as he did not know how to solve the problem.

The night before the call with us, the site had been hacked yet again and their hosting provider had suspended their account. They had written to him saying that unless the issue was rectified, they would keep the account in a suspended state as the hacker was inducing lot of traffic to the hosting provider.

I was curious and felt that the hacker must be very intelligent and the site must have a really complex loophole. I asked him to give us a chance to check this issue.

Since the site had already been hacked three times and this was the fourth time, I personally got involved, even though my team could have handled it. I found that the site was built using Drupal, PHP. When we dug deeper, we noticed that there was a PHP page which triggers an email based on the email id provided by users. That page was being called from another page where there was a ‘Captcha’. When checked, their PHP page was actually getting Captcha image along with the Captcha text from the server and then validating the user input with Captcha text in their Java Script i.e. on the client side! After validation, their Java Script was calling another PHP page with the email id provided, which is triggering an email.

No wonder the hacker easily got hold of the PHP page which was responsible for triggering the emails. It appeared as though some junior programmer must have coded this way as no experienced programmer can actually do the Captcha validation work on client side. Unfortunately, no one had checked the code again even after repetitive hacks!

Our team took care of it easily by moving that validation logic to server side. We also ran a security check on the whole website and then fixed a few other minor issues. After that fix, it is been three and half months and no news about their website going down!

Second Presale Call

In this presale call with a HR advising company, when I mentioned about using cloud for their new product, the suggestion shocked them. The client mentioned that they were already paying a huge amount for maintaining their current cloud infrastructure for one product. They did not want to go with cloud for any of their other products because of this cost. After checking we found that they were using a private cloud for hosting their web portal and database servers. There were just three medium level servers and they were paying US$8000 per month to the private cloud service provider.

As a leading healthcare company, they needed measures to be compliant with standards such as HIPAA, HITECH and so forth. Their current vendor had suggested the private cloud vendor and they had gone with the suggestion. After understanding their security requirements, we moved their current product to Microsoft Azure without compromising any of their security requirements. Now they pay just USD 720 per month. Huge savings. Isn’t it?

In both the cases, the vendors with whom they were working were very good. Customer had spent a lot of time and effort in selecting the right vendor. But after selecting the vendor, they had handed over their product development work to them.

To me it appeared that the problem was with the development team and not with the vendor.

In the first case, the development work was executed probably by someone who did not know how Captcha is meant to work. This could be how their web site became a prey to the hacker.

In the second case, after hearing security requirements, the development team/architect had suggested a private cloud (due to its popularity in security) maybe without considering other options.

Best Practices for Outsourcing Development Work

  • Generally, when companies outsource their product development work, they select a good vendor and will not bother to check the development team that works on their respective products. It is a fact that vendor companies place good technical people during presale calls. However, actual development could be taken care of by a different set of people. It is, therefore, a good practice for companies to insist that their vendors place the same set of technical people who speak to them during presale calls to work on their product development.
  • Companies should insist on being introduced to the development team (at least the leads/architects) and check their expertise on required technologies.
  • Also it would be great to get their profiles checked on social media sites like LinkedIn, and technical forums etc.
  • It is good to have a dialogue with them and make sure that they are fit the requirement. If you cannot understand the technology, get a consultant to do this work for you.
  • More importantly, stay constantly in touch with the development team to make sure that the same set of people are working on the product.
  • Also, if you have a requirement for cloud infrastructure services and if you are going to a vendor who has partnered with Microsoft, they will try to convince you to go with Azure cloud. It can be the same case with AWS or GCP, Armor and so forth. It is better to find a vendor and development team that knows all the technologies and recommends a suitable platform or the technology for your product.

Summary

For product companies, the product is like a baby. When something happens to a baby, we need to search for a pediatrician and not a general physician. It is important to evaluate the pediatrician. I am sure that no one will want to get their baby diagnosed by an intern even if the intern is working in a large hospital. Also, once that pediatrician is taking care of the child, it still needs the presence and the care of its parents.

Similarly, it is important to take care of your product by choosing a good vendor along with a good development team. After all, the product is your own baby and you are more responsible for its welfare than anyone else in the world, right?

Internet of Medical Things – The Trigger for Healthcare Transformation

Introduction

Pedometers, smart blood sugar meters, wireless EKGs, symptom trackers for patients with asthma, connected inhalers for COPD, ingestible sensors—the Internet of Things (IoT) has changed the game in the healthcare industry. According to a market research report, IoT Healthcare market is projected to grow to USD 158.07 Billion by 2022, at a CAGR of 30.8%1.

Increased demand for remote patient monitoring, consumer health consciousness, wearable devices and emergence of cloud-based IoT platforms are contributing to the growth of smart healthcare market. IoT offers myriad applications in healthcare that benefit patients, families and physicians alike. It enables interoperability, M2M communication, data movement to make healthcare service affordable and effective.

Innovative Healthcare solutions for ISV’s & Providers

Internet of Medical Things (IoMT), a healthcare application of the IoT technology, refers to a connected infrastructure of medical devices that feeds patient vitals into the cloud. IoMT plays a vital role in the healthcare industry to increase the accuracy, reliability, and productivity of electronic devices.

IoMT is often used to:

  • Ensure adherence to doctor’s orders
  • Improve patient hospital workflow
  • Provide healthcare providers the data gathered from medical devices for better diagnoses and treatment
  • Reduce inefficiencies and waste in the healthcare system

Key areas in which IoMT shapes healthcare include:

  • Catering to government regulations
  • Growing consumer demands on medical devices and equipment
  • Providing personalized healthcare through data automation and AI

Benefits of Internet of Medical Things

For Patients

  • Remote monitoring
  • Reduced response time in case of medical emergency
  • Reduced costs
  • Behavioral modification
  • Reduced Medicare costs as real-time resulting in fewer clinic visits

For Healthcare Service Providers

  • Optimal utilization of resources and infrastructure
  • Monitor patient status, disease progression
  • Enhanced patient support
  • Reduced risk

For Medical Device Manufacturers

  • Compatibility and uniformity of data available
  • Capability to sense and communicate health-related information to remote location
  • Improved drug management
  • Quality control methods in the production of drugs and medical devices

Innovations in IoMT – Future of Healthcare

According to a Frost & Sullivan analysis, the global IoMT market is expected to reach $72.02 billion by 2021, at a CAGR of 26.2%2.The IoMT market consists of smart devices – wearables and medical/vital monitors, strictly for healthcare use on the body, at home, or in a clinic or hospital settings. For example, someone who wears a FitBit to track his/her steps, the count of steps is tabulated on a smartphone via Bluetooth. The data is shared with the physician via Wi-Fi to provide feedback. From FitBit to physician’s report, it is the IoMT that connects patients, healthcare providers via technology with a sole purpose – better healthcare – easier and faster.

Here are some of the innovations in IoMT:

  • Vitals-tracking wearables – For regular activity monitoring and heart rate monitoring.
  • Smart implants – Ensure medical interventions are sought immediately. Eg. Pacemakers that communicate data with physicians via apps, glucose sensors to check diabetes glucose levels.
  • Medical Adherence Tools – Reminds patients when to take their medications.
  • Virtual Home Assistants – Robotic assistants helps in patient engagement, medication adherence and care coordination.
  • Personal Emergency Response Systems – Helps in fall detection, emergency assistance and navigation guidance for patients with Dementia, boundary perimeter breach alerts for patients with Alzheimer’s disease.
  • Smart Senior Homes – Helping elderly patients virtually communicate with care staff.
  • Digital Stethoscopes – Assist physicians in analyzing cardiac signals in real time during auscultation.
  • Kiosks – Improve access to informational services, pharmaceutical products, and telemedicine services.

“Prevention is better than cure”. So why not leverage the power of technology for better healthy lifestyle and prevent life-threatening diseases illnesses? It’s this line of thought that prompted Trigent to create innovative solutions for Healthcare Providers and ISVs.

To know more about how Trigent transforms the Healthcare Industry through the Internet of Things, please click here.

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Sources:
1 https://www.prnewswire.com/news-releases/iot-healthcare-market-worth-15807-billion-usd-by-2022-619971083.html
2 https://ww2.frost.com/news/press-releases/iomt-magic-bullet-reshape-coordinated-and-proactive-care-delivery/

Two Compelling Reasons for Application Modernization

Modernizing existing applications is about embracing change and it is not human to want to re-engineer something that is already working! However, the world today is about digitization, cloud transformation, robotics and analytics. In this brave new world, being stuck with legacy applications can be suicidal for businesses. In spite of the reasons for change being so explicitly clear, many organizations find it extremely difficult to migrate their legacy applications. The reason in most cases arises from the fear that existing systems and architecture may make migration complex and affect existing processes. In some cases the need to change is not clearly visible and modernization’s weighted advantages do not make a strong case for change. In a few cases it could simply be inertia.

The fear of change or modernization is the primary reason why many organizations are stuck with legacy systems. However, shifting economic and competitive landscapes demand organizations to continually reinvent their information environment. This is required to achieve scalability and cost savings – both vital for survival.

The advantages of modern architecture such as scalability, non-disruptive services and upgrades, easy deployment provide companies with the ammunition to move forward. While CIO’s may shudder with fear at the thought of mass changes to their IT structure, the opportunities out there are immense. For example, cloud has reached a level of maturity and reliability making it a viable substitute to IT infrastructure. Users demand more and their noise and clutter more voluble. Enterprise technology is cheaper and as good, if not even better than box software.

Two compelling reasons for migration:

User Expectations

Customers are growing accustomed to integrated experiences and that is a fact. Whether to do their banking transactions, booking airline tickets or ordering food, they expect their applications to exceed expectations. Uber, Airbnb, Netflix are the brain children of these expectations. They are giving customers what they want and that is helping their revenues to add up better and faster. According to a Forrester report, organizations modernize for a variety of reasons, but the common themes are faster response to rapidly changing markets, empowered customers, and nimble competitors. (“Application Modernization, Service by Microservice” –Forrester 11/20/2015)

Cost-Effective Options

Why pay more when you can get it for less? Makes absolute logical sense, which is why the cloud is enveloping the infrastructure space. Rigid, unwieldy networks are being replaced by secure, always available cloud infrastructure and there are multiple options available making it even more viable.

Open source technologies are great enablers of change. They are paving the way for businesses to keep ahead of technology innovation at an unimaginable pace.

We manage our clients’ mission critical applications, and help them focus on their strategic business goals

For example, a real estate company had a C++ thick-client, Windows only application. Integration with other applications was slow and difficult. Modernization resulted in a cloud-based web application which simplified usability resulting in increased volume of traffic to the site. The slick platform is scalable and user-friendly. For the real-estate company, the platform is a business enabler.

The central factor behind application modernization lies in retaining the platform’s ethos and adding features to enhance its power to perform better. When organizations stop thinking of their IT as separate from the business and instead see it as a business enabler the two clinchers given above will make absolute sense. As Gartner advises, “Application modernization efforts require an organizational-level strategy and plan that involves all aspects of the IT organization.

Can DataOps Help Data Scientists to Deliver Increased Business Value?

In the digitally transformed world, as businesses continue to grow, the pressure on data scientists to deliver workable models, in accelerated time is immense. In a typical scenario, when a valuable insight into the data has been seen, data scientists have to make this production ready, i.e. utilize this data through an organization and integrate it into the business process. However, it is difficult for data scientists to predict accurately how algorithms and models will perform in production, keeping in mind the fact that the conditions surrounding legacy data may not be applicable or even pertinent in evolving times.

Most of us are already familiar with DevOps, a practice that embraces collaboration of IT operations with software development resulting in faster pace for going to market. An offshoot of DevOps, DataOps is a buzzword making its rounds in the world of data science. DataOps is designed to do away with roadblocks when developing or deploying data-intensive applications like the predictive models build by data scientists. Gartner has defined DataOps as “The hub for collecting and distributing data, with a mandate to provide controlled access to systems of record for customer and marketing performance data, while protecting privacy, usage restrictions and data integrity”.

Related: Make data-driven decisions to improve business results and manage risk

DataOps maximizes process change and organizational realignment to smoothen data management by everyone who has access/handles data. DataOps connects the dots between data collection and preparation. It calls for a democratized atmosphere where data infrastructure is centralized and available to all stakeholders. It requires crossing organizational and cultural barriers that separate data and people and bringing the two data audiences together. On one side we have the data operators or people who are responsible for infrastructure, security, etc., and on the other side we have the actual consumers of data, the people responsible for using data to drive change, such as data scientists. What DataOps does is, it brings these two audiences together eliminating friction points. DataOps focuses on governance, operations, delivery, data transformation and version control. In a complex technology landscape of legacy systems and cloud solutions, DataOps will help to leverage the right technology for the right solutions, and reduce friction.

To make this model work it is important to not treat data scientists as separate from the end product. They become part of the team to analyze, question and identify the datasets that need to be analyzed. This information can then be handed over to the data team. There are a lot of considerations to made when implementing a DataOps model.
Already, there are several DataOps models making the rounds and organizations are exploring this methodology.

To summarize, DataOps will help to ensure that models which perform well in a lab, perform the same way in production.