Friday, September 16, 2016

Data Management and Data Analytics

Information and data management is getting more challenging these days, with the velocity of data we are producing and the tendency of increased data production. Actually, the key for the solution is beyond information and data management. It is about how and what data should be collected.

I still remembered the data collection from web sites for data preservation. The amount of data growing makes me wonder even we can store them, how we can catch up in processing them to make them meaningful, e.g. to transform the data into information, let alone transform information into useful knowledge, or perform data analytics. If data processing speeds continue lagging behind data collection speeds, the data collected will not be useful, but add burden to the slow process. If more meaningless data involved, it’ll add more burden to the process. Therefore, we need to improve the data collection machanism, to collect the data with purpose, e.g. use a Service Oriented Data Collection and Management mechanism, and collect the data cleanly, or have a data cleansing process in place.

Friday, June 24, 2016

Digital Age and Current Economy

Any man-made systems are bearing their limitations, due to the limitations of human. Therefore, these systems will run down eventually just a matter of time. The evidence can be found in the stream of human civilizations, let alone the man-made computer systems. This includes the man-made social systems and structures. To survive, we need continuous evolution and revolution. The current revolution towards Digital Age can be considered as a case in line.
Our current economic, financial, and social structures are mostly established to suit Industrial Age, which are distorting in Digital Age. For example, the stock markets were established to connect investors with businesses for their investments to business growth, and to benefit from such activities. However, the stock trading becomes the major business of its own since the online-trading was born in 90s, and the trading techniques and tools are improving continuously with Internet and digital technology advancement. We can see that the trading volumes dramatically increased since 90s, and began to decrease after 2009 recession. However, the financial engineering stayed in its milestone scales, due to government rescue. Gradually, the economic scale in financial engineering surpassed the one in Main Street productions, which caused and worsened wealth divide, since the rich people have more spare money to participate in financial engineering. In our capitalism system, people are chasing capital gains naturally, doesn’t matter it’s from Main Street or Wall Street.

This trend has to be broken for the society to be productive again. The current trend of connected digital world with shared economies, shared infrastructures, shared resources, and shared knowledge is shining the light for making this to happen. We may have to go through a dark period of time before dawning, such as in current stagnated world economy. The important thing is that we should know the direction we are heading to, and to build into it.
We need visionary leaders in this world!

Digital Enterprise Architecture Forum: Architecture in Digital World

Digital Enterprise Architecture Forum: Architecture in Digital World: It always makes me think about the differences between the architectures in digital world (e.g. for digital enterprise/entities, solu...

Digital Enterprise Architecture Forum: Digital World, Shared Economy, and Brexit

Digital Enterprise Architecture Forum: Digital World, Shared Economy, and Brexit: The hottest topics of today are about Brexit, which has been viewed as British’s action against the concept of united Europe and world u...

Digital World, Shared Economy, and Brexit

The hottest topics of today are about Brexit, which has been viewed as British’s action against the concept of united Europe and world unity. However, the reality could be that it may enhance the pace and opportunities for UK to connect with the world with freedom in a more organic manner, which is enabled by virtual space connections. Digital revolution and shared economy will be the trend to stay, and the world will be connected with or without human bureaucracy and organizations. The world is growing to be a unity in this sense.

Shared economy and world unity are not measured by man-made structure and organizations; rather it is measured by underneath organic growth and connections. In the contrary, the looser the human imposed control, the easier for the organic growth of the underneath connections, although we should balance governance with organic growth to maintain the order of this world.

The digital economy enabled connections are evolving to connect the end points and eliminate the middle layers for efficiency and cost effectiveness (e.g. world is becoming flat), which are enabled by Internet connections, service oriented infrastructures (cloud computing is an enabler), Internet of Things (IoT), and many other technology advancements with human adoptions. This shared economy is irreversible, and is different from man-made connections via politics and bureaucratic organizations, though we need both to balance in this human world.

Also, capital is live blood for economy that flows through the vessels via digital connections, it likes water in nature, will flow to places where cost are low and have better potential for investment gains. Internet provides the pipes that enable the flow and make the flow easier across the world.

Thursday, June 23, 2016

Architecture in Digital World

It always makes me think about the differences between the architectures in digital world (e.g. for digital enterprise/entities, solutions, and systems) and the architectures in physical world (e.g. for buildings and cities). The later has mature disciplines with less changeable targets, while the former does not have such fortunate. On another hand, the former also provides more opportunities to explore, to make progress, and to evolve towards maturity and discipline.

For architecture in digital world, the aspects to explore include:

1)     The Conceptual Model
This is the starting point and also the foundation layer for architecture creation. The architecture concept generation for digital world entity construction is more abstract than the one for physical world. In addition, it also has to consider the interconnections and mutual relationships among the widely-networked entities, as indicated earlier in my article “Inter-Enterprise Architecture”. A well-established conceptual model has to consider this world-wide networked environment with shared economy, as well as potential activity models.

2)     Open and Flexibility
Open and flexibility are characteristics must to have for architectures in digital world, due to the continuous advancement in technologies, business requirements, and people behaviors in the inter-connected environments. Architectures must be able to evolve along the way. Open and flexibility are usually associated with technology-agnostic concepts, models, and solutions. To enable them, the creative, well-thought-of, and solid conceptual and logical architectures and frameworks should be in place, before they can be further developed and be implemented by various technology options.

3)     Guidance + Governance vs. Organic Growth
It is the intrinsic role of architecture to provide guidance and governance for its engineering construction, as is in physical world. However, in digital world, there should be a balance between architectural guidance + governance and organic growth, due to human limitations in comprehend the widely-connected big pictures in digital world. If it is too strong in guidance + governance, human limitations could restrict the meaningful natural growth for further advancement. If there is too much in organic growth without regulation and guidance, things may end up in a place where we don’t want to be, or even be dangerous considering the development of artificial intelligence (AI) and smart machines with self-learning capabilities.

4)     On-Demand Requirements
Standardized production is mainly associated with Industrial Age, while Digital Age is associated with on-demand production and services. Product and service tends to be provided in on-demand fashion to meet the specific requirements, which are one-on-one based, instead of mass production. The architectures have to enable such capabilities, which means unique in creation and flexible in customization.

5)     Discipline vs. Standard
Architecture practice should form discipline to become mature. However, it may be hard to imagine any standards to form. Actually, we don’t have standards for building architectures or for city planning in physical world either, which is how we get landmark buildings and new cities, although we do need and have standards for engineering. Current architecture practices in digital world are lean to engineering aspects too much, which lost their own identities as architecture practices in certain degree.

In summary: architectures in digital world have both similarities and differences from the ones in physical world. For architectures in digital world, we have seen too much influence from engineering disciplines, instead of forming one for its own. It is worthwhile to explore the discipline of architectures for the continuous evolving digital world.

Thursday, June 16, 2016

Federal Forum and Step to New Economy

Yesterday, I attended the “2016 Federal Forum: The Intersection of Innovation and Action” in Washington D.C. Thanks Brocade Communication Systems for organizing such great event. The messages conveyed are clear and in good timing, especially with the directional keynotes from Tony Scott, U.S. CIO, Executive Office of the President, and Terry Halvorsen, CIO of DOD. Government is looking for proposals for next generation IT. With Silicon Valley tech fever winding down, this is the time that we should adopt the great new technology innovations to enhance the main street economy, in both private and public sectors. We should carry further the innovations to business applications and adoptions.

It is not unknown that the IT spending in business programs has grown rapidly. However, such growth is mainly due to the increasing maintenance and operation cost dealing with the silo legacy systems accumulated since 80s and 90s. As Tony mentioned, about 80% Federal IT spending is on operation and maintenance, while other 20% has been used mostly to support policy changes that imposed to systems. There has been little capital spending that supports new system constructions. However, this is supposedly to change now. In order to take advantages from the new generation technology innovations and to evolve into digital new economy, government is looking for ideas to build next generation IT. Action is Now!

In order to build the next generation systems, the big picture understanding is essential, due to the inter-connection and inter-relationship in currently Internet-connected environment. The notion and practice of Inter-Enterprise Architecture (as introduced in previous articles) can play an important role in this endeavor. Technology innovations provide us with point solutions and better construction components and materials; we also need next level innovations to put things together with new technology adoptions and utilizations in business domains.

We need to build common infrastructures for shared economy, where the business and operation models need to be well-designed. We may need to rethink the currently private ownership of the infrastructures for public utilization, how far this can go, who should be the owners of various common infrastructures in operation (e.g. for different business domains, geographical areas, communities, etc.), and what the eco-system should look like. The Inter-Enterprise Architecture is in a good position to unit them and to help new model designs.