Daily Tech Digest - March 24, 2021

How Machine Learning Enables Clinical Forecasting, Visualization

“The main problem with using machine learning in clinical care – and being able to make changes therein – is that there are many preprocessing design decisions that will affect the performance of the model. With this tool, healthcare experts are able to select those at their own location so that when they go to train these models, they're focused on the very specific task at hand,” said Weiss. By seeing the impact of their design choices, users can understand their data more completely and adjust machine learning settings for their analysis. The tool allows healthcare experts to develop algorithms tailored to their patients and organizations. “If you were to use a risk scoring system from another site, they might have defined the population based on the patient data that were available at entry and at the beginning of the hospitalization. But then the physician might want to have a risk score for a little bit later in treatment, maybe the first or second day after they've entered and they've already been stabilized,” Weiss explained. “The outside model will not be tailored to that population and could give misleading predictions. Using TL-Lite, the physician can quickly train a model with the risk profiles for the particular population they’re interested in evaluating.”

On the Road to Good Cloud Security: Are We There Yet?

Although most IT security teams are well past being the department of no when it comes to cloud initiatives, many are still struggling with how to best secure those cloud-based assets — at least when they are tasked with doing so ... The research also uncovered a disconnect that raises the question: Is that confidence misplaced? When asked to rate the level of visibility the security team had into their organization's use of specific cloud service types, including software-as-a-service (SaaS), platform-as-a-service (PaaS), and infrastructure-as-a-service (IaaS), that same level of confidence faltered. For example, when asked to rate the security team's level of visibility into their organization's SaaS usage on a five-point scale, with 1 being the highest level, only 18% gave it a 1 and 27% gave it a 2. Visibility into PaaS and IaaS was rated as only slightly better. At the same time, respondents' knowledge of the shared responsibility model was found to be lacking. When asked to indicate whether the customer or cloud provider was responsible for securing a list of seven different elements that make up an IaaS account, around half of respondents gave the wrong answer.

Digital Identity: Fulfilling Consumer Cravings for Elevated ‘Digital Experience’

Whilst some organisations have embraced this potential to strengthen their bond with consumers, others have not been as future-forward, even though 82% of business executives recognise that customer experience is directly intertwined with revenue growth, according to Forrester. It is no longer sufficient for organisations to ‘digitise’ through newly hosting existing products and services on online platforms. Consumer delight is won through the ability to identify market gaps, capitalise on the latest technological capabilities and improve upon existing standards and quality of life that is already on offer. If it is not clear how a product, service and experience is able to add to their existing digital portfolio it is not pushing market boundaries or entertaining consumer curiosities. The sensitivity of this digital shift is clear; companies must ensure that throughout their digital strategy they consider consumer experience as the key driver for change. This means listening to the wants and needs of consumer trends, working along the tide of consumer behaviour to ensure their business remains attractive, socially relevant, and profitable.

How agile can power frontline excellence

The strategic choices that companies make often don’t filter down to the hearts and minds of frontline workers. But what if sales employees could exercise informed judgment, become entrepreneurs within the enterprise, and conduct short-term experiments and share ideas on what works? Magic can happen if frontline employees understand how their targets link to strategic objectives and how their work contributes to wider company success. In agile sales organizations, the average frontline employee receives more information and is included in communications about the purpose of, and strategic choices for, the organization as a whole. Communication is more inclusive and interactive. These agile organizations foster dialogue and understand how sales functions can drive the strategic agenda using customer feedback. They operate from the belief that empowered employees will make more and better emotional connections with customers, leading to greater engagement on both ends and a stronger, longer, and broader relationship as a result. In addition, in agile sales organizations, the number of performance indicators is drastically reduced to a set of clear outcomes to focus energy on the things that matter most through the lens of the strategic aspiration.

Open Source vs. Proprietary DataOps

One advantage of open source is in its flexibility and availability. Open source licenses, excluding the SSPL, gives users incredible freedom over what they can do with the software. If you have the skill, you can compose a DataOps pipeline that can take any data, enrich it and route it to the right place. That flexibility, though, is also a downside. While you can do anything you want, you also have to do it. Open source projects like Kafka, Pulsar, Spark, Airflow and Flink don’t know anything about the data they’re handling. That’s up to the developer. This may not sound like a problem, but today’s data engineers are handling dozens of data types in hundreds – or even thousands – of different formats. If you add in operational data, you’re also looking at data flooding in from firewalls, containers, SNMP traps and HTTP sources. And that’s just what’s coming at you. You also need to fetch data from object stores, multiple activity hubs and other messaging sources. No open source project natively supports the variety and volumes of data required in a modern DataOps pipeline.

What’s the Difference Between Solution Architecture and Design?

As a Technical Lead, I was the communication point for my team as well as leading the actual solution delivery, getting my hands dirty. As a Solution Architect, I became untethered from delivery, sitting outside of the teams doing the actual work. But in both roles, I was producing designs. So is the distinction down to whether or not you write code yourself? Is the answer that Architects don’t get their hands dirty? Absolutely not. That’s just a feature of the organisations you work with, and what they expect from their Solution Architects. My experiences as a Solution Architect just so happen to be with organisations where the role doesn’t touch code — either as a result of outsourcing Delivery or having internal Product Engineers to do the build. Other organisations will have Solution Architects more embedded within Delivery teams, t-shaping to provide additional value. ... In the Agile organisations I’ve worked for over the last few years, Solution Architecture has been best deployed in the early stages of a change to produce a vision of the solution and how it fits into the existing landscape, identifying impacts, opportunities and risks associated with the change.

4 Ways Your Small Business Can Benefit From Blockchain

The first thing a business can do to adopt blockchain technology is to simply accept cryptocurrency as a method of payment. What signals more of a commitment to blockchain than allowing customers to pay with bitcoin or other cryptocurrencies? The rollout will require a lot of planning and testing, as traditional merchant services are not set up to accept bitcoin. As such, a small business will need to evaluate and spend money on a digital wallet, a merchant gateway or a combination of services needed to accept the cryptocurrency from customers. ... Businesses can use blockchain for smart contracts, which are basically self-verifying, self-enforcing contracts. Stored within a blockchain ledger, the contract is recorded in a way that cannot be changed or manipulated. Smart contract examples include commercial leases, agreements with vendors or suppliers and even employee contracts. Smart contracts offer small businesses a level of protection it would otherwise never be able to afford. The middleman — usually an attorney — would not be needed in a smart contract, and as such, a business would have lower costs.

What’s limiting digital transformation initiatives?

CXOs are aware of the need to adopt a cloud-first approach and change the way IT is delivered in response to the digital acceleration brought about by COVID-19. Many have already done so, with 91% increasing their cloud services usage in the first months of the pandemic, and the majority will continue to do so, with 60% planning to add more cloud services to their IT delivery strategy. However, while businesses recognize the need to accelerate their DX journeys over the next 12 months, 40% acknowledge that economic uncertainty poses a threat to their DX initiatives. As organizations increasingly adopt modern IT services at rapid pace, inadequate data protection capabilities and resources will lead to DX initiatives faltering, even failing. CXOs already feel the impact, with 30% admitting that their DX initiatives have slowed or halted in the past 12 months. The impediments to transformation are multi-faceted, including IT teams being too focused on maintaining operations during the pandemic (53%), a dependency on legacy IT systems (51%) and a lack of IT staff skills to implement new technology (49%). 

Apple’s iPhone factories are Industry 4.0 rock stars

Apple being Apple, we don’t know too much about how the company and its manufacturing partners are making use of AI, Internet of Things and connectivity on the factory floor, but we have seen a few examples, such as its Daisy recycling robot. We do know that Foxconn’s state of the art "lights off' Shenzen factory is highly-automated with robots deployed across the production line, reducing its reliance on human workers. The WEF has praised that factory, noting a 30% increase in production efficiency and a 15% lower inventory cycle. Broadening our understanding a little, it claims the factory "utilizes a fully automated manufacturing process," and has an "automated optimization system for Machine Learning and AI devices, an intelligent self-maintenance system, and an intelligent real-time monitoring system.” Foxconn’s Chengdu plant has seen efficiency increase by 200% through the adoption of mixed reality, AI, and IoT technologies. Foxconn says it put these technologies in place to resolve rapid business growth when it faced a lack of skilled workers, presumably on the iPhone production line.

Remote work, one year in: 5 ways to boost mental health

Research consistently shows that social interaction plays an essential role in well-being, which in turn has a positive impact on employee engagement and performance. Building social connections is much easier when you’re in the office; chats at the coffee machine or catch-ups over lunch are all part of normal working life. If someone is stressed, you can usually pick up on the signs. However, opportunities to communicate diminish when you’re working from home, and it can be difficult to know how people are really feeling. Make a conscious effort to encourage personal connections to help prevent people from feeling isolated. This is even more important given social distancing measures, which have left many without their usual support network. Check in regularly with your team members on an individual basis, especially those with heavy workloads or who live alone. Build in time at the start of calls for a general catch-up. Not everyone is comfortable chatting on the phone, so also consider using instant messaging to keep the channels of communication open.

Quote for the day:

“Successful people are not gifted; they just work hard, then succeed on purpose.” -- G.K. Nielson

No comments:

Post a Comment