Daily Tech Digest - December 11, 2022

Designing out of difficult times

Uniquely challenging times call for unique approaches, not the standard playbook. Design offers this fresh perspective. McKinsey research has shown that companies that embrace the business value of design are better able to respond to shifting landscapes and generate improved performance. From 2013 to 2018, these companies had TSR that were 56 percentage points higher than that of their peers.3 In addition, companies that continued or increased their investment in innovation during the 2008–09 recession generated three times more growth compared with their industry peers in the three to five years that followed—in many cases leapfrogging their competitors.4 These results make sense given that a recession doesn’t mean that markets and customer needs suddenly stop evolving. In fact, such evolutions often speed up. For these reasons, we believe design should join topics such as finance, strategy, and talent on the CEO’s agenda. In this article, we explore specific examples where design has the potential to create significant value and boost an organization’s resilience. Executives can use the design function to unleash the power of creativity in strategy and problem solving in at least five important areas (exhibit).

Microsoft’s Distributed Application Framework Orleans Reaches Version 7

In Orleans, the desired distributed functionality is modelled as a grain, an addressable unit of execution that can send and receive messages to other grains and maintain its own state if necessary. The grains are virtual actors, persisted to durable storage and activated in memory on demand, in the same sense as virtual memory is an abstraction over a computer's physical memory. The grains had to inherit from the Grain base class in the previous versions of Orleans. Now the grains can be POCO objects. To get access to the code previously available only inside the Grain class, they can now implement the IGrainBase interface instead. The Orleans runtime keeps track of the activation/deactivation and finding/invoking grains as necessary. It also keeps clusters of silos, the containers for the execution of grains. The communication with the Orleans runtime is done using the client library. The last Orleans major version before 7.0 was version 3.0, released in 2019. The planned 4.0 release was later ported to .NET 7 and renamed to 7.0 to match the broader .NET 7 ecosystem launches.

Collaboration on IoT could transform risk and insurance

IoT offers an opportunity to fundamentally transform the insurance and risk management proposition in the large commercial space, to the mutual benefit of both customers and carriers. Networks of partnerships and IoT ecosystems will enable insurers to bundle technology, risk management services and risk transfer, while the flow of real-time risk data and insights would pave the way for a range of new and innovative solutions. However, these benefits can only be fully realised when IoT is installed in close collaboration with risk management and other business functions that stand to benefit or that would be impacted. Risk managers and risk experts play a vital role in transforming IoT data into a meaningful tool, and are ideally positioned to facilitate these discussions with internal stakeholders, as well as insurers. We are only at the start of this exciting journey, but collaboration will be critical for understanding customer needs and creating new solutions.

4 Steps to Help Organizations Embrace Risk from Emerging Technology

Particularly as companies invest in emerging technologies, business leaders need to listen more to their risk and compliance functions and integrate them into conversations about how those technologies will be implemented. Artificial intelligence is a great example: when companies rush to implement systems to accelerate efficiency and analyze trends, they risk creating disproportionate bias and violating personal privacy through data sourcing. Risk professionals need to be at the table from beginning to end to make sure that an evolving regulatory environment and other pitfalls are fully accounted for in the organization’s implementation process. While investment in risk management technology is helpful, it is insufficient without making structural changes to the organization to prioritize the risk function company-wide. ... When adopted purposefully, emerging technologies can make companies more efficient, more profitable, and better stewards for their employees, clients and communities. Risk is often unavoidable for early adopters of emerging technologies, but it can be mitigated if C-suites equip their risk functions with a holistic strategy and a voice in key business decisions.

EU fails to protect human rights in surveillance tech transfers

In its decision, the Ombudsman said that, having examined the documentation surrounding several EUTFA projects, there was no indication that proper human rights impact assessments were carried out. “The Ombudsman has identified shortcomings in that the Commission was not able to demonstrate that the measures in place ensured a coherent and structured approach to assessing the human rights impacts of EUTFA projects,” it said. “The Ombudsman finds it regrettable that the EUTFA projects in question were not subject to a clear human rights impact assessment, presented either as separate document or a separate section in the action documents. It further noted, for example, that despite the EUTFA projects covered by its inquiry being implemented in countries with major governance issues and poor human rights records, the analysis conducted by the Commission focused more on logistical issues, and that any assessments of the human rights impacts were “sporadic and unstructured” at best. It added that while the Commission itself considers the measures in place – including its multilayer approval process of projects; the use of specific “action” documentation for projects; and the possible suspension of funds – to be sufficient in safeguarding human rights, “the Ombudsman disagrees”.

Defining a Data-Driven Culture to Turn Uncertainty into Possibility

The limiting factor often lies in the design of organizational structures, especially in those focused on executing or exploiting current business models. The ultra-focus on efficiency here may lead to leaders stifling key impulses that lead to change such as seeking new data or exploring new possibilities that are also inherently a basic human attribute. Recognizing this need for change in uncertain environments is a critical first step and a strong data-driven culture values and promotes curiosity among its employees, and fosters creativity as an outcome to turn uncertainty into possibility. Nathan Furr, a celebrated author and professor at Institut Européen d’Administration des Affaires (INSEAD) has studied uncertainty based on interviews and observations across world-renowned leaders, innovators, and entrepreneurs. His studies provide strong evidence that leaders can be trained to face uncertainty and as result, discover new sources of revenue not seen before. You need to start by asking how your industry must evolve to meet the challenges of new technologies. 

Is the Hassle of Sharing Data Worth the Value it Creates?

When deciding whether to address customer demands that require collection, use and sharing of their personal data, D&A leaders must consider the balance of economic and consumer value. Too often, a focus on regulations and legalese gets in the way of this conversation. Legal discussions about data-driven initiatives are often constrained by risk avoidance mindsets, which limits business impact and value. To prioritize business outcomes, executive leaders must focus data collection and monetization discussions on revenue generation, cost savings, and balanced risk mitigation. Start data sharing and monetization efforts by identifying known desired business outcomes, as well as unknown opportunities, for quantifiable economic benefit. Organizations can expend sizable investments for personal data rights, including the right to use/reuse and share/reshare data, but not all rights procured will match your business case, be relevant to consumer demand, or even be enforceable, resulting in economic waste. Invest resources to obtain legal rights to locate, use and share the “right” data to match your targeted monetization use case.

Privacy-first data via data mesh: migrating governance to federated delegation

As you are building organizational co-ownership and shared responsibility via federation, you also need to design systems that allow for federated design, development and use. This means pushing your architects to think about data governance in a federated manner, which might be new for them! For privacy experts at your organization, this means working closely with your information security and technical counterparts. How can we implement the privacy goals set by the organization in our architecture and software? How does our architecture design support privacy first? You may need to spend time exchanging knowledge to get to a place where this conversation can happen more fluidly and in the same language. If technical leaders at your organization haven’t already heard about Privacy Engineering — this is a great place for them to start learning the current technologies, processes, design and theory around incorporating privacy in a technical environment. 

Stakeholders want more than AI Bill of Rights guidance

The AI Bill of Rights offers guidance and resources to businesses, but is not an enforceable law, meaning businesses and federal agencies don't need to comply with the ethical AI principles it lays out, Engler said. Instead, the AI Bill of Rights catalyzes federal agencies to act on the guidance and points the way for policymakers to consider AI regulation, said Harlan Yu, executive director of technology and equity nonprofit Upturn, based in Washington, D.C. "This document in the long term, will be judged not by what's on paper but all the concrete actions that are going to flow from this document, particularly from the federal agencies," Yu said during the panel discussion. "We're talking about prospective rule-making, enforcement actions, regulatory guidance and legislative actions that really need to put these principles into practice." The AI Bill of Rights applies to all automated systems that significantly impact people, such as AI decision-making systems for housing, employment and healthcare-related decisions, said Sorelle Friedler, OSTP's assistant director for data and democracy and a panelist.

Does Enterprise Architecture belong in IT?

The belief among the panelists was that EA is a core component in delivering business value. They all saw themselves as acting on behalf of the business to support business objectives. I wondered if, perhaps, the reason some EAs wanted to move to the business was because they believed they would have more visibility and more purpose there. As if to echo my thoughts, at least one attendee was not totally confident that shifting to the business would would have the desired effect. Mats Berglund from Ericsson, wanted to understand why Enterprise Architects have a “kind of complex” about where they sit. Instead of asking whether we should report into this or that part of the organization, he said, “We should be asking ourselves, as EAs, what are we giving the business?” Mats said it didn't matter that EA was in IT. Enterprise Architects should continuously prove their value to the business wherever they sit. Their contribution, after all, is what makes EAs credible advisors to the business. Returning for a moment to Dominik’s Söhnle’s thesis, he makes the point there that part of this "IT or the business" tension arises from a lack of business focus in some of the EA tools on the market. 

Quote for the day:

"There is no "one" way to be a perfect leader, but there are a million ways to be a good one." -- Mark W. Boyer

No comments:

Post a Comment