Enterprise 2016

Most clouds today tend to be defined by the engineering features and business models of their providers, not the needs of their enterprise customers.

Ericsson Cloud, however, is focused on the needs of the enterprise customer.

Running an enterprise business on others’ people clouds who have their own security and governance rules may be different from a cloud adopting enterprise wanting to “turn IT infrastructure from a cost into an asset.” Each organization desires specific governance and compliance policy as part of a social contract that best fits the organization’s goals.

Big Data is Mainstream

Gartner dropped Big Data from the 2015 Hype Cycle for Advanced Analytics and Data Science. That means that all data is big data, the term is no longer hype, but a day-to-day reality we must face. There is no such thing as small data from now on.

Democratic Access to Analytics

Easy-to-use browser-based analytics let general employees answer business questions. Companies will begin to support everyday analysts with data, tools, and training. A number of BI (Business Intelligence) applications such as TableauQlikviewTibco’s Spotfire or Kensho’s Statsbox, plus many more, present data in formats suitable to influence decisions.

These tools work best when using meaningful data. Quoting a previous Ericsson blog, the goal of an industrial cloud is to offer:

A much more data-centric view of the world, (which) means we can actually get to the point where “normal” people (meaning you and me and everybody else) are able to locate and read the data from somewhere. A lot of very interesting things can happen as a result.”

Data is a Conversation Starter

Huffington Post’s Why a Chart Should Start, Not End, a Conversation makes the point that interactive data generates ideas and thoughts. Clear visualizations can awaken dormant intuitions. You may be familiar with Gapminder, the organization set up by Hans Rosling. Gapminder seeks to “unveil the beauty of statistics for a fact-based world view.” Gapminder makes their data available for download. This gives us the ability to be use their charts as starting points for conversations. Hans Rosling knows that “having the data, is not enough. “I have to show it to you in form that gives you joy and understanding.”

Hans Rosling’s 200 Countries, 200 Years, 4 Minutes – The Joy of Stats – BBC Four has nearly seven millions views on YouTube. I found this video the most fascinating way to watch data. Data that speaks and has emotions. Data that is understood and makes us act with ]unprecedented precision.

The power of visualization is also in art. Listen and see the “Nocturne in E-flat major, opus 9, number 2, piano solo, by Frederic Chopin,” performed by Stephen Malinowski, accompanied by a computer-generated animated score. The music has a new clarity and beauty that made it accessible for all people.

Predictive Analysis

Just as dynamic charts are conversation openers, predictive analysis can also start a conversation.

The Arab Jewish sage Maimonides (also known as Rambam) who lived in the 12th century pointed out the Bible’s prohibition against humans predicting the future.

Quartz magazine describes recent research proving that ordinary people can improve their predictive ability through training:

Humans are inherently bad at predicting the future. It’s a defect all too apparent in the corporate world, and in the business of managing complex geopolitics.”

But some people have better track records than others, and the ways in which they think about questions and arrive at their projections offer clues as to how the rest of us might become more successful forecasters.

A group of researchers isolated these traits in a study tied to a geopolitical forecasting tournament arranged by an R&D group run by the US director of national intelligence. Five university-backed teams competed; they were asked to predict 199 world events, such as whether Syrian president Bashar al-Assad would remain in power, and whether North Korea would conduct another successful nuclear weapons test.

The University of Pennsylvania psychologists behind the winning squad have published a fascinating paper (pdf) breaking down their approach to building a better forecasting team. It’s just a matter of time before we see courses for improving predictive ability in humans.

Ericsson’s scalable Tag, Track and Locate data-centric capability can make the “Attributable Internet” possible for the first time ever.

This analytical power in any enterprise brings up the question of ethics. Facebook conducted an undisclosed psychological study on nearly 700,000 of its users in 2012. Facebook’s COO apologized, but the study revealed the lethal potency of data and analytics. Every responsible organization needs to include an analytics governance component.

Benoit Mandelbrot, the creator of multi-fractals, in 2008 wrote in an article in Scientific American titled How Fractals Can Explain What’s Wrong with Wall Street:

“The new modeling techniques are designed to cast a light of order into the seemingly impenetrable thicket of the financial markets. They also recognize the mariner’s warning that, as recent events demonstrate, deserves to be heeded: On even the calmest sea, a gale may be just over the horizon.”

Most “amateur” analysts do not grasp these subtleties. The predictions can tell you the probability that an earthquake will occur, but not the day and the hour when it will strike. The decisions we make based on predictive analytics are in the end better-informed human decisions. We reach a clarity never possible before.

Agile Development and the Deployment of New Applications

Using the cloud platform, there are two different sets of skills to code and deploy container applications. Quoting from Why Docker is a winner versus VMs:

Developers and Operations often have very different attitudes when it comes to choosing tools and environments. Developers want to use the next shiny thing, we want to use Node.js, Rust, Go, Microservices, Cassandra, Hadoop, Operations want to use the same as they used yesterday, what they used last year, because it is proven, it works!

But, this is where Docker shines. Operations are satisfied because they only have to care about one thing. They have to support deploying containers. Developers are also happy. They can develop with whatever the fad of the day is and then just stick it into a container and throw it over the wall to Operations.

A container is nothing but a collaborative contract between devs and devops, and any cloud must offer the best platform to attain maximum agility in deploying revenue making applications. Ericsson Cloud uses the Apcera HCOS platform to implement the agreements between devs and devops

…to be continued

Data & Analytics

Miha Ahronovitz

I graduated in engineering from Israel Institute of Technology, I am an alumini of Hass Business School at UC Berkeley in product management executive program. I was a co-founder of Gridware, acquired by Sun Microsystems in 2000, becoming the product manager of Sun Grid Engine. I am active in a group called The New Dandelion , fighting for the rights of young people who are highly functional autistic to gain a professional degree and become employed in mainstream companies.

Miha Ahronovitz