|By Kevin Benedict||
|June 30, 2014 08:45 AM EDT||
My colleague Peter Rogers shares how his team is developing strategies for merging creative forces with real-world projects and delivering rapid beta products. This is a big challenge as many of you know! Enjoy!
In this article I will introduce the following:
- The concept of ‘Creativity meets Technology'
- A new form of resourcing which combines education with recruitment
- The next generation of web application development
- The relevance to iOS 8 development
- An example of service design being used to help companies harness their workforce
I begin with the following question: What happens when Creativity meets Technology? Studio 13 is Cognizant's Beta Studio. Our strategy is to start with Service Design and build-up from there to offer actualisations of creative visions. We apply the following:
- Deep understanding of people
We strive to offer the next generational wave of services that are generationally symbiotic with our populace. What does that mean? It means rather than just designing creative visions, we want to back them up with a technological blueprint which is achievable today, and then offer some level of future proofing.
The technology component is of critical importance. By considering technology as a parallel to creativity it takes us beyond a Service Design Studio and gives us the power to bring Beta products to market quickly and efficiently with a carefully defined handover point to the massive scalability of a traditional consultancy. It makes us a Beta Studio with the scalability of a consultancy and that is our ultimate goal.
The more time I spend in technology though, the more I realise I should be spending time thinking about people. A digital transformation can only be successful if the people come along on that journey. Too many times we suggest a new technology without asking the developers. The impact of technology on people is as important as the technology itself.
With Google Glass finally launching in the UK we will see the challenges with the law in regards to driving a vehicle while potentially distracted, potentially recording a film in a cinema and spying on people in public places. The way people react to this technology is probably the most important aspect of wearable technology and certainly Steve Mann devoted a large portion of his time to the sociological aspects.
Let me share my recent experience. We opened a Nearshore Centre in Europe. We started by hiring, training and on-boarding students. It took three months for them to be ready to work for a world class financial institution. I have long complained about the merits of resourcing methodologies, so why not hire the people fresh from an area of large unemployment, personally train them and then arrange for commercial experience to follow. Of course we needed to filter the students for aptitude to learn and English skills, and most importantly to get customer buy-in upfront. We chose a location where students were hungry for work and looking to prove their skills in the real-world. The added bonus here is that we were able to also solve unemployment challenges and provide these young adults a chance to kickstart their career.
This sounds difficult and it is. First, we needed a University, of which we found a suitable location and acquired a floor to build lecture theatres and secure network connectivity to the customer. Second we needed eager students which took a lot of filtering and a dedicated customer buy-in session from one of the University halls. Third we needed a teacher, and this is where I came in. I did not want to teach the team in the local language, as the end customer was in a different country and spoke a different language. Luckily my wife is Czech and I speak none of the language, so I constantly find myself communicating in near telepathic and body linguistics to get my point across. This three-point plan was enough to open a Nearshore Centre where we successfully trained and employed our first batch of students.
What was I teaching the students? The next generation of web frameworks - Web 3.0. Web 3.0 brings us governance. Gone are the days of fly-by-night JQuery Web Apps consisting of 10,000 lines of code inside a single function. The decade of 'Write an App in 30 seconds' long expired its sell by date and in its place a generation burnt by the promises of yesteryear and eager to consider what happens in the next 6 months of a project. Life cycle management is the new 30 second app. Of course you cannot trust people to actually do governance these days as most people will just self-govern and who governs the governor? The answer is simple, choose a framework which has governance built into it.
We used a next generational workflow using technologies like Jade, Compass, Jasmine and the philosophies of Test Driven Development and Continual Integration.
We also introduced the MEAN stack (MongoDB, Express, Angular and Node) which allowed us to use MongoDB as a Service offerings (like MongoLab) in combination with JSFiddle. This in turn allowed us to prototype, teach from code examples and share code snippets. In means that the students can start programming from day one without having to set up dedicated environments.
I believe this is the most reliable and future proof web development stack. This is what I am currently teaching at the micro-University. The most important aspect here is the people. Training is not easy. Training in a locale with a different language and a populace of mostly graduates possessing a general lack of cutting edge commercial experience, is even harder. If it works then we have a new form of combined resourcing, recruitment and education which is ready for the next decade of staffing requirements. I give this the handle of 'Edu-cruitment' which is the combination of education and recruitment which focuses largely on the people aspect.
On the last day of the course Apple announced Swift for iOS 8. Whilst a million Objective-C programmers shed a silent (and not so silent) tear, a whole new batch of hungry students were born overnight. Of course on flicking through a few Swift guides it became abundantly clear that Apple's plan was to lower the point of enter for App developers. This appears to involve taking a strong steer from ECMAScript 6 and CoffeeScript. After teaching both the languages for many weeks then I felt far more confident that I could pick up Swift and even teach the language, than I could pick up C# as a professional Java developer.
How does service design relate to enterprise mobility? Well this is where Studio 13 is offering their first product, an Assessment App called Kuwiz. This enables you to assess the capabilities of your staff at varying levels of engagement. We want companies to be able to find the right skills from their workforce. Everyone is tired of the "we have 5000 C# developers" only to find there is one guy who once read a book on C# but got eaten by a bear last year. If you can accurately assess the skills that your company already has at its disposal then this gives you the power to tackle any problem without always resorting to hiring contractors.
Often that Chinese translator you were looking for is one desk behind you in London and really you don't have 5000 C# developers at all and so it is really time to start hiring. It also gives staff the capability of assessing themselves and seeing in which direction they want to take their careers.
Identifying potential at an early stage makes career planning far easier for companies and this is traditionally a big challenge in the IT space. The mobility aspect gives you the chance to push assessments out to your workforce and to socially collaborate with them in real-time. It becomes far more than just a limited desktop based exam that nobody really wants to take. Mobility allows you to bring the assessment to the people, rather than the people to the assessment. People will generally only do things if they are enjoyable and that is where the limitations of traditional assessment falls flat.
Studio 13 wants to help the world solve problems and this comes from a deep desire to listen to what customers are saying. It wants to offer not just an unattainable creative vision, but one that is deliverable through the carefully considered application of next generation technology - and that also takes into account the wider impact on the people involved.
Maybe the combination of creative, technology and people will cause the Universe to explode, but if it does then I feel the Universe was somehow broken in the first place.
"Once there was only dark. If you ask me, the light's winning." [Matthew McConaughey , True Detective]
Writer, Speaker, Editor
Senior Analyst, Digital Transformation, EBA, Center for the Future of Work Cognizant
View my profile on LinkedIn
Learn about mobile strategies at MobileEnterpriseStrategies.com
Follow me on Twitter @krbenedict
Browse the Mobile Solution Directory
Join the Linkedin Group Strategic Enterprise Mobility
Join the Google+ Community Mobile Enterprise Strategies
Recommended Strategy Book Code Halos
Recommended iPad App Code Halos for iPads
***Full Disclosure: These are my personal opinions. No company is silly enough to claim them. I am a mobility and digital transformation analyst, consultant and writer. I work with and have worked with many of the companies mentioned in my articles.
WebRTC has had a real tough three or four years, and so have those working with it. Only a few short years ago, the development world were excited about WebRTC and proclaiming how awesome it was. You might have played with the technology a couple of years ago, only to find the extra infrastructure requirements were painful to implement and poorly documented. This probably left a bitter taste in your mouth, especially when things went wrong.
Aug. 28, 2015 07:45 AM EDT Reads: 384
As more and more data is generated from a variety of connected devices, the need to get insights from this data and predict future behavior and trends is increasingly essential for businesses. Real-time stream processing is needed in a variety of different industries such as Manufacturing, Oil and Gas, Automobile, Finance, Online Retail, Smart Grids, and Healthcare. Azure Stream Analytics is a fully managed distributed stream computation service that provides low latency, scalable processing of streaming data in the cloud with an enterprise grade SLA. It features built-in integration with Azur...
Aug. 28, 2015 07:45 AM EDT
Through WebRTC, audio and video communications are being embedded more easily than ever into applications, helping carriers, enterprises and independent software vendors deliver greater functionality to their end users. With today’s business world increasingly focused on outcomes, users’ growing calls for ease of use, and businesses craving smarter, tighter integration, what’s the next step in delivering a richer, more immersive experience? That richer, more fully integrated experience comes about through a Communications Platform as a Service which allows for messaging, screen sharing, video...
Aug. 28, 2015 07:30 AM EDT Reads: 533
SYS-CON Events announced today that IceWarp will exhibit at the 17th International Cloud Expo®, which will take place on November 3–5, 2015, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA. IceWarp, the leader of cloud and on-premise messaging, delivers secured email, chat, documents, conferencing and collaboration to today's mobile workforce, all in one unified interface
Aug. 28, 2015 03:00 AM EDT Reads: 336
The Internet of Things (IoT) is about the digitization of physical assets including sensors, devices, machines, gateways, and the network. It creates possibilities for significant value creation and new revenue generating business models via data democratization and ubiquitous analytics across IoT networks. The explosion of data in all forms in IoT requires a more robust and broader lens in order to enable smarter timely actions and better outcomes. Business operations become the key driver of IoT applications and projects. Business operations, IT, and data scientists need advanced analytics t...
Aug. 28, 2015 12:30 AM EDT Reads: 332
With the proliferation of connected devices underpinning new Internet of Things systems, Brandon Schulz, Director of Luxoft IoT – Retail, will be looking at the transformation of the retail customer experience in brick and mortar stores in his session at @ThingsExpo. Questions he will address include: Will beacons drop to the wayside like QR codes, or be a proximity-based profit driver? How will the customer experience change in stores of all types when everything can be instrumented and analyzed? As an area of investment, how might a retail company move towards an innovation methodolo...
Aug. 27, 2015 06:15 PM EDT Reads: 385
As more intelligent IoT applications shift into gear, they’re merging into the ever-increasing traffic flow of the Internet. It won’t be long before we experience bottlenecks, as IoT traffic peaks during rush hours. Organizations that are unprepared will find themselves by the side of the road unable to cross back into the fast lane. As billions of new devices begin to communicate and exchange data – will your infrastructure be scalable enough to handle this new interconnected world?
Aug. 27, 2015 02:15 PM EDT
Too often with compelling new technologies market participants become overly enamored with that attractiveness of the technology and neglect underlying business drivers. This tendency, what some call the “newest shiny object syndrome,” is understandable given that virtually all of us are heavily engaged in technology. But it is also mistaken. Without concrete business cases driving its deployment, IoT, like many other technologies before it, will fade into obscurity.
Aug. 27, 2015 01:00 PM EDT Reads: 288
Consumer IoT applications provide data about the user that just doesn’t exist in traditional PC or mobile web applications. This rich data, or “context,” enables the highly personalized consumer experiences that characterize many consumer IoT apps. This same data is also providing brands with unprecedented insight into how their connected products are being used, while, at the same time, powering highly targeted engagement and marketing opportunities. In his session at @ThingsExpo, Nathan Treloar, President and COO of Bebaio, will explore examples of brands transforming their businesses by t...
Aug. 27, 2015 11:30 AM EDT Reads: 152
SYS-CON Events announced today that Micron Technology, Inc., a global leader in advanced semiconductor systems, will exhibit at the 17th International Cloud Expo®, which will take place on November 3–5, 2015, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA. Micron’s broad portfolio of high-performance memory technologies – including DRAM, NAND and NOR Flash – is the basis for solid state drives, modules, multichip packages and other system solutions. Backed by more than 35 years of technology leadership, Micron's memory solutions enable the world's most innovative computing, consumer,...
Aug. 27, 2015 10:00 AM EDT Reads: 123
SYS-CON Events announced today that Pythian, a global IT services company specializing in helping companies leverage disruptive technologies to optimize revenue-generating systems, has been named “Bronze Sponsor” of SYS-CON's 17th Cloud Expo, which will take place on November 3–5, 2015, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA. Founded in 1997, Pythian is a global IT services company that helps companies compete by adopting disruptive technologies such as cloud, Big Data, advanced analytics, and DevOps to advance innovation and increase agility. Specializing in designing, imple...
Aug. 26, 2015 08:00 AM EDT Reads: 160
Akana has announced the availability of the new Akana Healthcare Solution. The API-driven solution helps healthcare organizations accelerate their transition to being secure, digitally interoperable businesses. It leverages the Health Level Seven International Fast Healthcare Interoperability Resources (HL7 FHIR) standard to enable broader business use of medical data. Akana developed the Healthcare Solution in response to healthcare businesses that want to increase electronic, multi-device access to health records while reducing operating costs and complying with government regulations.
Aug. 26, 2015 07:00 AM EDT
SYS-CON Events announced today that HPM Networks will exhibit at the 17th International Cloud Expo®, which will take place on November 3–5, 2015, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA. For 20 years, HPM Networks has been integrating technology solutions that solve complex business challenges. HPM Networks has designed solutions for both SMB and enterprise customers throughout the San Francisco Bay Area.
Aug. 3, 2015 06:45 PM EDT Reads: 781
For IoT to grow as quickly as analyst firms’ project, a lot is going to fall on developers to quickly bring applications to market. But the lack of a standard development platform threatens to slow growth and make application development more time consuming and costly, much like we’ve seen in the mobile space. In his session at @ThingsExpo, Mike Weiner, Product Manager of the Omega DevCloud with KORE Telematics Inc., discussed the evolving requirements for developers as IoT matures and conducted a live demonstration of how quickly application development can happen when the need to comply wit...
Aug. 2, 2015 11:15 AM EDT Reads: 539
The Internet of Everything (IoE) brings together people, process, data and things to make networked connections more relevant and valuable than ever before – transforming information into knowledge and knowledge into wisdom. IoE creates new capabilities, richer experiences, and unprecedented opportunities to improve business and government operations, decision making and mission support capabilities.
Aug. 1, 2015 10:00 AM EDT Reads: 469
Explosive growth in connected devices. Enormous amounts of data for collection and analysis. Critical use of data for split-second decision making and actionable information. All three are factors in making the Internet of Things a reality. Yet, any one factor would have an IT organization pondering its infrastructure strategy. How should your organization enhance its IT framework to enable an Internet of Things implementation? In his session at @ThingsExpo, James Kirkland, Red Hat's Chief Architect for the Internet of Things and Intelligent Systems, described how to revolutionize your archit...
Jul. 30, 2015 07:30 PM EDT Reads: 1,557
MuleSoft has announced the findings of its 2015 Connectivity Benchmark Report on the adoption and business impact of APIs. The findings suggest traditional businesses are quickly evolving into "composable enterprises" built out of hundreds of connected software services, applications and devices. Most are embracing the Internet of Things (IoT) and microservices technologies like Docker. A majority are integrating wearables, like smart watches, and more than half plan to generate revenue with APIs within the next year.
Jul. 30, 2015 02:30 PM EDT Reads: 268
Growth hacking is common for startups to make unheard-of progress in building their business. Career Hacks can help Geek Girls and those who support them (yes, that's you too, Dad!) to excel in this typically male-dominated world. Get ready to learn the facts: Is there a bias against women in the tech / developer communities? Why are women 50% of the workforce, but hold only 24% of the STEM or IT positions? Some beginnings of what to do about it! In her Opening Keynote at 16th Cloud Expo, Sandy Carter, IBM General Manager Cloud Ecosystem and Developers, and a Social Business Evangelist, d...
Jul. 30, 2015 12:00 PM EDT Reads: 2,217
In his keynote at 16th Cloud Expo, Rodney Rogers, CEO of Virtustream, discussed the evolution of the company from inception to its recent acquisition by EMC – including personal insights, lessons learned (and some WTF moments) along the way. Learn how Virtustream’s unique approach of combining the economics and elasticity of the consumer cloud model with proper performance, application automation and security into a platform became a breakout success with enterprise customers and a natural fit for the EMC Federation.
Jul. 30, 2015 09:00 AM EDT Reads: 2,308
The Internet of Things is not only adding billions of sensors and billions of terabytes to the Internet. It is also forcing a fundamental change in the way we envision Information Technology. For the first time, more data is being created by devices at the edge of the Internet rather than from centralized systems. What does this mean for today's IT professional? In this Power Panel at @ThingsExpo, moderated by Conference Chair Roger Strukhoff, panelists addressed this very serious issue of profound change in the industry.
Jul. 29, 2015 03:00 PM EDT Reads: 1,437