“Life is more fun if you play games,” Roald Dahl

Famed children’s author Roald Dahl was onto something when he said this, and the new wave of smart cities is taking its lead from this concept too.

There’s a certain pain and pleasure to city living — usually it means a vibrant, stimulating place to live, often with numerous services to serve a large, diverse population. But finding, accessing or reporting problems with them isn’t always easy.

The India Smart Cities Mission is just one example of ways to revolutionize and improve city living for all residents, especially with rapidly growing urban areas in India.

As cities undergo digital transformations in how they engage and deliver services to citizens, one area gaining traction is gamification for citizen engagement. Taking its lead from the latest in gaming apps, smart cities are incorporating certain features to make smart city apps more appealing and — the key word — sticky, so users keep coming back. Much like an addictive online game.

Combined with the use of social media platforms and features, plus the accessibility and pervasiveness of smartphones with their geo-locator capabilities, gamification is becoming more mainstream across a wide range of traditional business and workplace apps as a way to engage customers, employees or now citizens online.

A key feature of gaming apps is their high degree of immersiveness or captivation. It literally draws you in so you can’t put it down. Other characteristics includes some kind of reward system or points; different status levels; leaderboards to reflect player or team ranking; new challenges to test achievement and skills; and offering virtual goods to participate in a clearly set out virtual world with deep levels of complexity and narrative structure. How does this lend itself to smart cities?

Consider the breadth of services or issues any decent, functioning city provides, in no particular order:

  • Transportation — bus routes, trains, traffic alerts, road and bridge repair
  • Garbage collection, street cleaning and snow removal
  • Crime, police and fire services
  • Local elections and initiatives
  • Building permits and violations
  • Permit requests, notifying police of a gathering or parade
  • School and education facilities
  • Hospitals and health facilities
  • Trees, parks and other recreational services
  • Planning meetings, office hours, forms and contacts
  • Surveys
  • Special holiday events
  • Tourism information

Today, most cities have a decent website with various sections covering these areas. To engage usually requires calling a given number, sending an email or maybe there’s an email or text alert you can sign up for. Some cities use social media too for updates and alerts.

Now imagine this undergoes a digital transformation with gamification. The city is now rendered in a detailed, easy to explore virtual world. Users can click, slide and explore levels of detail not previously possible. They can interact, tag, share precise pieces of data with new types of feedback systems or build tailored communities perhaps around a specific neighborhood or interest group like cycling, transit or animal advocates. New residents can quickly find essential, and not so essential, services around their neighborhood or across the city. Geo-locators help citizens and city department pinpoint exactly where a service is being reported or requested.

Besides the more compelling involvement, gamification also creates an environment where users provide data that helps make the app more efficient — where they are located, how many requests they may have made for a service, the type and frequency of transportation they are using. In turn this allows the app to get smarter about where the high or low usage is, which are the popular requests or problems, etc.

And for the cities themselves, this new level of data collection, analytics and interaction helps with dramatic process improvements and workflows.

Active citizens and city departments alike now have much faster and efficient interaction for updates on everything from street repairs and farmers’ markets to snow removal and virus alerts (think the specific neighborhoods in Miami which first experienced the Zika virus).

The concept of smart cities is making its services — in all its forms — easier to access and engage with. This engaged citizenry becomes a community which actively participates in these services to a level never seen before.

Gamification is having a major impact on all areas of customer engagement — healthcare and hospitality, enterprise apps such as HR, offering new levels of personalization based on factors such as location, status or demographics. Just like cities and its residents, companies are introducing it for stronger employee engagement.

Gamification becomes the norm for how apps are designed, which is where the eMee platform comes into play. It provides a foundation for gamification across many domains and vertical markets. Smart city initiatives is just one example.

Founding Father Benjamin Franklin also understood this concept:

“Games lubricate the body and mind….We do not stop playing because we grow old, we grow old because we stop playing!”


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Hard to imagine Google as the David, but this might just be a David versus Goliath matchup.

Everyone starting projects in 2017 continues to assess the most appropriate cloud platform on which to work. Historically, Amazon Web Services (AWS) and Microsoft Azure have been the default choices. But in 2017, we think we’ll be seeing the emergence of the Google Cloud Platform (GCP) as a serious contender, and who knows, it might just steal a march on the incumbents. Let us explain.

Amazon Web Services did an excellent job of sneaking up on the enterprise market and becoming the de facto enterprise cloud platform around the world. Microsoft Azure was also something of a surprise — while everyone was writing off Microsoft in the desktop and Office space, it came back strongly with Azure and Office/Exchange in the cloud. Loyalty in enterprises for the Microsoft platform still runs deep, not least of all because IT teams are comfortable and familiar with developing apps in the Microsoft environment.

Gartner’s August 2016 Cloud IaaS Infrastructure as a Service Magic Quadrant is a comprehensive overview of the Cloud IaaS space. It places AWS in the leadership position, closely followed by Microsoft Azure. Google’s offering is lower on ability to execute, but it is also the only one placed in the visionary quadrant. And this is exactly where we see the Google Cloud Platform having the ability to break out.

Google has always been known for its consumer products focused around searching through extensive amounts of data. Penetrating the enterprise is less of its forte unless you count the reasonable popularity of Gmail and Google Docs as Microsoft alternatives. But usually, this is an individual, rather than an enterprise-wide choice.

However, in the world of digital transformation, Google Cloud Platform starts looking extremely attractive to enterprise players planning to build applications for the new digital generation, where search and big data are at the core. Take Google Maps, for example. It offers substantial possibilities, making APIs to these data stores and their search/integration functionalities available as cloud-based services. Another very attractive proposition from Google is in enabling “AI First” as the strategy, powered by its AI and machine learning services. Enterprises are looking to AI and ML to reduce resources and costs allocated to call centers, help desks and IT, and this is where Google will score over others. Google now has AI even burned in the hardware.

The real challenge will be Google’s ability to adapt to selling to the enterprise, something it has historically not been very good at. Engaging to solve enterprise-type problems requires a very different approach than needed to address the “shoot for the sky” problems Google has typically solved. Partnering with companies such as Persistent Systems is one way to help take its Cloud platform to the enterprise — quickly.

Here’s why we are very bullish about the Google Cloud Platform:

  • Launched only in December 2013, it has a fresh perspective to cloud-based infrastructure.
  • As the Gartner report says, Google is leveraging its expertise and experience with big data to build strength in analytics and machine learning. Google ALSO distinguishes itself with excellent price/performance value, exceptionally fast VM provisioning, and per-minute billing.
  • The Gartner report also points to the smaller feature set and scope of services. While AWS and Azure may be the feature-rich (read expensive) solutions for enterprises, Google Cloud Platform might actually be very attractive to a clientele that does not necessarily need all the bells and whistles — or cost.

We are looking forward to see how Google Cloud Platform changes the game on how enterprises build out their cloud-based solutions. 2017 is going to be interesting for the cloud wars!

Authors:

  1. Siddhesh Bhobe, Head — Digital Innovations (@siddheshb)
  2. Mayur Jain, Head — GCP Practice (@mayurjain)

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When it comes to scientific research, sometimes the debate is, “Just because you CAN doesn’t mean you SHOULD.”

In the future, it may be possible to genetically engineer a two-headed combination between a grizzly bear and a mongoose, as a substitute for a guard dog. But this is a horrifying notion, and besides, I think I’m already distantly related to one of these by marriage.

When it comes to online transactions, there are things you SHOULD BE ABLE to do, and stuff you SHOULD NOT do. The deciding factor here is always SECURITY. In the old days, we built software and populated databases, then tried to figure out afterwards how to defend them. Now we try to build security and compliance into our components in advance. But still, if you build it, they (the hackers) will come.

There are two basic vectors to stolen data. One is to break in, take over the machine, and copy stuff. The other vector is the all-too-common “pretending to be somebody else,” then simply requesting data through a normal pipe.

Stolen credentials are the enablers. We’ve got users who still make their password “password.” There are those who make their creds far too easy to guess. Just a handful of years ago, a candidate for high office made her challenge questions all things that were easily googled, so a prankster simply clicked on “Forgot Password” and then plugged in those stupidly publicly-available answers.

Based on this vector, bad stuff happens because people aren’t who they say they are. You don’t always have to do something stupid. My own tax return was almost heisted because the IRS had a massive weakness in its documents site and somebody used the hijacked info to pretend to be me. I find this surprising since I’m usually taller and thinner online. But I had to identity-proof to assure the IRS that I was who I said I was, and the other guy was not.

They use insane challenge questions harvested from obscure databases. Among other trivia, I had to cough up the nickname I was given by my eighth-grade classmates (“Sloppy”).

So how do we absolutely secure online transactions? We have to identify ourselves in a way that cannot be repudiated. The parties must be guaranteed that each is legit.

To get there, we need to marry various attributes. It’s not just you as a pair of creds, it’s you and your device and the time and your history of activity and anything else that applies to you and the thing you’re trying to act on.

Let’s outline a scenario. You’re on vacation and your wife needs to migrate cash from savings to checking so the payment won’t bounce when she has to bail you out after that stupid thing you did outside the tourist bar. It’s the middle of the night, you’re far from home. She gets on the cell phone, clumsily fat-fingers her creds into the mobile app (after four tries), and hopefully it’s really her.

Or what if you’re at the sales meeting, and the one guy who actually drove instead of flying in loses his wallet and needs some gas money for the ride home. He borrows it from you, and the notoriously unreliable slug promises that, no kidding, he’ll send you a check. What if he could just beam you some cash from his phone (ala Webster, for example)? But again, is it really him making the request?

Once again, these things are all safe if the person making the request can absolutely verify identity. You don’t want your account depleted after an attack, or at best FROZEN after an attempt. The banks and credit card companies must be awfully tired by now of absorbing the losses from fraud. It all comes down to the user guaranteeing identity.

So that day is here.

The technology exists (but isn’t always deployed) to verify identity. Passwords can be stolen, guessed, socially engineered, read off of Post-It notes. Mobile devices can be stolen. Challenge questions can be searched for, because you, you CHILD, put way too much crap on Facebook.

We can make cars completely safe to drive by welding a foot of iron onto all the surfaces. But then cars would all cost 70K and get five miles per gallon. The same goes for online security. Sure, you can make it safe by taking on a lot of artificial intelligence or extra questions, physical tokens and so on, but won’t the customer experience suffer?

Yes, it could. But it doesn’t have to.

That’s why the Flying Spaghetti Monster who created the universe gave you fingerprints. A voice. A face. A heartbeat. You can use any of these factors to authenticate. If a criminal lops off your thumb, you’ve got bigger problems. Otherwise, biometrics are supported by most standard smartphones. Forget passwords. You don’t need them.

Not to say that you have to rely on just one factor. Maybe a password is still employed, but you have to provide a fingerprint in conjunction. Factors might also be attributes that are provided for you by your device or circumstances.

Maybe you’re trying to move a bunch of cash at two in the morning and send it to a person you’ve never had a transaction with before. You’re in a strange place. You’re using a device that isn’t associated with you.

Is that really you? Are you trying to buy crack in the middle of the night? Or is it just plain fraud?

So again, the basic transactions, and the not-so-basic:

  • You want to move money from one account to another.
  • You want to TALK to your phone and tell it to send money to a friend electronically.
  • You want to tell your mobile app using just your lovely voice to pay your water bill.
  • You want to go online and explain to an artificially intelligent process, again by VOICE, to rationalize a duplicate payment. Or contest a fraudulent charge.

The bank wants it to be legit. You want it to be fast. You don’t want to rely on passwords. You want it accurate and safe.

This can be done. If your bank can’t do it, then why would you stay with them?

I travel a whole bunch, so my credit card numbers have been compromised a few times. It’s a pain for the bank, and it’s a bigger pain for me, having to wait on new cards and then changing my payment info for Uber, the airlines, my hotel chains, and so on. Imagine if somebody had your credit card numbers, and it DIDN’T MATTER. There would be no way for somebody to use your info if they could never spoof BEING YOU.

This technology exists. I work with it. I can help you demonstrate that you are really you. Unless somebody spots you in a bar with somebody other than your wife, and you’re trying to prove you AREN’T you. And then you’re on your own.

Author: Jeffrey Scheidel, Senior Director — Digital Sales | @IAMGURU2010


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Before I get into the technical aspects of this post, a quick observation about life in Pune. I grew up there and I love it. Not that long ago, the city was relatively small (by India standards) and everyone wanted to work in the exciting heart of it; downtown was where all the action was. When Persistent Systems built our new headquarters complex, we built it in the heart of the city and it was incredibly popular with employees. But then, like in so many other places in the world, people started moving to the suburbs where they could get nicer, bigger, newer homes at more affordable prices. As this happened, the allure of working downtown, and the commute to get there, sort of lost its appeal. So, Persistent built new offices in the suburb of Hinjewadi, for among other reasons, to be where the people were and to make things more efficient for everyone.

OK, I’m sure you’re thinking, that’s great, Avadhoot, but what does that have to do with data architecture in the cloud? Well, a few years back, when the sources of the data were mostly on premise, so too the data architecture was on premise. But the times are changing and we are seeing a shift as, for good reasons, applications are now being increasingly deployed in the cloud, along with the data they manage and their logs (one of the primary types of big data). This means that an ever increasing amount of organizations’ data actually resides in cloud-based PaaS platforms like Salesforce and ServiceNow. Add to this that nowadays, the data you want to consider for your analytics includes ‘public’, ‘social’ and ‘acquired’ data, which reside in the cloud.

What it means essentially is that the center of gravity of the data is no longer centralized: it has become “suburban”.

We are seeing more and more requests to adapt Data Lakes, Data Warehouses, ETL and BI to the cloud. By the way, you can read our five-part series on Data Lakes here. It’s stating the obvious that companies want to move to the cloud for their data architecture. The advantages are imminent — for example:

  1. Lower and flexible TCO — Pay as you go model
  2. Managed infrastructure — Pay on demand for IT capabilities
  3. Easy handling of fluctuating bandwidth and concurrency demands
  4. Better disaster recovery
  5. Better team collaboration through cloud-based collaboration tools

From the technology perspective, the space is already looking very crowded. Look at this quick snapshot –

So does moving to the cloud mean you’re only running your on premise ETL, DWH and BI on the cloud? Not at all. In fact, the cloud versions of the tools are sometimes very different and written specifically for the cloud environment, to meet the aforementioned requirements while managing an ever-increasing amount of data. So there is going to be a huge difference between your on-premise solutions and on-cloud solutions — some examples below:

  • Storage-Compute separation: In the cloud world — storage is cheap while compute can be acquired quickly. Most of the cloud ‘first’ DWH systems store data on S3/blob storage and get the compute nodes on need basis. This significantly reduces your cloud service bill (Snowflake, Azure SQL, Quoble, EMR). However, the data flows need to be designed well to take advantage of these tools
  • — Cloud ETL tools are available ‘as a service’. You no longer need to deploy them on VMs and do the operations management to move data to the cloud.
  • — The ‘code as a service’ offerings (like Lambda in Amazon) can be leveraged very effectively to perform your cleansing/transformation etc tasks.
  • — The cheap storage (S3/blob storage) can be shared between DWH and Data Lake

At Persistent Systems, we believe that a data architecture in the cloud is an imperative for enterprises to transform themselves. The data architecture is part of your organization’s cloud-based digital transformation platform where your existing and other cloud-ready data assets can be leveraged by software built and deployed at speed. The digital transformation platform is part of a larger concept we call Software 4.0. Software 4.0 is a completely different mindset on how to approach a software-driven future. And it just happens that future is now and we’re helping you realize it!

Over 2,000 years ago, the Greek philosopher Heraclitus said “Change is the only constant in life.” And that’s never been truer than in the 21st century. Just as my hometown of Pune has changed dramatically in the past 20 years, I have a feeling 20 years from now it will have changed even more. Going back to how I started this post, in the United States 40 years ago there was an exodus from the cities to the suburbs; well, now people are returning to the cities in huge numbers! I bring that up as something for you to think about as you plan your strategy; the key is embracing the change and just knowing there will be more change. In the software world, we’re focusing on continuous innovation and technology advancements that are making a lot of that change, like moving to the cloud easier and faster.

I’d love to hear what you think? Let’s keep this conversation going and in the coming weeks and months, you’re sure to be hearing from me, and from my colleagues about the work we’re doing here at Persistent.


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The ‘Object Oriented’ revolution driven by the UML (Unified Modeling Language) at the start of the 21stcentury (so, so long ago) first positioned people at the center of the software development universe. Until then, the data-centric approach to software or Information Engineering from the last decade of the 20thcentury (antiquity!), required users to not only obediently serve the systems that were meant to serve them, but also required them to undergo an agonizingly steep learning curve just to operate and manage these systems. Indeed, that was the era of the user-guide that paradoxically required users to guide systems instead of the other way around!

Data Centricity

Those were confusing times; analogous to the Medieval dogma of a geocentric universe, where assuming the earth at the center of the universe necessitated complicated equations that painstakingly described the planetary orbits of each and every planet. It took the great mind of Nicolaus Copernicus who employed the heuristic of Occam’s razor — that the simplest explanation is probably the most correct — to discover a perfectly simple description of elliptical orbits common to all planets — when one assumes a heliocentric model (the solar system).

By positioning people at the center of the software universe — thanks in part to Donald Norman who first coined the term “User-Centered Design” — software finally came of age. The ‘data-centric’ paradigm shifted to the ‘people-centric’ paradigm, which in turn, changed the focus of design from process driven to action driven … and so we began talking about the user experience: empowering people to take action and accomplish their goals in the most satisfying way possible. Where data and functionality once existed independently of users, designers now model data and functionality based on the needs and requirements of real users. It is not surprising therefore, that Alan Cooper (father of Visual Basic) who championed the use of personas also championed Interaction Design.

The introduction of Service Design in the mid 2000’s served as a bridge between User-Centered Design and the current, state-of-the-art Design Thinking. Service Design a holistic, multi-disciplinary methodology driven by a collaborative stakeholder culture that emphasized how and what the user does with a product (or service); including their journey and experience. Design Thinking supplemented Service Design with its methods for practical, creative resolution of problems and the creation of solutions.

Personas are fictitious instances of different user roles and types that approximate real-world characters that use a site, brand, service or product. They encapsulate behavior patterns, goals, skills, responsibilities, attitudes, and the environment, with a few fictional personal and demographic details to make the persona a realistic character. Most significantly for design purposes, personas include applicable tasks and pain-points with current systems, or lack thereof.

In a perfect world, UX designers proactively elicit relevant information regarding the different personas by researching users of a system. Persona related activities and methods include among others: behavioral mapping, empathy mapping, ‘fly-on-the-wall’, shadowing, contextual inquiry, ‘a day in the life’, surveys, interviews and most significantly, observing users performing their tasks (on existing systems) while noting ‘pain points’ and other obstructions in the way of a smooth and satisfying experience. But we live in the real world, and the fast-pace world of business is far from perfect. In the real world tight budgets, uncompromising delivery dates and limited human resources define the software development playing field, a comprehensive user research and persona study is an elusive luxury.

The next best thing…

Where comprehensive user research is not viable, social media is the next best source of reliable information. For example, if we’re designing an application for a healthcare agent, there is a wealth of information to be mined by searching for, “healthcare agent” in LinkedIn. The Job search will yield the role description, responsibilities, qualifications and requirements of a healthcare agent. The People search will yield actual agents’ profiles including their job descriptions, skills, education and experience, while the Posts search enrich our understanding with related information.

It doesn’t end with LinkedIn…

Posting a question or searching Quora for specific information like, “what are the responsibilities and tasks of a healthcare agent?” typically returns relevant information, while Facebook, Twitter and Instagram are excellent sources of demographic information.

Speaking of social media, we have customers that are doing groundbreaking work using social to uncover information until now that couldn’t be found. This video on what Indiana University School of Informatics and Computing is doing with Instagram and Twitter is fascinating.

The use of social media to develop personas takes a mere fraction of the time and a fraction of the cost of a real world persona study, and while the result may be one degree removed from the real world, a social media driven persona that is reviewed and approved by the client/customer is surely a wise and solid design tactic.

Author: Mark Weinberg | UX Director | Persistent Systems Digital OU


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Here at Persistent, we talk a lot about the software-driven world. To us it seems obvious — the role of big data analytics combined with the easy-to-use interfaces we are now familiar with from social media and gaming apps.

But it’s probably worth stepping back for a moment to think about how the software-driven world really is impacting so many aspects of life.

It has been six years since Marc Andreessen penned the famous essay in the Wall Street Journal “Software is Eating the World”. He was referring to the way software has become ubiquitous in our lives, and how it continues to disrupt every aspect of it. That is still as true today. Just look at the number of apps available to download — both new services and older services like CNN, Xfinity, your bank or utility company.

Some of the disruptions have made our life easier, changed profoundly the way we interact with the world, the way we conduct ourselves online. There are few other disruptions like AI which people look at with fear. The prospect of losing jobs to machines has been an old fear, but it seems more possible now. One thing is sure — in the Digital Era, we are truly going where no one has gone before.

A Turing Test

Recently, we installed Google’s Allo App. Allo is a personal assistant like Siri and Cortana. We had quite a conversation. It was quite humorous. We even succeeded in making Allo “angry and jealous” by comparing it to Siri again and again. It finally said to us — “Oh Stop. I am your Google Assistant”.

Allan Turing had proposed the Turing Test which allows us to determine if a machine can think on its own like us. Had Allan Turing been alive and able to see our conversation — it would have seemed to him that Allo passed the Turing test!

A Software-Driven world

Software is impacting our lives, and the change will just keep on accelerating provided we do not undo it with another world war!

The Indian elections of 2014, and the recent US presidential elections saw tremendous use of BigData and Analytics to understand voters, devise campaigns and fine tune poll strategies. Social media is increasingly becoming the medium of engagement between the government and the citizens, and is completely changing the dynamics of how leaders reach out to the masses.

With block-chain based technologies like Bitcoin and Ethereum maturing, a cashless economy doesn’t seem so outrageous any more.

AI driven personal assistants and devices — like Siri, Alexa, Cortana and Allo are changing the way we are communicating with our devices. They are giving hyper personalized suggestions, and having human friendly conversations. We may still be some years away from falling in love with our digital assistants, but Jarvis is longer be the exclusive privilege of Iron Man!

Use of mobile apps for daily activities is now common. Need to recharge a mobile, need to book a show, need to order some food, want to scan a document, need to check your bank account, need to book a cab, need some quick advice from your friend — there’s an app for everything!

The “Internet of Things” is here. Intelligent devices with sensors and actuators, coupled with software are going to help — Amazon’s use of drones to ship their products to consumers is just one example of what is to come.

With the advent of Virtual Reality and Augmented Reality, the entertainment industry is going to get disrupted. VR devices like Oculus Rift will enable us to experience new places and meet new people without us having to be present physically. Facebook, Magic-Leap, Google and Microsoft are heavily investing in VR and AR based technology.

Online MOOC platforms like Coursera and edX are offering free courses online. They also offer interactive assignments. Coursera also offers a degree program. Affordable Education is now within the reach of anyone with a decent Internet connection.

It’s also a reflection that the world is no longer divided into software companies and “other businesses”. Facebook, Twitter, Airbnb, Uber, Lyft, Netflix and Amazon — to name just some of the more famous ones — are businesses built on software. Does that make them a software company? It doesn’t really matter. The fact is their business models could not exist without being built on software — a software-driven business.

Is a Software/Algorithm Driven world good for us? Is it safe and reliable?

When one reads about a software driven world and thinks about its prospects in the future, it may sound utopian, and rosy — like the future painted in Star Trek.

Cynics and critics would quickly point out the possible dangers of entrusting our lives and data to AI, or self-driving cars. Most of us have seen movies like The Terminator or The Matrix. Those movies have portrayed the possibilities of intelligent machines enslaving humanity. Even Elon Musk thinks that those fears are justified. Common people fear that they would lose jobs to machines.

Recently, Google’s AlphaGo, an AI program running on DeepMind, a supercomputer, was able to defeat Lee Sedol in a series of games of the game Go. Experts in AI were surprised because the game of Go has potentially infinite outcomes, and an AI program could make intelligent choices and foresee all the potential moves against one of the best human player, and that too consistently. Events like these enforce the view that AI is dangerous.

And then there are some others who think that we are not quite there yet, true AI is not yet within the realm of possibility.

Our personal view is that the reality would be something in between.

While the fears of the cynics are not entirely unfounded, they are overtly exaggerated, mostly due to the portrayal in media. Yes, jobs which are easy to automate will be obsolete. Even now, countries advanced in robotics, like Japan are using robots extensively for industrial automation. 3D printing will eliminate some jobs in manufacturing industry.

But not all will be so bad. There will be new jobs, but they will require a different skill set. People would require to be re-trained in new skills. Anyone who is willing to adapt and learn need not worry. We will need leaders and mentors who are willing to re-skill people and people who are willing to learn new skills. We will need more entrepreneurs, who are willing to create new jobs and industries.

Conclusion:

As Sir Arthur Clarke, British science fiction writer among other things, said “Any sufficiently advanced technology is indistinguishable from magic”.

The digital age demands that every enterprise look at the software-driven models very seriously with a growth mindset; and call for immediate actions on how to go about doing digital transformation for a better future. Individuals, instead of shying away from technology, should adopt and embrace it to enhance productivity, health and improve relationships.

Authors:


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Happy New Year! OK, OK, we come to the last day of the first month of the new year… January is over — how are your resolutions coming along? One of my resolutions is to engage more with all of you. There’s always so much to discuss that sometimes it’s hard to find the time to put words to the screen, but I’m trying to change that!

Ah, but it’s Chinese New Year so I can in fact say Gung Hay Fat Choy!

I know for most of you, you’re just getting ramped up for a new year but actually here at Persistent we’re entering the home stretch of our fiscal year, and I’m excited about it! I hope you saw in our earnings announcement last week that we had an impressive 3rd Quarter, with much of the excitement being driven by what our team in Digital is doing. I think our CEO Anand Deshpande said it best:

We had a good quarter. In a challenging market for traditional IT services, our strategy to focus on IP-driven and digital business is differentiating us. Our focus on the how of digital is driving our traction, such as in financial services and healthcare, with new customers and in new projects won during the quarter. This quarter also saw more partner awards and recognitions for us, leadership positions in analyst reports, and the best validation of all — one of our customers winning an award and headlining a story of how technology innovation is making the world a healthier place.
Anand Deshpande, CEO Persistent Systems

Speaking of our Digital business, I hope you saw that Forrester has recognized Persistent as a leader in the world of BPM services! As unarguably one of the most respected and influential analyst firms in the world, you can imagine how validating it is for all us to receive this recognition from Forrester.

What we believe sets us apart from others is our vision around Digital. Clearly BPM or digital business automation is becoming more crucial to Digital Transformation. It’s our approach towards the “how” of digital and our strong leadership position with BPM leaders like Appian that make us think our Digital vision compelling.

Of course he won’t do this, but I would like to point out that this is validation of the bold vision of our CEO Anand Deshpande we announced last almost a year ago structuring the company so we could have a business that is focused on Digital!

Finally, the embrace of Software 4.0 in Forrester’s recognition is key. I can’t emphasize this enough, but our Vega framework and the Software 4.0 are indelibly tied to helping you, our customers, realize your Digital vision and potential.

As we all know, vision without execution is just a dream. It’s how we’re both innovative and methodical in executing that has allowed us to work with our customers and we think live the dream!

Here’s to a great 2017 and I look forward to see more of all of you!


Originally published at blog.persistent.com on January 11, 2017.