Tag Archives: Enterprise

An Operational Guide to Digital Transformation for People in a Hurry

If you ever find yourself struggling to digitally transform your organization, business units, divisions, processes, assets & people, you might combine Digital Twins with the architecture of a distributed IoT software system as your guide.

I know you’ve been converting things like documents, photos, sounds, numbers, blueprints & measurements from the physical world into the digital world for decades so I won’t belabor this point – you’re going to keep doing that.

From now on, you’re going to create everything digitally first. That means you’re using a computer with a screen, and maybe even a mouse. Okay, I won’t hold it against you if you still scribble notes on airplane drink napkins or draw pictures of early designs on the back of paper place mats.

Also, don’t confuse this endeavor with the business process re-engineering projects of the 1990s. You’re not doing a straight port of your manual processes to digital equivalents. Just because Steve Jobs liked skeuomorphism doesn’t mean your digital processes should reflect the old way of doing things.

Determine every way employees, assets, processes, departments & business units interact with each other as well as how they interact with customers, partners & suppliers in order to digitally convert those interfaces into APIs.

Yes, I want you to create RESTful APIs for every one of those interactions. These are your Digital Threads. Oh, and make sure you version them because an organization is always learning and evolving.

You need to model the properties, artifacts, behaviors, history & events that business units, departments, processes, assets & employees respond to in order to create composite Digital Twins to complete your Digitalization.

Why “composite” digital twins? Because we’re not just talking about atoms here. We’re describing the complex and oftentimes hierarchical relationships that look more like molecules. The human body has important subsystems like the heart, lungs and brain. Your organization is no different.

Your Digital Twins will run in a distributed platform that manages the Digital Threads connecting employees, assets, processes, departments, business units, customers, partners & suppliers.

At this point, your Digital Transformation should be in beta stage & your organization, with all its components, should come to life as a Digital Organism that probably still needs to be debugged.

Notice how I just fast-forwarded through a multi-month or multi-year process? Becoming a Digital Organization is going to take a while so be patient.

An important takeaway is that you’ve now digitally documented how every last aspect of how your enterprise operates. No more reliance on tribal knowledge & the company memory issues you have due to employee turnover are solved.

Everything is made into software & connected via APIs streaming over 5G at a level no one has ever imagined. Digital Twins will collaborate with people & each other via APIs, apps & analytics to run your business.

Terms like CI/CDDevOps will take on new meaning as they’re used to upgrade some or all of the business as developers make improvements. Scaling your business won’t necessarily mean hiring new employees anymore.

Instead, scaling might mean adding containers to a Cloud Native infrastructure. This probably sounds as weird as the first time you heard you had to write a job description for code performing Robotic Process Automation (RPA).

As your digitally transformed organization matures, you’ll be able to determine which functions are best handled by Digital Twins & which ones require human creativity, dexterity, or other unique abilities.

A new level of disruptive automation will sweep through. Don’t go dystopian on me. Like all the preceding industrial revolutions, Industry 4.0 will create more jobs than it eliminates. Lifelong education is the key.

This process is a large mountain to climb & I’m sure you’ve heard hundreds of examples of what it means from other analysts. My definition is a bit more revolutionary because you shouldn’t half-ass something this transformative.

You’re probably wondering, what’s the payoff in making digital transformation a reality? Hyper-efficiency, cost savings, a better customer experience, no more role confusion, no more lost organizational knowledge, & increased revenue via digital scaling.

I hope this synopsis has been helpful jump start to digitally transforming your organization & how it operates with people, processes, machines & connected intelligence.

Bringing the Digital Twin Concept Down to Earth

Rob Tiffany of Enterprise IoT brings the DigitalTwin concept down to Earth on Episode 2 of IoT in 10 Minutes.

Rob Tiffany joins Dima Tokar of MachNation to discuss the hot topic of Digital Twins in the world of IoT. We dissect what the term, digital twin, really means and how it’s being used by enterprises today. To wrap up, we talk about where there space is headed and what enterprises should be thinking about in planning the role digital twin will play in future IoT implementations.
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It’s Time to Dump your 1990s App Authentication

Migrate Win32 applications secured by client/server #database logins to #mobile apps that use OAuth & enterprise #cloud directories for authentication instead.

Do you know Scott Tiger? Are you familiar with SA and no password? If so, you probably worked with client/server database security mechanisms from companies like Oracle, Microsoft, IBM and others. Anyone who’s built client/server, multi-tier database systems over the years has worked with Oracle Net Listener, TNSNames, Sybase DBLIB, ISAM and VSAM drivers plus a revolving door of Microsoft drivers. App logins were typically the same as the database login. DBAs were in control and app developers worked with what they were given. Sometimes data access was secured through the use of views or stored procedures. Things improved when databases started supporting integrated authentication where data access could be controlled by users and groups found in the company Active Directory.

Today’s mobile apps don’t connect to client/server databases this way. Win32 apps connecting via the LAN or VPN can kick the can down the road a bit longer. Everything else talks to databases with web APIs or sync. While these mobile-friendly APIs use database authentication to connect, the services they expose must be secured by an enterprise directory. This pattern provides identity management to mobile apps. Furthermore, cloud-based enterprise directories must be kept in sync with existing on-premises directories to keep the login procedures seamless for employees. Add multi-factor authentication to boost security and avoid consumer auth providers like Facebook or Twitter.

Reduce risk to your organization by decoupling app security from database authentication and make the move to company-wide directory services. Has your employer switched all its enterprise apps to modern authentication methods yet?

Learn how to digitally transform your company in my newest book, “Mobile Strategies for Business: 50 Actionable Insights to Digitally Transform your Business.”

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Click here to purchase a copy of my book today and start transforming your business!

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Reduce Business Expenses and Accelerate Mobile Integration with Backend Servers

Accelerate the mobile #integration and delivery of server resources to any #device utilizing #mobile middleware solutions like MEAP, MADP, MRAD or mBaaS.

Enterprise mobile apps don’t live in a vacuum. They typically communicate with a backend system. Some newer, vertically-integrated packages provide the backend system and mobile apps to get you up and running quickly. That said, most backend systems aren’t very helpful when it comes to talking to a variety of mobile devices.

There’s a class of mobile middleware systems that accelerate the development of connected enterprise apps. They simplify authentication with enterprise directories, deliver push notifications, provide adapters to connect to other disparate systems and facilitate data sync with devices to name a few. The first of these systems were called mobile enterprise application platforms (MEAP). Over time these systems evolved to something called mobile application development platform (MADP) to support a broader range of scenarios. Hallmarks of both MEAP and MADP was the use of proprietary technologies to rapidly create user interfaces and connect to backend systems. This made it harder to find developers since the programming environments were anything but mainstream. The newer, cloud-based iterations of these systems are called mobile backend as a service (mBaaS). This delivers half the solution as developers code with popular programming languages and interface with backend services via APIs from an mBaaS SDK. In case you need another four letter acronym to accelerate your development, check out the new class of mobile rapid application development tools (MRAD).

Reduce business expenses by getting your mobile solution to market faster with fewer development resources so you can start making money sooner. What is your company doing to accelerate mobile app development?

Learn how to digitally transform your company in my newest book, “Mobile Strategies for Business: 50 Actionable Insights to Digitally Transform your Business.”

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Click to purchase a copy of my book today and start transforming your business!

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Reduce Business Risk by Protecting Corporate Assets and IP from BYOD Employees

Send “Bring your own Device” #BYOD #mobile employees to the #Internet via a separate Wi-Fi #network versus giving them direct access to internal servers.

Many companies today have a guest network. This is a separate Wi-Fi network that visitors use to access the Internet when they come meet with employees. Some of these guest networks require a password given to them by the person at the front desk and others don’t use security.

Now imagine a guest network on steroids serving all your mobile employees when they’re in the office and extending the data plans on their personal devices.

I’m sorry, but I still don’t believe in the concept of the trusted enterprise wireless network where mobile employees have direct access to internal servers. Compromised mobile devices and apps can unwittingly attack those networks and servers. Send them out to the Internet and have them come back into the Intranet through a secure path. Your company has already spent a lot of time and effort creating a secure Extranet for employees who need remote access. Put your reverse proxies, firewalls, routers, VNETs and switches to use for all mobile employees. Instead of maintaining two classes of access to internal resources, just reuse the one you already have.

Moving into the future, Intranet resources will disappear as everything migrates to the cloud. Concepts like remote access and internal servers will vanish and your super-fast guest network will look like a stroke of genius.

Reduce Risk to you corporate assets and intellectual property by blocking direct Wi-Fi access to Intranet resources. Is your organization allowing employees to access internal servers with their personal mobile devices?

Learn how to digitally transform your company in my newest book, “Mobile Strategies for Business: 50 Actionable Insights to Digitally Transform your Business.”

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Click to purchase a copy of my book today and start transforming your business!


The Future of Enterprise Mobility – Live from the Mobile World Congress

Learn about the future of Enterprise Mobility from me, Benjamin Robbins: Principal at Palador, Vishy Gopalakrishna: VP at SAP, and Ben Smith: Head of #Mobile Product at Tribal Labs.

We’re broadcasting live from Barcelona; the Mobile Capital of the World.