|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.
The Internet of Things will challenge the status quo of how IT and development organizations operate. Or will it? Certainly the fog layer of IoT requires special insights about data ontology, security and transactional integrity. But the developmental challenges are the same: People, Process and Platform. In his session at @ThingsExpo, Craig Sproule, CEO of Metavine, demonstrated how to move beyond today's coding paradigm and shared the must-have mindsets for removing complexity from the develo...
Jul. 24, 2016 01:30 AM EDT Reads: 1,119
SYS-CON Events announced today that MangoApps will exhibit at the 19th International Cloud Expo, which will take place on November 1–3, 2016, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA. MangoApps provides modern company intranets and team collaboration software, allowing workers to stay connected and productive from anywhere in the world and from any device.
Jul. 24, 2016 01:15 AM EDT Reads: 1,214
The IETF draft standard for M2M certificates is a security solution specifically designed for the demanding needs of IoT/M2M applications. In his session at @ThingsExpo, Brian Romansky, VP of Strategic Technology at TrustPoint Innovation, explained how M2M certificates can efficiently enable confidentiality, integrity, and authenticity on highly constrained devices.
Jul. 24, 2016 01:15 AM EDT Reads: 863
"We've discovered that after shows 80% if leads that people get, 80% of the conversations end up on the show floor, meaning people forget about it, people forget who they talk to, people forget that there are actual business opportunities to be had here so we try to help out and keep the conversations going," explained Jeff Mesnik, Founder and President of ContentMX, in this SYS-CON.tv interview at 18th Cloud Expo, held June 7-9, 2016, at the Javits Center in New York City, NY.
Jul. 23, 2016 11:45 PM EDT Reads: 1,212
Internet of @ThingsExpo has announced today that Chris Matthieu has been named tech chair of Internet of @ThingsExpo 2016 Silicon Valley. The 6thInternet of @ThingsExpo will take place on November 1–3, 2016, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA.
Jul. 23, 2016 11:15 PM EDT Reads: 1,855
When people aren’t talking about VMs and containers, they’re talking about serverless architecture. Serverless is about no maintenance. It means you are not worried about low-level infrastructural and operational details. An event-driven serverless platform is a great use case for IoT. In his session at @ThingsExpo, Animesh Singh, an STSM and Lead for IBM Cloud Platform and Infrastructure, will detail how to build a distributed serverless, polyglot, microservices framework using open source tec...
Jul. 23, 2016 11:00 PM EDT Reads: 2,229
The 19th International Cloud Expo has announced that its Call for Papers is open. Cloud Expo, to be held November 1-3, 2016, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA, brings together Cloud Computing, Big Data, Internet of Things, DevOps, Digital Transformation, Microservices and WebRTC to one location. With cloud computing driving a higher percentage of enterprise IT budgets every year, it becomes increasingly important to plant your flag in this fast-expanding business opportuni...
Jul. 23, 2016 10:15 PM EDT Reads: 2,439
From wearable activity trackers to fantasy e-sports, data and technology are transforming the way athletes train for the game and fans engage with their teams. In his session at @ThingsExpo, will present key data findings from leading sports organizations San Francisco 49ers, Orlando Magic NBA team. By utilizing data analytics these sports orgs have recognized new revenue streams, doubled its fan base and streamlined costs at its stadiums. John Paul is the CEO and Founder of VenueNext. Prior ...
Jul. 23, 2016 09:30 PM EDT Reads: 1,949
A critical component of any IoT project is what to do with all the data being generated. This data needs to be captured, processed, structured, and stored in a way to facilitate different kinds of queries. Traditional data warehouse and analytical systems are mature technologies that can be used to handle certain kinds of queries, but they are not always well suited to many problems, particularly when there is a need for real-time insights.
Jul. 23, 2016 08:45 PM EDT Reads: 1,658
CenturyLink has announced that application server solutions from GENBAND are now available as part of CenturyLink’s Networx contracts. The General Services Administration (GSA)’s Networx program includes the largest telecommunications contract vehicles ever awarded by the federal government. CenturyLink recently secured an extension through spring 2020 of its offerings available to federal government agencies via GSA’s Networx Universal and Enterprise contracts. GENBAND’s EXPERiUS™ Application...
Jul. 23, 2016 08:30 PM EDT Reads: 1,778
"My role is working with customers, helping them go through this digital transformation. I spend a lot of time talking to banks, big industries, manufacturers working through how they are integrating and transforming their IT platforms and moving them forward," explained William Morrish, General Manager Product Sales at Interoute, in this SYS-CON.tv interview at 18th Cloud Expo, held June 7-9, 2016, at the Javits Center in New York City, NY.
Jul. 23, 2016 08:30 PM EDT Reads: 2,028
Internet of @ThingsExpo, taking place November 1-3, 2016, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA, is co-located with the 19th International Cloud Expo and will feature technical sessions from a rock star conference faculty and the leading industry players in the world and ThingsExpo Silicon Valley Call for Papers is now open.
Jul. 23, 2016 08:00 PM EDT Reads: 2,418
Big Data engines are powering a lot of service businesses right now. Data is collected from users from wearable technologies, web behaviors, purchase behavior as well as several arbitrary data points we’d never think of. The demand for faster and bigger engines to crunch and serve up the data to services is growing exponentially. You see a LOT of correlation between “Cloud” and “Big Data” but on Big Data and “Hybrid,” where hybrid hosting is the sanest approach to the Big Data Infrastructure pro...
Jul. 23, 2016 08:00 PM EDT Reads: 1,800
The IoT is changing the way enterprises conduct business. In his session at @ThingsExpo, Eric Hoffman, Vice President at EastBanc Technologies, discussed how businesses can gain an edge over competitors by empowering consumers to take control through IoT. He cited examples such as a Washington, D.C.-based sports club that leveraged IoT and the cloud to develop a comprehensive booking system. He also highlighted how IoT can revitalize and restore outdated business models, making them profitable ...
Jul. 23, 2016 07:15 PM EDT Reads: 1,875
We all know the latest numbers: Gartner, Inc. forecasts that 6.4 billion connected things will be in use worldwide in 2016, up 30 percent from last year, and will reach 20.8 billion by 2020. We're rapidly approaching a data production of 40 zettabytes a day – more than we can every physically store, and exabytes and yottabytes are just around the corner. For many that’s a good sign, as data has been proven to equal money – IF it’s ingested, integrated, and analyzed fast enough. Without real-ti...
Jul. 23, 2016 07:00 PM EDT Reads: 884
I wanted to gather all of my Internet of Things (IOT) blogs into a single blog (that I could later use with my University of San Francisco (USF) Big Data “MBA” course). However as I started to pull these blogs together, I realized that my IOT discussion lacked a vision; it lacked an end point towards which an organization could drive their IOT envisioning, proof of value, app dev, data engineering and data science efforts. And I think that the IOT end point is really quite simple…
Jul. 23, 2016 06:15 PM EDT Reads: 824
With 15% of enterprises adopting a hybrid IT strategy, you need to set a plan to integrate hybrid cloud throughout your infrastructure. In his session at 18th Cloud Expo, Steven Dreher, Director of Solutions Architecture at Green House Data, discussed how to plan for shifting resource requirements, overcome challenges, and implement hybrid IT alongside your existing data center assets. Highlights included anticipating workload, cost and resource calculations, integrating services on both sides...
Jul. 23, 2016 06:00 PM EDT Reads: 1,897
"We are a well-established player in the application life cycle management market and we also have a very strong version control product," stated Flint Brenton, CEO of CollabNet,, in this SYS-CON.tv interview at 18th Cloud Expo, held June 7-9, 2016, at the Javits Center in New York City, NY.
Jul. 23, 2016 05:30 PM EDT Reads: 1,728
The IoT has the potential to create a renaissance of manufacturing in the US and elsewhere. In his session at 18th Cloud Expo, Florent Solt, CTO and chief architect of Netvibes, discussed how the expected exponential increase in the amount of data that will be processed, transported, stored, and accessed means there will be a huge demand for smart technologies to deliver it. Florent Solt is the CTO and chief architect of Netvibes. Prior to joining Netvibes in 2007, he co-founded Rift Technologi...
Jul. 23, 2016 05:00 PM EDT Reads: 942
Unless your company can spend a lot of money on new technology, re-engineering your environment and hiring a comprehensive cybersecurity team, you will most likely move to the cloud or seek external service partnerships. In his session at 18th Cloud Expo, Darren Guccione, CEO of Keeper Security, revealed what you need to know when it comes to encryption in the cloud.
Jul. 23, 2016 04:00 PM EDT Reads: 2,317