Humans vs. machines, both have systems and both perform functions and tasks, but there are many differences that separate humans from machines. First machines are created by humans and therefore their level of knowledge have been programmed into their computers by humans. Machines do not have feelings where humans do. Humans can feel pain and emotions, where a machine has no feeling of pain or emotions. Humans are made up of organic material and are living systems, where machines are made up on non-organic material and systems that are programmed.
Many have speculated that machines could one day take over the world. I guess it is possible given the advancement in artificial intelligence and machine learning. Machines could begin to learn on their own and then could possibly surpass the intelligence of humans. This would probably be in the far future if ever. Until then I think leveraging machines to help humans accomplish tasks and functions quicker is a good thing. One thing that humans and machines do have in common is that we are ultimately made up of stardust and therefore come from matter that makes up the universe.
I recently read an article about digital services in the automotive industry and how the industry is changing from a mechanical to a more digital user experience. Before, automakers would appeal to the customer by creating backup cameras, hot/cold seating, larger leg room, elegant looking trim and dashboard accessories. Digital has changed all that. Today automakers are focusing on a fully immersed experience that includes, video, artificial intelligence, pattern and profile recognition and crowd sourcing. By leveraging information about how the customer travels, where they travel to and how long they are in their cars, automakers can create a customized and relevant experience.
For example, if the automakers digital platform know that you travel a specific way to work each day, it can use all its data feeds from traffic news, weather reports, emergency management updates and, artificial intelligence to suggest new more efficient routes to work. This information can be sent to the customer via a smart phone or in some cases a smart mirror in a connected home.
Ultimately the end goal is still the same, give the customer what they want. The how has definitely changed, and is the secret sauce that will separate the automakers that continue to evolve versus the automakers that just fizzle out.
Tian, J & Chin, A (2016, December) Digital Services in the Automotive Industry. Computing Edge Hot Topics, 28-31.
This week’s focus on governance could not ring truer to real world scenarios as what was experience in China this past week. When the assessment team walked into the office on Monday it became quite clear that there was a major incident as the key stakeholders of the assessment were either in meetings or had their staff assisting on the manufacturing floors. We had been made aware that there was another virus outbreak. Of course, the first response was, we had just gone through this, how are there new infections. It turns out that some of the staff that images systems are not following the standard process to image machines, and therefore are putting a non-approved image back onto the shop floor systems. In addition to that, it was discovered that there have been non-standard systems ordered which leverage a thin client and embedded version of Windows. Since this configuration is not on the baseline there was never a patching method developed for these systems.
Another incident occurred where a customer network was infected. Though it was directly impacting our infrastructure, the customer’s manufacturing lines were down and could not produce product. This caused out IT staff to stand in and assist. What was not clear was that instead of our staff working on correcting our problems first, they worked through the customer’s issue first and used all of the IT resources to do it.
These two incidents are perfect examples on why governance is so important and how effective governance can be to the enterprise and its resources. Had the team been following the proper standards, we would have never been infected again, nor would we have wasted the time of the team and they could have been focused on other issues. With regards to the customer, we want to assist the customer whenever possible, however to provide 60 hours of free IT services is not something that should be taken lightly. We should have an agreement in place that addresses these types of issues, so that all parties are aware of their roles and responsibilities.
Blog Entry 8
I have been in China for the past week doing assessments on our Infrastructure. My biggest take away so far is the need for a current architecture that everyone can understand and also refer to. We have been ramping up more manufacturing and due to the time constraints, teams have building out system very quickly to accommodate business needs and customer requests. What this has caused is what I will call a configuration drift. Configuration drift is minor changes in the configuration and d delivery of systems. This is not really an issue initial, but over time can become a significant change. This has the potential to cause problems down the road as all of the decision making and updating to the architecture will be made based on the current documentation. If areas have made modifications to the architecture and system delivery and these modifications have not been captured, then when changes to the architecture are needed, they will be difficult to implement because the real state of the environment will not be fully known.
Lack of documentation and proper training can cause so many issues, but can be corrected very easy with proper awareness training and publishing the many views documentation.
This week I learned a technique on how to do a business model known as business canvas. This is a one pager that outlines different areas of the business and gives a very good 360 degree view of the business model. This is a useful way to teach about the business model to colleagues, but can also be used a a genesis tool to see where improvements and or new business models can spawn.
As an Enterprise Architect, we understand that business itself is a living system, ever changing with the dynamics of the markets, people and process. I think it is very important for all employees to be well versed in the business model. I believe having a thorough understanding of the model, helps to map their part to the big picture. Most employees will produce better if they understand how their contributions effect the big picture. If they are just working towards an unknown goal or end, they tend to become disillusioned, or worse bitter and the work and productivity suffers.
It can be like being part of a sports team, knowing how you contributed to win the game will keep you motivated to continue to improve or keep do what you are doing.