Progress and Securities
by Paraic O'Toole
Interesting week for Automsoft – we’ve just prepared to launch an ‘entry-level’ version of our product for 500 tag sites which has massive functionality but lower cost and can be installed and configured by users, like all of our products.
'just prepared to launch an ‘entry-level’ version of our product'
I’m a speaker at the DNV Kema conference in Washington DC next week on the development of Analytics in the power industry. It will cover everything from Smart Grid and Smart Metering to substation automation, distributed generation monitoring and enterprise analytics across multiple data types.
Separately, to share my musings with the vast community, this week I am thinking about fear. Fear seems to be the big underlying emotion associated with the developments in EU rulings on privacy, the Assange case, the Edward Snowden case (with a new book out this month) and the Google “permission to hold data on people” case. As a big data company, what safeguards have we in pace to make sure that data is secure, particularly when it relates to people? Previously, when we were focused mostly on oil and gas exploration and production, life sciences and mining this was an issue but to a limited degree since the companies only held data associated with their own production process and they held physical custody of the data.
'there are many technologies out there for whom this question is not even an issue'
However, with the ‘Internet of Things’ (there must be a better term) we are starting to manage data associated with individual people around their energy consumption, which to many is very personal. Data associated with their health in the case of individuals participating in clinical drug trials and utilising wearable technology to measure any changes in areas like mobility. Thank goodness, because of our history in the pharmaceutical industry, we have security and audit trails built into the technology but there are many technologies out there for whom this question is not even an issue. Instead of asking “why do they care?” or “what have they to hide?”, we will have to have very solid strategies and functionality in place to satisfy people that their personal data or data associated with their personal activity, however innocuous, is secure.
Next week – analytics engine or storage technology? You might be surprised with the answer!
Internet of Things
by Paraic O'Toole
First, welcome to our redesigned website. We’ve been much better at innovating technology than innovating in marketing in the past but that is now changing. And speaking of change, its probably a good time to explore if the cynics are correct when they say “Here comes another bandwagon!”. Variously described as the Internet of Things, Internet of Everything, Connected Enterprise and a truckload of other terms, we are now being bombarded with predictions of massive growth and dire warnings for tech companies which miss the new world. First, it’s not a fad – its real. I saw an amazing video recently a speaker presented at a conference. It was footage of his less-than-a-year-old daughter looking at a magazine. She was moving her fingers on the pictures trying to change pages – he described it as his daughter’s operating system having been changed by Steve Jobs.
"First, it’s not a fad – its real"
Irrespective as to how we might feel about this, the fact remains that mobile devices are here to stay. This means user interfaces, screen real estate and functionality will have to take account of mobile devices. It also means that we are starting to see more measurement devices such as sensors in the home, in manufacturing, in medicine, in education and pretty much every area of our lives. What we are looking at is an explosion of data-generating technology in every area of economies. What that means in turn is an explosion of data, and specifically time-stamped or time-series data. Every measurement, every reading from devices, sensors, metering systems will be a time stamp and a value.
"The fact remains that mobile devices are here to stay"
Hence the requirement for specifically-designed data management technologies to manage time series data. Some folks will say that can be done with Hadoop or with SQL databases but the data architects out there recognise that these architectures are very ineffectual when it comes to managing large volumes of single index data. So here’s my prediction ( and of course I have a vested interest but also have the benefit of scrutiny of this area as a result of that interest) Time series data management is going to be the biggest technology challenge and opportunity over the next five years. It is going to limit or enable, depending on the approach, everything from smart grid to energy management to wearable technology in medicine to deep water offshore drilling. Watch this space.