VUCA in the Digital world!!

VUCA in the Digital world!!

By Sairam Bollapragada & Rajesh Mohandas

Across the globe, all are now connected in unprecedented ways. This is both a boon and a bane, where we live in an era that is transforming and setting stage for the next revolution. Times when we were disconnected and every country operated in silo the challenges were limited to the internal affairs and the near border conflicts only.

With technological advances where today we look at a bright and secured future on one hand, on the other hand the unrest continues and is growing bigger day by day, conflicts, civil unrest, terrorism, ransom ware, cyber crimes, etc… are now integrated into our daily life.

The digital reality is shaking up some of the beliefs and compelling us to move to a more knowledgeable IT economy what with automation and AI which were limited to books, have finally come to the open challenging how that can transform every space of the life. Soon all white-space is expected to be filled with cognitive behavior and techniques. Automation is forcing re-wiring of skills for many of the IT workforce (read : https://itservicesdelivery.wordpress.com/2016/04/11/the-digital-era-learner-re-wiring-your-skills/ ) spelling end of the careers if not done.

Hence one can relate to the 4 key parameters of VUCA : Volatility, Uncertainty, Complexity and Ambiguity. Each of these factors are challenging the order of the day stuff and hence the need to cope with the same in the turbulent times.

The compounded problem statement with external influencing factors from market pressures, competition, shareholder expectations, stakeholders, are strong indicators, to the fact that the leaders will need to be hard wired to resilience.

The role of the leaders managing workforce, will be crucial and critical in shaping the digital future of any organization.  Most of the requirements to support a digital environment are not about the technology per se, but it is also about creating the environment to re-skill, create flexibility to be agile, adopt to changing demands, and groom the right talent for a safe digital future.

Let’s take each of the parameter at a time to see what it means in Digital world:

(V) Volatility: The nature and Dynamics of change that is blowing across the landscape mandates catalysts to adopt to these changes. The legacy of efficiency and productivity will no longer continued business anymore. Disruptive innovations are indeed unsettling dominant industries in today’s world. Hence the times call for compulsive innovation and a drift away from SOPs.

U (Uncertainity): This is a factor which reflects the lack of predictability and many surprises. Another indicator of this is the refusal of the current technology wave to move easily beyond the labs. The ever-experimenting mind-set is also reflecting that the solutions themselves are prone to obsolescence, from the very moment they are conceived with high degree of unpredictability.

( C)Complexity:  Multiple parameters built into the character of the issue spells complexity – be it chaos or confusion-led issues.

Complexity can also reflect multiple influencing factors which can unsettle easily. Complexity is good or bad depending on your strategy. Having a bullet proof strategy is impossible – nevertheless one should have a solid strategy to counter complexities and challenge the same.  Even if it comes with short expiry date (2 years) you should have one.

Digital space is getting more and more complex with each passing day rolling out a new platform, new innovations coming to light, new solutions offered, disruptive models coming to life, etc. Hence to deal with all these changes, a strategy for managing this change is mandatory and thus the

(A)Ambiguity : The fact that we only know 40% of how technology will fold into the lives and markets as an influencer, is a true reflection of haze in the Digital space. This then raises the question of business risk, which is quite a reality today.

At various levels of an organization, there are ambiguities relating to progression and growth, whether at organization level or career levels of professionals.  Except for the lexical meaning of the Strategic and Tactical approaches, the lines are thinning out.

Volatility, Uncertainty, Complexity and Ambiguity will continue to exist but what leaders today can do is to play a vital role and attempt to control the levers by moving in to a Hyperawareness zone of informed decision-making, and fast execution. Winning in the Digital Vortex is not just about algorithms, architectures or innovative business models; it requires organizational change and workforce transformation. And successful transformation is enabled by a company’s digital business agility, building on the fact that people are an organization’s most important asset. Hence, everybody is but compelled to think on the forward thinking strategies to adopt to the Digital VUCA scenarios….

Why existing estimation tools are not realistic for Digital Project Estimation

Why existing estimation tools are not realistic for Digital Project Estimation

by Bollapragada Sairam, Rajesh Mohandas, Dattatreya Rao, & Ravi Pandikunta

Digital for some executives is primarily about the technology. For others, digital is a new way of engaging with customers. And for others still, it represents an entirely new way of doing business. None of these definitions is necessarily incorrect. But, the variation results in piecemeal initiatives and misguided efforts.

Industry experts have started to believe that digital should be seen less as a thing and more a way of doing things … this creates complexities with respect to estimation, how can one estimate and cost a concept. In digital projects “basic concept” is a starting point for estimation, or at least an idea, but it’s loose and not particularly well defined. Sometimes that’s because there hasn’t been time to develop it or there simply isn’t the ‘appetite’ from the creative to think through the detail.

Unlike traditional development parameters, the Digital World carries many more and they are unique in nature, variety of products, applications, data bases, technologies, middle-wares, hosting types and the entire eco system. Few more elements such as, sensors/devices, platform/infrastructure, testing, integration, security, scalability, robustness, seamlessness are multi folded efforts in development.

 

Some cost estimation models used in software development today are

Cost Model Description Best Fit Environment Formula type
COCOMO Constructive Cost Model Large corporate and government software projects, including embedded firmware Logarithmic
COSYSMO Constructive Systems Engineering Cost Model Large corporate and government projects, including embedded firmware and hardware Logarithmic
FP Function Points Software projects of all sizes, mainly desktop OS based platforms Linear
WMFP Weighted Micro Function Points Commercial software projects of all sizes and environments, including embedded firmware Linear
REVIC REVised Intermediate COCOMO Large military software projects, including embedded firmware Logarithmic

Some typical challenges with traditional estimation techniques in software development:

Unlike other industries, here often the estimates are done with partial data and sometimes with incorrect data, too. Several techniques / tools have been introduced over the years to make the process systemic and not a gut-based guesstimate. However, lapses still occur and this is still one of the toughest to-dos for a project. Following are few more parameters

  1. Poor design: Poor design results in unnecessary code tweaking and heavy-duty maintenance applying pressure on schedules.
  2. Not splitting the tasks enough: Most common method is to split project tasks into a WBS, but sometimes they are not broken enough to be conceptualized with clarity.
  3. Top to bottom scheduling: This is a practical problem one needs to deal with. Instead of doing bottoms-up estimation, most projects start with – “I need this done in 6 months” and then a work breakdown is done where the task estimates are retrofitted inside these 6 months.
  4. Factoring the dependencies right: Often, an external dependency or a decision point is missed-out causing the project to suffer, this is “coordination neglect”.
  5. Factoring right buffer: This is a common challenge and there is no simple formula here.
  6. Analogous Estimation Risk: Often, project estimates are done based on an expert judgment or from past projects’ experience. While picking an analogy and mapping the estimate might seem like an intuitive thing to do, it’s often risky because of the numerous variables in a project and the unique elements and dependencies, the people involved and their skillset, diverse tools and technologies adopted and the infrastructure and resources in place.
  7. Ignoring Team Capacity: There is a lot of debate about what unit or estimates need to be factored – should we measure complexity, time or effort? Irrespective of what unit is followed, many Project Managers tend to ignore considering their team’s capacity. It seems obvious that different people would take different time to code, but when we draw estimates, we come up with a standard effort estimate.

One other challenge is not only the technology but also the periphery elements on the topology, network, security and emerging areas like Artificial Intelligence, Autonomous vehicles, Cloud Manufacturing and 3d Printing, IoT and Connected Devices, Robots, Drones, and social media platforms couple with decisions on the emerging approaches like DevOps, Dockers, Microservices etc… add further complications into the estimation cycle.

Changing expectations from the customer are forcing service providers and manufacturers into a hyper personalization spiral, thus adding cost pressures. In these cases, the technology needed to solve our problem is well established indeed; in fact, it’s possibly the most important technical innovation in the history of humanity ranging from B2B, B2C, B2M, C2C etc…

The players in the market too have made the situation complex, though each provider promotes “On Demand and Pay as you Go” models the terms and conditions are quite different, for example the pricing metric in case of AWS is number of messages, Cisco looks at Cellular, GE bills on number of instances, IBM looks at data ingested and bills accordingly, Microsoft costing is depended on Number of messages, devices and feature set while SAP looks at an annual fixed subscription model and there are many more such elements to consider in your costing model…

The exponential growth in the technology as well as diversification of the same, new solution components, hyper-personalization, and other needs, all mushrooming towards building of modern solutions; but one cannot ignore that there is a dire need for building standard cost estimation frame-works where the conventional methods cannot be afforded….

The Need for Intelligent Command Control Center for Robots (IC3R)

By Sairam Bollapragada & Rajesh Mohandas

It is predicted that the industry economy whether IT or non-IT, will go full throttle in the upcoming FY 2017-18 to create a financial realization called autonomics – unlocking the potentials  of robots that are being conceived. Over 2.5 billion people have at least one messaging app installed, within a couple of years that will reach 3.6 billion, about half of humanity. (Source: The Economist) However, the outcomes as suggested by many big market research houses have not been up to the desired expectations. With the things heating up around automation and artificial intelligence/RPA, we can foresee that we will be very soon seeing an increasing need to have some solid controls in place.

The Industry economy in the coming days will create a financial realisation called autonomics – unlocking the potentials of robots that are being conceived and driven towards this direction. However, the outcomes as suggested by many big market research houses have not been up to the desired expectations. With the things heating up around automation and artificial intelligence/RPA we can foresee that we will be very soon seeing an increasing need to have some solid controls in place. Today, the market is focused on Industrial Networks, Industrial Robots, Machine Vision, Control Valves/Devices, Field Instruments, Enclosures and Cables.  Each of these components have an IT and a Non-IT element with technology landscape consisting of SCADA, PLC (Programmable Logic Controllers), PAC (Programmable Automation Controllers), RTU(Remote Terminal Units), DCS (Distributed Control Systems), MES (Manufacturing Execution System), PLM (Product Lifecycle Management), HMI(Human Machine Interface), and above all Safety.

While creating new technical solutions every day and getting excited with it, we are probably too casual on the flip side of the consequences. Lets focus on the negatives for a moment – what if an unmanned vehicle had a bad bug? or what if the programming in the automated manufacturing plants were intercepted/hacked altering the desired behavior or leading to disturbing outcomes?, it can become a nightmare!! For example a recent crash involving Uber Technologies Inc. driverless car suggests autonomous software sometimes takes the same risks as the humans it may one day replace. While we are creating bots at an unprecedented speed and passion, we may also need to secure these advancements through a control mechanism, which will help us to have the desired outcomes, intact. The technological singularity will compel us to start thinking on automatic recovery with deep machine learning capacity.

Hence, are we talking about having a Command Control Mechanism to protect the desired outcomes of all the automated bots whether Soft or hard? The answer is yes. We need to soon develop and establish command control centres for a set of digital work force you want to monitor on a continuous basis to ensure they are aligned to the expected behavior patterns. In fact, there should be a proper set of guidelines issued by the state agencies before allowing any robot to go commercial in the market. The audit and strictures will help control the release of un-certified or Rogue robots. This would be especially true with the craze of smart cities catching up like around the globe. The creation of the digital twin space is also something that must be looked into seriously for potential disruption.

A command control center will help in creating a centralized monitoring service which will track monitor and report the behavior of these bots while positively looking at it, it could also lend performance improvements towards the desired outcomes. What with the introduction of aggressive mind-control technology and Drones we should have a proper access control on this technology based robots. A C3 with an end-to-end visibility across robots with real-time rolling view to help us have a central control of work schedules, job cards, execution, and support for various robotic activities

While the support for high availability/disaster recovery and network load balancing is the intent, the central control mechanism, will be mandated to have a cyber-cop kind of functionality. For example, while monitoring the bunch of UV Cars, suppose an unmanned vehicle on road was malfunctioning, one should have the ability(or create one) to monitor it in real time and stop the functioning of the engine remotely to avoid any major disaster.

A secure central monitoring system laced with analytics, could be enabled through the log base where robots pass on every information pertaining to each activity they are instructed to perform. With this much of an information being logged, one can get a deep insight into the business and the activity patterns being conducted by or through robots. With so much of information at our disposal one can really create a very good analytics use case to understand and comprehend the behavior of these robots as they are unleashed into the market.

The global industrial automation market is extremely fragmented due to the presence of several players in the global market. Some of the leading players operating in the global market are ABB Ltd., FANUC Corporation, Honeywell International Inc., Toshiba Machine Corporation Ltd., Yokogawa Electric Corporation, Emerson Electric Company, General Electric Company, Yaskawa Electric Corporation, Rockwell Automation, Inc., Mitsubishi Electric Corporation, and Voith GmbH.

However, while doing a cherry pick of the best of the lot or robots to make their organizations more productive and efficient, we hope that the focus will begin from creating a solid Intelligent Command Control Center upfront to monitor, maintain, track and continuously do course correction for these disparate bots – soft and hard alike. The industrial control and factory automation is projected to reach USD 153.30 Billion by 2022, at a CAGR of 4.88% during the forecast period and hence the emphasis. The state agencies must work towards evolving policy guidelines within and beyond for all entities looking to employ the automation-Digital bots effectively.

Getting Smart with Digital CapEx

By Sairam Bollapragada & Rajesh Mohandas

History has taught us an important lesson in decision making, one such postulate is to look for long term losses before eyeing at short term gains. The recession of the early 1990s describes the period of economic downturn affecting much of the world in the late 1980s and early 1990s. The global recession came swiftly after the Black Monday of October 1987, resulting from a stock collapse of unprecedented size which saw the Dow Jones Industrial Average fall by 22.6%. While the Progressive Conservative government of Brian Mulroney in Canada and the successful election campaign of George H. W. Bush in the United States may have been aided by the brief recovery of 1988, neither leader could hold on to power through the last part of the recession.  Both were swept from office by opponents running on pledges to restore the economy to health… the decade of 1990 saw significant change in the global economy with a wide emphasis towards SERVICE DRIVEN ECONOMY.

Thanks to many technological developments over the past half century, today we have instant access to a vast array of information sources and are able to exchange new information with the rest of the world in real time. The tremendous increase in Internet access has brought people, businesses, and countries closer, while mobile communication has become cheaper and more accessible. International virtual global communities’ formation was available with forums to exchange and discuss ideas, create path-breaking solutions through innovative crowd-sourcing, etc.

The world economy is 6x larger than it was half a century ago, growing at an annual rate of 4% during the period. New technologies have paved the way for more efficient production systems in a wide range of industries and promoted economic growth. One such significant transformation one can notice from the 1987 Black Monday until today is the shift in mind-set from ownership to collaboration which gave rise to the “AS A SERVICE” thought process, and eventually as-a-service economy. The could computing references can be drawn from the visionary John McCarthy who wrote “computation may someday be organized as a public utility”. Furthermore, the 9/11 attacks and the double dip of early 2000 brought in a complete transformation where corporates shifted from CapEx to OpEx, multiple start-ups grew as mushrooms and died a natural death due to lack of right planning and investments.

Fast forward >>… Today, when compared to the earlier generations, the millennial generation has accepted security threats and larger risks as a part-and-parcel of daily life and is more futuristically optimistic. Entrepreneurs of the future have realized that growth needs right upfront investments and that will be reaped for a long time operational expense savings heavily. However, the point to remember here is that the famous theory of Pay-as-you-go and On-Demand are tied with Inflation that impact your budget. The start-ups with right business case today hit venture capital companies who are eager to invest and wait for long run to reap the benefits.

The transforming technology of tomorrow needs to invest in the right spots today, unlike the 1980’s to 2010 where things were more focused on leveraging technology to support business, the last few years have seen disruption with technology driving the business and no more playing a supportive role. Today the big elephants of the yester era who ruled the fortune 500 are reporting an annual growth of 2% to 5% CAGR while companies that are into the Digital business are reporting multi-fold gains – Facebook is one such example who reported a whopping 117% growth in the previous quarter.

The significance of CapEx in business budgets is that it demonstrates how much a business is spending to invest in its future. The OpEx which was critical in the services industry where a string of large clientele were focussed on annuity and service continuity business, had compulsions of pushing CaPex down for long. However, in the Digital era, the two are flipping ratios and priorities attempting to come to terms with the reality of the Digital-business-quotient fuelled competition. In many cases, the CxOs are blurring the line between CapEx and OpEx.

Talking about Digital Economy, the pushing of Digital envelope is becoming critical to the survival though, for example, investment in cloud would not necessarily mean better software quality or faster development. If your or your clients IT organization has very rigid operational silos, cloud can still not improve the business Agility. You may only be shifting the ‘speed to deployment’ problem to cloud.

Similarly, when you speak of mobility, creating your software services to ‘availability anywhere’ work culture within or outside of an organization requires investment into creating these lighter versions available on range of devices.

revenue-and-ebidtaEvery econd day there is news about the Fortune five hundreds foraying into TRANSFORMATION JOURNEY, but unfortunately they are marginal continuous incremental improvement they are engaged in and not breakthrough transformations. To survive and just not to sustain (growth comes later) out of box and breakthrough transformations are becoming new norm of the day. Smaller entrepreneurs are bringing in implementable ideas to the table pretty quick and fast thus challenging the big white elephants who have been resting on their laurels for long. OpEx evangelists promote the ideas that “money available at the present time is worth more than the same amount in the future due to its potential earning capacity”, on the other hand the raise of quick win is impacting long term investment decisions regarding CapEx which are critical not only because of the size of spend, but also from the point of view of an organization’s strategic goals. “Imagine that you had to drive from New York City to Los Angeles. You’re in downtown Manhattan hopelessly stuck in traffic. Bicycle messengers are whizzing past. You jump out of your car, sell your car on the spot at a ridiculously low price, buy a bicycle and continue your trip to West Coast. As absurd as this scenario sounds, CxO’s do it every day when they make short term OpEx decisions for long term CapEx journeys.” The diagram on the left (IDC-June 2016) indicates strong wins towards longer customer retention in the digital turbulence. The longer the relationship, the better is the profitability (EBITDA).

Inertia challenges change in larger organizations and hence paves way for inorganic growth. The larger the organization the more complex it is to break the CapEx-OpEx norms. Hence the redefinition of CapEx-OpEx is becoming more compulsive. WhatsApp and Facebook together in the past couple of years have built one of the largest customer bases in the social media market making itself a very powerful influencer in the digital space. Shopify, a Facebook’s e-commerce platform with social media integration is waiting to happen with approx. 500 million targeted users. This is indicative of entities who are thinking radically different to stay ahead of the curve. Now one wonders where the lines between CapEx-OpEx were drawn in this context….!

The Railway Fleet Planning – Digital way!

By Sairam Bollapragada & Rajesh Mohandas

In our last blog on the topic (https://itservicesdelivery.wordpress.com/2016/11/30/digital-in-rail-fleet-management-a-viewpoint/), we had a perspective about the railways fleet management.  In this sequel, we wish to bring on the aspects of Fleet Planning through levers from digital perspective and highlight a few important KPIs today as eyed by the railway planning commission. Fleet planning for any logistics entity is a continuous activity.

Fleet planning basically need to answer two most important questions, which locomotive is needed where and when – and when to acquire (buy / hire) one.

The most critical KPI the fleet planners need to be equipped with is a 360-degree view of the enterprise connecting the decision makers with information regarding its Vendors, Customers, Fleet Assets, the market intelligence to meet expectations. The very reason for such an infrastructure lack exists today due to disparate and disintegrated systems where in most of the countries data collection is still manual in many ways.

The rail network is increasingly busy – the number of passenger journeys made has risen by 70% across the globe over the last decade while US alone operated 1,471,736 freight cars and 31,875 locomotives and originated 39.53 million carloads (averaging 63 tons each) generating $81.7 billion in freight revenue for FY ‘16. So it’s important to make best use of the capacity through effective timetabling, and the right decisions about where to invest in developing the network, Planning and operating the network as seamlessly as possible in line with the existing and future demand. A few of the global KPIs measured and monitored by all railway operators are

  1. Asset Utilization (Train Km per Track Km)
  2. Efficiency (Planned track possession KM hour per track possession km hour)
  3. Service Quality and Reliability (Trains delayed due to Infrastructure)
  4. Innovation and Growth (Average relative age of fleet assets)
  5. Accessibility (Service coverage) and
  6. Safety (Accidental equivalent facilities per train km).

 

  • Asset Utilization

Logistics have a single goal even in asset planning, targeted at effective error-free stock management. Knowing item location, quantities on-hand, stock-outs, re-order triggers, space and scheduling, and how to minimize movement and manage assets in a harsh, high pressure environment, demanding growth patterns are only some of the challenges faced. Planning commission of Railways is constantly worried about the aging vehicles and tracks that need constant attention beyond the environmental and safety threats. Another critical area is to ensure consistency in operations while maximizing utilization. The statistics International Rail Journal show freight traffic is at a seven-year high with revenues reaching over $70 billion and customers are continuously demanding faster cycle times.

Focus on investments in real-time data analytics for smart DSS and IoT based sensor analytics solutions is mandated to provide critical continuous inputs to the fleet and asset planning exercise with constituent factors addressing the mobile workforce, data mobility and data quality for the fleet planning and management.

  • Efficiency

Railways use real-time telematics data and all the data that can be collated from the sensors and actuators to monitor, improve, optimize, the fleet plans with a singular goal of peaking at the efficiency of the operational process excellence. Apart from efficiency, the continuous need to reduce energy costs and minimize human intervention, reduce maintenance costs through real-time diagnostics and predictive analytics, eliminate waste in fleet scheduling through fleet instrumentation. Efficiency and productivity can be increased multifold leveraging intelligent technology, like digital tagging that can be automatically read without the need for a direct line of sight; towards a more real-time inventory intelligence, replacing all other manual efforts required otherwise.

  • Service Quality and Reliability

Railway infrastructure is under consistent heavy stress to do more with limitations at physical expansion. In countries like India and China where the fast-demands-up is a way, the need for better reliability, safety and QoS without much physical elbow space for infrastructure capacity increase is a continuous challenge.

Clubbed with this is to operate with the optimized OpEx with increasing pressure on the price point which needs to keep low as alternative completion threatens. Even passenger services are facing such a price competition from roadways and low cost Airlines. Customer satisfaction is what guarantees the future of railways. Predictive pricing through predictive analytics is increasingly finding space in the planning exercise to ensure all such pressures are catered to. The same holds for fleet procurement and phasing out plans for the obsolete fleet elements, etc.

Also it is an era of two-way communication between the passengers’/business houses and authorities leveraging mobility solutions as a constant feedback on improving the above continuously.

Some areas technology is being leveraged today is addition of intelligence with sensors for cold storage, capacity utilization and mobile-based condition monitoring, improving quality of the systems that trigger warnings, alarms and alerts generated after an event, incident or action by advanced measuring and modeling methods to eliminate the need for maintenance intervention.

  • Innovation and Growth

With Digital levers opening up doors to innovation and many impossibilities like real-time planning, open traffic data, social customer service, should ring in few disruptive trends around. User experience will increase manifold if the Digital fleet planning includes disruptive innovative features for better customer satisfaction and experience.  The solutions would need changes in the approach to planning based on user priorities, data flows, and dynamic response to disruption.

Another factor to fleet planning is the increasing need for an integrated and intelligent network leading to sense demand, measure performance, and monitor physical asset health.  Intelligent systems to respond in real-time to manage capacity and predict /avoid disruption.

Automation and safety will be another area of prime focus where exponential potential of the cognitive techniques will be relied on to save millions of lives, assets, pressing insurance industry as well to innovate.

Collaborative platforms for public and private will be created to meet the mobility challenges while fleet planning exercise would need to take innovative strides to take advantage of creating “low costs to scale” with high levels of participation globally.

The disruptive need to get the Innovation into the DNA of the Fleet Planning is seen as with the advent of autonomous vehicles and improved freight management. Legacy infrastructure is gradually being replaced by train management systems in which trains become interconnected communication hubs, transmitting data among themselves and to network control centers, and receiving instructions from control centers. M2M communication, with a dash from cloud, enabling operators to utilize equipment, tracks and stations more efficiently, while dramatically reducing safety risks. The IoT can further improve the system’s level of automation and its integration with the signaling system.

But all this needs meticulous planning. The yearly railway budget, coupled with a plan laced with the deadly combination of mobile-cloud-analytics as technological levers can bring in drastic improvements in fleet planning.

  • Safety

Though mentioned last, the railway safety is not merely an area of utmost criticality, but also poses challenges to the R&D to continuously create safety access mechanisms deterring crimes in railways infrastructure. As we incline more towards better digital equipped railways, an equal emphasis becomes mandatory for tighter data security and more on physical safety of the railway assets. While planning for the fleet through the year, a Q-o-Q Security is recommended to ensure all aspects of safety are addressed.

Today globally, we have 48,000 locomotives, more than 1.4 million rail cars and enough rail to circle the earth more than 13 times, railroads are relied on heavily by civilizations that be. To keep the vast 140,000 freight rail network and the equipment moving across it SAFE is definitely not an easy task for all the railway boards. The rail safety standards across the globe is getting addressed through the ISO/TS standards.

Managing high density areas challenges traffic regulation. T2T (Train to train communication) communication will allow drivers to understand the speed best adopted to ensure smooth flow of traffic. A real-time dashboard with surveillance video providing access information, where on board and ground staff are all on the same page for the traffic information, all powered by intelligent data gathering-dissemination systems, all alluding to predictive actions in the ecosystem providing safety as well as better functioning.

Digital features like sensors for diagnosing the condition of a motor, infrared sensors for counting the number of passengers, high quality on board internet connection, a suitable information system, onboard information kiosks, create rolling stock in order leveraging technologies, etc. Sometimes cost of such facilities on larger scale can be prohibitive and hence should be factored cautiously into fleet asset planning in a systematic phased manner.

However, the data points across rail locomotive logistics across the globe show that there is a drop of 14% on insurance costs, a drop of 15% on fuel costs, 21% drop in labor costs, 30% drop in operating costs and 21% Upward trend on safety and a similar 19% increase in profitability – all indicators to the fact that the railways across the globe are drastically improving. However, when all this can be factored into the fleet planning across railway authorities  it would be a perfect recipe for an outcome based fleet.

Digital Transformation: Looking Outside for a Change Agent?!

-By Sairam Bollapragada

Every Organization is wanting to go Digital but having its own share of challenges on route to the Digital Transformation. The struggle is not so much with technology which is a given. The challenge is with the DNA of the organization which has been in existence for more than 2 decades and the standard operating procedures (SOPs) have got ingrained into the constituents of the organization. Change is a hard reality and people naturally resist. The resistance is not just about the change, but is more about being compelled to accept the change pushing them off their comfort zones.

When we talk about digital transformation, it is about the journey straddled with the change in human behavior, the cultural change, the change in communication, the change in offerings, the change in skill-sets needed to service the digital client, the change in mindset and leadership, etc. Change happens one step at a time but here we need to bring in a phenomenal change across the organization- many steps at once, across the skills, the mindset, the ways in which we plan and execute, the way we design and create the solutions for the future, etc.

While everyone is aware of the benefits, lets refresh the salient 5 benefits here:

  1. 63% improved customer satisfaction
  2. 49% increased lead generation
  3. 75% lift in engagements
  4. 46% better client conversations
  5. 53% higher traffic

 

Some facts and figures to refresh the challenges to Digital transformation journey: While 35% of the companies are >80% digital, 68% are hoping to reach there in the next 5 years; while 39% of the challenges are in establishing the right operational and governance model, 39% are around evolving the company culture; as common drivers, 50% evolve around customer expectations, while 45% are due to rapidly changing competition in the market; and the list continues…

Let’s look at 5 Digital Strategy points (one should look for while stepping into the digital strategy):

  1. A Digital Strategy positioning Technology as a potential differentiator:

Digital is more about how fast an organization is able to adapt to the changing expectations of the market and prove you have the sustaining technological ability and agility to change at that speed. Hence a good and sound strategic plan to prepare the organization for the upcoming technological change that is not only vital but absolutely critical for survival. 80% of the companies report that their companies are getting processes and tools to expedite Digital roadmap, but actually only 46% aim to overhaul customer services. Digital is a space where Technology can both be a solution and a problem.

  1. The CxOs would need to lead from the front: The leaders must play a very critical role in this Change management with nothing less than absolute involvement to demonstrate their willingness to learn and drive the change themselves. The leaders must spend a lot of time with the digital strategy team to understand the context and lead the future blueprint from the front. Every part of the organization must be so synchronized in the blueprint, that it would become a seamless means of accomplishing the singular organizational Digital objective! Though 88% of companies report undergoing Digital transformation, actually only around 29% have mapped digital customer journey and know where they stand.
  1. Create an Organization structure that will be built for Speed, Agility and innovation: Decision making should be given top priority and right people should be moved to the right positions in order to create a very strong sustainable structure – challenging the traditional and the obvious challenging organization constituents and their conventional standard operating procedures. One should target to remove all the potential silos (read threat) not allowing the politics of the organization to hamper the future prospects and final successful end-goals. As an organization every client wants you to innovate uniquely and exclusively for them. Hence the need to pick the right (enabled)leaders who can take smart quick and compelling decisions, though hard, in a very timely fashion.
  1. Outside in view: For two plus decades now, the IT industry has been working in a community manner which has built very strong intertwining relationships between team members with various flavors of emotions, bonding, sentiments and strong linkages. However, the casualty of such organization is its being detrimental in the transformation. Hence to bring in required changes, professionals with immense unlearning and re-incarnation mindset are the need of the hour. Hiring/positioning creative consultants or even workforce, with innovative mindset is more critical than just the experience. This is more observed in larger entities where the larger and longer the team’s existence, the harder to resistance to change.
  1. Cultural change: The thinking of the new generation which has channeled so many startup entities around is a mix of forceful strategy, fearless thinking, innovation through Technology and creative market offerings. An organization marred with Legacy – non-digital businesses and annualized (operational based) economy, these traits will be hard to get from within. Resistance to adoption of new ideas, accepting the new market expectations, creating disrupting growth strategies, coupled with new disruptive generation thinking will double the challenge for the legacy entities – culture being the biggest challenger. Unfortunately, only 63% of the companies feel that culture is a major challenge while remaining 34% sort of agree.

With the complexities of cultural inertia, organizations are being compelled to get the Change Agents outside the organization. This trend has become inevitable when the leaders realize that there is a dearth of talent of such kind within the organization. In many places majority percentage of strategy looks at hiring innovative talent from outside where you can bring in an outside-in viewpoint with dispassionate recommendations of building a potential digital organization of the future. Many experts believe infusion of external talent can ignite the digital transformation much more easily. However, there should be heavy involvement of HR to ensure the moves are not abrasive in nature and the sensitivities are handled with utmost caution.

In addition to the above, the learning and training teams would also need to play a critical role by launching few initiatives like:

  1. Digital by Mentoring: Bring in mentoring of batches of folks under capable Digital leaders. These mentors should have a true capability with knowledge and ability to transform handful of associates.
  2. T-C-H: Training+Certification+Hands-on: mere training of employees may not be a great help but a good certification (internal or external) to gain confidence (self and others), added with hands-on experience in the digital labs would greatly benefit the individual and organization.

I would pause here for you to take a note and will come back with the metrics on Digital transformation of the Organizational Change Management in the next sequel of this….Till then, Happy Digital Transformation!!

Digital in Rail Fleet Management: A viewpoint

By Sairam Bollapragada & Rajesh Mohandas

Rail is a vital service to global society and the transport backbone of a sustainable economy. Many of the Rail entities around the globe are sprinting towards Digitization.  In the Global Vision for Railway Development (GVRD) document by the International Railway Research Board (IRRB) the core themes include delivering smart solutions as regards to safety, security, punctuality, availability, accessibility, seamless operation, capacity, connectivity and sustainability. These are the critical success factors of a rail network across any country.

The overall rail supply market has witnessed a substantial growth at 3%, driven for the main part by the Asian Pacific region. At over EUR 159 bn, the world rail supply market has reached a record high level. From a product segment perspective, the largest contribution to the market’s growth in the 2013 – 2015 stemmed mainly from the rolling stock and services segments. Added, these two segments clock at 72 % of the total rail market in the 2013 – 2015 period; and still growing. In line with overall market growth, the infrastructure in operation grew by 26,000 km, primarily in the urban and very high speed track segments, with track infrastructure in sum reaching more than 1.6m kms of urban and interurban tracks.

Some of the salient points to understand and take forward in this segment are:

  • The bulk of the additional track kilometres are attributed to the Asian Pacific region due to the construction of new routes in China and India.
  • As reported by UNIFI: European Research Firm, the total market for rail supply is set to continue its growth of recent years at 2.6 %. The rail supply market is foreseen to reach approximately EUR 185 bn per annum in the 2019 – 2021 period.
  • The highest growth rates are expected in Western Europe and Africa/Middle East, 3.1 % and 3.0 % respectively.
  • Frost and Sullivan claims in its research report that Europe alone is set to replace 10,298 locomotives and 1,860 rail cars between 2015 and 2022.
  • With the above, Africa and Middle East market size is expected to double by 2022, while India and Malaysia in the coming 5 years will see 2x infrastructure expansion.
  • India and China, due to the population challenges, are considering increasing the network length to lower the load while in Argentina, Brazil, Canada, Russia and the US private fright operators own most of the rail network.
  • Spain, France and Turkey are expected to have the largest networks by 2022.

Growth Brings Challenges and opportunities too…, one of the areas where the challenges are widely seen is the FLEET MANAGEMENT, the exponential growth followed with high expectations and customer experience certainly needs to be addressed and people are now looking at DIGITAL solutions to ease Strategic and Tactical Operational issues. Key issues with respect to Fleet Maintenance today can be broadly categorized as below:

  1. MAINTENANCE PROGRAMME REDESIGN by comparing experiences of key maintenance approaches and methodologies to assess how each impacts cost and availability, energy flooring and driverless pods become the innovative elements of redesign driven by cost of Energy which is the biggest expenditure incurred by the railways.

  Not to forget the railway telematics through plug and play applications on mobile devices allowing you to report the availability and utilization of locomotives. If we bring in more rigor into planning, safety, operations and execution, with the existing railway infrastructure, we can take an additional capability of 40% through digital means and so on. The overall operational aspects can be improved through digitization as is being proven over the past few years.

  1. INFO MANAGEMENT by examining approaches and new systems for transforming raw data into information to optimize maintenance planning and cost-effectively trigger automatic maintenance operations leveraging the power of BIG DATA and ANALYTICS. Analytics can help us in bettering the routing algorithms, better connectivity, and hence multiple better options, optimize operational costs, a more reliable railway, a better dashboard in the driver’s cabin plugging in critical information for increasing safety (helps avert any mishaps when trains need to cross busy junctions), reliability, punctuality, arrival accuracy, planned travel duration, SoS,etc.
  1. REMOTE CONDITION MONITORING: with so many locomotives on the move, one should continuously know about their health so that you know when it needs attention. One can create the ecosystem whereby all the drive-data is stored (on cloud?) and enabling immediate notification for any anomalies. It will also allow you to anticipate a potential problem and help plan a predictive maintenance. Drones will play a vital role in predictive maintenance and improved security. Electronic tagging or cargo for reliable tracking and reduced delays will improve remote monitoring efficiency.

While solutions like Smart windows are a given for an enhanced customer experience, the bigger offerings are around features like wireless locomotive monitoring and checks for better asset utilization, optimized asset planning with reduced shed times, near real-time locomotive inventory, with component level monitoring bringing in huge efficiency in the entire maintenance processes.

  1. RELIABILITY-CENTRED MAINTENANCE by Identifying a best practice model for applying RCM and examining the extent to which the methodology has increased reliability and eliminated unnecessary maintenance costs leveraging the power of Artificial Intelligence. Swarm robotics is another area for future transport and infrastructure projects, the intelligent robots will be used more and more for repair and maintenance activities. Automatic Gauge change for cross border travel powered by IoT will be the new norm.
  1. MANAGING SUPPLIER CONTRACTS by Identifying opportunities to increase control of the supply chain with optimized material costs through efficient supplier contract management and using Cloud based solutions coupled with Social CRM applications as the global consumption of resources will nearly triple to 140 billion tons per year by 2050. The Fleet of tomorrow will be digital enabled with virtual shopping mall experience for the user to benefit adding convenience and ease.
  1. EXTENDING FLEET LIFESPAN: Optimizing component life-cycle, fleet connectivity, fleet integration plans and obsolescence management to extend lifespan of the fleet with the best in class asset management solutions that can be plugged into the existing architecture. Advances in nanotechnology may lead to new materials that are lighter, stronger, smarter and greener. Availability of information of a hub-spoke inventory management through mobility services from the cloud stored data for access will enable Just-In-Time services optimizing the shelf dwell times and hence the level of re-orders needed to be maintained.

While the above 6 key factors can be essential to improve the operations and maintenance, there are multiple other areas (both Strategic and Tactical) like Fleet Planning, Fleet Acquisition, Fleet Distribution and Fleet Disposal which are being addressed leveraging Digital Technologies. We will discuss in a sequel about how the Digital world would bring about strides of changes in these areas. Collaboration between business and IT will drive efficiency and strengthen engagement benefiting both the industry and the economy.

The best way to predict the future is to invent it.” …our focus and goal in line with Digital 2020 should be to tap into these opportunities and assist the players overcome the challenges in the  Collaborative Digital Transformation that will enable a Win-Win situation, thus embarking into a new journey, partnering and contributing to the overall GROWTH…!

Quantum Computing – expectations in Digital Era !!

By – SAIRAM BOLLAPRAGADA & SHRADDHA BLS

The advent of digital in all facets of life is increasing the demand for better, faster, stronger, reliable and safer infrastructure needs of a common man, who is using the social media, the networks, the mobility and shared cloud services implicitly like never before.

If any, these demands will only go northwards, some of the areas which were theoretically in picture thus far have started assuming practical shape, like quantum computing and artificial intelligence.

The IT Headaches are increased multi-fold due to delays. 55% of IT Professionals experience downtime, causing unproductive hours; 24 petabytes of data processed by google daily; 2 hours of video uploaded every minute at YouTube; 2.9 million mails sent every second; 375 MB of data consumed by households each day; 72.9 items ordered on Amazon per second…. and still the demand for more speed and more capacity never ceases!!!

Human brain has 100 billion neurons, each neuron connected to 10,000 other neurons, this is the most complex and complicated computer known to the universe connected to the super conscious. Today going beyond the binary world of Zeros and Ones we learnt in our early days of computer education a new dimension of multiple zeros and multiple ones co-existing together and intelligently making decisions assisting the GenZ live in a gadget friendly world.

Computers are doubling in power every 18 months, states Michio Kaku (an American theoretical physicist, futurist, and popularizer of science, Kaku is a professor of theoretical physics at the City College of New York and CUNY Graduate Center), but this will not go on forever. He predicts the silicon revolution to be over within the next 15 years. That is why quantum computing is the future of technological advancements.

Quantum Computing that was conceptualized as early as 1980’s is still in its infancy in 2016. However, while practical and theoretical research continues, the fact that it has been made into a reality in some of the labs and commercially affordable limitedly at a high cost is breathing hope for the expectations. In the realm of Quantum Physics particles can act as waves or particle or particle and wave (Super position).

In Superposition a Qubit can be 0 or 1 or 0&1 which means it can perform 2 equations simultaneously, hence 2 can perform 4 equations ,3 can perform 8 equations, hence 2n exponential expansion of simultaneous equations continues…leading to unimaginable large numbers of working concepts.

These concepts are converting to reality fast with companies like D-Wave building the world’s first real quantum computers (with closed environments with limiting dimensions of light, temperature and cost). The Digital space reflecting the need for near-real time scenarios, can leverage and become an excellent life changer. While we are bringing in game changers with the advances in Digital areas, Quantum computing can lend a huge impetus to the entire phenomenon if it were included in the strategic planning of the digital solutions.

The expectations from Quantum Computing can be set to bring in huge transformations in areas as below (though the areas mentioned are just a few of so many):

  1. Artificial Intelligence: A Chinese team of physicists in 2014 trained a quantum computer to recognize handwritten characters, the first demonstration of “quantum artificial intelligence”. The software that Google has developed on ordinary computers to drive cars or answer questions could become vastly more intelligent with usage of QC. It is proven that quantum effects have the potential to provide quadratic improvements in learning efficiency, as well as exponential improvements in performance for short periods of time when compared to classical techniques for a wide class of learning problems. All solutions based on cognitive techniques would also get hugely benefited from the QC. The primary aim of the cognitive sciences is to provide explanations of important mental functions, including perception, memory, language, inference, and learning.
  2. Cryptography: This field is gaining increasing significance by the day in the background of Digital solutions. Since a quantum state changes when it is observed, it is possible to design ways of ascertaining whether a person has eavesdropped on a message which can lead to real time detection of breaches. Using that method people can send each other encryption keys— strings of symbols that are used to encrypt and de-crypt messages — and be sure they’ll be alerted straight away if someone has intercepted the key.

The technological potential for quantum computing was first realized in the formulation by Shor (1994) of a polynomial-time quantum algorithm for the problem of factoring a number into its constituent primes, for which the best classical algorithms require exponential time.

The apparent intractability of prime factorization under classical computation is central to the security of the cryptographic schemes prevalent today. If implemented on a suitable quantum machine, Shor’s algorithm could potentially break the encryptions depended on by governments, banks, and millions of individuals.

  1. Cyber security: wireless networks, shopping or paying bills online, logging into password-protected Web accounts, and toting always-connected mobile devices presents a constant security threat. The overwhelming computational abilities accessible upon the arrival quantum computers would quickly unravel the most advanced public key encryption available today, leading to the current cryptographic standards getting obsolete. If quantum computers appeared as a viable technology tomorrow, there would be precious little alternative and acceptable means for securing our online and wireless transactions as protecting information and computation processes is the backbone of the security which converts your message into a secure format that can reach its destination without being read by an eavesdropping party.
  1. Economics: Supercomputers were very talked about in the real time economics scenarios in the 1970s and it did get its due outcomes. However, with Quantum computing the game theory will become more intriguing and interesting. Computational thinking is transforming economics, spawning a new field of computational microeconomics
  1. Medicines: Qubit is expected to transform the Magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) that can be looked upon for study of smaller body cells with high precision. Another area where there is large expectation in bio-medical is the vast DNA sequencing improvements where quantum computing can help large scale processing of data to bring it to clinical use.
  1. BI and Data Analytics: high performance computing has always been an expectation in this field and the better the machines, the better the data processing capabilities improving our decision making abilities. Quantum computing has put the imagination of speeds of faster data processing to new heights using HDFS and MapReduce. Complex and complicated Data – structured or unstructured, can be expected to be treated with ease as Qubits superposition characteristics are leveraged.
  1. Agriculture: owing to the genomics-based data explosion and concurrent computational advances in technologies, the ICAR in India claims a paradigm shift in Agricultural sciences. The better and bigger data processing capabilities that can bring in faster research advances in bioinformatics, be it modelling of cellular functions, metabolic pathways, validation of drug trials and targets to better genetic engineering of crops for better yields of better crops, genetic networks, etc., throws in a hope to stop the calamities due to crop failures in rural areas of developing nations. Here again the QC can play a very critical part as well as in the precision agriculture – a concept leveraging digital solutions fast expected to reach a market of 4.55$ Billion in 2020.
  2. Logistics: A new optimization algorithm was devised for logistics companies by Manchester Metropolitan University to calculate the best routes and times to send vehicles on the road in the most efficient way. The code, a Quantum Annealing Optimization algorithm, is one of the first in a new generation of optimization techniques, which could revolutionize logistics for businesses and a range of other applications.

While Quantum computing is more about converging to solve optimization problems, the application domains can vary in spectrum – be it finding the most optimized solution to power consumption, In artificial intelligence, economics, genomics or medicine, etc. The application of Quantum Computing can also be looked at solving some of the complex machine learning where building models to make accurate predictions.

(At an estimated 15 million $ price tag a handful of organizations like Google, NASA, Amazon, Lockheed Martin have emerged as forward thinking organizations, who are ready to bet on future technologies.)

Towards a better hope, bigger future!!

After DevOps, now OpsDev??

After DevOps, now OpsDev??

By Sairam Bollapragada

The techniques and improvements in Software Engineering will never cease to challenge us enough! The thought process of having a better servicing capability leads us to ensure we are continuously innovating and serving the customers better each time as the fear of losing them lurks all the time.

On the other end, with the onslaught of IoT and Digital, the Customer connects have been peaking with personalization being major focus. The lives of mankind will never be the same again as technology is slowly inching to grab the driving wheel of the lifestyle. Let us begin with the following scenario :

I want to get the best of my weekend for my family where we would like to go to a movie of our choice, do some grocery shopping for the upcoming week, and also play with my kids at some gaming arena. Obvious choice seems to be a mall. However, I would like to make the best of the time available and hence not try to invest time on traffic. Hence the inputs I would like to have at my disposal would be where does this movie show with high probabilities of getting my tickets, in a place where I could also do a little bit of grocery shopping with my needs being available, and not too far (if not within the same campus) for the gaming. I cannot book a ticket for the movie since the mobile application for the same will tell me about the movie tickets availability but cannot help me to find out the status of the traffic to the place. It also cannot tell me if the grocery shops do have what I need as well as the rush at the gaming arena.

Imagine if all these data sets were being provisioned by different apps, I would keenly look at some ways to consolidate and help me with a decision…more so if these points were not all co-located.  If there was an application which could cater to such consolidated needs, I am sure people would love to have them to help ease their decision making. I can foresee that in the no-so distant future where we would have predictive analytics and customized services being rolled out to help such needs.

This brings back to my another article (https://itservicesdelivery.wordpress.com/2016/05/05/digital-manufacturing-through-industrie-4-0-2/) where there is emphasis laid on growing needs for Value Added Services. Hence all the service providers above need to tie up with some service provider who can aggregate the needs from one single user to another user and provide the valued information about traffic times, service availability, any special attractions or sale or bargains (if that is what you are looking for), etc.

From a Software Engineering standpoint, while the process of developing such VAS starts with the developer-based challenges, the outcomes are more operational in nature. This is DevOps.

When the focus shifts with starting point being with the customer, the OpsDev come into picture. In the above case, the objectives of the customer (end result) is what will drive the requirement. The orchestration between different and disparate sources of data calls for an agreement between the data providers, their availability, their need to exchange the same in real time so that the best results can be provisioned to the end user. Hence the journey to reach through a maze of dependencies on what is needed when and how it gets into the stream to the end service point always plays on the mind. The parameters in crafting such a personalized that need to be taken care of like infra-security, infrastructure availability and SLAs, compliance, data privacy are given top priority. Modeled after simulated environments to create the feel of the entire development lifecycle with stubs instead of finished components, one can build an early patterns on target environment behavior (allowing automation of the same), all helping to auto-build-and-deploy mechanisms saving huge time in troubleshooting environmental dimensions while also getting in place the sync between pre-prod and prod environments. This can not only lead to better outcomes, the QA part is also taken care of saving cycles of back and forth.

The release pipeline orchestration between various environments acts as a catalyst enabling automation and move-in-parallel philosophy. Simultaneous pipeline releases comprising a major release with least error-prone move-to-production can be visualized and planned. The parallelism thus enabled comes with high quality throughput and interdependencies are taken care of through the commit pipelines.  A QA gate to do your checks and validations can be built for releases that are appropriately approved by production co-ordinators to ensure right deployment schedules are adhered to.

The OpsDev production controllers can also ensure that the orchestrated releases are integrated with the ITSM and relevant monitoring processes through a change management process. The planned releases are published to all the IT application owners through the release dashboard which then follows through the request for review and approvals. The deployment is flagged off once all approvals are in place and falls into the normal ITMS cycle thereon.

Circling back to my movie and grocery and gaming, the smooth information provisioning will be an outcome of an impeccable orchestration between multi-channel, multi-device, multiple-needs at real-time helping to plan an effective weekend – following OpsDev principles – Outcomes upfront!

Smart Living beyond Smart Cities – Emotion Tracking

By Sairam Bollapragada & Rajesh Mohandas

If we time traveled a few years back and someone told us we would start wearing a chunky, black band on our wrist to monitor how many steps we take, our pulse and few other health stats, we might have been coming straight out of a hi-fi science fiction movie. We are there today and it’s a reality. Couple of years back Pew Trust published a report which found that 69% of adults track themselves. And, 21% use technology to do it. According to Statista, the fitness wearable’s market is expected to have a value of$19 billion USD by 2018.

emotion track

There has been no one definition of stress that everyone accepts, but still everyone acknowledges that we live in stress, one of the thoughts that ran past my mind which triggered to write this blog, can smart cities help stress free living  using technology like Google mind-reading. Maybe we can monitor the thought process and understand patterns of wary thoughts….in old age it is more the feeling of insecurity which causes the stress than anything else. Remember, when we were kids and living in joint family environment any emotion was easily caught by our parents, siblings, cousins, uncles/aunties if not any for sure by grandparents and very soon it was put to rest or given a directional correctness and we used to very soon come back to our normal self. In today’s so called modern day setup where kids live in a nuclear family often brought up either in a day care or under the supervision of a nanny, with both parents working and relatives living in different cities completely disconnected in the so called connected world…

Going beyond families, the corporates and the business are going thru a very different dimension of disruption and want to understand the customers better, what makes the customer more satisfied with their products, with their advertisements and campaigns that will trigger a right emotion to reach the product on the shelf.

Further beyond corporates and families, the healthcare practitioners have clearly understood and articulated often the impact of external forces on our bodies and mind and the way our mind and body reacts to it automatically. This automatic response developed in our ancient ancestors and exists in our genes today as a way to protect us from predators and other threats. Faced with danger, the body kicks into gear, flooding the body with hormones that elevate  palpitations, increase your blood pressure, boost your energy and prepare you to deal with the problem. These days, you’re probably not facing the same threats but similar one. But you probably do confront multiple challenges every day, such as meeting deadlines, paying bills and juggling childcare that make your body react the same way. As a result, your body’s natural alarm system — the “fight or flight” response — may be stuck. That can have serious consequences on your health.

As per the reports published by American Psychological Association 75% of people experience some or the other kind of stress daily, Approximately 1 out of 65 people may experience panic attack , 80% of workers feel stress on the job and nearly half say they need help in learning how to manage stress.  Alarmingly 91% of adult Australians feel stress in at least one important area of their lives, An estimated 442,000 individuals in Britain, report to experience stress and visit a professional counsellor for help, Approximately 13.7 million working days are lost each year in the UK due to stress factors. Geo political factors are causing a lot of stress in the MENA area and Indian medical association has reported 3 out of 4 people who visit the doctors today have aliments related to stress leading to 40% heart troubles, 44% sleep related disorders and various lifestyle diseases. India is the diabetes capital of the world.

A wearable called Feel takes the collected data and produces visualization on your phone. You can take a look at your whole day in the form of a graph and see when stress levels were peaking and what your mood was at different times. This emotion tracker also gives suggestions about what to do to reduce stress and make yourself happier, as well as provide breathing and meditation exercises to help you calm, down. You can also set long-term emotional well-being goals and receive personalized tips to be healthier and promote positivity.

Technology like feel could adapt to human emotions, using sensors, computer vision and algorithms to correctly identify the likely emotions displayed by individuals… for marketers the emotion tracking technology can enable them to predict how well their marketing assets will do. It enables them to stop campaigns and gives the knowledge to know if a given asset is even good enough to air.

Some IoT devices beyond “Feel” already available in the market can be readily used leveraging BigData for analytics and IoT Platforms to customize applications and right sizing to meet the needs are…

XOX Server and Cloud used by ad-makers or movie makers XOX servers that allow show designers and producers access to the audience’s intimate data. This is processed locally and available through an industry standard API.

The XOX Sensory Wristband system includes specially designed ergonomic wristbands that are worn on the upper wrist. Intimate data is read via a number of wearable biometric sensors.

EyeRis is a Deep learning based vision technology enables everyday devices to understand how we feel, who we are and how we perceive the environment around us. This comes with an emotionally Intelligent vision technology adds a crucial dimension to devices Contextual Awareness to support a better Ambient Intelligence. EmoVu software embeds into the environment passively to accurately identify users, understand their emotions and personalize their individual experiences via intelligent adaptive interfaces

nViso technology can be used both online and offline, it’s a cloud based system which requires no software to be installed – all that is needed is a web browser and a webcam.. 3D Facial Imaging captures and interprets emotions as they are occur, making direct measurement of emotional response easy to implement and highly scalable.

Lightwave, which calls itself an “applied neuroscience platform,” is one of several companies furiously at work creating a new field called emotional economy, focused on sensing and analyzing consumers’ mental states. This is a young start-up but a pioneering bioanalytics technology company, is in the business of tracking how we feel in these micro-moments

Apple in January 2016 bought a San Diego start-up called Emotient, which uses facial-tracking technology to identify people’s feelings while Nelisen bought Boston-based Innerscope, which combines facial-cue recognition with Lightwave-style wearables data

Affectiva is yet another company Capture people’s emotion reactions on mobile devices in real-time, using Afdex to uncover the emotional power of advertisements and media content and promoting a very new dimension of EaaS … (Emotion as a Service) offering.

Emotion tracking combined with sensor analytics is a leading trend today, quite successful with some demos and PoCs and very less practical implementation or case studies to demonstrate readily the large scale acceptance in the commercial market although there are wide verity of use cases available. The push towards Smart cities opens up a commercial opportunity for one and all involved in the pyramid to explore this wonderful feature of Emotional Tracking IoT with analytics to be integrated in every element of smart living beyond smart cites …