Saturday, 19 February 2011

Dictators and Social Networks

Not even in their dreams the dictators in the middle eastern countries would have expected these kind of uprising from the youth of their countries. The countries are ablaze , the squares of country Capital's are abuzz with angry people and the state of anarchy which dictators have carefully preserved over the decades are crumbling in front of their own eyes.
The winds of change , which almost became a bit of gaffe thanks to obama's alleged overuse, are sweeping fast and so fast that mountains of resolute are uprooted.

So what caused these uprising and why Tunisia, Egypt, Libya, Algeria, Yemen, Bahrain are all burning?

There are multiple reasons to this:

The first being the order of the world is changing. The Western democracies which traditionally fed these dictators in the name of arresting the arise of islamic fundementalism are mired with their own economic issues.
Secondly these countries have huge youth population who are not included in the weatlh enjoyed the top honchos of their country and needless to say they are very angry about that.
Lastly, the advancement of technology ,especially the social networking, has made the collaboration between the angry youth incredibly easy. All that it takes is to create a group in Facebook to share your frustration , organize your even and zooom there is a social uprising in notime. 

The dictators who have been very comfortable arresting the earlier uprisings with a combination of strict policing, tightly controlled media and brutal forces are caught unaware now. The key definition of what they are trying to control has changed significantly thanks to the non traditional media. The resistance and uprising of the angry youth, which has been crushed successfully so far, has non traditional letouts like facebook, twitter, youtube, flickr etc.

When there are easy letouts for your emotions, you start expressing more freely. When you start expressing more freely and more often, you tend to ignite the fire.

It would be an exaggeration to state that the soc networking site are the orign of these unrest, but we cannot disagree on their level of contribution in igniting, fueling and sustaining the momentum. The well preserved forests of arrogance, callosal absurdities and oppression have been set ablaze by the tech savvy angry youth.The interesting thing is that the forest is quite big and the areas of China, North Korea, Iran etc are still withstanding.....

We are very sorry Mr Dictator: all that it takes to initiate an uprising against you are a bunch of tech savvy youth with facebook, twitter etc accounts. Get your acts right or you would very soon have people rewriting your legacy [they would capture that in wikipedia as well].

Btw, lets all thank Mark Zuckerberg and others for contributing so much for a big cause , though their original intent was just do make some ad-money!!!!

Saturday, 29 January 2011

Key Technology Trends for 2011

All of the technorati have published their take on what would be key technology trends for 2011 a month back. I did an analysis of all the key trends and found out most of them are same as the last year or minor derivatives of the same. Sometimes it feels like Time is circular than linear and progressive. Anyhow, here is my attempt to do it with a difference!

From a Macro trend perpsective; SOA, BPM, BI , Mobile, Cloud still remain the hot favorites with SOA increasingly becoming a norm or expected feature rather than a radically or magically revolutionary. For all practical purposed we could push SOA aside. I have always thought SOA is a good programming style/architectural maturity taking help of standardization and nothing else; So long, SOA pundits. We got it now and please work on something else. Lets analyse the key drivers which are relevant to the time that we are passing through now. 

The first and foremost driver is the Cost. Inspite of all those money pumped into the world economy and increased quantitative easing , the doubts about recovery are still looming large and we are yet to experience the next big boom. The CFOs are still vigilant and are cautious to spend in a casino style like we are witnessed few years back.

Secondly , the technology has been commoditised to a phenomenal extent that a Mom&Pop shop can download a OpenSource ERP, BI, BPM , DB etc if they are tech savvy. Laissez-faire is the order of the world now.

Thirdly, due to the ubiquitous nature of the internet and the increased adoption of the smartphones, the expectation for information to be available everywhere is beyond belief. We are going through an era where we are drowned with information both relevant and non relevant. 

Finally, we are getting back to have a social life [well, virtual one] through a plethora of social networking sites. We have started interacting with our near and dear more often than ever. The time that TV used to consume from us is getting slowly shifted to these sites. As we speak, there are atleast 200 million active users facebooking and twittering what they are doing now and what they would be doing in next 7 minutes. This is a very interesting driver as this represents a shift in the way we collaborate, express our emotions and share our needs/deeds. There is a whole new generation for whom this is a way of life. They are much more comfortable choosing that their friends 'Like'. Our social graph is getting increasingly cluttered.

In summary the key drivers of today are 
1. Cost
2. Commoditised technology
3. Increased information availability
4. Busy Social graph

With the above in minds, what could drive the technology world ?
1. Cloud computing would become norm. I heard a CIO mentioning Amazon Cloud is more secure than a local vendor hosting his infrastructure with a local vendor
2. Open Source would find its way through the Enterprise mainly wrapped under Cloud based Services. If you are provided a complete CRM that meets your demand through Cloud and if asked to pay 10 quids, you wouldnt mind. Wouldnt you?
Commoditised technology:
3. The availability of best of the breed tools would increase the adoption of Analytics, BPM, ESB etc especially with the Tier 2 companies across domains
4. IT vendors would focus on solving business problems rather than touting their Technology expertise, at last.
RIP Technology driven world!  Now Go to solve the problem which your customer has been grappling with  than killing him [her also] by that 120 slider
Increased information availability
5. The focus would shift from access of information to the creation of knowledge from information. Semantic web could get more prevalent.
6. Devices like smartphones and tablets that helps in Knowledge creation would become the order of the day
Busy Social Graph
7. Buying patterns would be influenced by your social graph. You would be tempted to buy the Apple TV which your friend bragged in FB and got 'Like'd by 30 of your friends
8. Newer social sites for gaming, buying would emerge and stay
9. Focus on User Experience would increase as a differentiator among the competing sellers
10. World is a better place with 9 trends!

We have been going through a linear technology world for a very long time and now the shift is slowly towards a non-linear world where an application that respects users expectation, provides knowledge at a bare minimum cost would be the winner.

Please be advised that there would not be any trends for 2012 by any one as the Mayan's have predicted an end of the World , as we know, next year.

So long and thanks for all the fish. 42. [if you dont understand check out HHGG by Douglas Adams]

Sunday, 5 December 2010

Wikileaks and Digital Renaissance

This is a followup of my earlier thoughts on Cablegate...

I had few fundamental questions in my mind about the implications of Cablegate on the Enterprises. Wikileaks , in my mind is very akin to what hotmail did to the world of emails and what iPod did to the mp3 players. The concept was not new, but it started a new era where the core concept found acceptance and evolved exponentially.

Julian Assange and his spirited team have taught us that we are living in an era of Openness. We leave trails of our thoughts all over the digital world. The world, its netizens and the organisations are more wired than ever. Whilst being closely wired has brought it great benefits of transparency , faster access to the information; unfortunately it has its byproducts as well which we are witnessing through the recent dawn of Wikileaks.

Like how the medieval European era progressed to the great Colonisation and Industrial revolution after the renaissance, we are just stepping into a digital renaissance era.
If we do a rewind of the time by few centuries and land up in Florence, Tuscany around 14th century and take a peek at what is going on , there are plenty of lessons to learn. The pages of 14th century Italy is one of the most glamorous pages of the human civilisation. It was a tipping point for many events that unfolded  and pushed the entire world to the newer dimensions.

A very practical example would that of our very own lives. If somebody had mentioned to me about what he/she could find about me by a simple googling, 5 years back, I would have simply laughed it off. The reality now is completely different , there are more information available about me (which i post in multiple sites) that my close friend may know not about me. This is a new reality, this is not going to change.

What does this mean for an Enterprise?
Primarily the employees are going to be talking more about themselves and their work in various social networking site. Your employees , collegues [and you] are very likely to lose a smartphone device which has lot of information about your company.Inspite of the huge spends on the security software, hackers are going to resort more to the social engineering than breaking their heads off to sneak in to your servers.

What would/could emerge?
Enterprise 4.0 is going to be more open. It is going to be aligned to our life styles in the digital world than resembling to the current state of traditional organisation which worked well in the pre-digital era.
The Enterprise 4.0 should cope up with the fast emerging technology and hence needs to be built on the closest way we react to the external information.

This is going to be a new digital renaissance and we better buckle up!

Thursday, 2 December 2010

Cablegate : To speak or Not to Speak!

Looks like a complete new order of the day is unfolding right infront of us thanks to Assange.
He has sparked off a wild fire that is growing so wild that nobody in the international political limelight is left unscathed. A huge repository of 251,287 diplomatic cables that were secured by wikileaks from a US mole (?) is defining the new order of the day where meaning of Privacy , Secrecy , Confidentiality are getting redefined.

In an era where we have grown to become more reliant on the devices that technology has gifted us, we leave a digital trail everywhere. When this trail gets to the unintended hands , the guarded privacy is lost. This gives raise to two questions?
Should we just get used to it and be more cautious?
Should we try to develop more sophisticated mechanisms to keep the secret a secret?

I think the probability of the latter is very unlikely as the technology sophistication are getting out of hand and there is simply no way we could catch up the privacy stealers. What ever Assange's cause may be, the very notion of what you speak could be out in public as soon as possible makes our spines chill. Internet and various associated technologies are going to get only better and hackers are going to get only sophisticated!

At the same time, these leaks give a notice to the wrong doers and sinisters that they cannot be in the hiding forever. The powerful lights of technology would search them and bring them to the moonlight.

Ladies and Gentlemen! Welcome to the brave new world where you need to be Open , Honest and speak good things else you would be online for wrong reasons in no time.... and Assagne is only a beginning

Sunday, 28 November 2010

So long and thanks for all the fish....

It has been quite a while since i blogged last. Well, the last one was to make an entry for the New Year's eve, i believe. In the era where we are overwhelmed with our intense social networking and using [useless] apps in our smartphones, it has become quite difficult to sit down and blog your thoughts, unless you are very driven by your passion of protecting rare species of Papua New Guinea or you want to make a point on your opinion about way Chinese run their government [shouldnt they be left alone?].

Somehow my reading these days have been towards only two subjects: the first being Hindu philosophy and the second being Quantum physics. I am not sure what dragged me into these but i found a few interesting parallels between both. Hence i have been reading a bit of both to understand the parallels more closely and this week, my inquisitiveness rose further thanks to series of non-stop science fiction movies.

I have been an ardent fan of Douglas Adams and have read his HHGG multiple times and was curious to watch the movie to see how an amazing book has been distorted in the movie version. Sadly, the movie didnt give me much to crib about. The director has cleverly chosen the key aspects of the book and has packaged it very well.

The key concept of the movie is the existence of the extraterrestrial intelligence and the quest for Big Answers of who we are, what is the orign of universe etc etc, which have been pondering the mankind over millions of years. These big questions are not that world if you have that fact that the man set out his foot only two million years ago from Africa. However the impact that these questions have had over us have been phenomenal and is one of the key factors for the existence of most of the religions existing today.

Brahmasutra is an ancient Hindu relic which tries to answer these big question through the logical thoughts and reference to various Hindu Upanishads. Several thoughts of Brahmasutra like there was a singular orign (big bang) , we all belong to the oneness and reference of the supreme being as brahman which not but an immutable entity which cannot be defined in the words resonate well with modern scientific beliefs [discounting my bias towards Hindu beliefs].

Quantum Physics came out of ages in the last century and has already made significant contribution towards the way we think about the big questions. Whilst Classical physics is more matured and has been developed by the sharpest of the mind that humanity has seen till date, Quantum physics is still in its nascent days [forget about the quacks selling Quantum healing etc] and mainly the traversal of particles from their quantum state to classical state is yet to be established.

But if the classical objects are composed of the quantum particles as their founding blocks, may be the hidden answer lies in understanding the traversal between the particle/wave nature of the unstable particles and the more heavier objects.
May be ancient vedic rishies were able to understand this through logical deduction or self realisation!
May be advancements in scientific discoveries would lead us to very interesting things like parallel universe, teleportation etc!

May be the answer is 42!

If you had read this far, in anticipation of some interesting facts/arguments,  So long and thanks for all the fish........