Highly Relevant Digital Technologies

Highly Relevant Digital Technologies

DOI: 10.4018/978-1-5225-5390-8.ch001


Chapter 1 explores digital technologies that are fundamental to the Fourth Industrial Revolution implementation. The technologies discussed are “Cloud Computing and Predictive Analytics”, “The Internet of Things (IoT)”, “Super-Computers”, “IBM's ‘Watson' Super-Computer”, and “Super-Computers: in General”. The authors strongly recommend that all stakeholders become familiar with the fundamental technology of cloud computing, and the business benefits of cloud computing and of predictive analytics. The internet of things (IoT) is a particularly significant actor in the Fourth Industrial Revolution. This chapter provides an overview of the IoT. A careful reading of this chapter is essential for all stakeholders in order that to appreciate both the pros and cons of the IoT.
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Cloud Computing And Predictive Analytics

Cloud Computing was adopted quite slowly by industry after becoming generally available around 1970, but has since evolved into a very promising digital pathway into the Fourth Industrial Revolution. The authors strongly recommend that stake-holders from the business community become familiar with the fundamentals and technology of Cloud computing, and of Predictive Analytics which is sometimes termed “Big Data”. This understanding will greatly facilitate their dialogue and collaboration with stake-holders from the digital technology community in satisfying the business imperatives in question.

Predictive analytics is a form of advanced analytics that uses both new and historical data to forecast future activity, behavior, and trends. It involves applying statistical analysis techniques and automated machine learning to data sets to create predictive models that predict the likelihood that a particular event will happen. The authors will discuss Big Data and Predictive analysis in more detail in later sections of this chapter.

According to Beal (2017), Cloud Computing is a form of computing that relies on sharing computing resources rather than having local servers or personal devices to handle applications, with corresponding cost reductions. In addition, according to Beal (2017) Cloud computing is comparable to “grid computing”, where unused processing cycles of all computers in a network are harnesses to solve problems that are too intensive for any one stand-alone machine. Beal (2017) explains that “In Cloud computing, the word Cloud, also sometimes called ‘the Cloud’, is used as a metaphor for ‘the Internet’, so the phrase Cloud computing in effect means ‘a type of Internet-based computing’, where different services - such as servers, storage and applications - are delivered to an organization's computers and devices through the Internet.” Cloud computing applies traditional supercomputing or high-performance computing power to perform tens of trillions of computations per second, at a much reduced cost. The “Hybrid Cloud is essential to the future of the Fourth Industrial Revolution”, since according to Beal (2017):

Hybrid Cloud uses networks of large groups of servers typically running low-cost consumer PC technology with specialized connections to spread data-processing across them. This shared IT infrastructure contains large pools of systems that are linked together. Often, virtualization techniques are used to maximize the power of Cloud computing.

An exhaustive listing of Cloud Computing related definitions has been provided by EVOLVE (2017).

By permitting unprecedented mobility for workers, increased scalability and speed of deployment for organizations, and the potential for greatly reduced capital expenditure costs, Cloud computing is changing the way that companies do business. The application of Predictive analytics is also greatly facilitated by the Cloud, which is an added bonus.

Clearly organization’s will no longer spend their resources to build a large expensive private data center when Cloud computing offers flexible financial and operational benefits at a much lower cost. Indeed according to Hancock, Henn, & Strahl (2011) organizations of all kinds have quickly recognized that they no longer want to own or manage physical IT assets. Instead, they are focusing their time, energy and resources on the strategic core differentiators for their businesses.

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