Oracle IoT Cloud for Industry 4.0 Helps Organizations Make Process Improvements for More Intelligent Supply Chains

Oracle IoT Cloud for Industry 4.0 Helps Organizations Make Process Improvements for More Intelligent Supply Chains

Oracle IoT Cloud for Industry 4.0 Helps Organizations Make Process Improvements for More Intelligent Supply Chains

New Augmented Reality, Machine Vision, Digital Twin and Automated Data Science capabilities enhance production, logistics, warehousing and maintenance.

Empowering modern businesses to improve production intelligence and market responsiveness, Oracle today unveiled new Industry 4.0 capabilities for Oracle Internet of Things (IoT) Cloud.

The advanced monitoring and analytics capabilities of the new offering enables organizations to improve efficiency, reduce costs, and identify new sources of revenue through advanced tracking of assets, workers, and vehicles; real-time issue detection; and predictive analytics.

According to The Economist Intelligence Unit, 63 percent of manufacturers have either undergone substantial digital transformation or are in the process of transforming parts of their organization, and 19 percent are developing transformation strategies. To remain competitive in the modern economy, businesses need to leverage new technologies and data to modernize their supply chains and improve visibility, predictive insights, and automation through connected workflows.

With new augmented reality, machine vision, digital twin and data science capabilities, Oracle IoT Cloud enables organizations to gain rich insight into the performance of assets, machines, workers, and vehicles so they can optimize their supply chain, manufacturing, and logistics, reduce time to market for new products; and enable new business models.

Bhagat Nainani, group vice president, IoT Applications at Oracle, said:

“IoT is the great enabler of Industry 4.0’s potential, providing real-time visibility and responsiveness at every step of the production process – from raw materials to customer fulfillment.”

“Oracle empowers organizations to create smart factories and modern supply chains with seamless interaction models between business applications and physical equipment. By receiving real-time data streams enhanced with predictive insights, our IoT applications provide intelligent business processes that deliver quick ROI.”

Today’s expansion follows the recent announcement of artificial Intelligence, digital thread and digital twin for supply chain, as well as industry-specific solutions for Oracle IoT Cloud. Oracle IoT Cloud is offered both as Software-as-a-Service (SaaS) applications, as well as Platform-as-a-Service (PaaS) offerings, enabling a high degree of adaptability for even the most demanding implementations.

Scott Rogers, technical director at Noble Plastics, said:

“We plan to leverage Oracle IoT Cloud and its machine learning capabilities to automatically analyze information gathered from the robot and process-monitoring systems. These analytics could help Noble identify ways to reduce cycle time, improve the manufacturing process, enhance product quality, and cut downtime.”

Oracle plans to add the new capabilities across the entire range of IoT Cloud Applications – Asset Monitoring, Production Monitoring, Fleet Monitoring, Connected Worker, and Service Monitoring for Connected Assets:

  • Digital Twin: Enables remote users to monitor the health of assets and prevent failures before they occur, as well as running simulations of “what-if” scenarios in the context of the business processes. With Digital Twin, organizations have a new operational paradigm to interact with the physical world, allowing lower operational and capital expenditures, minimizing downtime, and optimizing asset performance.
  • Augmented Reality: Gives operators and plant managers the ability to view operational metrics and related equipment information in the context of the physical asset for faster troubleshooting and assisted maintenance. In addition, the use of AR in training technicians reduces errors and on-boarding time, and improves user productivity.
  • Machine Vision: Provides detailed non-intrusive visual inspections, which can detect defects invisible to the naked eye, at high speed and scale. Following the rapid inspection, Machine Vision sets in motion appropriate corrective actions when anomalies and errors are spotted.
  • Auto Data Science: Automated business-specific data science and artificial intelligence algorithms continuously analyze asset utilization, production yield and quantity, inventory, fleet performance, as well as worker safety concerns, to predict issues before they arise. Auto Data Science features enable users to see performance metrics of each step in the modern supply chain with the ability to drill down into specific issues at each location without employing an army of data scientists.

Oracle IoT Cloud enables companies to monitor capital intensive assets to reduce downtime and servicing costs, and track utilization for accurate lifecycle insights and asset depreciation data, which improves enterprise procurement efficiency. The rich pool of data created by sensors within products enables organizations to offer their products as a service, gain insight into how customers are using their products, and offer improved value-added services that drive new sources of revenue.

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IoT Business News

Why Regulate Digital Organizations’ APIs

Alphabet, Apple, Facebook, Amazon, Alibaba, Tencent, and Baidu are today’s digital titans: Their services accelerate innovation and enable new business models, but also create expansive data empires that allow them to control and shape the digital world. Given their rapid growth and dominance, concerned citizens and regulators in Western markets are asking: How should these digital titans be regulated?

The need for regulation is clear: among Western companies, at least 79% of the American public uses Facebook. Similarly, Google accounts for 90% of search traffic. With access to large volumes of user data, these companies are able to create fine-grained, multidimensional views — what we call digital replicas — of consumers that pose several challenges to society’s stakeholders:

  • For consumers, use of these digital replicas by the digital titans and third parties compromises individual privacy.
  • For regulators, these digital replicas are impossible to monitor and track.
  • For service providers, titans control access to consumers and act as a “competitive bottleneck” to their ability to reach millions of customers.
  • For competitors, digital replicas create unfair hurdles that tilt the playing field toward companies with the most data and limit competitors’ access to data.

To address these issues, regulators need to focus not only on market dominance, but also on data dominance — specifically, how these companies integrate the vast quantities of data to which they have access and how they share their data or insights with third parties. Given the broad consequences of digital titans’ unbridled behavior, we need sweeping regulatory reforms.

Models already exist for the kind of regulatory schemes we need. The EU’s General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR), which aims to protect EU citizens from privacy and data breaches, regulates all organizations collecting data on EU consumers, issuing guidelines and rules on how these companies should protect privacy. Other models include the current U.S. system for monitoring the use of medical records (HIPAA), and the central bank’s system for tracking regional banks. Reforms of this magnitude — that are practically feasible — need corresponding infrastructures and investments to implement policies and regulations.

We argue that data audits are one of the best tools available to regulators for reining in the influence of these companies, improving transparency, and leveling the playing field for other companies. Data audits that focus on application programming interfaces (APIs) will give auditors and customers the full picture of these companies’ influence over society. With the arrival of cloud computing, APIs have become the lingua franca for the exchange of data and services between companies. Digital titans use APIs to dominate the digital world.

How Will Regulating Data Through APIs Help?

APIs are capabilities that allow two or more systems to connect and exchange data, both internally and externally, in a controlled manner. These APIs provide companies with well-defined and easy access to data and services from third parties. Currently, there are very few regulations for what data can be shared with third parties. If these APIs were monitored within the digital titans, we could get a complete picture of what data exists and which projects are using the data.

Subjecting APIs to monitoring will provide the following changes to the current system:

  • Auditing APIs will allow third parties to track the flow of data both within and between organizations, thus permitting regulators to decide if this flow is permissible or not.
  • Regulators can prevent digital titans from sharing data with the business units that are competing with new entrants. Without this advantage, the titans will have to compete solely based on the innovative products they bring to market, leveling competitive playing fields.
  • Consumers will be able to check on the accuracy of their data and correct it when appropriate, thereby increasing the accuracy of data.
  • Requiring digital titans to seek user permission to integrate user data will allow users to understand and control their digital replicas, putting them in charge of their data.
  • When the titans enter new markets or acquire a company, they could be forced to license their digital replicas to new entrants to assure fair play, thus taking away the overwhelming advantage they have over the new entrants.

The U.S. government has taken no action on monitoring and regulating how data flows occur within digital titans and among their third-party partners. Currently, neither EU nor American regulators are regulating the use of APIs. To protect consumers and to ensure a fair competitive landscape, the data troves of digital titans need to be more transparent to regulators. The best way to do that is to give auditors access to the digital titans’ APIs.

Currently, U.S. regulators are doing little to constrain the data dominance of digital titans. We want to see these digital titans grow, but as responsible companies that protect the larger interests of society. Self-regulation is an insufficient solution. Until companies begin providing access to their data to level the playing field, monitoring APIs is the logical next step.


MIT Sloan Management Review

2018 Thales Data Threat Report: 94% of organizations are using cloud, IoT and other transformative technologies

2018 Thales Data Threat Report: 94% of organizations are using cloud, IoT and other transformative technologies

2018 Thales Data Threat Report: 94% of organizations are using cloud, IoT and other transformative technologies

As businesses embrace new environments, data breaches have become the new reality.

Thales announces the results of its 2018 Thales Data Threat Report, Global Edition, issued in conjunction with analyst firm 451 Research.

The report finds digitally transformative technologies are shaping the way organizations do business and moving them to a data-driven world, with 94% of organizations using sensitive data in cloud, big data, IoT, container, blockchain and/or mobile environments.

Digital transformation is driving efficiency and scale as well as making possible new business models that drive growth and profitability. Enterprises are embracing this opportunity by leveraging all that digital technology offers, with adoption at record levels:

  • 42% of organizations use more than 50 SaaS applications, 57% use three or more IaaS vendors, and 53% use three or more PaaS environments
  • 99% are using big data
  • 94% are implementing IoT technologies
  • 91% are working on or using mobile payments

This rush to embrace new environments has created more attack surfaces and new risks for data that need to be offset by data security controls. The extent and impact of increased threats is most clearly shown in levels of data breaches and vulnerability:

  • In 2018, 67% of respondents were breached, with 36% breached in the last year – a marked increase from 2017, which saw 26% breached in the last year
  • Consequently, 44% of respondents feel “very” or “extremely” vulnerable to data threats

While times have changed with respect to technological advancements, security strategies have not– in large part because spending realities do not match up with what works best to protect data:

  • 77% of respondents cite data-at-rest security solutions as being most effective at preventing breaches, with network security (75%) and data-in-motion (75%) following close behind
  • Despite this, 57% of respondents are spending the most on endpoint and mobile security technologies, followed by analysis and correlation tools (50%)
  • When it comes to protecting data, the gap between perception and reality is apparent, with data-at-rest security solutions coming in at the bottom (40%) of IT security spending priorities

This disconnect is also reflected in organizations’ attitude towards encryption, a key technology with a proven track record of protecting data. While spending decisions don’t reflect its popularity, respondents still express a strong interest in deploying encryption technologies:

  • 44% cite encryption as the top tool for increased cloud usage
  • 35% believe encryption is necessary to drive big data adoption – only three points behind the top perceived driver, identity technologies (38%), and one point behind the second (improved monitoring and reporting tools, at 36%)
  • 48% cite encryption as the top tool for protecting IoT deployments, and 41% as the top tool for protecting container deployments
  • In addition, encryption technologies top the list of desired data security purchases in the next year, with 44% citing tokenization capabilities as the number one priority, followed by encryption with “bring your own key” (BYOK) capabilities
  • Encryption is also cited as the top tool (42%) for meeting new privacy requirements such as the European Union General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR)

Garrett Bekker, principal security analyst, information security at 451 Research and author of the report says:

“This year we found that organizations are dealing with massive change as a result of digital transformation, but this change is creating new attack surfaces and new risks that need to be offset by data security controls.”

“But while times have changed, security strategies have not – security spending increases that focus on the data itself are at the bottom of IT security spending priorities, leaving customer data, financial information and intellectual property severely at risk. If security strategies aren’t equally as dynamic in this fast-changing threat environment, the rate of breaches will continue to increase.”

Peter Galvin, chief strategy officer, Thales eSecurity says:
“From cloud computing, to mobile devices, digital payments and emerging IoT applications, organizations are re-shaping how they do business – and this digital transformation is reliant on data. As is borne out by our 2018 Data Threat Report, we’re now at the point where we have to admit that data breaches are the new reality, with over a third of organizations suffering a breach in the past year. In this increasingly data-driven world it is therefore hugely important to take steps to protect that data wherever it is created, shared or stored.”

To offset the data breach trend and take advantage of new technologies and innovations, at minimum organizations should adhere to the following practices:

  • Leverage encryption and access controls as a primary defense for data and consider an “encrypt everything” strategy
  • Select data security platform offerings that address multiple use cases to reduce complexity and costs
  • Implement security analytics and multi-factor authentication solutions to help identify threatening patterns of data use

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IoT Business News

What the Military Can Teach Organizations About Agility

Organizations across the world are facing a crisis of agility. Confronted with a volatile and highly unpredictable external environment, they are being forced to adapt at a speed for which they simply are not built. The larger and more established the company, the more it seems to struggle to escape organizational gravity.

While companies often look to technology companies for inspiration on how to adjust, large organizations might consider using the U.S. military as an example. Once bastions of command-and-control management style, modern military institutions such as the U.S. Marine Corps are at the forefront of thinking about organizational and leadership agility, mastering how to evolve at “clock speed.”

Overcoming the military’s traditional hierarchical model has been essential in an era of digitally enabled terrorism. Today’s military thinking now emphasizes the kind of innovation necessary to move its leadership efficiently through the four decision cycles of observe, orient, decide, and act in order to respond quickly to sudden external threats.

These same kinds of practices can make a big difference in helping any company respond to threats with greater agility, when applied as part of a wider program of change. Here are three specific practices that organizations should borrow from military leadership:

Practice 1

Leaders should focus on decisions only they can make. “I was most effective when I supervised processes,” wrote retired U.S. Army Gen. Stanley McChrystal in his book Team of Teams: New Rules of Engagement for a Complex World (Portfolio/Penguin, 2015). “Individuals and teams closest to the problem, armed with unprecedented levels of insights from across the network, offer the best ability to decide and act decisively.”

This recommendation might sound obvious, but it makes for a far-reaching and powerful strategy: To be successful, leaders must resist the temptation to dive in to “solve” a problem that should have someone else’s name on it. Leaders should be absolutely clear about what decisions only they can make and push all other decisions as far down the organization as possible.

Managers will be surprised at how few decisions only they can make. Those decisions include choosing their direct team, authorizing spending over a certain limit, and updating the Board or regulators. Most other decisions can be made elsewhere in the organization, and preferably as close as possible to the front line — the customer, in the corporate context.

Most companies, if they were to review their decision-making structure, would find too many situations where committees rather than individuals are tasked with gathering information, weighing options, and making decisions. This is a potential blocker of organizational agility. As a general rule, organizations should reduce decisions by committee and increase decisions by the individuals and teams who are closest to a particular issue.

Highlighting opportunities for a broader constituency of people to be decision-makers reduces reliance on bureaucratic hierarchies that depend solely on the most senior leaders for direction. Over time, people and teams will be empowered to be responsible for decisions within their authority, and will act rather than automatically escalate everything to senior leadership.

Practice 2

Leaders should establish “commander’s intent.” The origins of this principle of U.S. military thinking stretch back to the 18th century. In its modern incarnation, “commander’s intent” is a military leader’s clarity of the end goal. It means focusing on the “why” and “what,” while leaving the “how” to those closer to the front line. It means not micromanaging. As U.S. Army Gen. George S. Patton is quoted as saying, “Never tell people how to do things. Tell them what to do, and they will surprise you with their ingenuity.”

In 2012, Gen. Martin Dempsey, then the chairman of the U.S. Joint Chiefs of Staff, published the Mission Command White Paper that instituted the modern-day commander’s intent as a core principle “to empower agile and adaptive leaders.” The goal was to infuse a bias for action, recognizing that only commanders could create the culture required for success. The vision was to develop a leadership doctrine that would be principles-based, rather than rules-based.

The six principles of Mission Command are to provide a clear commander’s intent; build cohesive teams through mutual trust; create shared understanding; exercise disciplined initiative; use mission orders; and accept prudent risk. But it is commander’s intent that is at the heart of this form of leadership, calling for a culture of disciplined initiative and risk-taking.

This idea is a world apart from what exists in many companies. Most frontline employees are instructed to follow “one best way” rules, with organizations checking to ensure that employees have followed rules to the letter.

Examples of successful principles-based leadership are highly agile organizations such as Amazon.com Inc. and Netflix Inc., which are guided by Amazon’s Leadership Principles and Netflix’s Principles of Chaos Engineering, respectively. These organizations work with a speed and an experimental agility that traditional command-and-control organizations can only dream of. It’s one reason why Amazon could deliver something as significant as Amazon Prime in only 111 days.

These companies recognized early in their development that training people to follow prescribed sets of rules can reduce the speed, dexterity, and adaptability of the organization over time. People in rules-based organizations, when faced with unexpected situations, wait for the chain of command to produce an answer. Those in principles-based companies solve problems themselves. When corporate leaders invest the time to articulate the “why” and “what” of target outcomes and convey a big-picture strategy in simple language, people become empowered to take the initiative to innovate.

Practice 3

Leaders should find a “directed telescope.” A directed telescope is a concept that dates back to the 19th century. It means using a small number of trusted officers as the leader’s eyes and ears in the field.

“Environmental dexterity” — meaning being actively receptive and responsive to new and changing external conditions — is critical for leaders of any organization. Keeping in close contact with the outside world from the perspective of employees, customers, suppliers, board members, and other stakeholders, becomes increasingly critical in a world where the pace of change seems to be ever-increasing.

In the corporate world, a directed telescope pipeline of information can come in the form of senior advisors, external coaches, or trusted colleagues at any level from inside the organization — anyone who can provide the manager with greater awareness and environmental insight. With candid feedback on what is happening on the ground, managers can improve their own agility and the agility of their organizations as a whole.

The Challenge: Overcoming Deep-Rooted Practices

Increasing leadership agility and, in turn, the agility of the wider organization is difficult. It requires changes to ingrained mindsets and behaviors of senior individuals who have been successful in their careers. Managers who recognize the need for organizational change usually fail to see themselves as one of the things that needs changing. They may set the goal of increased agility for the organization, but then neglect to establish a feedback loop for insight into how their own leadership behaviors may be interfering with achieving that goal.

Military leaders would be the first to say that their institutions can represent both the very best and the very worst in terms of agility, and that they don’t necessarily have the full answer to the challenge. They do, however, invest significant resources in discussing the question and experimenting with innovative solutions. Business organizations need to adapt a similarly urgent rethink, in particular on the mindset and behaviors required for sustained organizational agility.


MIT Sloan Management Review

New Research Shows Industrial Organizations Increasingly Focused on IoT Adoption, but Most Are Still in Early Stages

New Research Shows Industrial Organizations Increasingly Focused on IoT Adoption, but Most Are Still in Early Stages

New Research Shows Industrial Organizations Increasingly Focused on IoT Adoption, but Most Are Still in Early Stages

Bsquare’s 2017 Annual IIoT Maturity Study reveals 86 percent of industrial organizations have adopted IoT but fewer than half are using advanced analytics and only a quarter have taken steps to automate the application of insights.

Bsquare, a provider of Industrial Internet of Things (IIoT) solutions, today released the findings from its first annual IIoT Maturity Study, which explores the current IoT adoption progress of business buyers in Manufacturing, Transportation, and Oil and Gas (O&G).

According to the 2017 study, 86 percent of industrial organizations are currently adopting IoT solutions and 84 percent believe those solutions are very or extremely effective. In addition, 95 percent believe that IoT has a significant or tremendous impact on their industry. However, the study also shows that most IIoT investments are focused on connectivity (78 percent) and data visualization (83 percent). In addition, only 48 percent are doing advanced analytics on that data and only a small number (28 percent) are automating the application of insights derived from analytics.

Kevin Walsh, vice president of marketing at Bsquare, said:

“Our study shows that while industrial organizations have enthusiastically adopted IIoT, a majority have not yet moved to more advanced analytics-driven orchestration of data insights.”

“These later stages of IIoT maturity—analytics, orchestration and true edge computing—tend to be where most of the ROI is realized. This is especially important because, according to our study, the number one reason cited for IIoT adoption is cost reduction.”

Bsquare’s 2017 Annual IIoT Maturity Study was conducted in the United States in August 2017, and reached more than 300 respondents at companies with annual revenues in excess of $ 250 million. Participants were evenly divided among three industry groups (Manufacturing, Transportation, and O&G) and titles covered a wide spectrum of senior-level personnel with operational responsibilities, most of whom had spent an average of six years in their organizations.

Key highlights from the report include:

  • The vast majority (86 percent) of organizations are deploying IIoT solutions, led by Construction/Transportation (93 percent) and followed by O&G (89 percent) and Manufacturing (77 percent).
  • Nearly two-thirds (73 percent) of all businesses plan to increase their IoT investments over the next 12 months, despite almost every respondent acknowledging that IoT deployments are complex.
  • Nine out of 10 decision-makers feel it is very or somewhat important for their organization to adopt IoT solutions. And 95 percent perceive IoT as having either a significant or tremendous impact on their industry at a global level.
  • Industrial organizations are using IoT most frequently for device connectivity and data forwarding (78%), real-time monitoring (56 percent), and advanced data analytics (48%). More mature uses of IoT, such as automation and enhanced on-board intelligence, are also prevalent in industrial settings.
  • More than 90% of IIoT adopters cite device-health as the primary reason for IoT adoption followed by logistics (67%), reducing operating costs (24 percent) and increasing production volume (18 percent).
  • More than half of organizations are using annual subscription models for their IIoT solutions, and 77 percent use a cloud-based model. Amazon and Microsoft were tied (14 percent) for the preferred cloud service provider.

The IoT Maturity Index outlines the stages commonly associated with Industrial IoT technology adoption. Each phase typically builds on the previous one, allowing organizations to drive maximum value as they progress through the index. The stages include:
1. Device Connectivity : on-board logic to collect data and transmit to cloud databases,
2. Data Monitoring : dashboard and visualization tools to monitor real-time data,
3. Data Analytics : machine learning and complex analytics used to develop device models and insight,
4. Automation : development and execution of logic rules that automate business activities and device configuration,
5. Edge Computing : distribution of analytics and orchestration to the device level.

For more information on the 2017 Annual IIoT Maturity Study,
click on the illustration here-below to download the complete survey infographics:

BSquare IIoT maturity survey infographic

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