Saturday, 11 November 2017

Knights In White Satin

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I think more people should experience Somerset. It is often said to me it is a quiet county, as everyone seems to rush through it to get west to Devon and Cornwall. It certainly must make it quieter, but no less fun or likeable. The vast quantity of work I have done, down in this really cool corner of Britain, has made me a real advocate. The Somerset Tourist board know where to post that remittance.

Soooo.. when it was mentioned to me that Knightstone Housing, just outside Weston-Super-Mere, were looking at putting together a whole event, on digital and data, I was up for it. IOT or ‘Internet Of things’, for you non TLA people. As many in socialhousing will know, Knightstone are joining with DCH, just further west.

I must have been blogging about the Internet Of Things for yonks, maybe 5 years by now.
Every time it is just around the corner. However, in 2017 it seems the smart money think it actually is. This is how fast experts think that IOT will grow:

Expected IoT Internet Of Things growth post 2017
Proof that we are on the cusp, can be seen in the explosion of IOT home automation and other domestic product devices, we all seem to be dabbling with. Recognisable examples are Hive, Nest, Wink, going headless with Amazon Echo/Alexa, Google Home, Apple HomePod. We are getting used to geekily talking into our home devices too aren't we, more so than we are prepared to do outdoors, with others.

More and more devices are entering our homes too, internet kettles, fridges, taps, heating controls etc. A world of convenience, but for sure we are in a pioneers era, with early adopters the foot soldiers. Something I described as IOT’s Betamax vs VHS moment. IOT devices need to adopt some solid standards, so devices from different sources can all work together, with standard interfaces to management software, or upper application layers (e.g. the Asset Management or CRM system).

Security of data and updates are another key area. We need to keep the vast amounts of data generated/consumed, where it’s meant to be. That needs to be designed in from inception, with the ability to patch/upgrade remotely, possibly months, or years into the future of an IOT device, that might function for ten years or more.

Having done battle on many occasions with the self-service checkouts, at Morrisons, I have always thought that the ‘March Of The Machines’ might start there. As I described at the Knightstone event, it might start in your kitchen. If Samsung internet fridges can be harnessed to leverage a remote DoS (Denial of Service) attack on internet connected servers, then we need to take IoT security way more seriously. So, right there you can see the need for strong standards for IoT, and soon! I may well blog on the remainder of the content of that presentation, in the next few months.
Could a malicious hack into the nations hummus and taramasalata, precipitate a double-dip recession?
I was very impressed with the way Knightstone had recognised the extreme importance of data, devoting a whole day to it. There was a hundred or so attendees, from the organisation and external ones, such as Yarlington and Brunelcare. Nick Horne called it right that the two key resources our organisations turn on, are data and our people. Great to chat afterwards to Nick and many others at the event I have got to know, over the last few years.

The sessions included experiences from Dwr Cymru Welsh Water on their data strategy, as well as how the data scientists of Bron Afon Community Housing, are improving quality and eliminating the old faithful, yes the labour of love, the Excel spreadsheet.

Data the welsh way, the Bron Afon Journey
Housemark and Equillian had some great data insights as to how AI and algorithms are helping us sift through ever more potentially linked data. From Equillian, my premier, from many takeaways on the day, was that “Organisations with poor data quality will never be the most successful”. Within and beyond the socialhousing sector, we would all do well to paint that slogan at the face of every open-plan office wall. That would remind managers and staff 20 times a day, that’s the ultimate key to our success.    

All the Knightstone Data and Technology Day presentations can be found on the following link -
Click here to access the presentations from #KHADataTech
Get in touch if I can add some insight to your data project or future presentation event

Related Post: In your organisation, are you the classic 'Hunter-Gatherer'? 


I would be pleased to connect with you on LinkedIn - Message me with any issues or queries, you would like to be explored in this blog. We generally receive a couple of suggestions each month.

The Moody Blues - Nights In White SatinThe Moody Blues - Nights In White Satin.
(c) Tony Smith, Acutance Consulting 07854-655009

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