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#93 The Four Superpowers of Digital Transformation
on Thu Jun 23 2022 17:00:00 GMT-0700 (Pacific Daylight Time)
On this episode, Darren discusses the four superpowers of digital transformation with Intel’s Greg Ernst, Corporate VP of Sales, Americas. Ubiquitous compute, Pervasive Connectivity, Cloud to Edge, Artificial Intelligence.
Intel focuses on ubiquitous computing, pervasive connectivity, cloud to the edge, and artificial intelligence (AI). Elements of these four superpowers are mandatory in digital transformation strategies for companies worldwide, so there is great synergy.
Ubiquitous computing is a software engineering concept where computing is everywhere. Not only does it refer to smart personal devices such as phones, watches, and appliances, or data center infrastructure and cloud-based apps, but it’s the idea that enterprise infrastructure that has historically been behind a firewall is now coming into everyday life. Enterprise infrastructure is available to employees on campus, and anywhere they have a device. Even more importantly, the infrastructure can extend to customers to improve their experience.
Intel is looking at what foundational elements should be driven through the ecosystem to achieve a goal of every person on earth having access to a petabyte of data or a petaflop of computing within less than a millisecond of access. Intel is working on the laws of physics, economy, and data sovereignty to make that possible. This will give software companies, cloud companies, and all the companies worldwide a framework for software that will create value for their customers.
In a recent interview, Glenn Kurowski, the CTO of CACI, talked about connectivity and how he sees it unleashing into the space domain. A great example is when Elon Musk flew Starlink over Ukraine to keep them from going into the internet darkness.
With this tremendous computing power, connectivity is crucial. There is satellite connectivity, 5G, and 4G. Still, even within the internet, between states and countries, the question is, how do you traverse through networks and enable pools of computing that are not interconnected? Without connectivity, the value of computing rapidly declines.
To protect this interconnected data, Intel and teams of hundreds of technology companies are collaborating and innovating together. Governments must also understand the laws, rules, and concerns. Intel, for example, employs a sizable force to help lawmakers have those conversations to create laws that protect data. Intel’s ecosystem is vast, and people pay attention when Intel says this security is essential.
Estonia is a good model of a country protecting their citizens’ data but also unleashing that data and providing more for their citizens at a lower cost. There will be a natural evolution to this model, as governments actively protect the privacy and think strategically.
On the enterprise side is the extension of the surface that businesses can interact with their customers via the cloud to edge. A great example is Omnichannel retail, where a company knows who the customer is, their trends, and what they need. They can recommend additional services with pervasive connectivity from cloud to edge. They could tell the customer where something they are looking for is located when they arrive at the store. Retailers could extend their networks from a data center cloud or on-prem data center to unifying at the edge, creating a mesh network that goes all the way through the store.
Not only would this improve the shopper experience, but the stores could decrease loss by detecting things that are out of stock and the flow within the store. They could place their products in the most advantageous places and monitor, for example, perishable goods to take actions to move products quickly while it’s at their peak.
AI is an extension of data analytics and will inevitably grow. Mass amounts of data are created daily, and it is already beyond companies’ abilities to effectively compute. People are only looking at less than five percent of generated data.
With AI algorithms, it’s possible to find patterns with that data to, for example, cure cancer. It might be sitting there because the information is not yet in a spot where AI can use it. There will have to be a new market surrounding centralized, accessible data sets. An organized data brokerage could make centralized data available to multiple companies via the cloud while protecting data privacy, such as patient identification.
COVID quickly made ubiquitous computing important to employees working from home. That, and the subsequent hybrid workforce, exposed security flaws in the industry. There is currently a significant uptick in funding for security to address the problems and keep up with the expansion of the superpowers. Especially with edge-to-cloud architectures and ubiquitous computing, the attack surface has exploded. The industry can keep up but requires tremendous effort and forward-thinking.
Intel has significant innovations in this space with software guard extensions, security features in silicon, and the ecosystem to take advantage of these things. The ecosystem can build new use cases such as confidential distributed analytics for cancer research or multi-domain analytics, which mean across unclassified, classified, and top-secret data. Before, that data could never mingle. Now it can mix securely and solve problems we couldn’t solve before.
Many might be surprised that Intel has more than 19,000 software engineers. Intel can keep all of these engineers fully occupied as they operate at three levels: foundational software; languages, frameworks, tools, and libraries; and application-level work.
Most of this technology on the application level is given away in the open-source community, where it is accessible, secure, and optimized.
Go to http://embracingdigital.org for Intel resources related to the four superpowers.