Thursday, 22 September 2016

Cloud Thinking

Ready Steady Go .. design thinking from Oracle

The cloud is now a mature technology now and I am starting to question the value of conferences which are primarily about the cloud as if it is something new so I came along to speak at the Computing Cloud and Infrastructure Summit with some scepticism.

Technology has come to dominate thinking about information technology - we may as well write it with a little i and a capital T (iT) but there is a reason the i comes before the t - the technology is a tool .. a means of achieving an end with the information. Can we think about IT without the T ... this reminds me of a magazine I used to read a very long time ago called "Informatics" and the field of informatics is something Wikipedia describes as "not to be confused with information technology"

"The field considers the interaction between humans and information alongside the construction of interfaces, organisations, technologies and systems."

In the same way that technology has come to dominate thinking about IT so systems thinking has come to dominate our thinking about so many things such as organisations, processes and products.

While the cloud is a mature technology there are companies and suppliers which are late adopters and it these late adopters who might in fact gain the most. For late adopters it becomes a case of change or become irrelevant and literally left behind and left out as the world changes around them. It was refreshing to hear suppliers talk about the need not only to change their technology but to change their thinking and to use the cloud to shift from thinking about technology and systems to thinking about information and design.

Oracle's exhibition was a refreshing experience of design thinking to engage and interest people rather than systems thinking which is best suited to engaging machines. Oracle used an Anki Overdrive race track kit with three cars which people could drive using three tablets - this was attraction enough but Oracle connected telemetry from the cars to collect, store and analyse data and trigger events such as a drone taking off to attend if a car had an accident and spoke about connecting each car's data to individual Facebook chatbots which could have conversations about the car. with people. Oracle also gave a simple yet great demonstration of frictionless IT by having the driving tablets automatically read people's delegate badges so that names appeared magically on the scoreboard along with their lap times and ranking. 

With the cloud the network is our computer and at the Computing Cloud and Infrastructure Summit there was plenty of networking taking place - it was an enjoyable and relaxed event full of great conversations about how the cloud can facilitate new ways of thinking about what we do by helping us shift from technology and systems thinking to people and design thinking. 

Below are a couple of short ad-hoc videos I made with the Oracle team talking about design thinking, IoT, the cloud and their exhibition. 

"Bring design thinking into the technology space to bring out different possibilities"
~ Pin Patel of Oracle

Anki Overdrive, Data, Cloud, IoT, Raspberry Pi, Drones and Chatbots

My conversation with Stuart Sumner about the different reasons to use the cloud 

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