The Rise of the Machine and How It Is Going to Change the World

Posted on March 4, 2014. Filed under: Big Data, Cyber Security, IT networking, Manufacturing, Software Development, STEM, Technology |

I am pleased to present an article today from a top consultant in today’s technology field, Fasih Sandhu. Fasih writes extensively on the Industrial Internet as well as on the Internet of Everything through his blogs at I asked Fasih if he would provide my tech readership with an overview of the current state of the Industrial Internet.

The following text is what he submitted to me:

The Industrial Internet (aka Machine to Machine Communications or Internet of Things) is a term that was coined by General Electric. It brings together the advances of two transformative revolutions: 1) the myriad machines, facilities, fleets, and networks that arose from the Industrial Revolution and 2) the powerful advances in computing, information, and communication systems brought to the fore by the Internet Revolution. Together these developments combine three elements that embody the essence of the Industrial Internet: 1) Intelligent Machines, 2) Advanced Analytics, and 3) People at Work.

Watch GE CEO, Jeff Immelt, Keynote Speech at Minds + Machines 2013 – GE:

In 2013, GE formed partnerships with Amazon‘s Amazon Web Services (AWS), Accenture Plc, Pivotal (EMC and VMWare), AT&TCisco, and Intel for an “Industrial Internet” service that allows its customers to analyze data and predict outcomes. Watch the panel discussion of VP GE Software, Bill Ruh, with partners from AT&T, Cisco, and Intel.

GE’s vision is that eventually all GE products will become intelligent with software and connectivity and that those products will become more reliable and productive because of that intelligence. By connecting advanced software to GE equipment and systems to deliver real-time performance analytics, GE’s customers will also have more insight into their own operations, including the ability to predict and proactively address performance issues before becoming a problem. GE projects that its annual commercial opportunity in the Industrial Internet will eventually be in the neighborhood of $5 billion from products and services associated with Industrial Internet systems and analytics.

Watch industry business leaders from the Energy (Apache CorporationStatoil ASA), Utilities (Commonwealth Edison), Airline (United), and Healthcare (St. Luke’s Campus Health Care Center) sectors convene with GE to discuss the challenges and opportunities as they deploy the Industrial Internet in their businesses.

What Does It Mean for Vendors in the Tech Sector?

Cisco has estimated that 25 billion devices will permanently connect to the Internet by 2015, rising to 50 billion devices by 2020. At that rate, there will be nearly 7 times more devices permanently connected to the Internet than people in the world!

Gartner estimates that there will be more than 200 billion devices that intermittently connect to the Internet by 2020.

According to the IDC, the installed base for the Internet of Things will grow to approximately 212 billion devices by 2020, a number that includes 30 billion connected devices. All such devices will generate a tremendous amount of data that needs to be stored in databases and made available for operational & maintenance reporting and predictive analytics. Hence, vendors such as AT&T, Cisco, HP, IBM, and SAP could facilitate and/or interface with the conventional M2M Systems, and the industrial ecosystem incumbent players such as GE, Siemens, and  Honeywell could foster partnerships with the leading players in the Internet World and play an instrumental role in developing and implementing use cases for different verticals for transactional, operational, maintenance, and analytical applications. It will be an evolution rather than a revolution, and as such, both vendors and clients will have to go through a lot of pain to achieve the target states.

A Few Use Cases from Vendors

Remote Maintenance and Service

Transform enterprise asset management and field service with industry solutions for Remote Maintenance and Service. Predict equipment malfunction, proactively provide service, and replace faulty parts before system breakdown. Lower service cost by performing remote maintenance.

Connected Logistics

Solutions for Connected Logistics can reshape your supply chain by integrating real-time data from freight, containers, and shipped goods with distribution analytics to optimize your transportation operations. Identify and resolve with up-to-the-minute information.

What About “Security,” “Privacy,” “Data Integrity,” and “Liability” of the M2M Communications?

One of the biggest challenges with the early adoption and proliferation of the Industrial Internet concerns information management and legal aspects that surround the storage, distribution, and sharing of the Industrial Data that are mostly proprietary in nature. A malfunction in the M2M systems could impact human life and communities at large. The National and Internet Regulators (Aviation, Railways, Shipping, Transportation, Utilities, Healthcare, Telecom, etc.) have to work in tandem with the National Security and Intelligence Agencies to develop policies, standards, guidelines, and best practices and to enforce compliance through some kind of rating system.

What Does It Mean for Students and Professionals in the Science and Technology Sectors?

According to Laszlo Bock, the Sr. VP of people operations for Google, there are five hiring attributes Google has across the company: 1) General cognitive ability — and it’s not I.Q. It’s learning ability……It’s the ability to pull together disparate bits of information. 2) Leadership — in particular emergent leadership as opposed to traditional leadership. What we care about is, when faced with a problem and you’re a member of a team, do you, at the appropriate time, step in and lead? 3) Humility — the humility to step back and embrace the better ideas of others. 4) Ownership — it’s feeling the sense of responsibility, the sense of ownership, to step in. 5) Expertise — the least important attribute they look for is “expertise.” For more on that, see the article in the NY Times.

In my opinion, success in the age of the Industrial Internet will be a combination of science and art. Both students and professionals have to first learn the science and then be creative with the use cases of the myriad applications to improve the quality of human life and industrial productivity.

Author Bio

Fasih Sandhu is the Director of Greater Golden Horseshoe Consultants in Ontario, Canada. He specializes in optimizing IT and telecom ecosystems to extend business capabilities, cut costs, and drive ROI. His background as an advisor, management consultant, project manager, and ICT leader has provided him with a unique look at how improved workflow, technology, robust project delivery, and optimized organizational structures can impact business growth, innovation, and productivity. Fasih holds the PMP certification and is a Certified Management Consultant (CMC). He also has a Bachelor of Engineering degree in Computer and Information Systems and is a senior member of the IEEE.

Fasih can be reached via or

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Big Oil & The IT Industry: When Two Giants Shake Hands

Posted on February 19, 2014. Filed under: STEM, Work Issues |

cache_935776872Throughout the day-to-day running of ITtechExec, I come across many fascinating individuals who are out there considering the topics of today’s industry and looking at innovative ways of addressing them. Dr. Byron K. Wallace is one of those people.

Having worked in the oil industry for more than 22 years, Dr. Wallace has used his vast experience to examine the impact of IT on big oil, which has resulted in the release of his book, Big Oil & the IT Industry: When Two Giants Shake Hands.

Because I know IT innovation is near and dear to my clients, I asked Dr. Wallace to submit a summary of his book.

The following text is what he submitted to me:

Big Oil & the IT Industry: When Two Giants Shake Hands is mostly based upon the outcome of my research which embarked on a journey to determine if the amount of oil production is synonymously related to the number of information technology (IT) projects oil and gas companies implement. The book revolves around historical facts and current world events, showcasing the relevance and indifference when the “Old meets the New” world, explaining the content in a more exciting, informative way while at the same time emphasizing my main idea: exploring the good and the bad this New World of technological advancement has brought us and how the oil industry copes with the demands.

This book is meant to be practical and yet useful to many, especially to those who work for the petroleum corporations and within the IT industry along with students.

After reading this book, my hope is that readers will have a passing know-how of almost all of the important ideas in the world of IT and the oil industry, and how the game of monopoly is played out in a real, live business setting and a glimpse of the people running the show.

Unlike other published non-fiction books out there with much data structure, illustrations and boring explanations, which give readers a desire to want to skip through the data to reach the “fun parts,” Big Oil & the IT Industry is not like that. Instead I introduce my facts and arguments in a more, let’s say, fun way, without taking away from the meat of the matter, and spinning in tens of circles leaving readers bored and uninterested.

The language is simple and not hard to grasp. By throwing my own experiences into the midst and bringing out more sparks by comparing the past to the present and allowing our readers to see the picture without having to look at a visual aid to know what the author is trying to convey, it is also a great way to see bits and pieces of who Dr. Byron K. Wallace really is, my work. Although the topic seems to be different having to mix IT funding and IT projects implementation as a subject of discussion, the outcome is fascinatingly intriguing and factual and will certainly raise questions and debate.

Big Oil and the IT Industry evaluates the intriguing adoption of information technology budgets and its investment practices.

The book also covers increased organizational productivity and how it does not influence IT innovation project investments.

The petroleum industry covers a wide range of possibilities; it is also very unstable and unpredictable, and yet, it is undoubtedly one of the most powerful industries. The oil and gas rollercoaster throughout history has made scholars and Academia spin their heads trying to figure out what will happen next over the coming years.

Meanwhile both policy and decision makers in global organizations cite the need for changes within the business environment that influence the need for IT in their respective arenas.

Although it is true that the production of oil continues to be rendered equally, it should stabilize a country, keeping the wolves at bay and peace among mega-mogul business corporations. In contrast, information technology doesn’t have the same fragileness and the fact that it’s in demand and now serves as the backbone that helps strengthen our economy, IT has become the new fad taking over almost every inch of our lives. The subtitle of the book “When two Giants Shake Hands” will clearly emphasize how information technology works and why businesses are keeping a close eye on IT and what drives the changes.

Author bio

Dr. Byron K. Wallace has an undergraduate degree in Electronics Engineering Technology from Grambling University, and a Masters degree in Information Systems Management from the University of Phoenix. In 2012 he obtained his doctorate degree of Management in Organizational Leadership with a specialization in Information Systems Technology also from the University of Phoenix. He has worked for 21 years as an IT Infrastructure Specialist for Chevron North American Exploration & Production.  He also has had the privilege to work in Angola Africa for Chevron International Exploration & Production where he mentored and supervised National Employees on all aspects of the Process Control network, Device security, Password Protection, and database development process. He is a certified Microsoft System Engineer, Cisco Certified Network Associate, Certified Comp TiA Security, and VMware vSphere 4.

He also teaches online for Liberty University, Indiana Wesleyan University, and Everest College as an Adjunct Professor specializing in the Information Technology arena.

Dr. Byron K. Wallace is an enthusiastic public speaker, intelligent, good mentor, friend, devoted husband, and a loving father to his two boys. He is a man with a happy heart that cares and always the kind who strives to attain his big dreams no matter how hard it may seem; yet his main goal is to bring honor and pride to his family.

For more information, you may contact him via his website or via e-mail at

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The Engineering Job Market: 2014 and Beyond

Posted on December 20, 2013. Filed under: Engineering, Job Market Trends, STEM | Tags: , , |

engineer careerThe U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) has released its projections for the engineering profession spanning through 2018. To visualize the progression of this job market, GlobalSpec has produced the infographic you see here.

Overall, the market for biomedical engineers and civil engineers seems to be trending the best, but engineering as whole is expected to grow steadily through to 2018.

Some criticisms of the BLS numbers are that automotive engineering is not represented here and that despite cries of an engineering shortage, many engineers are not seeing this play out in their marketplaces.

Would love to hear your comments here. Do you think these numbers give an accurate picture of the engineering job market?

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