A smart bridge is more than a bridge

Posted by Ruben van der Zwan on 30 Oct, 2018

Bridges have enormous impacts on society. Historically, having a bridge meant that you can trade a new business with the other side, increasing prosperity. Bridges give shelter when it is raining and if you are down on your luck, you might even sleep under a bridge. Even in mathematics, bridges play a role given the Seven Bridges of Königsberg problem. For many people a bridge is a way to get, for instance, across a river. When a bridge out of order for a considerable amount of time, as happened a while ago in my hometown it is a nuisance for most people. Bridges are made of all kinds of materials like wood, concrete, steel or any other combination. Even a cardboard bridge is an option. But did you know that a 3D printed bridge will soon appear in Amsterdam?

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Topics: Strategy, Digital Strategy, API Strategy, API Management, WSO2 API

Shiny front-end and dirty back-end

Posted by Ruben van der Zwan on 23 Oct, 2018

Recently one of my colleagues attended a meeting at Mobgen, the digital agency from Accenture and what was striking was that what they are doing their best to define what can best describes as ‘shiny front-end’ implementation of the customer experience. I am talking about all kinds of dialogues, chat bots, deep learning, APIs machine learning, et cetera. They showed some real needs used in cases where beautiful experience is actually being shown. One of the examples that they showed was a an application (Smartify) they developed for the Rijksmuseum in Amsterdam where they used a camera on a smart phone to scan the image of a painting and gather additional information on the painting, painter et cetera.

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Topics: Strategy, Digital Strategy, WSO2 Enterprise Integrator, WSO2 Enterprise Service Bus, WSO2 EI, WSO2 ESB, Machine Learning

Hype and hoopla

Posted by Ruben van der Zwan on 2 Oct, 2018

Recently Gartner introduced the 2018 hype cycle for emerging technologies. Every year I’m excited to read about new technologies that will come our way. And also, this year Gartner does not disappoint. For those of you who are not familiar with the concept of the hype cycle, it is a graph created by Gartner analysts on emerging technologies in their path to companies like yours and ours. The hype cycle is built on the premise that the new technology will be hyped to such an extent that it will be able to solve all problems. When we find out that this is not the case realization sets in or, you might even call it disappointment, and it leaves the peak of inflated expectations (the real name in the chart) and fall into the trough of disillusionment because the technology does not solve all of our problems. Eventually some of these technologies will enter the slope of enlightenment and become technologies that you and I can use in our work and our daily lives.

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Topics: Strategy, Digital Strategy, ESB

The democratization of GPS, IoT and Location Based Services

Posted by Ruben van der Zwan on 25 Sep, 2018

It is hard to imagine a world without the use of global positioning systems or GPS for short. Over the last decade or so we have seen the use of GPS systems increased tremendously due to the miniaturization of the technology. It meant the end of the analog Road Atlas and introduced personal navigation devices and allowed organizations like TomTom, data company taking the information from the devices and turn it into data about traffic around the world. We rely on our GPS systems to go from A to B. Imagine what you can do with an IOT devices that allows location-based services with a long battery life.

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Topics: Digital Strategy, Strategy, IoT

Let’s stop saying: ‘The end of… whatever technology’

Posted by Ruben van der Zwan on 18 Sep, 2018

I have a favor to ask you: Can we please stop saying the end of …..and then whatever technology you hope will stop using? If we have learned one thing over the 30 or 40 years that we have been doing IT, is that technology and software have a remarkable longevity. Look the COBOL language. COBOL stands for Common Business Oriented Language and first appeared in 1959. Almost 60 years ago we saw the first COBOL programs appear in the market. At one point COBOL was the language for business use but its popularity waned. But the simple fact that something is not popular doesn’t mean that it’s not still around! The Dutch tax authority has a summer school for students teaching them among others: you guessed it, COBOL. On their website one of their employees expects COBOL to be around for another two decades or so. But it’s not just Cobol. It is also all of the other languages that we welcomed into our IT landscapes and IT departments. Many of the payment processing systems in banks are written in COBOL. So, let’s stop declaring technology as being dead since in IT we mostly add technology to our IT landscape than deprecate it.

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Topics: Strategy, Digital Strategy, Digital Transformation, ESB, WSO2 ESB, WSO2 Enterprise Service Bus