The IoT Revolution

The IoT Revolution

The Internet of Things (IoT) is already revolutionizing the way key industries do business, and the benefits are only set to increase over coming decades as IoT technologies are further adopted. According to Australia’s IoT Opportunity: Driving Future Growth – An ACS Report, with regards to the construction, mining, healthcare, manufacturing and agriculture sectors, which represent 25% of Australia’s GDP, IoT technologies have the potential to achieve annual benefits of A$194-308 billion over a period of 8-18 years. That is an average productivity improvement of 2% per annum.

 

Let’s take a closer look at how IoT is set to revolutionize these key Australian industries.

 

Construction

The construction industry is set to benefit up to $96billion over coming decades due to increases in productivity resulting from IoT. Technologies such as Building Information Modelling (BIM), sensors, automation, and 3D printing are all set to have an increased presence in construction sites of the future.

 

Manufacturing

The predicted benefits for the Australian manufacturing industry over coming decades are up to $88 billion, despite the industry already being the most advanced regarding IoT adoption. Factories of the future may be remotely controlled and even connected allowing for real-time supply chain management. There will also be the increased adoption of sensor technology for monitoring and maintenance.

 

Healthcare

The healthcare industry could reap benefits of up to $68 billion in the coming decades as it takes advantage of IoT technology. ‘Smart Hospitals’ are the future, where service is more personalized and technologies such as 3D printing, robotics, nanotechnology and genetic coding are employed. Additionally, the use of wearable technologies by patients will reduce the number of visits to their GP and allow for remote access to real-time data.

 

Mining

Benefits of up to $34 billion could be achieved in coming decades by the mining industry as it adopts IoT technology. Sensors providing real-time visualizations of data and collaboration, and also the use of autonomous vehicles will increase the productivity of the sector, and are already employed by industry leaders.

 

Agriculture, Forestry, and Fishing

‘Smart farms’ are set to offer farmers increased yields are lower costs, with annual predicted benefits of up to $22 billion. Increased productivity will be the result of technologies including autonomous vehicles, sensors for crops, tracking on livestock, automation, and drones.

 

The five industries discussed are predicted to reap the significant benefits from IoT. However, they do not represent the limits of the reach of IoT technologies. While at its core IoT is a simple connected device, the broader impact of IoT technologies is an economic and social good, whereby there are not only improvements to capabilities and productivity, but more broadly improvements to everyday life and the planet.

From Chaotic to Value driven: How to progress in your IT Service management maturity

From Chaotic to Value driven: How to progress in your IT Service management maturity

Almost 20 years ago Gartner, Inc. introduced the IT Service Management Maturity Model, in order to aid IT operations management in plotting a course to create value in IT Service Management. The model introduced five levels or positions, your IT Service Management might be at Chaotic, Reactive, Proactive, Service and Value. Ideally, you want to be in the final two levels to truly be optimizing your IT service management processes.
IT Service Management Maturity Model - 700
So, where are you at?

 

Let’s discuss what each level means and how Opmantek’s solutions can assist you in improving your position.

 

Level 0 – Chaotic

This is not where you want to be and most likely not where you are if you are reading this blog. Organizations in the Chaotic stage do things ad hoc and in an undocumented and unpredictable manner. They have multiple unconsolidated help desks, where users call to notify of issues and have minimal mature IT operations. These businesses are most likely part of the 21% of organizations who view IT as an expensive overhead, rather than the 45% of organizations who view IT as necessary.

 

Level 1 – Reactive

Businesses that are operating on the Reactive level have progressed from chaos, they now have basic backup and recovery (phew!), they have basic inventory management and basic topology. There is basic events management and  a system of trouble ticketing, but they are still just fighting fires when they occur.

 

To progress from a Reactive position requires, at the minimum, performance management, change management, problem management, configuration management, automation, job scheduling and availability management. This is where Opmantek’s solutions can assist!

The progression to have proactive IT Service Management is extremely simple, Opmantek’s core open-source software can handle this, there is no financial implications, just potential time to save.

Opmantek’s solution which will help your rise from the Chaotic or Reactive levels to a basic Proactive level include:

 

  • Open-AudIT – Open-AudIT is an open-source network discovery, inventory and audit program which can tell you exactly what is on your network, how it is configured and when it changes. You will need a program such as Open-AudIT in place to achieve the Reactive level with sophisticated inventory management. Open-AudIT can assist at the Proactive level for basic configuration and change management, with Open-AudIT Enterprise offering enhanced capabilities utilising baselines and Open-AudIT Professional and Enterprise offering network automation functionality.

 

  • NMIS – NMIS is an open-source network management system, which monitors the status and performance of an organization’s IT environment, assists in identification and rectification of faults and provides valuable information for IT departments to plan infrastructure changes and investment. You will need a program such as NMIS in place to achieve the Reactive level and beyond. NMIS can initiate problem management and undertake alert and event management required at the Reactive level. NMIS can also assist with performance management, analyzing trends, thresholding and measuring application availability with automation capabilities.

 

Opmantek’s commercial modules which will help you achieve a Proactive level (and beyond) include:

 

  • opEvents – opEvents enhances NMIS, reducing the business impact of network faults and failures using proactive event management to fast-track problem resolution, reduce outages, improve performance and decrease the cost of managing your IT environment. opEvents can assist you to achieve the Proactive level by automating the handling of events.

 

  • opCharts – opCharts is a solution that brings to life NMIS data, that allows you to increase your network visibility, reduce organizational complexity and accelerate root cause discovery by visualizing all of the key information about their environment using dashboards, maps and charts. opCharts assists you to achieve the Proactive level through dashboarding and viewing multiple data sets showing trends, problems and availability with data from NMIS. opCharts also continues to be relevant in your progression to the Service and ultimately Value levels.

 

  • opConfig – opConfig assists in disaster recovery, troubleshooting, compliance and change management allowing organizations to compare, track and manage change and compliance, with a full history of configuration information. opConfig can assist you to achieve the Proactive level by providing advanced automated change and compliance management, which then positions you to be able to move on up to the Service or Value stage of maturity.

 

  • opFlow – opFlow is a solution designed to rapidly identify the root cause of poor network performance. opFlow can assist you to achieve a mature Proactive level in relation to your performance management processes.

 

  • opTrend – opTrend is a solution providing cutting-edge analytics, identifying resources that are showing abnormal activity based on historical behavior and providing organizations with a true trend analysis of critical resources. opTrend can assist you to attain and progress from the Proactive stage by providing a more advanced level of trend analysis than NMIS.

 

Level 2 – Proactive

In a Proactive state, you are doing well as you have the solutions previously discussed in place and, like many others, you may be happy to just stay here and avoid reverting to a Reactive or Chaotic state. However, there is still room for improvement to further optimize your IT operations processes. You may be predicting problems, analyzing trends and automating tasks, but you could also be viewing IT as a service provider, having guaranteed Service Level Agreements (SLA) in place and measuring service availability.

 

Level 3 – Service

If you have reached the Service level, awesome work! You have almost completed your journey towards a complete optimization of your IT operations processes. At this stage, you understand the costs involved with IT operations, have SLAs in place and are managing service delivery with solutions such as NMIS and opCharts, that allow you to capture key information and then visualize it with dashboards. You are also undertaking capacity planning. All that is left to do now is to transition towards managing IT as a Business.

 

In addition to the solutions discussed previously, other Opmantek solutions which can help you attain and exceed the Service stage include:

 

  • opReports – opReports extends NMIS, by automating the creation and distribution of detailed operational and executive-level reports. opReports can assist you at the Service by reporting on service availability and capacity management data. It will also in your progression to the Value level with regards to business planning.

 

Level 4 – Value

To be operating at the highest level, the Value state, you have all the previous measures discussed in place to manage your IT operations. You are also now viewing IT as a strategic business partner, respecting the linkages between IT and business metrics, using management and business application data to improve the business process and inform planning, and experiencing enhanced cost recovery. Solutions such as Opmantek’s opCharts and opReports are allowing you to visualize and report on data you collect through your IT operations, and you are now using such software to inform improved business processes and planning. If you are in this stage of maturity of IT management processes you are likely experiencing a competitive advantage over your competition in your industry.

 

In conclusion, to achieve optimization of your IT operations processes, it is essential to be operating at the Service or Value level of Gartner, Inc.’s IT Service Management Maturity Model with the help of solutions such as those provided by Opmantek. Progressing through the stages of the model will result in widespread improvements to your overall service management and provide many benefits to your organization. Gartner has reported that in the 1st year of implementing such framework, organizations experienced a 20% improvement to the initial incident response rate, decreased number of problems requiring multiple man-days, a 66% decrease in the number of major failures and a 20% decrease in human error in releases. After 3 years of implementing the framework, organizations experience a reduction in costs of 30%.

 

Ultimately, Gartner, Inc.’s IT Service Management Maturity Model can help organizations manage risks, improve decision making, increase productivity and gain a competitive advantage from IT. If you need help progressing your level of maturity with respect to the framework, just reach out, a member of the Opmantek team would be happy to guide you through our solutions in a free product demo.

Gartner, Inc.: Opmantek well-aligned to meet the needs of midsize enterprise

Gartner, Inc.: Opmantek well-aligned to meet the needs of midsize enterprise

Opmantek is a leading provider of powerful and competitively priced network management software and the current ICT Australian Exporter of the Year. While offering solutions which can scale to meet the needs of the world’s largest and most complex networks, including the world’s largest Telcos, Opmantek was most recently recognized by research institute Gartner, Inc. as also well-aligned to meet the needs of a midsize enterprise.

In the August 2018 report, ‘Midmarket Context: Magic Quadrant for Network Performance Monitoring and Diagnostics,’ Gartner, Inc. positioned Opmantek to be optimal for midsize enterprise seeking a consolidated Network Performance Monitoring and Diagnostics tool and network automation from a single vendor. Opmantek was the only one of 16 vendors recognized by Gartner in the report to have this capability.

Opmantek’s award-winning suite of tools, including the two open-source products, NMIS and Open-AudIT, and commercial add-on modules, work together to holistically address all areas required to manage IT infrastructure. Notably, opEvents allows organizations of any size to automate event remediation and intelligently analyze event data, ensuring the root causes of issues are identified and dealt with in a convenient and timely manner.

With over 130,000 organizations now trusting Opmantek’s solutions to enable their IT professionals to identify and address any issue, request a demo today to see how our solutions align to meet the needs of organizations of all sizes, including yours.

AI and health: What does the future hold?

AI and health: What does the future hold?

Artificial Intelligence (AI) is no longer just the fantasy of sci-fi movies, the future has arrived in full force!

In relation to healthcare, AI is playing an important role in saving the industry time and money, while improving patient outcomes. AI technology is helping clinicians and insurers to become more productive and back-end processes to become more efficient. According to the Harvard Business Review, when it comes to the top ten promising AI health applications, there could be up to $150 billion in annual savings for U.S. health care by 2026.

Sounds good, right? But what does AI in health really mean?

 

Four key AI applications for health you should know about are:

 

  1. Robot-Assisted Surgery

Robots are already being used to assist operations on humans with great accuracy, and this trend is expected to take off in coming years. According to the Harvard Business Review, technological advancements in robotic solutions for surgery could result in $40billion in annual savings for U.S. healthcare by 2026.

 

  1. Virtual Nursing Assistants

It is predicted AI-powered nurse assistants could save $20 billion annually in the U.S by saving 20% of the time nurses spend on patient maintenance tasks. This means robots instead of people will be the ones asking patients questions about their health, assessing symptoms and directing them to the best option for care.

 

  1. Administrative Workflow

In the past nurses have spent over half their workday on activities which have nothing to do with patient care. AI-based technologies, such as voice-to-text transcription, are predicted to be able to improve administrative workflows and eliminate time-consuming non-patient-care activities. The Harvard Business Review consider the application of AI to administrative workflow could result in great savings in U.S healthcare, with an estimated potential annual value of $18 billion.

 

  1. Fraud Detection

Finally, the ability for AI technologies to detect fraudulent activities is predicted by the Harvard Business Review to result in $17 billions of annual saving in the U.S., due to an increase in the speed and accuracy of the claims assessment process.

 

While AI in healthcare is still in its early days, there is a growing number of different applications for AI technology in the industry. As AI becomes more common in health-related activities, healthcare organization and insurers will be able to deliver better value services. The focus will be on better care, as new technologies replace older in areas including, but in no way limited to, surgery, nursing, administration and the processing of claims.

Automating Operations: 7 Benefits of Automation for Business

Automating Operations: 7 Benefits of Automation for Business

Hearing the word ‘automation’ may trigger images of a robot replacing human workers and rendering personal contributions to business irrelevant, as manual operations are replaced with automated processes. While it is true that technology is reshaping the way we work, it shouldn’t eliminate employment, instead, automation is offering key advantages for proactive businesses. Nevertheless, many businesses put automation in the too hard basket, feeling they don’t have the time, money or staff required to automate operations in their workplace and thus fail to reap competitive advantages. Are you one of them? The purpose of this blog is to highlight how automation should not be feared or avoided, as it can help businesses to achieve success and sustainability. Some advantages of automation your business may be missing out on include:  
  1. Improved Processing Speeds
When a human is performing a task manually, they can only do so much in a certain time. When specific tasks are automated, processing times can dramatically improve through computational power and multithreading. Further, the worker(s) performing menial tasks are free to do other things, such as developing new skills, which ultimately helps productivity, job satisfaction and benefits the business.  
  1. Reliability
There is an improved reliability in automating tasks when compared to manual tasking. Automating operations ensure that tasks run on time and in sequence, that there is the successful completion of prerequisite jobs, that all data being inputted is correct, and finally that appropriate processing is performed.  
  1. Improved Tracking and Monitoring
Improved tracking and monitoring of processes is a considerable business benefit that occurs when automating tasks. Business Intelligence Software allows businesses to use automation to process more significant amounts of data and compile extensive information based on the results. These insights allow businesses to make informed decisions based on information that is collected, they now have a clearer insight into their performance and how their business operates.  
  1. Availability
Increased availability of collected data will significantly help businesses. It is possible to automate your save and recovery systems to ensure protection from potential disk loss or inadvertent damage to system objects resulting from human error.  
  1. Cost Savings
Automation also saves business money! By automating processes, more hours become available to workers to focus on more important tasks, in addition to there being a reduction in costly mistakes. This can make a significant difference to a business’s bottom line.  
  1. Reduced Human Error
Although briefed on earlier, it is worth specifically acknowledging the positive impact that automation can have on reducing human error. Even the most intelligent and reliable employee can make costly mistakes. Automating certain processes can ensure that key tasks are done quickly and efficiently, with a far reduced risk of error.  
  1. Business Growth
Finally, it is important to recognise how automation can facilitate growth for your business. When a worker is freed up from a time-consuming task which has been automated, they are free to move to focus on other tasks or departments within the business. This results in cost savings for businesses, which allow them to focus on investing in strategies targeting growth, expansion and allocation of workers to areas where their skills can be fully utilised.   In conclusion, hopefully, this blog has caused you to recognise the benefits of automating operations and identifying the areas where automation can contribute to the success of your business. Automation shouldn’t be perceived as a hassle or a threat to job security, rather it is an opportunity for businesses to do better!