When the pandemic hit, and we all went home, virtual connection became not only important but essential. A world that had been wildly connected before the shutdown had to develop new ways of socializing and, yes, hosting parties via the cloud.
For years people have been excited about the prospect of wireless power. Several technologies and products were developed and tested ranging from near field, which required placing the device on a pod to far field wireless tech, which required an antenna connected to the mains to provide power around it.
Industrial manufacturers have embraced the concept of future-proofing their organizations via the Industrial IIoT (Internet of Things). What started as a growing realization in 2019 as pressure to meet the needs of rapid change and escalating volatility has fully solidified as a business imperative in the wake of the pandemic. According to a recent survey conducted by Forrester Consulting on behalf of Analog Devices, “industrial manufacturers who have made investments in connectivity technologies are better positioned to drive innovation and gain a competitive advantage compared to firms that have been slower to implement connectivity….”
Even as more businesses have begun requiring their employees to return to the office, there remains considerable anxiety and apprehension within the workforce. A recent Honeywell survey, aimed at assessing the global workforce’s sentiments on returning to the office, revealed 68% of them still do not feel completely safe about returning.
When the pandemic hit, many organizations responded to mandatory office closures and employee relocation by outfitting those who used desktop computers “on the network” with laptops and Chromebooks. The latter’s shipments have more than doubled year-over-year, and now many of these Chromebooks are returning to the office. The challenge is how to make them fit in with a Zero Trust model that assumes all users and devices are untrustworthy and must be authenticated.
Feeling lucky? Just 16% of organizations have reported no security incidents related to phishing or ransomware in the last year. Luck is not a security strategy, and it’s why the vast majority of companies are under attack. Too often, they’re not prepared with the proper security stack to block and stop these attacks. The result? Employees, data, and companies are at risk.
Nobody in transportation saw the disruption of 2020 coming, but it verified a few things that we all knew. As the trucking market reacted to extremely volatile freight demand, shippers were left plugging holes in routing guides built before the coronavirus hit newswires or store shelves. This flooded the spot market with goods that needed to move, and digital load boards and brokerage stepped in to meet that need in a big way.
Sometimes, it’s hard to admit that you’ve reached your limit and need to take a break, especially when working in a virtual environment. Maybe you frantically do more and more in an attempt to keep up, until a big mistake brings your efforts screeching to a halt. Or perhaps you stop only when you get sick. Or maybe you just give up.
Of the many complementary technologies that enable IoT (internet of things) deployments, there are none quite as critical as the distributed architecture commonly known as edge computing. Technically, edge computing and its concepts are nothing new. In the 1960s, the Apollo missions that brought humanity to the moon relied on a distributed network of mainframes (see Figure 1). One was located in Houston and powered the console displays in the Apollo Mission Control Center. The others were positioned at antenna sites in California, Spain, and Australia. Even in those early days of computing there was a need to position compute resources closer to the source of the data, which is, essentially, the definition of edge computing.
Companies for years have been dealing with an aging workforce, losing talent and know-how to retirement. Now the pandemic has accelerated this, in all industries, and at all levels. How do you replace the 20-year service or maintenance veterans and the know-how that is in their heads? Right now, your best techs are super busy supporting customers and newer techs. One of them calls you tomorrow and says they are suddenly retiring. How can you make up for their knowledge once they walk out the door?
There are no “normal” workdays anymore thanks to COVID-19, disrupted supply chains, newly emerged customers, and vanished historical customers. Businesses, employees, customers, and suppliers are in a daily struggle to adapt, to adjust, and to continue to have their businesses exist. The one item that every business group needs more of are new, innovative ideas.
The COVID-19 crisis sent shockwaves through global supply chains. As a report from Deloitte lays out, the disruptions created by curtailed transportation, volume stalls, and delivery delays “exposed the vulnerabilities of many organizations.” Lots of businesses, it transpires, lack business resiliency. As the Deloitte report correctly concludes, into the future, businesses need technologies that “dramatically improve visibility across the end-to-end supply chain, and support companies’ ability to resist such shocks.”
Noone can accurately predict the social and economic impact of the COVID-19 pandemic, but by combining economic scenarios with datasets and prior experience, we can assess its impact on the engineering, manufacturing, and industrial (‘technical applications’) software markets in general, and IIoT (industrial Internet of Things) in particular.
Our civilization is in the midst of both housing and environmental crises—and it is going to impact how we manufacture and build cities of the future. The IoT (Internet of Things), AI (artificial intelligence) and other emerging technologies can help us be more sustainable in a number of different industries.
The coronavirus COVID-19 pandemic is bringing most key business activities to a near complete halt. If you work in a product organization, activities that a few weeks ago were routine such as a team meeting for a critical design review or traveling to audit a new supplier are no longer possible.