The KIT ─ Knowledge & Information Technology
No. 264 - 18 May 2020
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In This Issue
The New Normal (Remote work)
Measuring Digital Transformation Effectiveness
Challenges and Opportunities for AI in Healthcare
Airtable Eats Its Own Dog Food
Atlassian Builds an Ecosystem
Seen Recently
Claude Baudoin

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The New Normal?

Our Paris colleague Antoine Jaulmes forwarded this news last week:


The Peugeot S.A. group (PSA) announced on May 6 that the group will generalize remote work for all office workers, leveraging the experience and tools deployed to confront the COVID-19 epidemic (IT capacity doubled to allow 30,000 simultaneous connections to enterprise systems by teleworkers). Starting in mid-2020, the new work standard will be 1 to 1½ days on site per week. This will allow a reduction in building space and meet objectives ranging from the well-being of employees to a major contribution to carbon neutrality. The initiative will be rolled out incrementally to the administration center in Poissy and the R&D centers in Vélizy and Sochaux."

Measuring Digital Transformation Effectiveness
The Industrial Internet Consortium (IIC) has just published a new white paper with the rather unwieldy title of Enabling Digital Transformation with IoT Performance and Properties Measurement. Both the Executive Summary and the full paper (PDF) are publicly available and free.

In related news, the IIC is forming a new Industry Leadership Council (ILC) for Energy. ILCs are executive roundtables of innovative strategists representing organizations that meet regularly to set the vision for next generation solutions in their industries. "We invite energy providers and technology users in the Energy industry to join this new Council. Are you an energy provider or do you have a customer who may be interested? See the benefits of and criteria for participation and application here."
Challenges and Opportunities for AI in Healthcare
Artificial intelligence will play an important role in the medicine of the future. Use cases range from the use of AI as a diagnostic tool to the optimization of the internal management and logistics of a hospital. In this upcoming hour-long BrightTALK webinar (Thursday, May 21 at 8:00 am Pacific time, 11:00 am EDT, 17:00 CET), Marc Combalia, AI Research Project Engineer at Hospital Clínic de Barcelona, will present the current state of AI and review some healthcare applications. He will also discuss the current gaps that this technology has to overcome before we have successful deployment of AI in healthcare.
Eating Your Own Dog Food
It seems obvious in hindsight, but it is still a nice touch. Airtable, the super-user-friendly cloud database, recently announced a number of new features. When you click on the link contained in the announcement, you reach a "what's new" page... which is an Airtable embedded in a web page.

Note: If you're not familiar with the business meaning of the phrase "eating one's own dog food" or wonder how it originated, look here.
Atlassian Builds an Ecosystem
On May 12, Atlassian announced the acquisition of Halp, a young startup company (see this TechCrunch article). Atlassian is fairly well-known as the provider of Confluence, an enterprise wiki-like knowledge repository tool, and Jira, an issue tracking tool widely used by software developers and testers. Halp is focused on a very narrow proposition: allowing users of Slack, the online discussion forum, to ask support questions and create tickets directly within Slack (its two products are called Halp Tickets and Halp Answers).

But it doesn't stop there: Trello, a popular Kanban task management application in the cloud, is also owned by Atlassian, which envisions being able to create cards in Trello directly from users' messages in Slack... mediated by Halp. In other words, through its successive acquisitions and integrations, Atlassian clearly intends to create an entire teamwork management environment. This will put it in increasing competition with the Microsoft juggernaut (SharePoint, Teams, etc.). It's going to be an interesting few years ahead!

The current increase in remote work, which we don't expect to recede totally after COVID-19, is making it absolutely vital for product makers to track issues and tasks, and to facilitate and retain online conversations. This is a good time for companies to develop a strategy to empower their workforce with a well-integrated suite of tools, and Atlassian's vision in this space is certainly worth a serious look.
Seen Recently...
"It turns out that fraud has a shape."
-- Philip Rathle, VP Products at Neo4j,
explaining after his talk for Stanford's online course on knowledge graphs, CS520,
that graph visualization tools are important because sometimes you can detect
useful patterns easily by viewing a graph, while it would be impossible to
detect them by staring at a table of data. Neo4j's tools have been used
for fraud detection by the Financial Industry Regulatory Authority (FINRA).