Briefing Notes

Briefing Notes are summary pieces that outline the CIC viewpoint on a given topic.

  • In today’s IT infrastructure landscape and operating climate there are key technology and processing trends that established runtime platforms must evolve to meet the new digital demands. This report summarises the main trends and practices impacting the application server estate. We recommend this briefing note as a companion to CIC’s report on Galvanising and supporting hybrid cloud delivery.
  • Battle lines drawn between IBM and Intel processors

    Battle lines are being drawn between IBM and Intel as their processors – POWER and Xeon respectively fight it out to deliver the system interfaces and performance speed to support the next generation operational workloads. Where does each stand and how will their respective footprint in the wider ecosystem influence their hand? Find out what are the new speed differentiators and versatile workhorses powering the compute engines. As a buyer, what choices can and should you make?
  • With IBM’s launch of its POWER9 server, targeting cognitive and Artificial Intelligence (AI), on 5th December 2017, CIC’s briefing note looks at the core features being promoted to support cognitive workloads. Has the launch been worth the wait? Readers will find out what choices it offers customers.
  • Having visited several healthcare IT events over the first half of 2016 in the US and Europe, Creative Intellect has noticed that, by and large, discussions among stakeholders circle around a number of similar topics such as connecting healthcare experience for better patient outcomes. More connecting topics are covered in our briefing note. However, the debates on both sides of the Atlantic reflect the different levels of maturity of IT adoption within the different national healthcare markets. In CIC’s Healthcare Update Briefing Note we outline a number of important insights and steps for the European Healthcare industry. Specifically we shine a spotlight on:
    • The common discussion points amongst Healthcare stakeholders
    • Where the US is showing leadership
    • The leadership required for digital healthcare transformation
    • A three point master class for European Healthcare.
  • Guidance for People, Processes and Tools

    Banks are, in many respects, like any other enterprise and so the need for change is driven by the same requirements, such as speed and experiences that can drive down costs and improve productivity and competitiveness. Specifically, this report looks to provide insights into:
    • How DevOps can close the gap between new entrants and the incumbents in the financial industry
    • What needs to be achieved that will allow banks to be successful in the digital economy
    • The strategies that financial services organisations are pursuing along with the capabilities that will be enabled
    • What it takes to establish an environment for DevOps
    • A framework foundation for enterprise DevOps and 10 rules of engagement for DevOps in practice
  • We know that most organisations are either at the very start of their journey to cloud or have not begun. Amazon Web Services (AWS) has long been the leader in the cloud market. Its lead in terms of market share may differ, depending on how figures are calculated, but its lead in other key areas is unquestionable. These include heritage (10+ years makes it the oldest cloud vendor), number of services, high profile successful customers, and perhaps most importantly, thought leadership. With so many capabilities, the key for AWS and customers is in understanding where such breadth has value and where depth in capability is important. This report serves to help those looking to navigate the breadth of potential and value from the AWS cloud stack.
  • In this second interview with Tessa Souhoka, a healthcare designer, CIC identifies the practices and strategies that will shape and deliver good UX in healthcare. This report is bundled with ‘CIC Healthcare: UX in healthcare - a CIC Journey Planner’ for those looking for guidance on what to look out for when looking to incorporate UX thinking in the design of a healthcare offering.  
  • Harnessing AI engagement effectively for business and operational gain

    IBM, through the capabilities of its Watson cognitive technology services, is enabling a powerful and more effective and productive Interactive Voice Response (IVR) system that can be easily implemented with existing investments in software development skillsets. In this briefing report, CIC explores the business and operational advantages that IBM Voice Gateway offers, particularly in addressing the skills challenge faced by organisation looking to support some of the latest technological advances impacting the digital landscape. We draw from research studies conducted into the support for key digital technologies across various industry sectors and the opportunities, goals and challenges expected from their use. With insights into proof of concepts conducted by independent software vendors (ISVs) and the market dynamics of contact/call centres, this report will identify vital differentiators to current IVR systems, showcase established use case scenarios and outline important usage considerations. Other points highlighted:
    • Getting to grips with the Artificial Intelligence hubris underpinning the digital economy with a spotlight on the cognitive reboot for telephony.
    • CIC Journey Planner for IBM Voice Gateway and an ISV user profile
  • Sale!
    The primary success of DevOps has been in helping to break down the barriers between development and operations. In and of itself, this is a significant bonus. In reality though, DevOps is a collective term and home for several foundational changes and a broader set of characteristics that have helped this happen. This CIC report outlines what they are and offers insights into the trajectory for DevOps: NoOps or Product teams? While DevOps signifies a much welcomed need for change, CIC’s attendance at Jenkins World 2017 offers a perspective on its maturity. Readers will learn the potential of a broader role for DevOps within the rest of the organisation.
  • There is no doubt that User Experience (UX) has become a critical concern for those that procure and develop software. BMC, a leading global IT vendor, began its UX journey almost 5 years ago. Its journey has lesson for all enterprises. This report specifically highlights a number of important considerations:
    • Driving Business Value
    • Driving Broader Business Modernisation
    • UX for managing risks
    • Design and development
    • Industrialising UX for scale
    • A path for enterprise to follow
    • A UX checklist to guide others in their journey.
  • The promise of low-code, or even no-code, environments has been around for over three decades. While there have been challenges over that period on its adaption, the demand today for software from business units has outstripped the ability for IT departments to deliver. As a result Low-Code tools and strategies has broaden the development tool to meet the demands for new application quickly a backing vogue. This Briefing note highlights how OutSystems is proving and meeting market demands , specifically it covers:
    • OutSystems’ Low-code differentiation
    • An integration strategy for speeding up app delivery
    • Opportunities for embracing key future technology trends
    • How to build a skilled community
    • The key to sustainable business
    • Plus point for customer choice
  • It is widely acknowledged that the cloud market in 2018 is growing. Many indices point to this, but one in particular is from the Cloud Native Computing Foundation, which held its annual European conference in Copenhagen in May. As is the practice, the Kubernetes Conference (KubeCon) was run alongside. It attracted more than 4,100 people from around Europe and marks a key watershed moment for cloud native applications that enterprise IT should take note of. In this article, we outline how three years on and acceleration in adoption is showing from all corners and what the coming of age for Cloud-native means for the market.
  • Summary points

    • Mobile Commerce is growing but numerous studies show challenges to mass market penetration. Primarily concerns about security and usability, the latter due to the difficulties of data entry on small devices.
    • Mobile Wallets present opportunities to address the main customer concerns. Wallets, such as those by PayPal, Apple and Google, provide added security and make mobile transactions quick and easy.
    • Customers do not trust many of the current Mobile Wallet providers as they are associated with questionable data policies or previous data loss stories. This presents an opportunity for the brands that people do trust such as banks.
    • Customers are more demanding with respect to mobile commerce compared to ecommerce and so the success of any solution will come down to implementation. The one that customers find easiest and trust the most will most likely win.
  • What makes a successful mobile app? Successful mobile app development requires the right support network, design approach, and tooling and processes arsenal. However, there are certain key elements that make a successful mobile app. User experience is critical and goes beyond purely focusing on the visual interface. It must:
    • Meet users’ needs and deliver services that leverage the convenience of mobile
    • Deliver services securely and support secure and authorised interactions
    • Prioritise high performance and usability
    • Adapt to the user’s behaviour
    • Keep the app simple, accessible and o er easy navigation
    • Seamlessly incorporate relevant data held in other systems
    • Adapt content and capabilities to mobile and for di erent types of devices
  • What happens when a trained healthcare provider comes face to face with a life-threatening condition in her personal life? In the case of translational neuroscientist Mylea Charvat Ph.D., her husband’s near fatal motorbike accident changed everything, from her outlook on life, her perspective on healthcare delivery, to her career. The search for a cure and rehabilitation for her husband made her look at the way healthcare is administered with altered eyes. With a Ph.D. in clinical psychology from Palo Alto University and a Ph.D. fellowship at Stanford School of Medicine, she ultimately decided to give up her white coat for good, and put her expertise to use as an entrepreneur in the clinical domain instead.
  • Overcoming the challenges of clinical trial using big data technology is achieved by Swiss software solutions vendor Clinerion. With a mission to improve the efficiency and quality of the traditional patient recruitment process, the company looks to deliver a viable and effective automated patient recruitment solution. Clinerion’s Patient Recruitment System (PRS) facilitates the electronic selection of trial sites and the recruitment of patients, by screening hospital patient data in real-time. This briefing note includes:
    • Making a case for PRS: the art of balancing clinical trials with business needs
    • Clinerion’s PRS model explained, its features and how it will work for organisations
    • Proven benefits for hospitals using PRS
  • Identifying the impact and returns for all sectors

    To remain viable, it is essential that organisations of all sizes and industries find a way to leverage the digital economy. This report outlines the key role that DevOps plays in enabling successful participation in the digital economy and what it offers to any business at three key levels:
    • the organisational level
    • the business frontline
    • those responsible for the IT function of software creation and running and management of the supporting IT infrastructure
    The report also looks to provide insights into the following specifics:
    • Key characteristics of market disruptors
    • Defining DevOps value to Digital Transformation
    • Practices that are paving the way for DevOps
    • The futility facing organisations
    • 3 important business gains that an IT organisation succeeding in DevOps can deliver
  • Digital Transformation, continues to be the standard bearer for business and operational change to meet the market pressures and the engagement and experience demands of customers, employees and suppliers going forward. While the vision and reasons for change may sometimes be clear and obvious, the path to enact it not so. However, transformation – digitally or otherwise – is a road that is fairly well travelled if not always well communicated. The highs and lows are there for all to see but important learnings may not be easily recognised. In this report, we not only highlight the imperatives for digital transformation, but also provide directions that leverage the well-discovered journey experiences of others. Readers will discover what is required for a successful digital transformation along with strategies for transforming the organisational structure. Ultimately, the report’s 7 Strategies for Digital Transformation Success offers a journey planner for those organisations still developing their own roadmaps or those trying to assess where to place their next bets.
  • Security – along with data privacy and protection – is sacrosanct in healthcare and is the basis of trust in administering clinical services. Much is at stake when a cyber-attack occurs: foremost patients’ lives and a hospital’s reputation, but also legal and financial repercussions. For healthcare organizations to take full advantage of digital technologies and services, and, to securely support the exponential growth of IoT devices, the right kind of ICT infrastructure is vital. In this report that is related to CIC’s insights into the network foundations for IoT and connected healthcare,  we specifically look to:
    • Identifying how Cybercrime is the flip side of digitisation
    • The implications of a security failure to healthcare
    • The requirements of a secure, connected healthcare infrastructure
    • The importance of encryption
    • Cisco’s security strategy for connected healthcare
    Related Reports To learn more about connected healthcare and Cisco’s offerings in this area, please see the other reports in this series: Download an infographic overview to the whole series.
  • Mastering data and drawing insights and context is now recognised as a cornerstone capability for operating in the digital economy. Artificial Intelligence (AI), the umbrella term for a cohort of underpinning technologies such as Machine Learning (ML) serves as the means to extract and determine the insights that the data is pointing to and the mechanism by which to influence or directly impact an outcome. Navigating one’s way through the multitude of competing AI offerings requires a clear understanding of what is available and how it might serve your particular needs and resources. While many suppliers now make room for AI support, knowing their unique capability and strength especially as some features become commodity offerings, will allow you to align the right fit. With its focus on deep machine learning at its 2018 Amazon Web Services (AWS) Summit in London, AWS is speaking to organisations that want to realise transformative change through Artificial Intelligence. This reports looks at where a vendor like AWS is placing some of its emphasis with respect to its AI offerings.
  • Summary Points

    • SMARTEX IOTA is an industry based community forum for the smart technology sector
    • 7 core themes typify many of the issues underpinning IoT today, with security being the top concern
    • IoT is a double edged sword that offers significant gains on the one hand, but creates major impacts on the other
    • CEOs are fearful of taking the huge risks of reengineering their businesses, without fully understanding where the return on investment (ROI) will be
    • Data privacy and other regulations offer opportunities as well as compliance
  • User eXperience (UX) is not just for consumer applications, such as those available through the various app stores (e.g. iTunes, Google Play etc.), but for business applications as well. What vendors have learned, and their customers are discovering, is that better experiences lead to better business outcomes, as well as those of the user’s too. Good UX, in other words, leads to measurable business benefits. However, it is a common misconception that a great User Interface (UI) means a great UX. The reality is that one can still create a poor UX using a great UI. In this article we investigate whether Salesforce’s Lightning, the company’s collection of components, tools and technologies that underpin the UI upgrade of its platform, is a force for UX. Readers will learn the three ways to create better user experiences with Salesforce Lightning.
  • A reality check on the business opportunities

    If blockchain is the answer, what is the question? In this CIC Briefing Note we run the rule over the blockchain technology and outline considerations for ensuring the right approach to investigating the value of blockchains. Our report identifies the move from public to private blockchains and the emergence of standards for interoperation between private blockchains. Clearly blockchain technology is not right for every use case scenario: even the emerging standard for interoperation between blockchains are not dependent on the technology being used. However, CIC’s briefing note offers six ways for customers to stay on the right side of blockchain and highlights an impending patent challenge.
  • For healthcare organisations looking to transform their operations with an ICT infrastructure that leverages digital technologies to the full, a major challenge is knowing where to start: “You don’t know what you don’t know”. To build out from infrastructure that is already in place so that it is fit for purpose for the digital future, there are important questions to be asked: How does one characterise the necessary supporting infrastructure for connected healthcare? How do you enable any healthcare entity to assess what they have in place to help them understand both their current position, and the journey they need to go on to reach where they want to be? What is the security posture that is need versus the security reality? In the first of a series, this report looks to provide answers that will enable a clear understanding of the infrastructure that is required to deliver a higher level of patient experience, improved clinical quality and more productive services. Specifically it showcases:
    • The promise of connected healthcare
    • The key technologies and trends driving healthcare transformation
    • The critical tenets for a network infrastructure able to deliver IoT and connected healthcare
    • Where to start
    • Cisco’s approach and solution stack
    Related Reports To learn more about connected healthcare and Cisco’s offerings in this area, please see the other reports in this series: Download an infographic overview to the whole series.
  • Healthcare professionals need to be able to make better decisions quicker so as to both treat patients sooner and work more efficiently to address these challenges. Technology offers exciting opportunities for modern healthcare, with new applications and devices that empower healthcare professionals in ways that speed up diagnosis and treatment and improve patient outcomes. Communication Technology (ICT) infrastructure and services can help revolutionize multiple spheres of operations, clinical workflows and patient experiences and engagement. The third in a series of reports that address the infrastructure opportunities for each of these areas, this report outlines the role of the network in streamlining clinical experiences for connected healthcare. Specifically it addresses:
    • The new clinical experiences that are transforming healthcare
    • The infrastructure components that are crucial for taking advantage of the new technologies
    • Cisco’s approach and solution stack
    Related Reports To learn more about connected healthcare and Cisco’s offerings in this area, please see the other reports in this series: Download an infographic overview to the whole series.
  • Patients drive the connected healthcare agenda. They demand easier, faster and more flexible access to services, as well as a more personalized experience and, of course, better health outcomes. In response to this – alongside inefficient processes and increased security concerns – healthcare organizations need to look to invest in new technology based solutions to help transform patient experiences, helping to build trust and confidence, and positively impact patient outcomes. In order to maximize the opportunities and benefits from this connected healthcare strategy, new applications and solutions need to be underpinned by a robust, scalable and secure network infrastructure. The fourth in a series of reports that address the infrastructure opportunities for each of these areas, this report outlines the role of the network in progressing the patient experience through connected healthcare. Specifically it focuses on:
    • Patient engagement trends and experience strategies inside a healthcare
    • Important network features for improved patient experiences
    • Cisco’s approach and solution stack
    Related Reports To learn more about connected healthcare and Cisco’s offerings in this area, please see the other reports in this series: Download an infographic overview to the whole series.
  • The last few years have given us mobile, cloud computing , Internet of Things (IoT) and so on. Each of these comes with a wealth of languages, platforms, tools and more. While organisations are caught up in the frenzy to not be left behind (and get disrupted), choices are being made today that may have implications for many years to come. In this CIC report based on an independent study conducted on the drivers for adopting application programming technologies and models, we identify the following:
    • 7 trending dynamics in app development and delivery
    • The App Development choices shaping the app market
    • The criteria for what makes a language popular and ripe for adoption
    In short, our briefing note highlights the main criteria that should be considered when making, what could turn out to be important strategic decisions. This paper was authored on an independent basis by the analyst team at Creative Intellect Consulting, with sponsorship from IBM Mobile. The content is based on industry intelligence gathered and analysed by the authors and does not necessarily reflect the views of the sponsor.  
  • Despite the hype and noise, Distributed Ledger Technology (DLT) and Blockchains  hold great promise in healthcare if executed correctly.  And there lies the challenge…’If done correctly!’ This CIC report sees Dr Robert M. Learney, a qualified doctor who studied medicine at Oxford University present the operational opportunities that blockchain and DLT could deliver to the healthcare ecosystem. Many will want and need to understand what is practical and how such technologies can address the demands and changing dynamics of the healthcare stakeholder community. Important questions such as how DLT and blockchains can advance and secure engagements and interactions within national and global healthcare networks. Specifically, CIC’s report offers insights into how DLT and Blockchains can be used to break walls between data silos and offer new ways for standardising healthcare data. Readers will be left with a number of take-away points that they can use to learn from what is promised by distributed ledger technology in healthcare and what has emerged so far.
  • GDPR came into force on 25 May 2018 with a build-up panicked activity. Noisy and unnecessary? This briefing notes investigates what organisations did wrong and, going forward, the lessons they need to learn with respect to protecting personal data, consent and the governance process.
  • Summary points
    • CIC believes that there is no clear and focused definition of IoT, but instead it is a loose term that can be applied in any scenario where hardware devices are connected, directly or indirectly, to the internet.
    • Greater accessibility of hardware will help to further the type of entrepreneurial activity that we’ve seen in recent years in software. The type of small, innovative and agile start-ups that have seen rapid growth in recent years will be able to embrace ideas that involve hardware as well as software.
    • A key differentiator for IoT today and the connected devices world that has existed before is the high availability and low cost of “things” and the Internet based services that they can connect to, combined with more open technology (such as HTTP or MQTT).
  • What does 2017 and beyond hold for healthcare?

    In this report, CIC’s Principal Healthcare Analyst, Cornelia Wels-Maug, reviews insights from the leading conferences in the healthcare space in 2016 to shine a spotlight on the trajectory of the healthcare industry as it seeks to embrace digital technologies to progress its ability to deliver patient centred care fit for the 21st century. Read this report to learn more about the important questions being asked with respect to the digital landscape the healthcare industry must navigate if it is to both maximise and optimise the advantages from the latest technology trends.
  • Blockchain technology continues to evolve along with its use within industry. While a number of use cases have been identified, their return on investment (ROI) has yet to be established. Within the Telecom industry the focus on automation and orchestration presents an opportunity for the blockchain technology to deliver. In this CIC Briefing Note, Dr Cathy Mulligan investigates that potential, especially as a facilitator to supporting the different relationships that Telecom operators must be open to if 5G networks are to be worth their investment.
  • The Digital Agenda in the Healthcare Industry: 10 points of focus briefing note lays down ten constituents of a digital agenda in healthcare. Crucially, the briefing note offers directions for developing strategies for providers and users and a CIC Journey Planner for implementation. The briefing note serves as the framework for CIC’s research in the healthcare market. Our investigations are underpinned by CIC’s domain expertise in: ·       Cloud: Leveraging the flexibility and elasticity of public, private and hybrid cloud computing models to drive efficiency and improve capacity. ·       Mobile: Tomorrow's most successful and effective organisations are embracing mobile transformation today. ·       Security: Data and network breaches are becoming the single biggest threat to the modern organisation. ·       Internet of Things (IoT) and Infrastructure Systems: From consumer products to industry solutions, IoT is enabling new competences and impacting individuals and organisations. ·       Developer-Operations (DevOps) and Agile practices: Clients expect more and faster delivery, so changing and controlling the speed and pace of delivery is vital to user satisfaction. ·       Digital Experience: Creating great engagement and experiences for users is what separates the best and most effective providers from the rest. ·       Analytics: Paperless healthcare delivery unleashes massive amounts of digital information, creating the need for data management tools such as analytics to improve care outcomes.