The Digital Integration/Cooperation Challenge
Soumis par Mike 2010–07–14 08:37:18 HAE
Thème(s) : L'acquisition des compétences numériques, L'infrastructure numérique, La croissance de l'industrie des TIC, L'innovation grâce aux technologies numériques
Customers want the ICT industry to evolve from low–level IT (database, content management, etc.) to new business technologies (BT) supporting the flexible re–use of resources and people between organizations, i.e., managing integration through cooperation. The challenge of the digital economy is to move beyond R&D and testbeds and towards experimentally–driven research and to get access to large–scale trans–sector experimental infrastructures to be able to do that.
At this point, the digital economy establishes the conditions necessary to foster the development of SMEs capable of achieving global scale by locating within special economic zones (integrated Interaction Platforms/Living Labs) that take a role of orchestration in process management, human interaction management, and innovation. "Living labs" are business incubation centers where producers can develop and test products together with consumers or end–users. It can be as big as the Gloriad project (see image above) that led Boeing to relocate in Chicago. There are already about 140 municipal initiatives of that type worldwide enabling more sophisticated approaches in user modeling and technical design.
Lacere in Acton Vale (QC) is such a community partnership providing a location/center to enable the establishment of economic links to and between partners, in Acton Vale and Europe. Local, regional and international partners provide Acton Vale with resources and interactions to support entrepreneurship and economic development opportunities. So far this is the best business platform to foster multidisciplinary working and to model and implement new products, processes, and services that can deliver transformation. Without living labs, key indicators of several metrics related to scalability, performance, usability and security of products will be missing.
Capacity to Innovate Using Digital Technologies
1. Should Canada focus on increasing innovation in some key sectors or focus on providing the foundation for innovation across the economy?
Next–generation services will be based on cooperating infrastructures — on a worldwide basis, and could triple human productivity. The boundaries between separate/stovepipe systems will continuously change as an orchestration of trans–sector components will be answering intertwined application and service demands. For instance, the Real–World Internet (Internet of Things) has particular implications at the application level that require the involvement of cities as living labs because of critical trans–sector application domains (energy, healthcare, transport, etc.).
From an industry perspective, what is needed is trans–sector innovation — targeting the performance of the digital economy/network as a whole, not the individual nodes or sectors. A core networked approach might be more productive than building stand–alone set–ups in different sectors. If you get everyone working within a multidisciplinary and integrated approach, solutions will also be brought to market more quickly.
2. Which conditions best incent and promote adoption of ICT by Canadian businesses and public sectors?
A critical mass of collaboration between businesses to enable knowledge exchange and involvement in research would cut complementary costs related to the adoption of ICT.
Conditions would include:
- A pre–commercial dialogue process. In the United Emirates for instance, 800 American, European and Asian companies of various sectors were invited to talk and as a result opt to co–invest in a $22 billion flagship green city initiative that will make these all of these companies' leaders in their markets.
- Usage of experimentation and testing facilities (e.g.: living labs) by customers and end–users will increasingly be an essential element to sell services and applications.
- Community partnerships involved in service engineering and human–centered service design projects, making use of regional knowledge economy indicators and co–learning to cut the costs of complementary investments.
- Position papers by community–wide working groups setting out issues
What would a successful digital strategy look like for your firm or sector? What are the barriers to implementation?
It would provide:
- Experimentation as a service would be offered to R&D managers
- Governments as model users would help providing metrics relevant to experimentations
- Government as model users would provide insights about "system–of–systems" integration and the orchestration across networks, services, things and content
- Large scale experimentation capabilities (e.g. : international rural applications initiatives)
The main barrier: the digital integration/cooperation challenge. In a digital world, integration has to be done through cooperation in very large projects. Small projects won't work. There is no framework in Canada to support such cooperation.
Building a World–Class Digital Infrastructure
1. What speeds and other service characteristics are needed by users and how should Canada set goals for next generation networks?
We have to compete against international communities that are planning for one billion bits per second to the home: 1 gigabit per second, (1gb/s).
- At network infrastructure level, it means 'fiber infrastructure'.
- Goals should be set on the basis of social considerations to prepare for living and working conditions that will be defined by the capability to share knowledge and responsibility among people/workers: i.e., the digital integration/cooperation challenge. In turn, social goals will promote service engineering, which is key to get offerings needed to support the demand for next generation networks. It will as well increase the range of tradable services. In fact, the impact of read/write/execution capability of NGNs is likely to be the main contributor to economic growth.
2. What steps must be taken to meet these goals? What are the appropriate roles of stakeholders in the public and private sectors?
One of the first steps and priority is to rethink training. NGNs are all about a multiplying factor in information sharing within a group. It can double the output of a team. The benefits of NGNs and the absorptive capacity of users depend on integrating training, education and work assignments to support the continuous improvement of employee's skills.
ICT–related skills are not the ones standing out for NGNs. All stakeholders should plan for ways to develop new skills in service and system engineering as well as collective organizational competency in production and suppliers management.
A second step is to address the 'silo thinking' problem that prevents covering the innovation lifecycle as a whole: idea, opportunity, research, experimentation, development, and commercialization.
3. How best can we ensure that rural and remote communities are not left behind in terms of access to advanced networks and what are the priority areas for attention in these regions?
The major exporting countries, Germany, Japan and China, have already enacted laws to enable the transition from the current throughput economy, where effectiveness in resource use is 6%, to a performance economy. In a performance economy, analysis, modeling, simulation and experimentation of new products and services will increasingly be done in relation to natural services, which are mostly sourced in rural areas. Such a change is likely a priority area for attention and it is an opportunity for Canada (given its size and diversity) to be a world leader in solutions for the rural areas of the world — a 20–25% market segment. Canada has been a leader in the telecommunication market for similar reasons.
Growing the Information and Communications Technology Industry
1. What would best position Canada as a destination of choice for venture capital and investments in global R&D and product mandates?
Today investment follows knowledge. Canada basically need knowledge pipelines (living labs/experimentally–driven research capabilities) delivering here knowledge from around the world. Bring global collaboration for service innovation and commercialization home (locally) and then global end–to–end customer lifecycle management capabilities will follow, leading to sales support infrastructure for verticals available locally, enabling dynamic decision support, and so on giving more reasons and making it less risky to invest here.
2. What efforts are needed to address the talent needs in the coming years?
You could start orienting Canadian capability development processes beyond the national stovepiped capabilities and toward putting more emphasis on international testing capabilities to make Canadians best players in terms of ability to collaborate. Moreover, it would motivate young people.
Do our current investments in R&D effectively lead to innovation, and the creation of new businesses, products and services?
If it did, it would correlate with productivity results. It does not.
Building Digital Skills for Tomorrow
1. What do you see as the most critical challenges in skills development for a digital economy?
- Failed management approaches and leadership styles. They are evidenced in low levels of innovation and productivity growth in Canada.
- The challenge of training the trainers — lack of understanding about the issues
2. What is the best way to address these challenges?
Extrapolating from the conclusions of a European study regarding this very question, you need to inform/train about 400 000 decision makers (managers, engineers, bankers, investors…) in Canada.
3. How will the digital economy impact the learning system in Canada? How we teach? How we learn?
- Basically, the digital economy is akin to a 3–tiers architecture integrating individual/collective/artificial (data) intelligence.
- The digital economy create the need for advanced optimization, visualization, prediction and planning capabilities to maximize the possibilities of networked coordinated collaboration and action.
- Computing, engineering, and management teaching should be integrated to get end–to–end capability management
- Information management and information infrastructure programs also need to be integrated.
- Can cut learning time by 50% and learning cost tenfold.
- Telepresence such as videoconferencing enable the difficult task of tacit knowledge transfer — which explains how emerging countries can cope with two digits growth rates.
Courriel : Michel Goyette
Téléphone : 450–642–1220 ext. 225