IIoT requires preparation


Here is an article in which Alison DeNisco (@alisondenisco) reveals that industry is unprepared to handle Industrial Internet of Things data, published on March 1, 2019 in ZDNet’s CXO Section.

My position?

“I have seen pretty much the same situation across a number of diverse companies, medium and large,” said Florentin Albu, chief digital strategist at Utility Computing. “The majority are in the process of discovering that their way of dealing with data is antiquated, and that in order to move forward, they need a data strategy closely linked to their business goals. I am working with clients that want to take advantage of advanced analytics and AI applications, and are challenged by their gaps in data quality, inconsistent data architectures, and a lack of end purpose applied to data processes.”

Read the full article here:


Implementing Artificial Intelligence tech

Blue Machine Look Mechanical Eye Lens Bionics

Here is an article in which Alison DeNisco (@alisondenisco) reveals that only a third of tech leaders are implementing AI tech, published on April 10, 2017 in TechRepublic’s CXO Section

My position?

“We are planning to take advantage of the benefits brought by machine learning, AI and advanced analytics”, said Florentin Albu, CIO of Ofgem E-Serve. “We are at the stage of active exploration through proof of concepts, to educate the business in what is possible, and to gain a better understanding of potential challenges.”

As you begin implementing AI and machine learning, it’s also a good time to review your company’s data monetization strategy and data architecture, Albu said, as they are critical factors for delivering benefits.

Read the full article here:


On digital transformation


Here is an opinion poll among tech leaders, on the interest that businesses might have in digital transfromation, by Alison DeNisco (@alisondenisco), published on February 17, 2017 in TechRepublic’s CXO Section

My position?

For Florentin Albu, CIO of Ofgem E-Serve, “the digital transformation in our case is closely linked to the improvement of customer journeys, and to an optimization of business processes that will lead to operational excellence,” he said. “New technologies and the younger demographic are key factors considered in this transformation.”

Read the full article here:


Using the cloud for democratizing data analytics in the enterprise

Here is a diagram of my end-to-end vision for a data platform, which I have presented at the Bioinformatics Strategy Meeting Europe (London, 12/07/2016).


Data feeders, such as data capture devices, field sensors, IoT, genomic sequencers, etc., generate data which goes into a Working Data Store.

The Working Data Store (on premises) could use technologies such as Hadoop. Ideally data sets should be identified through a DOI-like system. Data owners/authors should be identified through ORCID. The Working Data Store would  feed a Reference Data Store.

Electronic Lab Notebook systems, and Lab Information Management Systems would also generate data. They would also feed the Working Data Store and potentially the Reference Data Store.

The Reference Data Store (on premises) has all the characteristics associated with the management of active data sets.

Other significant data source are the systems of reference in the organisation (ECM, ERP, CRM, etc). as well as cloud-based data sources

A federated data repository interface is the mechanism through which the access to data across the different repositories would be gained (Working and Reference Data Stores, Systems of Reference and Cloud-based data sources).

The interface would also offer access to the on-site Compute facilities, as well as to cloud-based compute facilities (Amazon, Azure etc).

Through a set of Web APIs, the interface would expose the data as needed to a web platform for publication.

On-site analytics and visualisation tools (e.g. R, Matlab, Galaxy, etc) would access the data through the same interface.

Cloud based analytics and visualisation tools (such as semantic/knowledge based languages with rich,, predefined functions and models for analysis across different domains) would also interact with this data through the federated interface. In addition these would link to cloud-based knowledge repositories directly. This category also includes simpler tools that are available more readily across the enterprise – e.g. PowerBI.

Some of the challenges re data analytics are:

  • Availability of tools across the organisation
    • skills needed, and learning curve;
    • costs;
    • scale-ability and performance.
  • Data availability across the organisation
    • How fit for purpose is the data, and whether it is granular enough;
    • Compliance requirements;
    • Data quality.
  • Interfacing the tools with the data (particularly relevant as some of the cloud tools are in their infancy).

Further reading:

Creative Commons Licence
This article and the diagrams/images included, by Florentin Albu, are licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License.

Less pressure to upgrade to Windows 10, if you’re in the cloud

Here is an article on upgrading business desktops to Windows 10, by  (@steveranger), published on  March 15, 2016 in TechRepublic’s section on Enterprise Software.

My position?

<begin quote>

Anyone who has already migrated to the cloud or Office 365, and who is using Windows 7 or 8, will have less pressure to upgrade to Windows 10, said Florentin Albu, CIO at Rothamsted Research.

“The desktop OS continues to lose its relevance, and this makes it more tricky to justify projects of this nature. Usability and the new generation workforce are significant factors to consider, however these alone won’t be a driver. A company’s desktop hardware upgrade cycle should offer a good opportunity to deploy Windows 10,” he said.

<end quote>

Read the full article here:



The challenge of storing large amounts of data

Here is an article on the challenges of storing large amounts of data, by  (@steveranger) on July 1, 2015 in ZDNET’s special feature on The Evolution of Enterprise Storage.

My position?

<begin quote>

And as Florentin Albu CIO Rothamsted Research, said: “Storing data is relatively cheap once the foundation of storage and backup infrastructure is in place. The headache comes from the side of data management, ensuring the data can be retrieved with a high degree of relevance and – specifically for large data sets – that its accuracy and integrity is maintained during processing.”

<end quote>

Read the full article here:


Which IT skills will be in short supply?

infoskills1Here is an article which looks at the difficulties faced by CIOs in hiring new talent, by  , published on September 08, 2014 in ZDNet. A number of CIOs and IT Directors including yours truly, give their views on this possibility.

My position?
<begin quote>

Others, like Florentin Albu, CIO at the Food and Agriculture Organisation of the United Nations point to a particular set of skills that are in demand. He said some types of skills can be found relatively easily – for example operations and infrastructure, application and app development on mainstream platforms and project management.

But he added: “I see a shortage of skills in areas that can at this moment bring strategic value to the business. I would consider in very much demand at present big data specialists, GIS experts, versed information managers and high end information security professionals, to name but a few.”

<end quote>

Read the full article here:


Keeping IT light: LinkedIn & Facebook Disclaimer for IT people

Keeping IT lightBe aware that contacting me on LinkedIn/Facebook does not create an
IT Helpdesk-customer relationship.

Please do not include your email password in the public posts on my wall.

Do note that, in general, the approach “switching it off and on again” does fix problems, with notable exceptions such as in-flight aircraft or intensive care/life support systems etc, in which case it might also generate trouble.

(Thanks to Monica Marinescu, the best lawyer in Rome, for the inspiration given with the legal disclaimers.)

Encryption on its own could give a false sense of security

Here is an article on encryption, by Andy McCue in ZDNet, December 10, 2007 //  A number of CIOs and IT Directors give their views on this technology.

My position?

<begin quote>

Encryption on its own can give a false sense of security, according to Florentin Albu, ICT manager for the European Organisation for the Exploitation of Meteorological Satellites (EUMETSAT).

“However, when used in the context of an information-management [or] information-security framework, it can become an effective way to mitigate certain corporate-data risks. Even so, it would be just one piece of the jigsaw; you need to combine it with other technologies — authentication, authorisation, et cetera — and information-management practices — data classification, data handling, et cetera — in order to become effective,” Albu said.

<end quote>

Read the full article here: