Recent Blog Posts

You think you know an IoT device?

I have been sharing various aspects of an IoT Device in recent blog posts on the IT Peer Network.  Around the same time, IASA — an association for all IT Architects approached me to speak at their upcoming monthly Virtual Conference eSummit on 17 Feb 2016 — on the Internet of Things.  I will be delivering this session at 2 PM Central on IoT taking a life of its own.  To that end, I have begun to frame my preliminary thoughts that I am sharing in this post.  With the continued emergence of the IoT, we have slowly but steadily begun to associate more and more behavioral characteristics with the IoT devices — characteristics that are second nature to the human brain — which the IoT is not and will never be.  If the human brain is at one end of the spectrum of subjective intelligence, the raw IoT device is at the other end.  Perhaps, with some programmed intelligence built into the device, the IoT device can start creeping more towards the center in this spectrum.  All that said, will the IoT ever lead a life of of its own?  Will we ever know how an IoT device is likely to behave in real-life scenarios? Join me as I explore this from various dimensions. 

IoT Device.jpg

The human brain – the most intelligent thing of all – is characterized by its varying ability to subjectively exercise logic that address those gray areas in scenarios where there is no clear black & white answer. The manner in which each brain exercises these thought processes yields a subtly different answer unique to each human being and scenario. Thus, we develop various traits that define our personality and character.  How do these traits manifest themselves for an IoT device? Let us see.


Ethics. One of the recent college application essays was about how the applicant dealt with an ethical dilemma.  Not an easy one to address (Oops! there goes my subjective human brain!).  Some human brains tend to struggle with a conflicting set of thoughts that yield no clear answer.  How will the IoT deal with such situations? This article on the real dilemma of ethics and IoT should get us thinking for sure — subjectively speaking!


Trust. Over the years, we tend to build out a close circle of family and friends in whom we develop a sense of trust.  And then there are those unfortunate occasions, when we are proven wrong.  The Circle of Trust slowly develops some perforated edges. But, what about the IoT Device? In IoT we trust. Or, do we?


Affinity. Humans tend to gyrate towards like-minded acquaintances so that they can enjoy the comfort of interacting on their favorite topics — be it sports, music, latest movie in town or even technology topics like the Internet of Things ! Call it being on the same wave length or chemistry but there is something to be said about that instinct to reach out and make an emotional connection with another human being.  Can IoT devices on their own identify the presence of other devices they can partner with? Will the washing machine have enough intelligence to sense that there is a dryer next to it and should therefore signal that the next load will be ready in 20 minutes?

Fashion. Wearables can be beautiful ornaments.  Innovation happens when fashion meets function.  The human being likes to adorn itself with the ornaments that resonate with the rest of the attire and the occasion at hand.  But, when the human also wants to use wearables, a subjective call needs to be made between fashion and function.  Will the IoT device want to change colors and present itself in a more appealing manner so that it is more attractive to its own consumer — the human being?  How do you know that your Poodle is not a Snake?

All that said, when the human brain goes to work on purposefully integrating different IoT devices, magic happens as witnessed in this Intel show at Comdex 2016 with a 100 Amazon drones.

Those are the thoughts that go through my mind as I think about what a day in the life of IoT might look like — the topic for my session at 2 PM Central on Feb 17, 2016 at the IASA e-Summit

Please click here to register for this free session.

What say you?  What are other characteristics that define the state of mind for an IoT?

Please let me know.

Connect with Nadhan on Twitter: @NadhanEG

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Improve the Customer Experience & the Bottom Line through Predictive Analytics

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Earlier this year technology and retail companies descended on New York City for the National Retail Federation Conf. (NRF).  This is where hospitality and retail organizations around the globe gather to learn about the next big thing in their industries, share best practices and identify ideas for taking advantage of technology to drive better business decisions, create business opportunities and capture efficiencies as they face rapidly changing customer dynamics. Hospitality and retail organizations constantly face fierce competition and who can capitalize on changes in customer behavior to capture profit opportunities is critical.


Caesars Entertainment is recognized as one of the world’s most geographically diverse casino entertainment operator.  However, what may be surprising is to learn that Caesar’s customers are spending the majority of their personal income on non-gaming entertainment, lodging and dining experiences.  The change in customer demographics & spending patterns was a significant change to Caesars Entertainment original business model.  Such changes or inflection points can be transformative for the business.  But, only if the organization recognizes the opportunity. 


In the entertainment and hospitality segment there are no shortage of competing options for consumer’s entertainment budget.  How did Caesar Entertainment respond?  Their core business and brand were synonymous with elegant, high-end gaming experiences. This business model relied on a relational database – which means “known and structured data” about a customer, entered into and stored for later engagement. This served Caesars Entertainment for many years.


However, as the customer’s buying patterns changed, from gaming to entertainment; from buffet to fine dining; from basic room to a luxury accommodations – so did Caesars business model and competitive differentiation.  They realized in order distinguish their organization from the pack was paramount and in order to do so, Caesars’ needed to know more about their customers.  It became clear in order to better engage their customer, their interests and ultimately their willingness to spend, required a new approach. 


A great concierge, or professional assistant knows their clients inside and out, often through the use of a little black book and writing down everything about their likes and preferences.  For Caesars Entertainment they leverages non-structured data from, geo-presence or location services, social media monitoring, video and audio listening to pull together a more complete customer profile.  This level of engagement more closely matches services and experiences with interests.  It becomes a business and operating competitive advantage.  With a more thorough focus on serving the customer Caesars differentiates in a way that is unique, delivering high-customer value without sacrificing margins or negatively impacting its brand image.

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As 2016 Unfolds, New Normal Holds: Rapid Change and Innovation

January launched 2016 with as much velocity as any year that I recall but as I look out to how healthcare will shift this year (and probably next), what jumps to mind is an overall comfort that almost every aspect of healthcare is undergoing rapid change (or some say evolution). This is the new normal and I see it in communities all across our country.


I also must admit that our personal thoughts and ideas are largely shaped by our circle of peers and influencers so I personally work hard to keep a foot in multiple healthcare markets to understand how the majority of our communities are shifting. Here are a few consistent themes I see emerging over the next 12-18 months:


Provider expansion of services and strategies

By this I mean, whether in the city of Atlanta, Boston or San Francisco, or the rural communities of South Carolina, Texas or Massachusetts, I see and work with health systems and physician practices that are expanding services, partnerships and expanding “consumer” access. The motivations behind these expansions are diverse, but everyone is experiencing a shift in how healthcare is being consumed, where it’s being consumed and when it’s being consumed. I am also seeing a stronger focus on efficiency, but not enough yet, in my opinion. All organizations need to strategically and wisely better align their processes and operations with their revenue drivers for today as well as their revenue drivers for tomorrow.


Focus on the patient and better respecting that the patient is a “consumer”

Physician practices, clinics and health systems of all sizes are working to make conducting business with their organization easier. In that I mean align or re-align processes, services and innovation to ensure that patients can easily access scheduling, appointments and certainly, payments. While this sounds like an “of course!” statement, most, even leading health systems, don’t properly align these aspects of their organization and operation, thus leaving millions of dollars on the table. For example, ensure your organization offers simple ways to schedule an appointment. Ensure that you are researching – or better yet deploying – “community-based” strategies that offer care where the patient/consumer wants to consume care. Sometimes the best place may be inside the four walls of your organization, but sometimes it may not be. A few proven strategies here include new care settings that are convenient for your community and even a virtual care or telehealth strategy. These can offer new revenue streams and allow practices, clinics and health systems of all sizes to deploy strategies that will allow them to evolve alongside a healthcare system that is embracing value-based medicine, bundled payments and alternative payment models.


Other consumer-focused strategies that I see growing quickly are patient navigation and wayfinding to simply and profitably enhance the patient experience (and as we know from research flooding the market, consumers are paying premiums for “experience,” and as our economy shifts, everyone needs to keep an eye on this because you can offer a terrific experience and actually save money by better embracing innovation.


The other area that I see exploding for practices, clinics and health systems is around “compassionate collections” and a strong, focused strategy on the patient revenue cycle. Many innovations are hitting this from different angles, but as patients continue to pay for more of their healthcare “tab,” efficiently and effectively managing this process is key to protecting and increasing your organization’s bottom line.


Use of innovation to navigate the future of healthcare

I see innovation being deployed at every level of service, process and technology. To start, many organizations are focusing on better managing their overall “revenue cycle”. This is best deployed through a technology-enabled service whereas a specific market expertise leverages software automation, “rules” intelligence and robust clinical, financial and administrative reporting. Not only is this important today to optimize an organization’s overall financial health, but it is going to become vital to everyone’s success and preservation as healthcare quickly shifts to new payment and care delivery models, outcomes and quality-based payments and razor thin margins on traditional payment models. This experience and expertise will be worth its weight in gold…


Interoperability is still a large focus for many. Certainly more in the urban areas than rural, but I do see the rural communities picking up interoperability steam to drive care coordination, protect or enlarge their patient base as well as to participate in new payment and care delivery models. We’ve been talking about standards and interoperability for a long time now but the conversation has shifted in many communities to actionable intelligence on how interoperability is fueling coordinated and higher quality care.


We’ll see much faster progress with “connected care” that is driving innovative care and increasing care access in every community. Advancements across the board with telehealth and virtual care as laws mature and payment & reimbursement structures are solidified.


I also see pop health & quality reporting finally begin to receive the respect that it deserves. With many progressive organizations today, it is driving their financial and strategic bottom line. Those organizations are well-positioned to successfully navigate the future of healthcare no matter what, since managing structured data, clinical quality measures (CQMs) and robust reporting will be essential to all sustainable payment structures in the very near future.


I would be remiss not to mention the importance of data security for 2016 and beyond. While it may not feel as exciting and opportunistic as implementing cool innovations popping around consumerism, mobility and population health, having a strong data and platform security strategy and implementation will be essential to protect your information, integrity, brand and bottom line…


As I wrap up these thoughts, I realize that even after 20 years in healthcare and health IT, I just love this industry and all of the opportunity it serves each of us to help create the smartest and most sustainable healthcare system in the world.

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Your Environment Dictates Your Mobile Analytics Design

groupwork-mobile-laptop copy.jpgAnyone who has designed or developed a new product knows that understanding the environment in which the product or solution will be used by its end users is extremely important.


The environment is where we can successfully connect audience and purpose not only to leverage the technology’s strengths but also to minimize its weaknesses within a supported infrastructure.

We need to go beyond just identifying the basic parts of our environment and instead taking a holistic view of the entire system in order to deliver an integrated mobile solution that is consistent and predictable at each layer.


Many of the considerations for the environment may largely be influenced by your organization’s build vs. buy decision on mobile analytics solutions. A close review of the key components that make up the mobile analytics environment can prove to be beneficial.


Mobile device is the host

This is where the mobile analytics journey starts for end users. It’s critical to know and understand:

  • Which kind of mobile device (smartphone or tablet) is targeted? This influences both how we design the actual mobile asset user interface, and how we improve the steps of mobile consumption.
  • What the users will do in case of an issue. So they won’t be confused and discouraged right at the onset of their mobile analytics journey, there must be a commitment for end-user support and the required resources for the project to succeed.


Mobile app is where the action takes place

Once the user successfully gets through the setup and configuration steps, the mobile app is where they will spend most of their time. We need to:

  • Gauge our users’ overall mobile readiness. They will need to get used to standard mobile features (smaller screen and different functionality) in addition to unique mobile app components such as navigation, personalization, or custom query execution.
  • Consider if there are also opportunities to supplement with additional mobile assets that may be executed outside the app. These may be in the form of a simple PDF document or as complicated as integration with another mobile apps or systems.
  • Be aware of the strengths and weaknesses of our solution (app or otherwise). Instead of using cookie cutter solutions, we need to take into account the unique elements of our environment.


Mobile network is what makes it live

The mobile network is the equivalent of a “digital bridge” that allows us to connect to our platform and execute our mobile analytics assets. However, people frequently forget that this digital bridge can be made up of multiple networks.


Different conditions will directly impact the availability as well as the performance of our solution:

  • In office environments where we have direct access to our corporate networks through local Wi-Fi, we can enjoy a fast connection.
  • When we are connecting remotely (like using VPN), the bandwidth may be limited.
  • With remote access conditions (limited Wi-Fi at the airport or lack thereof), we may not even have access to the network.


This is, again, why understanding your audience becomes crucial— so you can provide additional options both on the software (such as offline viewing once the mobile asset is downloaded) or on the hardware (such as mobile hotspot through the wireless service carrier).


Bottom line: Your environment dictates your design

Understanding your environment at all levels—not just what happens within the app or device but also how the device is used—is critical to mobile analytics design because it gives us a chance to validate our assumptions and proactively manage both user perceptions and expectations.


If you’re delivering the solution and you’re the face of mobile analytics, your users may not necessarily differentiate between what’s in your control and what isn’t. When you better understand your environment and how your users will operate in that unique environment, you set your mobile analytics project up for success.


Stay tuned for my next blog in the Mobile Analytics Design series.


You may also like the Mobile BI Strategy series on IT Peer Network.

Connect with me on Twitter @KaanTurnali, LinkedIn and here on the IT Peer Network.

A version of this post was originally published on and also appeared on the SAP Analytics Blog.

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Making Industry Innovators: Using Social Media to Be More Than a Business Leader


A CIO’s official title doesn’t include “Person Keeping the Computers Running.” Yes, you help ensure that happens, but according to’s 2015 State of the CIO, an alarming 13 percent of IT professionals don’t see CIOs as industry leaders, despite the fact that 44 percent of those CIOs report directly to the CEO.


In previous blogs, I’ve discussed how CIOs can use social media to continue learning about the industry and raise awareness of the CIO as an influential business leader. But how can a CIO grow their social media presence to become more than the face of their business’s tech? By taking advantage of social media’s wealth of knowledge to truly innovate for their company and share successes to inspire industry change.


Engage With Fellow Innovators


One way CIOs can improve the face of social IT is by collaborating and engaging with some of the most influential CIOs on social media. This sort of teamwork adds value and vision to the industry and champions adoption of new technologies.


If you’ve been experimenting on social media lately by retweeting IT influencers or reposting articles on LinkedIn, it’s time to up your game and actually engage. Challenge insights, compare notes, and share stories about trying new tech or processes others have adopted. Here are a few ways to improve your engagement with industry leaders:

  • Retweet content and give your reaction or insight.
  • Comment on LinkedIn posts to initiate conversations.
  • Tag influencers in posts discussing new tech.
  • Share success stories of your own tech adoptions.
  • Source help from industry leaders when you have a question.


By increasing your social media engagement, you’ll foster new relationships. Discussing topics important to your company and possible solutions not only raises IT awareness, it also puts your brand at the forefront of the conversation.


Sourcing Innovation From Social Channels


Your everlasting role as a social CIO is to continue learning. If you’re learning from social media, you should also be applying what you learn. A social CIO knows how to rise from reactive facilitator to proactive leader.


A reactive facilitator sources solutions that might already be in motion in their own IT group or social connections. That’s a step in the right direction toward staying current and relevant in the tech conversation. But a proactive leader stays one step ahead of the game by keeping an eye out for needs and seeking (or creating) solutions. As you become more knowledgeable, you’ll notice trends and be actively in tune with where the industry is headed.


I’m constantly impressed by CIO collaboration on social media. It’s becoming less about marketing and more about improving the industry itself with true innovation. There’s too much opacity today among enterprises. When IT decision makers begin to show a little bit of transparency and share solutions, they improve global technology for the better.


Now that you know how to connect and engage with the IT greats, get out there and collaborate with others to improve your own business and solutions. As you gain more notoriety on social media, you’ll have people coming to you with questions and suggestions of their own — which is a great segue to my next blog post on using social media for talent acquisition. Stay tuned …


Leave your comments below or continue the conversation on Twitter and on LinkedIn.

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Improving Sepsis Diagnosis and Reducing Cost with Big Data


Sepsis is one of the leading causes of hospital readmissions and death in the United States, impacting some 750,000 patients per year at a cost of $16.7 billion annually to the healthcare system. Reducing the impact of sepsis cases even slightly would significantly enhance patient outcomes and reduce unnecessary expenses.


While the understanding and treatment of sepsis is improving, early detection and diagnosis of the condition continues to be an issue. In the above video, see how Cerner developed  a solution to the sepsis challenge – the St. John Sepsis Agent, which uses Intel technology and to date has helped save more than 2,700 lives by identifying sepsis in the early stages. According to Cerner, organizations can achieve $5,882 in medical savings per treated patient, a 21 percent reduction in length of stay, and a 24 percent reduction in in-hospital patient mortality rates by implementing the St. John’s Sepsis Agent.


Also in the case study video, see how Cerner aggregates big data and utilizes analytics to enable population health, and how Intel and Cloudera allow Cerner to provide a technology platform to support massive amounts of storage capacity, scalable parallel processing with near real-time alerts,  as well as high levels of security.


How is your organization using big data to enable population health?

by Steve Leibforth, Intel Americas

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Web Services-based Development: Challenges and Opportunities

Unlike software components operating within an enterprise, the Web services model establishes a loosely coupled relationship between a service producer and a service consumer. Service consumers have little control over services that they employ within their applications. A service is … Read more >

The post Web Services-based Development: Challenges and Opportunities appeared first on Intel Software and Services.

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HIMSS 16 Focus: Impact of Technology on Patients

It’s seems like just yesterday that we were leaving Chicago and basking in the innovation on display at HIMSS 15. Actually, since the last show was in April and now the biggest event in healthcare technology is back in its usual calendar slot, we’re ready for the second HIMSS in less than 12 months.


This year, the healthcare technology community is headed to Las Vegas February 29 to March 3, 2016, to see what innovation will be on the healthcare horizon in 2016 and beyond.  You should expect to see more conversations around how the patient, and their user generated data, plays into healthcare going forward. HIMMS_1.jpg


At Intel, we’re approaching HIMSS 16 with a critical eye on three areas that we feel are focal points for CMIOs: precision medicine, health IT and medical devices, and consumer health. All are patient-focused.


To learn more about these pillars, you’re invited to the Intel booth (#3032) to view the latest technology platforms that focus on the rise of patient engagement and consumer generated health data. We encourage you to stop by and take a guided tour, where you’ll see these demonstrations:


  • Precision Medicine: From genome sequencing to targeted treatment plan all in one day
  • Health IT and Medical Devices: Securely connecting patients, clinicians and their data for proactive healthcare wherever you are
  • Consumer Health: Engaging connections among people, their data and care community to empower health ownership


Outside of the Intel booth, you will find our technology in a number of HIMSS Kiosks that showcase real solutions available today:


  • Population Health Zone Kiosk #14099: IOT Big Cloud Analytics will share how analytics are helping to proactively improve healthcare
  • Connected Health Zone Kiosk #15208: Fujitsu will showcase a communication tool integrated EMR used at the National Cancer Center, personal health record for pregnant women and personal health records for dental solutions
  • Intel Security Kiosk and Cyber Security Challenge #9908: Come take the Security Breach Challenge and learn how to combat cybercrime through efficient breach detection and response


Finally, be sure to follow @IntelHealth on Twitter to keep up-to-date on all the happenings going on at the event. We’ll be live tweeting from the show floor and sharing pictures of new health IT products/services that we discover. We’ll also be giving away a Basis Peak watch every day during HIMSS through a Twitter contest so be on the lookout for how you can win.


HIMSS is always a great event and we are looking forward to seeing you in Las Vegas.


What are you most looking forward to seeing at HIMSS16? Tweet us @IntelHealth.

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Meet the Outward Sympathizer – An Often-Overlooked Type of Insider Threat Agent

BLOG-OutwardSympathizer.pngBased on reports in recent news, some forms of insider threat get a lot of attention. Just about everyone has heard of examples of damage caused by a disgruntled employee, workplace violence, or theft of intellectual property. But insider threat is actually much larger than those common examples.  At Intel, we’ve been studying this situation and have documented our findings in a white paper we call the Insider Threat Field Guide. In this field guide, we discuss 13 distinct insider threat agent types and the insider events they are most likely to cause, providing a comprehensive approach to identifying the most likely insider threat vectors.  We are sharing this guide so other companies can improve their security stance too. 


For example, one threat agent type we identified is the “outward sympathizer.” Our identification of this character is unique in the industry—we were unable to find any published analysis of this type of insider threat. We define an outward sympathizer as a person who knowingly misuses the enterprise’s systems to attack others in support of a cause external to the enterprise.


As we developed the field guide, we characterized the outward sympathizer threat as follows:

  • An insider of any status that acts in a manner harmful to the enterprise when reacting to external triggering events.
  • Harm may occur incidentally (nonhostile) or intentionally (hostile) and may take any form, including violence.
  • Actions are most likely reactive and emotional, episodic rather than ongoing.
  • Triggering events can be of any scale, from personal to worldwide, and related to any cause.
  • Collusion is more likely to occur if the triggering event has wide applicability within the worker population, such as a regional conflict.
  • The probability of attack is directly proportional to the impact and intensity of the triggering event, and inversely proportional to the general morale and the security awareness of the employee population.


The outward sympathizer is a complex threat agent and triggering events can vary widely. Perhaps there is conflict in a country in which family resides, or an environmental issue that the insider feels strongly about. It can be difficult to predict what will trigger an outward sympathizer attack because the reason for the attack may be entirely unique to the sympathizer and not obvious to others.


Outward sympathizer activity can occur at three escalating levels. Even the most benign level could potentially have devastating consequences for the enterprise.

  • Level 1 – Insider misuses company resources (nonhostile). In this scenario, the insider inappropriately uses company resources to independently support a cause, but the company itself is not attacked. For example, the insider is upset about something so he or she downloads hacker tools onto company servers and uses them to attack someone else. There is no intent to harm the enterprise; in fact the insider probably hopes the company never finds out about it and may assume that his or her identity is protected by firewalls from outside detection. In any case, the attacked entity may believe the enterprise itself is attacking them, and may retaliate in many ways.
  • Level 2 – Insider inappropriately discloses company information to directly support an external cause. The information may be posted publicly to embarrass the company, or may be directed to an activist organization to support their intelligence gathering. The actor may be a planted agent.
  • Level 3 – Insider directly attacks the company from the inside or enables an attack from the outside. The attack can take any form, including data theft, destruction of hardware or facilities, or internal violence or sabotage. The actor is most likely a disgruntled insider but may be a planted agent. Note that at this level, the line blurs between outward sympathizer and disgruntled insider. The important difference is that outward sympathizers are not triggered to action by something that happened to them personally but instead are upset about something external to the enterprise.


Enterprises should include outward sympathizers in their own insider threat models and plan for mitigation. Because this type of threat agent presents differently than most other characters, particularly at the benign level, it can be hard to detect—in fact, some of their methods may not be traceable back to the individual. The unique aspects of the outward sympathizer are motivation and timing, so the most effective mitigations will target those.

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Research by CERT and others suggests that strong tone-from-the-top security messaging is an effective behavioral deterrent, especially for non-professional threat actors. In addition, we use the following techniques to help minimize the likelihood of outward sympathizer events:

    • Providing specific examples during annual security training
    • Training managers to detect and appropriately handle warning signs
    • In conflict regions, ensuring managers and HR communicate quickly and regularly about personal safety and any available corporate support

    The technical methods used by outward sympathizers are not unique (as a class) and follow classic attack patterns. Technical controls are environmental, not specific. In particular, although it is common to monitor networks for incoming attacks, it is less common to monitor for outgoing attacks. Other effective technical controls include the following:

    • Limiting access to least-privilege
    • Checking the internal environment for hacking tools such as Low Orbit Ion Cannon (LOIC)
    • Watching for misuse such as outgoing distributed denial-of-service (DDOS) attacks


    Intel IT’s Insider Threat Field Guideincluding our understanding of the outward sympathizer threat agent—is an innovative way of looking at the full scope of insider threats. I believe other security professionals can use the field guide to identify and prioritize insider threats, communicate the risk of these threats, and optimize the use of information security resources to develop an effective defense strategy. I encourage you to share your feedback on the field guide by leaving a comment below. In addition, if you are looking for more information about our other security solutions, check out the 2015-2016 Intel IT Annual Performance Report.  We hope you will join the conversation!

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