john salvino 417565 unsplashIt's still one of the toughest jobs an IT professional faces. It's not the providing of cloud computing services, but convincing your non-technical clients that it’s safe to take the plunge and migrate to the cloud. This remains a frustrating task; especially when they’ve reviewed reliable and credible data and still resist.

amazon deliveryThis season’s spending is projected to be 14.8 percent more than that of 2017. That is, online spending at least. Adobe Analytics looked at 80 of the top 100 U.S. retailers and a wide swath of their customers and predict online sales between Cyber Monday and Christmas will produce an additional $284 million in sales over last year.

blockchain demoIn general terms we kinda think we understand what blockchain is, right? It’s a distributed database with very secure encryption making it unchangeable and at the same time publicly visible and annonymous. Sounds good but what does that mean in real terms? If you’re still curious how all this comes together, here’s a demo created by Sean Han @seanjameshan · Developer & Designer, who exlpains, “Blockchain Demo is my attempt at demystifying the technology behind cryptocurrencies. It has a living blockchain, a peer-to-peer network, and a user tour.” You can walk through the 28 steps that describe what blockchain is and how it is made. By the way, this it NOT a crypto-currency demo. Remember that blockchain has lots of uses beyond exchanging money.

faruk kaymak 599961 unsplashIBM has made two big announcement recently. One is a technology play that brings brings cloud computing up another level and the other is one that brings blockchain technology to reality for the supply chain. While both are independent from a business standpoint they will inevitibly come together in ways that may not be obvious at the moment.

global supply chain franck v 512310 unsplashIt is well known that China has been the biggest producer of goods for many years. From children’s school supplies to the contents of every handyman’s toolbox, “Made in China” is found in small print. However, China’s labor costs, much due to its economic growth from manufacturing, have risen to the point that the competition from nearby Asian countries is taking some of that manufacturing business. These shifts, along many others over the last two decades, have been heavily influenced by the conglomerate Alibaba, affecting the supply chain of companies worldwide.

big dataBig data has the potentials to be of great benefits to an organization. It is much more than just data; rather it is an engine that boosts the performance of an organization in a stable, seamless, and sustainable way. Big data brings your supply chain a broad view of all happenings while at the same time narrowing them down to serve each customer’s specific need.

max capacity chuttersnap 255211 unsplashIt’s a snowball rolling downhill once a supply chain interruption happens – but what if there was a way to pivot before any disruption to the chain occurs? AI brings new meaning to system integration, and it’s a dramatic shift to the current approach which is a manual process, one that is sometimes sluggish and cumbersome. Including Artificial Intelligence into the supply chain creates an all-seeing rapid-response level of protection against problems that typically halt production. For example, the following is a common scenario:

block chain supply chainMuch has been said about the potential for blockchain, the technology underpinning digital currencies like bitcoin, to revolutionise a variety of industries, from voting to fashion to education. Despite this, critics are often quick to point out that many of the proposed use cases for the technology are still years from becoming a reality. However, as an encrypted digital ledger that records all activity that occurs over it, both publicly and chronologically, there is one area where blockchain is already having an impact: global supply chains.

casey horner flowImagine if you could always see your whole supply chain, pinpoint at any time which distributor or location from which it’s best to purchase materials, and then determine immediately which of all the sites is best to produce the material? The result would streamline the supply chain, and with AI, it’s possible.

Transportation heroIn early August, IBM and Maersk unveiled TradeLens, a global trade blockchain platform seeking to bring efficiency and transparency to international shipping. After months of testing with port operators, customs authorities, logistics companies, and carriers, TradeLens hopes to be fully commercially available by the end of 2018. The platform is being billed as an open and neutral ecosystem, designed to integrate with other Hyperledger Fabric blockchains. While only time will tell if IBM and Maersk are truly dedicated to collaboration, the possibility of multiple blockchain platforms interacting and integrating could revolutionize shipping from the open ocean to the open road.