Google IO – a glimpse into the future of user experience and data use

One of the most anticipated events in the tech agenda, Google’s annual I/O took place earlier this week and, although the event wasn’t as surprising or explosive as last year’s, the announcements offer plenty to be excited about.

In a nutshell, the announcements were all about Google getting its mobile OS, Android L, with its focus on inbuilt apps, into all aspects of our lives, from our bodies with Android Wear, to our television with Android TV and our cars with Android Auto.

Let’s take a look at one of these developments, Android Wear, in a bit more detail.

Android wear - Moto 360 - from @vergeAccording to Google, Android users check their phone an average of 125 times per day. The new smartwatches, such as Samsung Gear Live, LG’s G Watch and Moto 360, will allow you to sync up with your smartphone, meaning you can keep up to date without having to fumble around with your phone all the time. You will be able to keep an eye on your apps, ask your watch things thanks to inbuilt voice recognition and sensors will monitor things like your heart rate or the number of steps you’ve taken – it will even tell the time!

Where it really gets interesting is how these smartwatches will use the data they are storing about you; for example, you will now be able to order pizza in under 20 seconds. By remembering the last time your ordered pizza, it will suggest you do so again at the same time the following week, allowing you to complete the order and pay in just a few tabs.

This is a light-hearted example, but it starts to give an idea of the kind of things that can be achieved through gathering, analysing and applying data.

We’re excited to see these developments, as they are another example of how the world is embracing the possibilities offered by data analytics. Users all over the world could benefit from a much more personalised, and thus improved, user experience.

By making the most of what data can offer, businesses can also learn more about the behaviours of those using their products, allowing them to adapt their offering to cater to the individual users and improve their overall experience. Big data may be considered by some to be ‘just another one of those buzzwords’, but it truly offers unlimited opportunities for business to learn and optimize their services and targeting. And it doesn’t stop there…

Watch out for an upcoming blog post on the importance of using data analytics in order to not just improve the current healthcare system, but to actually save millions and preserve the quality of the NHS for generations to come.

If you’d like a more in-depth round-up of the Google I/O keynote, take a look at this article on Wired, but the message to us is clear: Big data is here to stay, and it’s time for businesses to wake up and smell the analytics.

Redefine Possible – Mega Launch 2014 – 20 days to go!

It’s just 20 days now until EMC hosts a major launch event that will unveil industry leading innovations that redefine the possible.

Taking place on Tuesday, 8th July 2014 at London’s Old Billingsgate Market, attendees will hear from David Goulden, CEO, EMC Information Infrastructure, Jeremy Burton, President, Products and Marketing, EMC Information Infrastructure, and Jonathan Martin, CMO, EMC Information Infrastructure as they announce breaking news from EMC.

Participants at the event will also receive exclusive access to EMC executives, customers, partners and industry in what promises to be a fantastic spectacle at one of London’s finest venues.

We’ll be sure to bring you more updates as soon as they happen!

EMC’s Privacy Index study reveals consumers’ conflicting views

This week, EMC announced the results of its Global Internet Privacy Index, a 15,000 consumer study exploring how consumers across the globe view their online privacy rights. It also measures willingness to forfeit the benefits and conveniences of the connected world for the assurances of privacy. Out of 15 countries, the UK ranked 12th in terms of willingness to trade privacy for greater convenience.

59 percent of respondents in the UK feel they have less privacy now than they did a year ago and almost 85 percent of them expect privacy to erode over the next five years. There is a long standing debate over how much visibility governments and businesses should have regarding people’s private activities and this has continued into the online world.

However there appears to be some conflicting views. Only half of citizens in the UK have confidence in the skills of organisations protecting personal data but almost 70 percent of them do not change their passwords regularly and 43 percent don’t use password-protection on their mobile devices.

It is clear that people want the benefits of technology without sacrificing privacy. From this global study, three privacy paradoxes emerged:

  • We want it all” paradox – Consumers want all the conveniences of technology but are unwilling to trade privacy to get them
  • “Take no action” paradox – Consumers take no action to protect their privacy despite privacy risks having a direct impact on them, and place the onus on those handling the information i.e. government and businesses
  • “Social sharing” paradox – Social media users say they value privacy, yet willingly share large quantities of data on these sites

The businesses that will succeed are the ones who demonstrate the most reliable and practical privacy guidelines for their customers. They need to find ways to improve privacy across their offerings without compromising user experience, performance or capability.

Viewpoints on privacy will of course vary wildly depending on what situation you are in. The ‘Financial you’, who interacts with banks and other financial institutions will have different views compared to the ‘Social you’.

Jeremy Burton, President, Products & Marketing says “The unprecedented potential of Cloud and Big Data to drive commerce and societal advancement rests on a foundation of trust. Individuals need to know that their data not only is secure, but that its privacy is protected. The Privacy index reveals a global divergence of views around these critical issues of our time, and a warning call that responsibility for transparency, fairness, safe online behavior and trustworthy use of personal data must be shared by business, governments and individuals alike.”

For more information on the results, please click here, or take a look at the infographic below.

EMC_Privacy_Country_UK infographic

Report: Technology could save UK £24bn a year by 2020

Yesterday, at the Google campus in Shoreditch, Policy Exchange launched its Technology Manifesto report which looks at why technology should be front and centre of political party ideas, ahead of the 2015 election.

The report, which has been co-sponsored by EMC, highlights the priorities for using technology to reinvent government in the run up to the election. It suggests that the government could save as much as £24 billion a year by 2020 with a more efficient use of technology to deliver the next-generation of citizen services.

Speaking at Policy Exchange 04.06 283-136The event included an expert MP panel, which comprised of three members from each political party, all discussing “The future of Digital Britain”. The members were Nadhim Zahawi MP, Member of the No 10 Policy Board, Chi Onwurah MP, Shadow Cabinet Office Minister and Dr Julian Huppert MP, Member for Cambridge.

The report explains that it is not enough to simply digitize more services but that major work is required behind the scenes with bespoke IT to replace standard systems. The report goes on to explain that initiatives, such as the Government Digital Service cannot be an island of innovation and whilst there has been some excellent progress made with the creation of for example, more still needs to be done.

James Petter, senior vice president and managing director for EMC UK & Ireland comments, “we are big believers in how technology can enable government. As a nation, we’ve not been fast enough to deliver digital government and to date there has been too great a focus on cost efficiencies. Change is needed to meet evolving citizen demands and ensure Britain is positioned as a country that the world wants to do business with.”

Eddie Copeland, Head of Technology Policy Unit at Policy Exchange and author of the report says, “as businesses have long known, IT is transformative only when it changes the way people work, That means breaking down silos, it means sharing more data, and it will almost certainly mean that fewer staff will be needed to perform particular tasks. The next government must not shy away from the hard but inescapable need for organizational change”.

The event and report have already generated media interest with coverage appearing on the Daily Telegraph and the Inquirer. Take a look at a video of the debate below, and see how the debate developed on Twitter with storify:

EMC celebrates the Scotland Sporting Stage 2014

With Scotland set to provide the stage for two of the world’s most anticipated sporting events over the next few months  – starting with the 20th Commonwealth Games in Glasgow in July/August and closely followed by the Ryder Cup at Gleneagles in September ­ – EMC’s Scottish team was delighted to play a part in the anticipation of both events.

Customers and partners were invited to put their questions to Sir Chris Hoy , Great Britain’s most decorated Olympian and probably the most well-known Scottish athlete in the world, and Billy Foster, Britain’s most successful golf caddie ever, who has shared the successes of golfing greats including Seve Ballesteros, Sergio Garcia, Darren Clarke and Lee Westwood.

With TV sports presenter Gabby Logan at the helm, the event in Edinburgh let EMC Scotland’s customers and partners put their questions to the sporting greats, and also put themselves to the test with a cycling and putting competition.Logan, Foster, Hoy

Martin Brown, EMC Country Manager in Scotland, said: “We have had a great deal of success in Scotland in growing the business over the last few years and we were looking for an opportunity to thank those people who have been part of that success, so the fact that we were able to do that in the company of three inspiring professionals like Sir Chris, Billy and Gabby was just fantastic.

“Everyone who was there had a great time, including those of us on the team, and we were all inspired by these sporting greats whose dedication and will to win is truly phenomenal.

“With the Commonwealth Games in Glasgow now only a few weeks away the build-up here in Scotland is gathering pace and if the success of our event is anything to go by we are set for a truly memorable feast of sport during the remainder of 2014.”

Media trip to the Anti-Fraud Command and Control centre – Israel

Image3 RSZThe third European media trip to the RSA Anti-Fraud Command and Control Centre (AFCC) in Israel took place earlier this year. The AFCC visit provided a first-hand view of how RSA deals with the increasing levels of cybercrime and the advanced persistent threats taking place every day globally.

Journalists Matthew Finnegan from Computer World UK and Rene Millman, from IT Pro, represented the UK media.

The journalists were given an overview of the cyber threat landscape, underground cybercrime and APTs as well as an organised tour of the AFCC which provided an insight into the daily running of the command centre and how RSA deals with live persistent threats.

Over 100 analysts work around the clock, 24/7, leading the global fight against “external threats” such as phishing, crimeware, Trojans, and pharming attacks and working with thousands of ISPs, registrars, and other hosting entities worldwide to mitigate and shut down attacks. The AFCC has been responsible for over stopping over 400,000 cyber attacks on organisations around the world, and in the last year have discovered a variety of new trends in malicious cyber activity, including the sale of malware via popular social network pages.

Matthew and Rene met with Daniel Cohen, head of the cyber operations department at RSA, who provided a behind-the-scenes look at the type of new technologies being used to tackle the increasing number of cyber threats.

You can see more about the inner workings of the AFCC in this this video.

Matthew and Rene’s detailed insights from the visit can be viewed in the following articles:

Matthew Finnegan, ComputerWorld UK

Rene Millman, IT Pro