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@CloudExpo: Blog Post

The Future of Automation | @DevOpsSummit #AI #ML #DX #DevOps #DigitalTransformation

As machines get smarter and more efficient, what place do we have in the world of tomorrow?

Automating Progress: The Future of Automation
By Chris Boorman

We've all read the dystopian fiction, watched those apocalyptic movies and heard a myriad of prophetic warnings heralding our obsolescence. Surely now we're just a couple of years from flipping the switch on a Skynet of our own making and condemning mankind to the annals of history.

Actually, we're not entirely sure what the future holds, but it's probably not fire and brimstone.

For detractors and naysayers of technology, could there be a more fitting image than Terminator 2's opening shot? A hulking, skeletal, humanoid machine crushing a human skull beneath its foot. Listening to ‘techno-skeptics' can sure make it feel as though that's the end which inevitably awaits us. If we continue down our current path of imbuing machines with increasing levels of autonomy, learning abilities and artificial intelligence, eventually we'll inadvertently construct our own obsolescence - if not destruction! We must be careful, unless we want to find ourselves subjugated by a machine army...

If you ask me, however, the need to bow before new robot overlords isn't coming any time soon. In fact, it couldn't be further from the truth.

...The Way of The Luddites
On the surface, mechanization and automation can appear daunting ideas, for sure. The notion that we may soon be replaced by machines is a harrowing concept, one we've unfortunately seen in action before (here's looking at you, Luddites).

That said, we've now been automating things in one way or another since 240 BC, when the Greek engineer, Ctesibius, invented the water clock. Nonetheless, we've somehow managed to go over 2,200 years without making ourselves entirely redundant! Yet today there remains a handful of people who still claim, ‘the [proverbial] End is nigh'.

History has shown automation does have the potential to disrupt industry - and in the process of doing so, it simply changes our concept of work and jobs. Rarely, however, has it ever sounded the death knell for the need of human input. It can cause periods of displacement to human workers in the short-term, but in the long-term, automation has proved a benefit to our species.

Automated looms signaled the beginning of the end for those infamous Nottinghamshire weavers, while the rest of us benefited from more affordable clothing and fabric. However, as skilled artisans, the Luddites weren't without work for long: after the invention of the sewing machine in 1846, the much-disputed textile industry underwent a resurgence in terms of human work.

If anything, automation has been a key driver in our continued success story: for every job lost, at least one more is often created. This has, in effect, doubled our ability to produce.

A study by consultancy firm Deloitte confirms this. They propose that over the course of the last 140 years, the advent of technology has created more jobs than it has deposed. The study shows the number of us performing repetitive manual work has plummeted, while those employed within, for example, carer roles or the technology sector, has sky-rocketed. It's true mechanization and automation has all but eliminated human input in certain industries, such as agriculture (in the late 1800s, approximately 7% of the British population were classed as agricultural laborers. Today, it's about 0.2%: a drop of 95%). Automation is removing the need for us to perform manual muscle work and lets us focus on more innovative projects.

That's not to say automation isn't without its challenges. For a business to get to a position where it's ready to implement automated systems, it's costly and time consuming. Robotworx, an ‘off-the-shelf' robotics company serving the industrial sector, suggests a single automated robotic arm with welding capabilities costs between $30,000 and $50,000 - as a conservative estimate. And you're not going to be getting much done with just one robot! Even once the systems are in place, it can be a while before any ROI is made. There's also an increased maintenance cost with automated machines. However, the long-term advantages by far outstrip the short-term costs and disadvantages.

Where Are We Now?
Automation and smart-learning machines are becoming more and more prevalent within our everyday lives. Take a look around you and the odds are that automation, in some shape or form, has touched and sculpted almost everything you lay your eyes upon. From the use of the manufacturing automatons which produced your IKEA desk, to the automated retail checkout processes on your smartphone, even the coffee machine which helped you wake up this morning. Automation has become a pivotal part of everyday life.

It has helped to reduce the cost of basic necessities, such as food and drink, and made what would once have been deemed luxuries an everyday occurrence. Imagine, for example, being able to own a computer without the aid of the automated processes that have enabled us to shrink processors, speed up production and reduce costs.

Moreover, we're not just seeing advances impact upon the manufacturing and commercial worlds. As we move further into this digital age, we've needed to develop smarter software and smarter solutions. We've needed to streamline and optimize legacy programs and systems, making them ready to cope with the demands of the user of the day. Automation has been key to enabling this, as it's found ways of handing back man-hours to the company - man-hours which previously would have been spent on tedious, repetitive tasks. Our ability to automate software processes has enabled us to revolutionize the way we interact, communicate and do business via technology.

More of the same, only better, please.
As we begin to repy on automation more and more, undoubtedly things will change. Let's take the retail environment, as an example. What if highly repetitive strenuous manual tasks, such as stock replenishment, became entirely automated? Hypothetically, that would free up members of staff, allowing them to focus on something more interpersonal, such as sales, driving the business.

The likelihood is the nature of what we consider work will change; jobs will change. Some may admittedly be lost altogether, but in turn, entirely new industries will be introduced. As our concept of work changes, the economy will too - it should expand, while the effort we exert to drive it should shrink. The march towards automation isn't about stripping jobs from people, it's about streamlining and increasing productivity.

As I said, there's nothing to fear from our Robot Overlords. If anything, we should be welcoming them with open arms. All hail the T-800.

Internet of @ThingsExpo, taking place October 31 - November 2, 2017, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA, is co-located with 21st Cloud Expo and will feature technical sessions from a rock star conference faculty and the leading industry players in the world.

Download Show Prospectus ▸ Here

The Internet of Things (IoT) is the most profound change in personal and enterprise IT since the creation of the Worldwide Web more than 20 years ago.

All major researchers estimate there will be tens of billions devices - computers, smartphones, tablets, and sensors - connected to the Internet by 2020. This number will continue to grow at a rapid pace for the next several decades.

With major technology companies and startups seriously embracing IoT strategies, now is the perfect time to attend @ThingsExpo in Silicon Valley. Learn what is going on, contribute to the discussions, and ensure that your enterprise is as "IoT-Ready" as it can be!

With major technology companies and startups seriously embracing Cloud strategies, now is the perfect time to attend 21st Cloud Expo, October 31 - November 2, 2017, at the Santa Clara Convention Center, CA, and June 12-14, 2018, at the Javits Center in New York City, NY, and learn what is going on, contribute to the discussions, and ensure that your enterprise is on the right path to Digital Transformation.

Track 1. Enterprise Cloud | Cloud-Native
Track 2.
Big Data | Analytics
Track 3. Internet of Things | IIoT | Smart Cities

Track 4. DevOps | Digital Transformation (DX)

Track 5. APIs | Cloud Security | Mobility

Track 6.
AI | ML | DL | Cognitive
Track 7.
Containers | Microservices | Serverless
Track 8. FinTech | InsurTech | Token Economy

Cloud Expo | @ThingsExpo 2017 Silicon Valley
(October 31 - November 2, 2017, Santa Clara Convention Center, CA)

Cloud Expo | @ThingsExpo 2018 New York 
(June 12-14, 2018, Javits Center, Manhattan)

Download Show Prospectus ▸ Here

Every Global 2000 enterprise in the world is now integrating cloud computing in some form into its IT development and operations. Midsize and small businesses are also migrating to the cloud in increasing numbers.  

Companies are each developing their unique mix of cloud technologies and services, forming multi-cloud and hybrid cloud architectures and deployments across all major industries. Cloud-driven thinking has become the norm in financial services, manufacturing, telco, healthcare, transportation, energy, media, entertainment, retail and other consumer industries, and the public sector.

Cloud Expo is the single show where technology buyers and vendors can meet to experience and discus cloud computing and all that it entails. Sponsors of Cloud Expo will benefit from unmatched branding, profile building and lead generation opportunities through:

  • Featured on-site presentation and ongoing on-demand webcast exposure to a captive audience of industry decision-makers.
  • Showcase exhibition during our new extended dedicated expo hours
  • Breakout Session Priority scheduling for Sponsors that have been guaranteed a 35-minute technical session
  • Online advertising in SYS-CON's i-Technology Publications
  • Capitalize on our Comprehensive Marketing efforts leading up to the show with print mailings, e-newsletters and extensive online media coverage.
  • Unprecedented PR Coverage: Editorial Coverage on Cloud Computing Journal.
  • Tweetup to over 75,000 plus followers
  • Press releases sent on major wire services to over 500 industry analysts.

For more information on sponsorship, exhibit, and keynote opportunities, contact Carmen Gonzalez by email at events (at) sys-con.com, or by phone 201 802-3021.

The World's Largest "Cloud Digital Transformation" Event

@CloudExpo | @ThingsExpo 2017 Silicon Valley
(Oct. 31 - Nov. 2, 2017, Santa Clara Convention Center, CA)

@CloudExpo | @ThingsExpo 2018 New York 
(June 12-14, 2018, Javits Center, Manhattan)

Full Conference Registration Gold Pass and Exhibit Hall ▸ Here

Register For @CloudExpo ▸ Here via EventBrite

Register For @ThingsExpo ▸ Here via EventBrite

Register For @DevOpsSummit ▸ Here via EventBrite

Sponsorship Opportunities

Sponsors of Cloud Expo | @ThingsExpo will benefit from unmatched branding, profile building and lead generation opportunities through:

  • Featured on-site presentation and ongoing on-demand webcast exposure to a captive audience of industry decision-makers
  • Showcase exhibition during our new extended dedicated expo hours
  • Breakout Session Priority scheduling for Sponsors that have been guaranteed a 35 minute technical session
  • Online targeted advertising in SYS-CON's i-Technology Publications
  • Capitalize on our Comprehensive Marketing efforts leading up to the show with print mailings, e-newsletters and extensive online media coverage
  • Unprecedented Marketing Coverage: Editorial Coverage on ITweetup to over 100,000 plus followers, press releases sent on major wire services to over 500 industry analysts

For more information on sponsorship, exhibit, and keynote opportunities, contact Carmen Gonzalez (@GonzalezCarmen) today by email at events (at) sys-con.com, or by phone 201 802-3021.

Secrets of Sponsors and Exhibitors ▸ Here
Secrets of Cloud Expo Speakers ▸ Here

All major researchers estimate there will be tens of billions devices - computers, smartphones, tablets, and sensors - connected to the Internet by 2020. This number will continue to grow at a rapid pace for the next several decades.

With major technology companies and startups seriously embracing Cloud strategies, now is the perfect time to attend @CloudExpo@ThingsExpo, October 31 - November 2, 2017, at the Santa Clara Convention Center, CA, and June 12-4, 2018, at the Javits Center in New York City, NY, and learn what is going on, contribute to the discussions, and ensure that your enterprise is on the right path to Digital Transformation.

Delegates to Cloud Expo | @ThingsExpo will be able to attend 8 simultaneous, information-packed education tracks.

There are over 120 breakout sessions in all, with Keynotes, General Sessions, and Power Panels adding to three days of incredibly rich presentations and content.

Join Cloud Expo | @ThingsExpo conference chair Roger Strukhoff (@IoT2040), October 31 - November 2, 2017, Santa Clara Convention Center, CA, and June 12-14, 2018, at the Javits Center in New York City, NY, for three days of intense Enterprise Cloud and 'Digital Transformation' discussion and focus, including Big Data's indispensable role in IoT, Smart Grids and (IIoT) Industrial Internet of Things, Wearables and Consumer IoT, as well as (new) Digital Transformation in Vertical Markets.

Financial Technology - or FinTech - Is Now Part of the @CloudExpo Program!

Accordingly, attendees at the upcoming 21st Cloud Expo | @ThingsExpo October 31 - November 2, 2017, Santa Clara Convention Center, CA, and June 12-14, 2018, at the Javits Center in New York City, NY, will find fresh new content in a new track called FinTech, which will incorporate machine learning, artificial intelligence, deep learning, and blockchain into one track.

Financial enterprises in New York City, London, Singapore, and other world financial capitals are embracing a new generation of smart, automated FinTech that eliminates many cumbersome, slow, and expensive intermediate processes from their businesses.

FinTech brings efficiency as well as the ability to deliver new services and a much improved customer experience throughout the global financial services industry. FinTech is a natural fit with cloud computing, as new services are quickly developed, deployed, and scaled on public, private, and hybrid clouds.

More than US$20 billion in venture capital is being invested in FinTech this year. @CloudExpo is pleased to bring you the latest FinTech developments as an integral part of our program, starting at the 21st International Cloud Expo October 31 - November 2, 2017 in Silicon Valley, and June 12-14, 2018, in New York City.

@CloudExpo is accepting submissions for this new track, so please visit www.CloudComputingExpo.com for the latest information.

Speaking Opportunities

The upcoming 21st International @CloudExpo@ThingsExpo, October 31 - November 2, 2017, Santa Clara Convention Center, CA, and June 12-14, 2018, at the Javits Center in New York City, NY announces that its Call For Papers for speaking opportunities is open.

Submit your speaking proposal today! ▸ Here

About SYS-CON Media & Events
SYS-CON Media (www.sys-con.com) has since 1994 been connecting technology companies and customers through a comprehensive content stream - featuring over forty focused subject areas, from Cloud Computing to Web Security - interwoven with market-leading full-scale conferences produced by SYS-CON Events. The company's internationally recognized brands include among others Cloud Expo® (@CloudExpo), Big Data Expo® (@BigDataExpo), DevOps Summit (@DevOpsSummit), @ThingsExpo® (@ThingsExpo), Containers Expo (@ContainersExpo) and Microservices Expo (@MicroservicesE).

Cloud Expo®, Big Data Expo® and @ThingsExpo® are registered trademarks of Cloud Expo, Inc., a SYS-CON Events company.

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Automic, a leader in business automation, helps enterprises drive competitive advantage by automating their IT factory - from on-premise to the Cloud, Big Data and the Internet of Things.

With offices across North America, Europe and Asia-Pacific, Automic powers over 2,600 customers including Bosch, PSA, BT, Carphone Warehouse, Deutsche Post, Societe Generale, TUI and Swisscom. The company is privately held by EQT. More information can be found at www.automic.com.

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