Insights of an innovation enthusiast, PhD candidate, efficiency junkie, and technology optimist. Or, things I find interesting.

Posts tagged cloud

2013: The year of uptick in enterpris...

2013: The year of uptick in enterprise crowdsourcing?

Those who work with IT are accustomed to hearing about outsourcing arrangements and cloud computing. Put these concepts together and you get what has been coined the “human cloud.” The Human Cloud is a sourcing ecosystem that engages a pool of online workers, or suppliers, that can be tapped on-demand to provide a wide range of services to any interested buyer. Buyers contract suppliers or workers through one of dozens of online platforms.

2012 saw the consolidation of several platforms, a sign of a maturing industry. Lionbridge bought Virtual Solutions and Freelancer bought vWorker (parent company of RentaCoder).

Even microsoft is excited about the human cloud. See this video. Meanwhile, lionbridge has a great explanatory video.

2013 will see a shift from small business buyers to adoption by large enterprises as well as a shift from outsourcing of one-off projects to the outsourcing of processes where streams of activities in workflows are performed by “cloud” workers. Large enterprises will continue to develop internal human clouds composed of unassigned workers who may engage in modular work. As information and communication technology advances, outsourcing to the Human Cloud will eventually disrupt the multi-billion dollar business process outsourcing industry. Off-shoring becomes every-shoring, then the world is truly flat.

VBA in the cloud = google apps script

appsscript_initial_screen

Perhaps the most technical thing that all MBA students learn, or should learn is using VBA to automate excel and word. Gove Allen at BYU teaches a fantastic class which does just that, take a look at the creative projects his students have recently completed: Custom ‘mail merge’ for sending SMS messages, importing data into excel from craigslist,   or automating the creation of a work schedule to cover multiple shifts.

Until recently, the cloud-based solutions like Google Docs and spreadsheets have not allowed such automation. About a year ago, Google announced Appsscript. Now, a new code editor has appeared with a few interesting features.

First, you can publish your code as a service, allowing anyone in the world to invoke it.  The service-oriented-architecture fans should get excited about this. See the image:

Second, it ties in nicely with useful google APIs, and hopefully more APIs in the future.

Things just got interesting! It will be fun to see what this enables in the future. It looks like they have recently included a user-interface builder. If anything it is one more reason to move to the cloud. Here is a screenshot of the script editor:

Putting the internet to work for you ...

Putting the internet to work for you with IFTTT

If you have not seen – ifttt.com (IFTTT = If This Then That)… check it out! It allows you to trigger tasks based events that happen all around the internet. Some of the nifty uses that my students came up with: (see more here).

  • Pitch a tent before dark. Notify via SMS fifteen minutes before sunset, to know when to pitch a tent while hiking the Appalachians.
  • Find a job. Notify via Email when jobs postings matching a certain criteria are posted on indeed.com
  • Save your face. Upload images to dropbox of photos i’m tagged in on facebook.
  • Avoid allergies. Notify via SMS if the pollen count forecast is above 9000.
  • Stay Aware. Automatically add severe weather warnings from NOAA to google calendar.

This is a useful introduction to the concept of a Complex Event Processing System. IFTTT could be considered a CEP system if a combination of events could trigger a task. For example, if its between 3-6pm, AND there is an accident on the interstate, then send SMS alert. I just saw wappwolf.com which is like IFTTT for dropbox, and also exemplifies the positive externalities associated with cloudcomputing.

 

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