Saturday, July 28, 2018

Is There Too Much Information Available?

In the past, life was much simpler, but in today's technologically charged world, we are constantly bombarded with information overload. True, there are some really important and good details existing, and on the flip side of that coin, there, too, is trash. It is enough to break anyone down to feel lesser of him or her self because of what is out there. Our spirits are strong, but our bodies are weak.

Thus, as an information scientist I'm constantly dealing with the junk inclusive of spam, pages of advertisements, terrible design aesthetics, and epileptic seizure producing websites. It is horrible with all the detrimental particulars that are out there, from pornographic material to extremism in any field. In regard to these fields and sub-fields, everyone seems to have a cause to exceedingly support. Thank goodness for filtering programs and parental controls. We try our best to protect those that we love.

Another problem with so much data getting 'ground out' every day is security. On the Internet, there is a war going on between good and evil, as in life. Malevolent hackers are continually fighting the knowledge and training of white hat hackers with viruses, worms, Trojans, malware, and other malicious software. Newly compromising applications and programs can easily clear out secure databases of personal statistics and finances with the click of a mouse from one unsuspecting administrator, which can spread like wildfire sometimes. Those that are given the greater authority and responsibilities sometimes create the greatest risks.

In the bigger picture, we have to look at all of this and know that there, too, is a lot of good and honest data available. It includes educational and skill-building software as well as problem-solving detailed programs for benefiting our world and mankind. Both art and science have merged into three-dimensional modeling with added depth and visualization techniques. The human brain is one of the most significant and important functioning organisms in the universe. The mind is the final frontier and not space.

I tend to look at all of this information with an optimistically balanced-brain viewpoint. There is an ingrained knowledge and understanding of whom is going to win this war overall in the end. It is a life we all try to achieve for the common good or in respect of the golden rule. People either base their thoughts and actions from religious or scientific beliefs thus bringing conflicts between themselves.

Take The Strain Of Your IT Infrastructure With Hosted Services

Do you sometimes struggle to get the support you need from your internal IT department?

Signing up for Hosted Services will mean that you still have access to a fully supported energy monitoring application over the internet without the need for local installation, backup or the consequential IT constraints, therefore the strain is taken off your servers, allowing them to concentrate on the essential needs of your business.

Using a service like this allows you to use the energy monitoring software in exactly the same way as you would locally but benefit from high performance hardware and high support availability of a hosted service.

Benefits of this service include:

  • Increased data processing capacity through a high specification server

  • Allowing you to use the optimum set-up for the energy monitoring application

  • Less of a reliance on local or outsourced IT support and backup

  • Direct access to the software's support team if required

  • Free software updates (carried out for you by the support team)

  • Ability to access your data from outside your corporate network using a secure connection

  • Option to take advantage of the software's Premium Maintenance and Support Services

The energy management software and database are set-up on a secure high-speed server.

You connect to the secure host server using a URL similar to a website address. To log into the energy management software from any computer you need to use a Windows application called Remote Desktop. All processing utilises a powerful server and a high-speed internet connection (10Mbit) which ensures fast access to your energy data.

Just like when you run the software off your own local server you can have multiple users simultaneously accessing the system. As with the locally run access to your energy management system, this is password controlled and for added security and you can also choose to only allow specific IP addresses to log in.

The benefit of using this service for your energy consumption and monitoring is support staff can log into the software directly to provide a more hands-on support service if required. This includes carrying out regular database health checks and maintenance work if required.

If you are already using the energy monitoring Software in your organisation your existing database can be easily transferred to the secure server.

The hosted servers are situated in a purpose-built data centre with top-level security (T4) where access is only provided to authorised IT personnel.

The site provides a managed uninterrupted power supply and two back-up generators with 30 hours of fuel on-site for 100% uptime. Two back-up internet connections ensure that access is guaranteed.

Automatic backups are ran to ensure your database is protected against loss of data. Optional regular encrypted backups of the database can be provided on DVD if required.

TEAM is the UK's leading supplier of carbon and energy management solutions. With over 500 customers in the UK and worldwide we specialise in energy management software, outsourced energy management services and energy consultancy.

Founded in 1985 by Managing Director Paul Martin, TEAM has customers from all sectors including Commerce, Industry and Government. Our solutions are used across the globe, from Europe and Australasia, to America and Russia.

TEAM consistently produces energy savings that exceed the cost of our services and products.


Process Drives Predictable Results, Lower Risk and Costs

In the recent article Ebola Shows It Is Process-Not Technology-That Will Protect Us on, Jeanne Roue-Taylor discusses how technology alone is insufficient in controlling the disease. She further discusses how process breakdowns increased the risk of transmission. From Eric Duncan not properly being screened before boarding his plane to his first hospital visit, following a properly planned process could have stopped the subsequent infections, where process again broke down. She concludes that process and not technology will best control the spread of this disease. The same can be said when dealing with any issue in business, to achieve success, we need to use technology as a tool to implement well planned process.

Delving into the Ebola comparison further, the CDC underestimated the risk of transmission from the beginning. I believe this caused a false sense of security and possibly contributed to lax safety protocols and a patchwork of standards. In the case of Dr Craig Spencer, who volunteered with Doctors Without Borders in Guinea, he was allowed to self-quarantine. A protocol that he did not adhere to when he used public transportation including the subway and Uber. Subsequently, the bowling alley that he visited the night before being diagnosed had to temporarily shut down due to concerns over infection.

Following Spencer's diagnosis, New York and New Jersey felt compelled to institute a mandatory quarantine of all healthcare workers coming from West Africa; a move that is criticized as an overreaction, uneducated, and political. All may or may not be true, however, time and again it seems that it is human nature to down play or dismiss worst case scenarios until either they actually happen or we catch a glimpse of what may happen that scares us into action. The natural response is to then overcompensate in the effort to both "learn from our mistakes" and show others that we are now taking proper action.

In the business world and life in general, the concept of process is a boring and unpopular topic. Nevertheless, when we view proper planning and implementation of process as integral to our success, mishaps, unexpected outcomes and unforeseen risks are minimized and ultimately avoided. In our business, the smallest step skipped can result in time spent resolving avoidable issues later which result in unexpected costs, downtime and customer dissatisfaction. I do not know the price tag for the treatment the infected patients and sterilization of their homes and the venues they visited. I would be willing to gamble that proper training, planning and implementation of process and safety protocols would have been less costly and controversial. As in the case of Ebola in the US and even minor everyday tasks, technology can make us more efficient but, without process, the results cannot be accurately predicted.