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The original SMART system was designed in the 1990s to help computer users avoid unexpected hard drive failure. In the decades that followed, this idea of ”Self-Monitoring, Analyzing, and Reporting Technology” flourished and expanded far beyond the 1’s and 0’s on magnetic platters. The concept, and the lowercase version of the name, is now applied to everything from coffee machines to buildings to sustainability efforts.
Smart devices have easily assimilated into consumers’ lives, but companies often work to embed this approach into organizational processes and practices. Technologies such as artificial intelligence (AI), Internet of Things (IoT), and machine learning make smart devices and systems even more powerful and effective. Complexity hampers organizational efforts to become the smart companies needed to compete and succeed in the long term. However, best practices have been developed to help control complexity.
1. Establish guiding principles
Companies run the risk of wandering aimlessly if they don’t create a map that guides them in the right direction. This step is particularly critical for smart technologies, as they rely heavily on interconnection. One wrong turn can throw you completely off course.
The guiding principles of an organization should include:
Construction —Incorporating sustainability into every step of the process; prioritize efficiency in all areas; ensure user needs; adapt to changing preferences; and interact with the user and the community in a meaningful way.
Technology — Secure and protect all entry points through advanced cybersecurity; learn from data to anticipate user and facility needs, and ensure accessibility and interoperability across the organization.
Experience — Create inclusive personal experiences for all affected stakeholders, from employees to customers, executives and communities; personalize user experiences; eliminate friction and user barriers; and develop an environment conducive to productivity.
2. Take a systems design approach
A new model is needed to solve complex problems such as sustainability, one that considers the multiple systems where a problem exists. Systems design allows you to solve real problems instead of temporarily alleviating symptoms. Companies can deconstruct problems into their constituent elements. Large, seemingly unmanageable problems turn into a series of more manageable problems. The frameworks then help to classify the web of interactions that influence the functioning of the entire system.
Here, organizations look holistically at the systems, processes, and people that need to be addressed, rather than focusing on individual systems or use cases. Applied systems design takes into account interfaces, architecture, and data points depending on the type of problem and the context.
Ultimately, this approach will result in practical solutions that will be accepted by users and society as a whole.
3. Prioritize privacy
Privacy by design principles allow organizations to go beyond existing policies and regulations. In this approach, privacy is a central consideration during the design and architecture stages for all business processes, applications, products, and technologies. This is particularly critical in increasingly interconnected systems.
Privacy by design encompasses a variety of concepts, including:
- Privacy — Make this the default mode.
- Functionality and data privacy — Value both equally.
- end-to-end security — Incorporate throughout the life cycle of the information.
- Transparency and visibility —Provide to all interested parties.
4. Define and enforce clear security guidelines
Like privacy, security must be considered at all stages to ensure user trust. Security by design offers a way to develop clear guidelines.
identity services they are required to authenticate users in a centralized or federated model. These core services must cover key stakeholders (employees, customers, partners) and offer anytime, anywhere flexibility.
Zero Trust Architecture it is needed to fill the gaps in traditional perimeter-based security, which was not designed with today’s hybrid cloud and edge systems in mind. This approach allows an enterprise to apply security checks and controls across all architectural layers and interactions.
Multicloud and data security They require different tools and strategies. Enterprises can benefit from autonomous techniques that will maximize security-as-code, policy-as-code, and monitoring-as-code.
5. Adopt a microchange strategy
Companies often struggle with change because the barriers are too high, or at least they seem so. However, more agile approaches make more progress than trying to climb a mountain in one jump. A series of small irreversible changes can generate compound effects and generate exponential results.
Long-term goals are broken down into achievable benchmarks, with employees incentivized for nudges instead of shoves. Each success builds on the other. The barriers to change management begin to fall.
This philosophy is fundamental to smart technology and sustainability efforts. The rapidly evolving nature of technology such as AI, IoT, and the cloud lends itself to smaller, more frequent advances. Furthermore, sustainability goals tend to be long-term, with many intermediate steps in between.
This strategy can also counteract common change management problems, in which employee distress and resistance undermine potentially effective plans.
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