ICT Today

ICT Today Nov/Dec

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November/December 2018 I 5 From the President, Jeff Beavers, RCDD, OSP, CFHP The opening keynote speaker at the recent 2018 BICSI Fall Conference was Jack Uldrich. He captivated our audience with his BIG AHA message, explaining how Awareness, Humility and Action interplay to help us confront a quickly changing world, including the exponential growth of emerging technologies. The closing keynote speaker was Patrick Sweeney who spoke about the power of fear to transform our lives and fuel innovation and growth as we take action. On a recent trip, with teenagers in tow, to visit my wife's family in rural Iowa, my father-in-law mentioned that the electric cooperative (co-op) was planning to install fiber optic cable and that he "didn't know why we'd need fiber out here." Unaware of how quickly technology was changing, I began to explain to him that we were now accessing his wireless network, with broadband delivered to his house (an acreage) via fixed wireless with line-of-site connection to the water tower a few miles away. Undoubtedly, our mobile devices added new demands to his broadband connection. I continued to explain that the co-op would utilize fiber for its own use, such as SCADA (supervisory control and data acquisition) and for its own corporate communications to substations and other facilities. With infrastructure already in place, electric co-ops are key players to deploy fiber-based services to the rural community and high-speed internet would provide access to information for education and connectivity for industry and healthcare. I emphasized that with this technology, the town might someday take advantage of telemedicine. Our discussion about technology led us to a neighboring farm that had robotic cow milking machines. The first indicator of technology and mission critical operations was the pad mounted generator next to the driveway. Each of the cows had RFID tags, an early application of IoT. As a cow entered the milking stall, data on the cow was read by the machine. If the cow was not ready for milking, gates opened and the cow exited. If the cow was ready for milking, a specific portion of feed measured by the cow's data was dispensed into a bucket. As the cow began to eat, the robot quickly attached milking apparatus, guided by cameras and lasers, to each teat of the cow's udder. A computer screen showed the yield and flow of each teat. Upon completion of the milking, the robotic arms removed the apparatus, sprayed disinfectant, returned it to a holder, and opened the gate for the cow to exit. The cow's medical history is electronically shared with the veterinarian, who can coordinate a visit with any necessary medications. Augmented with pliers and baling wire, the farmer showed me an app on his smart phone with IP addresses for the various pieces of equipment in the barn, which he affectionately referred to as a "wired barn." Later, I learned that robotic milking machines are a 20-year old technology, satellite-guided tractors (autonomous vehicles) have been used for decades, and GPS technology offered to the civilian market from the military has been a foundation of agricultural technology for the past 30 years. In 2016, 87% of farmers used a smart phone, greater than the national average. 1 Clearly, managers at the co-op, the dairy farmer, and the military exhibited "Humility" as defined by Uldrich. Those with humility are leaders who realize that "what served us yesterday, won't serve us tomorrow." They pave the way to bigger and better technology solutions. In contrast, managers who lack humility see their industries from one perspective: their own. They do the same thing over and over, ultimately falling into complacency and inaction. They neither fear the future, inaction, or risk aversion. Rather, they embrace the status quo that stifles innovation and growth. I wholeheartedly believe that BICSI, our members, and each person testing for a BICSI credential possesses the humility, like the dairy farmer, to reach beyond our comfort zones, face calculated risks head-on, and fearlessly reject the status quo. We are humble leaders who courageously embrace the future of ICT technology with transformational growth and innovation. "The best way to predict the future is to create it yourself" Peter Drucker Be safe, someone is counting on you. REFERENCE: 1 Powell, Alyson, The Next Evolution of Agriculture Technology, Georgia Institute of Technology, June 29, 2015 A DigitAl Moo AnD You: iCt Down on the FArM (i-C-t-e-i-e-i-o)

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