New LinkedIn Feature…QR Codes

As a holding of Microsoft, LinkedIn continues to evolve and add new features. Here’s something new to try at your next networking event. On June 28, LinkedIn added a QR code generator to help professionals swap details when they are not already connected on the social media platform.  LinkedIn suggests that the QR code can effectively become the replacement for the business card for people at in-person events.  Read the LinkedIn Blog to learn more. 


Biotechnology And Its Applications

Another core technology altering nearly every dimension of our lives as outlined in a recent MIT Sloan Management Review article is biotechnology. Biotechnology is really the combination of technology, chemistry, and life sciences.  At first glance, many business leaders may believe that biotechnology only impacts the health care field. The rapid advances in biotechnology, however, show enormous promise and have the potential to “both expand existing industry boundaries and create entirely new industries,” according to Dr. Albert H. Segars, author of the article and PNC Distinguished Professor of Strategy and Entrepreneurship and Faculty Director of the Center for Sustainable Enterprise at the University of North Carolina Kenan-Flagler Business School.

Biotechnology Applications

  • Industrial Processing – applications in product development, pollution control, bio-recycling, and hazardous waste.
  • Biometrics/Bio-identification – expanding the use of biomarkers as a gateway to information access and commerce.
  • Bioinformatics – analysis of large sets of data used in the Human Genome Project, Disney’s theme park design, and more.
  • Medical – advancements in the field of genomics, production of vaccines, antibiotics, gene therapy, and personalization of implantable devices.
  • Food & Agriculture – significant gains in the production of plants, improved quality of livestock, pest-resistance crops, nutrient supplementation, and manufactured power fibers.
  • Energy – alternative energy sources, production of biofuels from algae and other plant and waste sources.

Click here to read the entire MIT Sloan Management Review article.


Pervasive Computing 101

In a recent MIT Sloan Management Review article, Dr. Albert H. Segars from University of North Carolina Kenan-Flagler Business School outlined seven core technologies that are altering nearly every dimension of our lives and their implications for commerce, health care, learning, the environment and more.  According to Dr. Segars, pervasive computing is one of the core technologies that every business leader should become familiar with as the digital revolution rages on.

Pervasive computing, also called ubiquitous computing, is a concept where information, media, context, and processing power are delivered conveniently to us in all kinds of things. The Apple Watch’s ability to alert users of incoming phone calls and to allow users to complete calls through the watch, is an example of pervasive computing. The large network of connected microprocessors embedded in everyday objects allows access to information from virtually anywhere and at any time.

First pioneered in the late 1980s at the Olivetti Research Laboratory in Cambridge England, the development of the “Active Badge“, a small clip-on microcomputer employee ID card, enabled the company to track employee movement. This spurred articles by the The New York Times, ComputerWorld and other publications about George Orwell’s Big Brother prediction coming true.

Mark Weiser, considered to be the father of ubiquitous computing, soon began building early ubiquitous computing devices with his colleagues at Xerox PARC and popularized the term “pervasive computing” with the creation of IBM’s Pervasive Computing division.
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Today, pervasive computing generally involves wireless communications and networking technologies, mobile devices, embedded systems, wearables, wireless sensors, voice recognition, AI and more. According to a recent study report published by Market Research Future, the global market of pervasive computing technology is booming and expected to gain prominence. Technology advancements and the increased demand for Internet of Things (IoT) continue to drive the growth.
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Application of Pervasive Computing Technology:
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  • Communications
  • Logistics
  • Transportation (by air, land and sea)
  • Energy
  • Learning
  • Military
  • Banking/Finance
  • Production
  • Smart Homes
  • E-commerce
  • Security & Safety
  • Healthcare/Medical Technology
  • Media
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To learn more, read:
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100 Best Apps
Even before iPhones and Androids, the concept of mobile applications or mobile apps existed. The first smart phone with mobile app technology was actually developed by IBM in 1993 and was equipped with features like a calculator, world clock, calendar and contact book. In 2002 came the next major step in the advancement of mobile apps with the release of the BlackBerry Smartphone.
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When Steve Jobs revealed the first iPhone seven years later, he effectively proved he could disrupt and transform the market. Soon after that, Apple launched the App Store and officially introducing third-party app development and distribution to the platform in July of 2008. As of March 2017, there were 2.2 million available apps in the Apps Store.
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Not to be outdone by Apple, the first Android phone was launched in October 2008 with apps available through the Google Play Store, formerly known as Android Market. As of March 2017, Android users were able to choose between 2.8 million apps.
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So, what are the 100 best apps that can turn your phone into a jack-of-all-trades today?
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Learn more about the revolutionary mobile app development trends to look for in 2018 here.

Slack = Collaboration + Communication

Recently Croixstone Consulting joined Industrious Charlotte and our fellow coworking companies on a newly launched Slack Channel. We are enjoying the opportunity to build community through the enhanced communication the channel provides. Launched in 2014, Slack is the fastest growing business application in history, and the company boasts 9 million weekly active users and 50,000+ paying companies including 43 companies from the Fortune 100 list. Slack, a cloud-powered team collaboration and communication tool, is capable of bringing together team communication and giving everyone a shared workspace where conversations, decisions and work are organized and accessible. Additionally, Slack’s App Directory allows users to find apps and integrations including Dropbox, Google Docs, and Salesforce to name a few. You can even order Domino’s Pizza through Slack and book your next hotel room with an emoji on Slack.

  • Learn why Fast Company thinks Slack is one of the most innovative companies of 2017 here.
  • Find out why you should Slack it up for workplace collaboration and communication here.
  • Built on a game foundation, read more about why Slack can’t slow down here.

Re-Envisioning the Future with Generative Design
Could the current manufacturing, distribution, assembly and maintenance processes become obsolete in the not too distant future?  Today, we take a look at generative design as an innovative approach to thinking outside the box when it comes to design and its implications to manufacturing.
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At Croixstone we are inspired by mavericks…those unconventional thinkers who can see past conformity and who can accomplish what others say can’t be done.  Generative design has the ability to generate unconventional design options that go beyond our imagination alone and can be used to create everything from running shoes, earbuds and airplane partitions, to a revolutionary approach to designing the office space and buildings of the future.
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So what is generative design? According to Autodesk, a leader in 3D design, engineering and entertainment software, “Generative design is a technology that mimics nature’s evolutionary approach to design. It starts with your design goals and then explores all of the possible permutations of a solution to find the best option. Using cloud computing, generative design software quickly cycles through thousands—or even millions—of design choices, testing configurations and learning from each iteration what works and what doesn’t. The process lets designers generate brand new options, beyond what a human alone could create, to arrive at the most effective design.”  To better understand what generative design is all about, click here for a short video.
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  • Learn how generative design and additive manufacturing (i.e., 3-D printing) is changing the manufacturing world here.
  • Check out how generative design could radically transform the look of our world here.
  • Delve into a new world of highly efficient products made by generative design here.
  • Take a sneak peak into the first large-scale generative designed office here.

Gaining a Competitive Advantage Through Predictive Analytics
Wouldn’t it be nice to be able to predict the future? According to a recent Harvard Business Review webinar, companies, governments, law enforcement agencies, hospitals, and universities are using the power of big data, new technologies, and analytics to predict whether we’re going to “click, buy, lie, or die.”
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So, what is the difference between forecasting and predictive analytics? Forecasting provides an estimate to anticipate trends for a large group over time, while predictive analytics goes much further and is focused on predicting the behavior of a single individual. For example, forecasting might provide an estimate of the total sales for a particular product line next quarter, while predictive analytics tells which customer will likely buy the product. Major industries such as Banking and Finance, Retail, Healthcare, Manufacturing, Oil and Gas Utilities, Government, E-commerce and Travel and Hospitality embrace predictive analytics to boost sales, improve operations, reduce risks, and gain a competitive advantage.
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  • What is Predictive Analytics? Learn the about the process, applications, software and more here.
  • Read how to convert analytics into action here.

Trends Shaping the Consulting Industry
In the 2017 Management Consulting Outlook report prepared by Greentarget, a strategic public relations firm focused exclusively on business-to-business organizations, the global management consulting market has been growing revenue approximately 4 percent annually over the past few years. As the most mature market, the U.S. market grew 7.7 percent in 2015 to reach $54.7 billion, up from $50.8 billion in 2014. The global management consulting industry is now delivering an estimated $150 billion in revenue, and the growth trend is expected to continue, with the U.S. accounting for nearly half (44 percent) of the global market.
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We at Croixstone know it is important to keep abreast of the many forces and trends shaping the consulting industry. Demand for change as result of disruptive technologies and competition from new market competitors continues to drive investment in consulting.  What else is new in the consulting industry?
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  • Learn more about the who’s who of the consulting world in 2017 here.
  • What makes a great consultant?  Here are 10 attributes required for long term success as a consultant.
  • Read here about five consulting technology trends in 2017 that are more than buzzwords.