A Quick Tour Through Video Clips and Links
 
Overview: Developing countries require a wide range of digital solutions that need to be customized for different geographical locations with different capabilities and need to be produced quickly and at massive scales under different government policies and industry guidelines. It is virtually impossible to handcraft the needed solutions individually and manually for every location and user needs.  We have developed a factory model that builds highly customized solutions rapidly very much like the auto factories that have built millions of highly customized cars that integrate multiple technologies and policies to satisfy needed safety requirements. Specifically, we are using a planning, engineering and management approach that is based on a “factory” model that can quickly transform health, education, public safety, public welfare and many other SDG compliant sectors. This Digital Transformation Factory, illustrated in Figure 1, is also equipped for small & medium businesses and towns (SMBTs).     
 
Our vision is to use this SPACE (Strategic Planning, Architecture, Controls & Education) toolset, as a “Factory” to rapidly generate digital hubs that are: a) low cost (i.e., affordable by SMBTs) but high impact, b) location and topic specific, c) integrated with each other, and d) smart so that they can acquire new knowledge automatically for better performance in the future. As a test-case, we have used the SPACE factory to populate portions of a Smart Global Village (SGV) – a sandbox with more than 900 “smart hubs” for 135 countries and spanning 12 sectors including disaster resilience and management.  Videoclip – Global Center (2 Minute): http://ict4sids.com/ved2.html
 
Figure 2  shows our methodology that rapidly produces smart collaborating hubs by using the following phases (Videoclip  of overview of the methodology – 5 Minutes: http://ict4sids.com/ved6.html):   
 
PHASE1 (Preprocessing): User decides what needs to be implemented where (e.g., a small Internet Hospital in Rwanda) and invokes an appropriate advisor (e.g., an SDG Advisor to strengthen SDGs in an area) from our growing library of advisors. This phase is essentially a “pre-processor” to PHASE2.   
PHASE2 (Production): The user invokes the SPACE ePlanner (the “factory”) to generate a smart collaborating hub plus a strategic plan, feasibility study, funding proposal, an RFP, project management guideline and other artifacts needed to  support the hub. For example, the ePlanner generates most of the artifacts needed to support a telemedicine or tourism hub. Please keep in mind that the ePlanner (Phase2) can be invoked directly by a user who knows what type of hubs are needed. The following videoclips illustrate the range of hubs the ePlanner can generate in 10 minutes each. As shown in Figure 3, the user goes through five major steps (P0 – Country Selection, P1 =  Sector/Service Selection, P2: Strategic Analysis, P3: Solution Generation, and P4: Management). Each step automatically accesses the needed patterns, data sources, gamifications and advisors to produce the results.
 
 
 
The SPACE ePlanner is the main production facility that quickly produces Smart Collaborating Hubs (SCHs). An SCH is a center of activity that contains highly specialized and smart artifacts such as an Administrative Portal, a Citizen App, Training Materials and relevant Policies on a particular topic. Most importantly, all SCHs have pre-fabricated capabilities for collaboration with each other. The main input of  SPACE is a Patterns Repository that contains an extensive library of business and technology patterns that can be combined into complex “bundles” to represent smart community centers, towns, cities and commercial enterprises spanning multiple sectors.
Please view the Videoclips of Figure 4 that illustrate the key ideas. The ePlanner produces an extensive package, called the Business Intelligence Center (BIC Circle) that contains executive overviews, funding proposals, requirement document, an RFP, a working portal for the hub and management guidelines. All these artifacts are used to install and manage the hub properly. See a gamified view of this circle at the link: Space Games (space4ict.com)
 
The SPACE ePlanner is the main production facility that quickly produces Smart Collaborating Hubs (SCHs). An SCH is a center of activity that contains highly specialized and smart artifacts such as an Administrative Portal, a Citizen App, Training Materials and relevant Policies on a particular topic. Most importantly, all SCHs have pre-fabricated capabilities for collaboration with each other. The main input of  SPACE is a Patterns Repository that contains an extensive library of business and technology patterns that can be combined into complex “bundles” to represent smart community centers, towns, cities and commercial enterprises spanning multiple sectors.
Please view the Videoclips of Figure 4 that illustrate the key ideas. The ePlanner produces an extensive package, called the Business Intelligence Center (BIC Circle) that contains executive overviews, funding proposals, requirement document, an RFP, a working portal for the hub and management guidelines. All these artifacts are used to install and manage the hub properly. See a gamified view of this circle at the link: Space Games (space4ict.com)
 
PHASE3 (Post Processing): The artifacts generated by the ePlanner are analyzed/revised and a final smart hub is created. The final hub is “registered” in the Collaboration Network that interconnects all smart hubs (e.g., a community center in Solomons is registered for collaborations with any smart city, town or community on our network). Any “post-processing” (e.g., feeding the ePlanner artifact to a 3D printer) are also conducted in this phase. SPACE is being used to generate simple hubs to large scale hubs anywhere in the world.  To illustrate the diversity and range of possible application scenarios, Figure 5 shows four possible categories of simple to large and complex application scenarios in terms of services offered and the number of service providers for each hub:   
 
 
 
  • S1: This category represents single business service by a single provider (hub). The users of SPACE can select more than 150 business services from health, education, public safety, public welfare and other vital sectors.  For example, a user can select mobile health clinic as a simple scenario.     
  • S2: This category represents a “service bundle” by a single provider (hub). SPACE users can combine many individual business services to form service bundles that represent health clinics, digital community centers, smart towns, and small to medium smart enterprises. 
  • S3: This category represents a business service shared by multiple providers and can be used to model a large number of B2B scenarios such as Health Information Exchanges (HIEs) between different healthcare providers, supply chains and interagency services in governments.   
  • S4: This category represents service bundles between multiple providers. This scenario can be used to model large and complex projects such as interagency projects and large health exchanges within a state or country. The Smart Global Village vision presented in Figure 1 falls into this category because it interconnects and coordinates different hubs from different countries on different business topics.    
 
 
 
 
 
The following scenarios illustrate the diversity of solutions produced by the SPACE Factory (all these hubs are generated in roughly 10 minutes each):    
  • Scenario1: Simple Telemedicine Service Generation in Rwanda  
  • Scenario2: A Small Education Hub Generation in Nigeria
  • Scenario3: Smart Community Centers in Small Islands such as Solomon Islands
  • Scenario4: A Smart City Hub in Harrisburg, USA 
  • Scenario5: An eAgriculture Hub in Togo
  • Scenario6: A Manufacturing 4.0 Hub in Pakistan   
  • Scenario7: A Blue Economy Hub in Maldives  
 
Please visit the Smart Cities and Communities Lab (SIDS (ict4sids.com ) for samples of the hubs generated by our Factory.  
 
PHASE4 (Use Cases): Since 2015, we have been using the SPACE Environment to support our work with the UN ICT4SIDS Partnership, NSF work on Smart and Connected Communities (SCCs), local and regional initiatives such as Digital Pakistan that is now evolving into Digital Asia, urbanization initiatives such as the Consortium for Urbanization, Digital Transformation initiatives spurred by COVID19, Manufacturing 4.0 initiative by the British Commonwealth, and now the Blue Economies initiatives in Maldives. In parallel, the SPACE Environment has been used to teach graduate level courses in Strategic Planning, Enterprise Architectures and Integration, and Smart Cities and Communities. As a result, large number of NGOs, government officials, industry personnel and graduate students have used SPACE. Instead of different toolsets for different audiences and problem domains, we have used SPACE as a single factory with different preprocessors and post processors for different audiences. This thinking is reflected in the Methodology presented in Figure 6. 
 
 
 
 
As a consequence of large number of experiments around the globe, SPACE has generated a Smart Global Village (SGV) -- a large sandbox (more than 800 hubs spanning more than 130 countries) for all SPACE users.  Figure 6 shows the overall SGV. We have also used SPACE as a factory to generate the Smart City & Community (SCC) Lab that consists of a set of Smart Collaborating Hubs (SCHs) for SCC communities. Figure 6 shows the SCC Lab also. These hubs offer topic and location specific services as displayed in Table1 and are also interconnected through a smart collaboration network with some Knowledge, Detection, Adjustment and Learning (KDAL) capabilities. The SGV and SCC Lab are being used extensively to develop very interesting and innovative collaboration scenarios for healthcare exchanges, entrepreneurship networks, emarkets and global supply chains. We are using a system of systems approach to gradually make the SGV and SCC Lab smarter:  a) gradually make the individual portals in each hub smarter, b) make each hub smarter by improving the collaboration between portals in each hub, and c) make the overall SCC Lab smarter by making the collaboration between the hubs smarter through better user community involvement. Basically, smart cars gradually become more effective as better digitized road maps become available and smart cars and smart roads, with sensors, learn from each other and become much smarter over time. 
 
 
 
 
 
 
Concluding Remarks: Digital transformations require a wide range of digital solutions that need to be customized for different geographical locations with different capabilities.  These solutions need to be produced quickly and at massive scales to meet the specific demands of various populations and under different government policies.  It is virtually impossible to handcraft the needed solutions individually and manually for every location and user needs. We have developed a factory model to rapidly build highly customized solutions very much like the auto factories that build millions of highly customized cars to satisfy needed safety requirements for different user populations. Our factory-based methodology has produced a Smart Global Village (SGV) that is growing rapidly.  
 
Authored by Amjad Umar, PhD, EA Principal and CEO of NGE Solutions, an EA Principals Partner

 

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