Aug 17, 2020

Gartner releases 2020 IT Risk Management Magic Quadrant

Gartner
IT
Risk
Digital Transformation
William Smith
2 min
TechnologyIT consulting firm Gartner has released its latest market research report on the topic of IT risk management
IT consulting firm Gartner has released its latest market research report on the topic of IT risk management...

IT consulting firm Gartner has released its latest market research report on the topic of IT risk management.

During the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic, such a focus has only become more crucial as IT departments scramble to enable remote working and file sharing - activities which come with an inherent associated risk.

Gartner’s report highlighted the fact that leaders in the field are seeing increased demand for IT risk management stemming from factors such as cybersecurity initiatives and obligations to comply with regulations.

ServiceNow was one of the companies named as a leader by the report. In a press release, Vasant Balasubramanian, head of risk products at ServiceNow, said; “We believe that Gartner’s recognition of ServiceNow’s GRC platform comes at a critical time during this new normal as companies are doubling down on their strategies for digital risk management. At a time when agility and resilience are imperative to business success, ServiceNow’s modern, cloud-based platform enables our customers to proactively manage risk across enterprise workflows.”

One of the key predictions made by the report was that by 2025, 50% of larger enterprises “will depend on risk management solutions”, a figure up from just 10% in 2018. Those solutions are expected to adapt to new risks brought on by the emergence of technologies such as cloud systems, IoT and social media.

Also appearing was NAVEX Global, whose General Manager, Lockpath business unit, Haywood Marsh, said: “Risk management is a priority for companies in virtually all business sectors. Right now, IT risk is particularly high on the list due in part to the ongoing disruption caused by the COVID-19 pandemic. The potential severity of IT risks to business operations means they must be addressed with speed, agility and an integrated approach. We believe Gartner’s latest research confirms our completeness of vision for the Lockpath platform, and we are proud to be included as a Leader in this Magic Quadrant.” 

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Jun 14, 2021

Amazon test new technology to improve employee safety

Technology
Amazon
robots
Innovation
3 min
Amazon is testing new technologies in an effort to make handling packages safer for employees

At the Amazon Robotics and Advanced Technology labs in Boston, and Northern Italy, team members are testing and developing new technologies in order to help to make employees’ jobs safer, these include technologies that help move carts and packages through Amazon facilities.

Recently the safety of Amazon's warehouses has drawn scrutiny. On June 1, the Washington Post's Jay Greene and Chris Alcantara published findings from an analysis of Occupational Safety and Health Administration data showing Amazon's serious injury rates are nearly double those at other companies' facilities.

A spokesperson from Amazon said the company spent more than $1 billion last year on safety measures, and hired more than 6,200 employees to a group dedicated to workplace health and safety.

Motion-capture technology

One innovation being tested by Amazon, which is in early development, is the use of motion-capture technology to assess the movement of volunteer employees in a lab setting. These employees perform tasks that are common in many Amazon facilities, such as the movement of totes, which carry products through robotic fulfillment centers.

The motion-capture software enables Amazon scientists and researchers to more accurately compare data captured in a lab environment to industry standards rather than other modelling tools traditionally used by ergonomists.

“With this data, visualisations, and employee feedback, we are looking to identify relatively simple changes that can make a big impact,” said Kevin Keck, worldwide director of Advanced Technology at Amazon. “Something as simple as changing the position of handles on totes may help lower the risk of injuries to our employees at a massive scale.”

Autonomous Robots creating new paths to safety

In order to reduce the need for employees to reach up or bend down when retrieving items, Amazon is testing a new workstation system called “Ernie.” According to the company Ernie takes totes off of a robotic shelf and uses a robotic arm to deliver it to employees, so they can remain in a more comfortable and stable position.

“We’re known for being passionate about innovating for customers, but being able to innovate with robotics for our employees is something that gives me an extra kick of motivation each day,” said Keck. “The innovation with a robot like Ernie is interesting because while it doesn’t make the process go any faster, we’re optimistic, based on our testing, it can make our facilities safer for employees.”

“Bert” is one of Amazon’s first Autonomous Mobile Robots (AMRs), and is being tested to autonomously navigate through facilities with Amazon-developed advanced safety, perception, and navigation technology. In the future, it is thought that an employee would be able to summon Bert to carry items across a facility. 

‘Scooter’ and ‘Kermit’ are two other robots that also operate autonomously, and are both transport cars. The carts are used to carry empty totes and packages through our facilities. 

In a blog post the company said: ‘By having Autonomously Guided Carts (AGCs) like Scooter and Kermit perform physical tasks, we believe we can make our facilities safer and enable our employees to focus on jobs that require their critical thinking skills. In addition, using an AGC like Scooter to pull carts through our facilities reduces the risk of strains on our employees, or even collisions. We currently plan to deploy Scooter to at least one Amazon facility this year.’ 

Amazon began using robotics in its facilities in 2012, and since then they have added more than 1 million jobs worldwide while simultaneously deploying 350,000 mobile drive unit robots. 

“The role robotics and advanced technology can play in not only innovating for customers, but helping make our facilities safer, is a massive motivation for me and my team,” said Keck. “The health and safety of our employees is our number one priority. By listening to them, innovating on their behalf, and driving new technologies into our facilities over the coming months and years, I’m confident we’ll make a big contribution to our goal of reducing recordable incidents by 50% by 2025.”

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