27,572 individual wires. One goal.

Sept. 28, 2021
There is wisdom in aligning many threads to achieve a larger purpose.

Picture the Golden Gate Bridge in San Francisco.

Iconic. Romantic. A feat of engineering.

Now focus on those massive red cables that run the 4,200-foot span of the bridge. They’re more than three feet in diameter and, if you were to slice one open, you’d find 27,572 individual wires packed inside.

The point?

There is wisdom in aligning many threads to achieve a larger purpose, be it keeping a bridge aloft or hitting a business goal. That theme emerged during our spring INSIGHT series of webinars, where the topics spanned the spectrum of digital transformation. And while the presenters came to the table with widely varied backgrounds, talents and perspectives, their messages often mirrored one another’s…common threads in the digital cable.

Our cover story for this issue of Smart Industry provides highlights of those sessions and, hopefully, encourages you to join us for our fall INSIGHT series launching in October and offered on-demand for the foreseeable future. (Find everything at SmartIndustry.com)

The other features in this issue continue with that diversity theme. We look at maintaining defibrillator machines to keep tickers ticking, and we take a deep dive into the Kubernetes trend that is such a hot topic these days. We stress the value in recognizing the journey toward autonomous operations, rather than just focusing on the end goal. And on a lighter note, we kick the tires of self-driving lawn-mowers and consider the reaction of neighbors upon seeing these ghost machines barreling down their blocks.

I was a landscaper during my schoolyears. I used money earned mowing countless lawns to pay for trips, sometimes to Northern California, where I always made a point to stroll the Golden Gate Bridge and admire that marvel up close, hands on those massive red cables, fog framing the view of Alcatraz Island and the City by the Bay. If you’ve never walked the bridge, make a point to do so. It’s as spectacular as it is sturdy, supported by all those individual wires working toward a common goal.

Until we automate this column…

Chris McNamara, Smart Industry editor in chief