Were you to have been asked that question some years ago, the answer most likely would have bee “I’m not sure”....
HPE: News from the very top …
The Next Big Thing is … The Intelligent Edge
I have been following the news coming out of Davos, Switzerland, where the World Economic Forum took place. For HPE and indeed the NonStop community among the more popular topics were those including Blockchain and AI – topics that generate considerable discussion within the NonSotp community. This time in Davos, with Blockchain having its own mini event, the Blockchain Economic Forum in Davos, much of the main-tent discussions focused on AI with one of the better analysis being provided by McKinsey & Company.
In a post by Kevin Sneader who serves as the global managing partner of McKinsey & Company he shared some thoughts in a “fireside conversation” with Rik Kirkland, the director of publishing, the topic of AI coming up more than once:
AI, AI, AI. It was almost impossible to walk into any room in Davos and not hear someone talking about artificial intelligence (AI) in all its forms. Executives around the world are beginning their journeys to place data and analytics at the heart of decision making, and I had conversations throughout the week with several who wanted to know how we approach that subject and what they should be doing.
Of course, these conversations brought with them complex questions, not all of them strictly business based. Questions like: What’s happening to privacy? Who owns the data? Where’s the consumer in all of this? And will the digital divide between those who have access and those who don’t lead to a more unequal world?
The companies who will ultimately be successful are those that find ways to lead on issues such as tackling data quality so analytics are meaningful and actionable, transitioning from “pilot purgatory” to fully scaled implementations, and delivering on the pace and scale required for continuous adult learning.
Jobs, reskilling, and retraining. A good general rule right now is that whenever a conversation about AI comes up, a conversation about jobs is sure to follow. That was especially true this week, as employers and policy makers all over the world look ahead toward the future of work and reskilling.
These issues are complex. But managing this transition well, as we have written in the past, “is not just a social good; it’s a competitive imperative.”
In many ways the above observations by Kevin Sneader can be viewed as a good introduction to the talk HPE CEO, Antoni Neri, gave at Davos. As reported by HPE in numerous publications under the heading, Extracting Value From Data is a Massive Opportunity, AI and indeed Machine Learning were a major item for Neri.
According to what was reported –
Every business has been disrupted by the digital transformation, says Hewlett Packard Enterprise President and CEO Antonio Neri. With that disruption is an explosion of valuable data. “That data has value,” says Neri. “Enterprises are looking to extract that value much faster than ever before because people who can get inside faster will win. We see that as a massive opportunity.”
Antonio Neri, President and CEO of Hewlett Packard Enterprise, discussed how the explosion of data, especially with the advent of 5G, is causing companies to invest in new technologies like AI and machine learning in order to extract maximum value from their data.
In a subsequent interview Neri gave to Fox Business at Davos 2019 under the general heading of Extracting Value From Data is a Massive Opportunity Neri added further to discussions on this topic of AI and Machine Learning that also brought the topic back to the most important consideration of all: Data!
“We live in an incredible time. Every business has been disrupted by the digital transformation. Occurring with that disruption is the explosion of the data we are creating. You just made a comment that data is the new oil. We say that data is the new currency. That data has value. Enterprises are looking to extract that value much faster than ever before because people who can get inside faster will win. We see that as a massive opportunity.
“We are coming out of 2018 which was very strong. We saw an increase in spend in IT which was driven by security, more compute capacity, as well as storage capacity around this data. Also, we see the spend moving in a different direction. For example, new technologies like AI and machine learning to extract the value of the data. We see good momentum. Obviously, we see some signals for a little bit of slowdown. However, a little bit of slowdown doesn’t mean everything is going to stop. It’s actually still very strong.
In the December 13, 2018 analysis report by Gartner, Predicts 2019: AI and the Future of Work, Gartner hit chords much closer to home for many within the NonStop community:
“The growing digital economy drives an increasing demand for software, which represents some of the most complex systems in existence. Software engineers who develop, improve, fix and monitor these systems have a limited throughput and face increased pressure to deliver against these growing demands.
Compute capabilities have driven big advances in use cases that are based on ML and AI. ML specifically targets the detection of anomalies, delivering recommended insights and predicting behaviors and outcomes. ML-based capabilities in turn offer help to meet the demands for software engineering talent and throughput.”
But what about NonStop and transaction processing – what will be the impact of AI? HPE, along with the rest of the industry, is talking a lot about the fallout from AI and about placing data and analytics at the heart of decision making, but will this include what we do today with transaction processing or is transaction processing about to change? Again, according to Gartner in its trend analysis for 2019 published October 15, 2019 Top 10 Strategic Technology Trends for 2019:
The way we perceive and interact with technology is undergoing a radical transformation. Conversational platforms, augmented reality, virtual reality and mixed reality will provide more natural and immersive ambient experience within the digital world.
Get ready for conversational platforms rather than traditional transactional platforms, so it would seem. But then again, according to Gartner:
Artificial intelligence (AI) opens up a new frontier for digital business. This is because virtually every application, service and Internet of Things (IoT) object incorporates an intelligent aspect to automate or augment application processes or human activities.
In his Davos interview HPE CEO Neri sums up what many in the industry have been contemplating. And for the NonStop community it is worth noting too as there is nothing lessening the need to process transactions, conversations, whatever, in real time and this should set at ease many of those concerned about future roles for NonStop:
Companies Are Digitizing Their Enterprises
“Basically, they are moving faster than ever before. So we are actually very optimistic about the future. That data will continue to outpace the compute power which means that money will be spent in catching up with that need to process all of that data in real-time.
“We are very optimistic about the future of spending and the transformation of the business using this new technology. We think we are well positioned for the future and I think we have the portfolio to compete and win.”
And that portfolio includes NonStop!