The future of business is data, and that future is right now
TL;DR; Intel SHIFT 2017 sends clear signal re. Intel Corp.’s data focus
There can be little doubt that future of business is centred around data, or that such a future is in fact right now. Data is now so critical the phrase “data is the new oil” was coined to describe its transition from liability to asset.
It should be noted though, that as with oil, data usually comes in a crude wholesale form, thus a key challenge is the ability to convert raw data into a refined valuable asset. As crude oil requires some form of processing to convert it into marketable products such as Petrol or Diesel, data generally also requires treatment of various forms to extract value.
The question “Who is our preferred partner of choice?” is now a standing item on the agendas of board rooms around the world, certainly those I spend time in, as organisations urgently embark on the journey to addressing or adopting key technology shifts which presented themselves, most of which are being driven by external forces.
If there were any doubt that Intel Corporation has their sights set on earning a seat at the table in board rooms, it was firmly addressed by the Intel SHIFT 2017 event held in New York City this week. Registrations and attendance filled the Skylight Studios Modern event centre at 537 W 27th Street to the brim. Essentially this was a gathering of business executives, IT leaders and technology luminaries across a wide spectrum of industries who attended for what was in effect an industry conversation about shifts in the world of technology and business.
Intel SHIFT 2017 offered a ridiculously impressive line-up of speakers which included thought leaders from Amazon, Autonomous Tractor, Citigroup, FINDMINE, Google, Microsoft, Montefiore, Red Hat, Sharp Healthcare, StrongArm Tech and T-Mobile, with engaging examples and anecdotes which helped cement in the hearts and minds of attendees that data driven decision making and data analytics are key components underpinning the success of their organisations.
Topics discussed at this industry conversation covered all of the fundamental foundational shifts organisations are facing today. In particular the topics bridged too familiar topics such as Digital Disruption, Digital Transformation, Design Thinking, Cloud Computing, Big Data & Analytics, Data Science & Artificial Intelligence, Blockchain, the IoT, Smart Infrastructure, Resilient Cities, Cyber Security & Cyber Risk, Data Protection, Data Governance, Information Security, and Regulatory Governance & Compliance both domestically and globally.
The conversation kicked off with the topic of using Analytics as a competitive advantage, supported by a combination of engaging keynotes, a product line and services overview, punctuated by a panel hosted by yours truly with guests which included Bob Rogers – Chief Data Scientist for Intel, Jonathan Donaldson – Technical Director for the Office of the CTO of Google Cloud, and the indomitable delightful force of nature that is Dr Michelle Gong – Director of Research & Academic Affairs in the Division of Critical Care Medicine at Montefiore medical centre.
My panel discussion was structured with a speed dating format, where I invited my panel guests to engage in a conversation as if they were at an informal dinner party or BBQ, with the challenge of keeping the language free of three letter acronyms and technology jargon.
The aim was to engage in a plain English panel conversation, speaking in layman’s terms, with rapid fire short sharp engaging responses, free of any sales pitches, essentially no selling, just telling. I’m proud to say that we achieved that goal and my guests rose to the challenge – attendees were offered a wonderful back and forth conversation with real world insights and anecdotes centred around technology & data, ranging from saving human lives, how to perform Jedi mind tricks with a whiteboard marker in a board room, to tracking fishing fleets on the wild open seas to identify illegal overfishing.
Another key theme throughout the event was that business outcomes must come first. An interesting pivot in messaging from a technology provider predominantly in the business of selling things you can kick your toe on. Throughout the keynote talks, technology previews, and panels, the theme of shifting focus from little flashing lights and the boxes they come in, to the fundamental tenant that business outcomes should drive all initiatives was firmly embedded in the language and vocabulary of the impressive array of Intel thought leaders presenting.
Woven into the messaging there was also a theme built around the need to Democratise Big Data & Analytics with any data related initiatives. A message supported by the speakers from both Warner Brothers who discuss their efforts to find new ways to classify and monetise home video content using AI, and Johnson & Johnson who shared how their adoption of hybrid cloud technologies is helping them advance their IT strategy, Big Data & Analytics strategies to remain competitive.
Underpinning the entire event was the clear message that organisations must immediately ensure they have selected the right partners to support their need to future-proof technology, and that Intel is well positioned to be one of those preferred partners supporting organisations as they navigate their way through what can all too often appear like Herculean challenges.
I can’t imagine anyone left the Intel SHIFT 2017 event with any doubt in their minds that when they ask themselves “Who is our preferred partner of choice?” in their board rooms, that Intel should be one of the first vendors they should invite to join them in said board room, as a long-term business partner who is ready, willing and able to help drive business outcomes to technology and data challenges.