AskIT has relaunched its community platform as of May 1st with a heavy focus on business and IT integration. To gain exposure, we are now live in New Orleans at Collision, America’s fastest growing tech conference. Between speakers, meetings, and a healthy dose of fun, we wanted to drop in to share a few of the highlights on the first day here.
There are so many different themes being presented at Collision, from technologies that help the planet to the looming security risks of cloud technologies. Today, we heard speakers discuss whether cybersecurity can cope with AI, how to use IoT for the planet’s most severe problems, and thoughts on our growingly distributed workforce. All of these are valid concerns in the industry right now, and we wanted to get the word out.
Nicole Eagan of Darktrace, which is a world leader for Enterprise Immune System technologies, spoke about the future of AI-based threats. Eagan makes a distinction between the detection ability of antivirus programs, which use virus signatures, and AI-based threats, which actually takes and learns from data. AI-based threats can become concerning when you add that there will be an estimated 25 billion connected devices by year 2020. From this trend, new threat vectors can emerge. Eagan notes, in a major takeaway, that this due in large part to a convergence between data-centric IT and operational technologies. When our ability to monitor device events and converges on the data that we already have, cybersecurity experts will have to step up to the plate.
Matt Rogers of Nest, an environmentally friendly IoT company, discusses the more ethical and positive applications of the same technologies. Rogers makes the point that companies should both harness and steward its data, and he indicated that it may be prudent to "delete the user data that is not being used". Shifting gears to climate change, a question was posed as to whether individuals or companies would absorb the costs of infractions against the environment.
Where consumers and businesses previously did not have the pay the costs, this may now be changing with an increase in carbon taxes and a movement towards more environmental regulation. -Matt Rogers
As companies change to meet these new challenges they must remain lean and agile, a subject that Bjorn Freeman-Benson of Invision discussed earlier in the day. Although his focus was on remote engineering teams, he highlighted how any industry will benefit from flexible workgroups since the modern workplace must account for remote, freelance, and contract staff. Gone are the days when every employee is required to be at the company's main campus; in fact, over one-third of US companies utilize some form of remote employee. Incorporating agile teams into your company culture will not only allow for faster decision-making, but it can also attract top talent who may not wish to move to your state...or country.
But the day wasn't all just about tech. Terrell Owens, one of the best receivers to ever play in the NFL, was there to share the lessons he has learned as a professional athlete. Terrell was quick to point out that players have very little time to devote to their lives off the field and that can cause financial problems later in life. He stressed the importance of preparation and likened a board meeting to a football game; without the right knowledge and countless hours of hard work it is impossible to accomplish anything of note.
As much as we want to tell you more, there are two more days left in the conference. We're not done taking notes yet, so stay tuned for a recap after Day 3 of Collision in NOLA!