General, NRP

2020 – Flying Cars, Automation, Uranium and not Playing to Win!

 

Hard to believe we are already almost half way through January and the year is 2020! I remember back to when I was a kid, or even a teenager and how long a year seems to take. Now that I am into my 41st year I realize that proportionality speaking, one year out of 7, 15 or even 20 seems small… but one year out of 40 seems to go just that little bit faster. As we get older, busier and hold more responsibility it seems like we pick up speed as we accelerate through life.

I’ve done one of these new year posts since I started this blog back in 2012 and for the most part it’s been about looking back at the past twelve months and then talking a little bit about my expectations and goals for the rest of the year. I spent some time looking back on those posts and for the most, I seem to achieve what I set out to achieve along with a few misses. For this years edition I thought I’d change tact a little and give some commentary on what I am looking forward to in 2020 and beyond and what we can expect out of the IT Industry as we start a new decade.

Flying Cars and Robots!

Back in the late 1980s and early 1990s there was a show called Beyond 2000 which looked at how the future might be in the 2000s and beyond. Interestingly enough, for those that watch The Mythbusters, the same producers where responsible for Beyond 2000. In any case, Beyond 2000 promised me a lot as a kid and remember thinking to myself how much I just wanted to get old(er) and live in a world where we have flying cars, robot helpers, wearable computers and generally be consumed in future tech.

As we start this new decade, I am now starting to think about 2030! A lot will happen over the next ten years in the field of science and technology. I’ve been doing a lot of reading into Singularity and the advancements of sciences that will indeed deliver us what Beyond 2000 talked about forty years prior. The race to Singularity will be the greatest achievement in human history and will bring with it amazing technical achievement along the way that will bleed into everything we do.

Automation and Data

As I will never be that someone who writes the algorithm that cracks Singularity, the best I can do is do great things with great technology and walk on the shoulders of giants. I am lucky that in my role I am at Veeam I am exposed to a number of great technologies, platforms and solutions that allow me to dig into automation and more specifically infrastructure as code. I have spent a lot of the last couple of years trying to improve my skills in this area and evangelize the benefits of automation. This is something that I believe will be central to all IT practitioners moving forward, but it’s more about what things like IaC enable.

Once we better understand how to be more efficient in our day to day roles we have gone a long way to mastering automation. In the context of IT, this goes hand and hand with understanding how to better control data.

Data is the new oil… not so!

I believe data is more akin to Uranium. A touchy parallel to draw, however when you think about oil as a finite resource that burns out quickly once processed you start to understand why I think data is a lot more powerful than oil. Oil is a currency, but if you think about data having a half life then you start to think about it as a resource that can be repeatably tapped into. Data is also dangerous in the wrong hands, so the security and protection (safe handling) of that data is also paramount.

This decade will see the activation of data get more and more advanced and the organizations that can harness that will be best placed to succeed. Data growth will accelerate at almost ridiculous pace and whoever controls the applications and platforms that manages that the best will also do very well.

Playing the Infinite Game

Like a lot of us in the IT Industry I have read Simon Sinek’s books. By now we should all understand the WHY, but I was much more interested in his latest book around The Infinite Game. It really opened my eyes up to what it truly means to succeed. What it really means to have direction. And what it means when we look to win quick. More recently I was interested in the comment below.

I think about what I want to be a part of moving forward into this new decade and it lines up with my own personal goals and it means that I don’t want to work for a means to an end. In truth I’ve been very lucky to have worked in some great organizations with great culture and direction, but what’s more important to me is team and how I contribute to the team I’m in. In that, I now don’t think about short term wins, I think about the long game and set personal goals as such.

Final Thought:

We live in amazing times and we also work in an amazing industry. What 2020 and beyond holds is set to be stratospheric. That young kid who dreamt about robots and flying cars doesn’t have it just yet… but it’s coming… and when it arrives it will get here at a rate of knots.  We also need to ensure we remain up to date with current technology trends and Industry moves and how data flows as the lifeblood of the whole world. Finally, I can’t stress enough how much thinking about the longer game and what it means to be part of a team means in terms of career progression and self satisfaction.

Hold on people! We are in for a ride this decade!

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