The Second Machine Age: 5 Things Our Kids’ Kids Won’t Know about Retail Shopping

Featured

Guy Churchward

Guy Churchward

President, Data Protection and Availability Division
I'm an enterprise infrastructure hack. Really, if you think of my career as a building, I’ve spent it underneath in the sewer lines and the electric plumbing, making sure things work. Invariably, my businesses end up being called boring. But that’s okay. It means they’re doing exactly what they’re supposed to do, which means their customers can do what they need to do. I come to EMC by way of BEA Systems, NetApp and most recently LogLogic, and my mission is to lead EMC Data Protection and Availability Division's efforts to deliver a protection storage architecture that leaves us all in better shape for the next guy, or gig, that comes along. Oh, and make no mistake about it, I want everyone to know who’s number one in backup, and why.

451018363

  1. What it was like to purchase goods and take them with you
  2. That Walmart once employed nearly as many people as the U.S. Armed Forces
  3. What “Black Friday” was
  4. What a store credit card was
  5. What it was like to be shopping pack horses at holiday sales


  6. After reading my post on the emergence of The Second Machine Age and what it holds for the world of transportation, my boss responded, “I still prefer a clutch and a gear stick!”

    And if the comments I received from many of you are any indication, you may feel similarly. However, you also told me you are excited about the changes that lie ahead, not just for transportation, but also for other industries. This made me think about retail and healthcare, and how these industries are transforming as we speak. Continue reading

Does Big Data Have to Be Big?

Featured

Heidi Biggar

Heidi Biggar

Marketing and IT Consultant, Data Protection and Availability Division
I’m often asked how a political science major at Tufts wound up in the IT world, covering backup, storage, virtualization and cloud of all things. Truth is, it’s really a love for learning, a need to understand the “bigger picture” and a desire to share that view with others that’s steered my path over the past 20 years, from campaign manager to editor, analyst and marketer. After hours, you’ll find me hanging with family, running 10ks through Peachtree City’s 90 miles of cart paths, watching football or reading. I’m a New England transplant enjoying life in the South. In my previous life, I also blogged for ComputerWorld, Enterprise Strategy Group and Hitachi Data Systems, but The Backup Window is my baby. It's been great watching it evolve.

481135637
One of my hot button issues these days is Big Data.

By many media and vendor accounts, Big Data is simply that: big data. Large volumes of structured or unstructured data the likes of which are generally associated with companies in data-crunching industries like oil and gas, seismology, genomics and finance.

Even Wikipedia defines Big Data as “the collection of data sets so large and complex that it becomes difficult to process using on-hand database management tools or traditional data processing.” Continue reading

The Second Machine Age: 5 Things Our Kids’ Kids Won’t Know About Transportation

Guy Churchward

Guy Churchward

President, Data Protection and Availability Division
I'm an enterprise infrastructure hack. Really, if you think of my career as a building, I’ve spent it underneath in the sewer lines and the electric plumbing, making sure things work. Invariably, my businesses end up being called boring. But that’s okay. It means they’re doing exactly what they’re supposed to do, which means their customers can do what they need to do. I come to EMC by way of BEA Systems, NetApp and most recently LogLogic, and my mission is to lead EMC Data Protection and Availability Division's efforts to deliver a protection storage architecture that leaves us all in better shape for the next guy, or gig, that comes along. Oh, and make no mistake about it, I want everyone to know who’s number one in backup, and why.

 

  1. What it’s like to drive a car
  2. What it’s like to queue at the DMV
  3. What’s a Taxi
  4. How buses had a pre-defined route
  5. How Top Gear was a show, not the latest fresh garms.

456075475

There’s a lot of fervor over what some of today’s best business minds are describing as The Second Machine Age. Decades in the making, the Second Machine Age represents another fundamental shift in the way we live, work and, yes, play.

Like the first Machine Age, technological innovation and the quest for automation are driving the change, but this time around it will be the automation of information (or ‘knowledge works’) that will define the period, impacting lives on a whole new level of magnitude.

In fact, while I was researching electric vehicles this past weekend, it struck me just how Teutonic these changes will be and how close they really are, which brought home how every aspect of our lives will be irrevocably different.

Continuing reading on our sister site Reflections.

Is Life in the Fast Lane All That It’s Cracked Up to Be?

Heidi Biggar

Heidi Biggar

Marketing and IT Consultant, Data Protection and Availability Division
I’m often asked how a political science major at Tufts wound up in the IT world, covering backup, storage, virtualization and cloud of all things. Truth is, it’s really a love for learning, a need to understand the “bigger picture” and a desire to share that view with others that’s steered my path over the past 20 years, from campaign manager to editor, analyst and marketer. After hours, you’ll find me hanging with family, running 10ks through Peachtree City’s 90 miles of cart paths, watching football or reading. I’m a New England transplant enjoying life in the South. In my previous life, I also blogged for ComputerWorld, Enterprise Strategy Group and Hitachi Data Systems, but The Backup Window is my baby. It's been great watching it evolve.

184856598

If House Bill 459 passes the Georgia Senate this spring, starting in July, “slow-poke drivers” on GA highways will be required to get out of the way of faster drivers, else risk being pulled over and ticketed. While bill proponents say the law is all about safety, I wonder.

I just drove an 8-hour stretch on I75 last week from Atlanta to Sarasota, FL, and back, and not once did I encounter a “slow-poke driver” let alone a slow-poke driver who put my life or those of others at risk. Super speeders? Yes. Slow-poke drivers? No.

So, perhaps the bill is just another symptom of a fast world getting even faster. The race to get there (wherever “there” is) faster… and first.

Even in the world of IT, the race to do things faster and easier seems to restart daily, and this applies to those of us on the IT side buying and implementing technology, those on the vendor side developing the technology, as well as those of us straddling both worlds.

But as we all know, faster doesn’t necessarily mean easier—nor does it necessarily mean better or safer… or that you will even win in the end.

In fact, the rush to deploy new technologies can have, and often does have, negative consequences. Similarly, the rush to innovate, particularly for innovation’s sake, can have costly business effects. On the flip side, failing to deploy new technologies or adopt new ways of doing things can have paralyzing business effects.

Without a doubt, keeping pace with technology advances is a delicate dance.

Take cloud. For IT organizations, knowing what do, when to do it and with whom to do it is challenging, to say the least. And while the Dilbert cartoon that’s been circulating on LinkedIn over the past couple of weeks has made many of us chuckle in a “where in this together” kind of way, it also captures a very real picture of the uncertainties life in the cloud can present.

Yes, the pace at which new technologies are coming at us is both exhilarating and a wee-bit scary at times. Market dynamics have changed, and as they have so too have the rules of doing business.

I’ve talked about the shift downstream that organizations that want to compete successfully in today’s digital world are having to make. Larry Downes and Paul Nunes are talking about the new rules of business in their new book Big Bang Disruption: Strategy in the Age of Devastating Innovation. (They’ve proposed a new market adoption model, to replace Roger’s Bell Curve model, that has a whole lot of folks on-line and, my guess is, a whole bunch debating and discussing at business schools talking nation-wide. ) And Erik Brynjolfsson and Andrew McAfee are talking about life in The Second Machine Age in their book The Second Machine Age: Work, Progress, and Prosperity in a Time of Brilliant Technologies.

Agree with Dawar or not. Agree with Downes and Nunes or not. Agree with Brynjolfsson and McAfee or not. Agree with me or not. Rapid change is coming.

The question that remains is, will life in the fast lane be all that’s it cracked up to be?

Be sure to check back next week when Guy Churchward shares his thoughts on the coming of The Second Machine Age.

 

 

 

 

IT Pay Rises As Roles Shift from Back Office to Boardroom

Heidi Biggar

Heidi Biggar

Marketing and IT Consultant, Data Protection and Availability Division
I’m often asked how a political science major at Tufts wound up in the IT world, covering backup, storage, virtualization and cloud of all things. Truth is, it’s really a love for learning, a need to understand the “bigger picture” and a desire to share that view with others that’s steered my path over the past 20 years, from campaign manager to editor, analyst and marketer. After hours, you’ll find me hanging with family, running 10ks through Peachtree City’s 90 miles of cart paths, watching football or reading. I’m a New England transplant enjoying life in the South. In my previous life, I also blogged for ComputerWorld, Enterprise Strategy Group and Hitachi Data Systems, but The Backup Window is my baby. It's been great watching it evolve.

180274674

Up, up and away…IT salary and compensation plans are up 5% year-over-year, and are slated to rise another 5% this year, according to TechTarget’s 2013 IT Salary and Careers Survey, released in  December.

Yes, yet more proof that as IT’s center of gravity shifts from the back office to the board room, its value to the business also changes. IT professionals are seen less as cost centers and more as business drivers, and as this happens, IT compensation trends upward.

Fewer companies are “pegging compensation strictly to job position,” writes Linda Lucci, executive editor for SearchCIO. Instead, they are being determined by more traditional business metrics (e.g., economics, industry, culture and ‘financial affordability’ factors), she explains.

In other words, salaries are being tied to business outcomes. This bodes well for IT professionals who get it (i.e., those who understand that their role is strategic first; tactical, second); not so much for those who don’t.

EMH Healthcare‘s IT organization gets it. Walgreen’s CFO gets it. What about you? How do you measure success?

Are you like 18% of TechTarget survey respondents who say they measure success by achieving ROI on projects and technology purchases or are you like the 47% who base success on their ability to help achieve a business goal or outcome?

And what about your company? What business value does it expect from IT/technology projects this year? Is it focused downstream on employee productivity, customer service delivery, etc., or is it focused upstream on product and service creation or delivery?

Do you get it?