John Pientka

How to Stop Worrying and Love the Rise of the Machines!

Love the Rise of the Machines!

Announcing a new blog: “Leveraging the Engines of the Digital”. Are you overwhelmed by all the buzzwords, studies and new apps? Here’s an invitation to become more digitally fluent and navigate this new world. Read on!

It’s late and you’re tired but can’t get to sleep. Maybe you should watch some video until you drift off. You check out Netflix and see an oldie but a goodie. When was the last time you saw this flick? You forgot how good it really is… What the…? Why is there so much light in the room? Oh no, you’ve over slept!

In the rush to get ready for work you keep having this nagging thought that you forgot something – but what? You grab your iPhone and ask Siri to go over today’s appointments and reminders. Whew! Your first appointment is not until ten, so you should be on the time, but Siri reminds you to book that vacation spot you agreed to with the gang.

You punch up the Airbnb app on the phone and zero in on the property, confirm availability and book the rental. You put it on your card and drop an email to the others so they can pay you back for their share through Venmo.

Time to head out – so you hit the Uber app and book a ride to the train station. You’ve got a longish train ride ahead. You could get started on that book everyone is talking about it. You pull out your tablet and open up Amazon and down load it. There’s the Uber car. Off you go.

The half dozen activities in our little story were all possible because the advent of cloud computing has transformed our lives. It is the bedrock of the explosion of digital tools that we take for granted and the underlying engine for many more to come. But, will you be all right? After all some of the headlines are downright scary.

“Software is eating the world”.

“We should fear the rise of Artificial Intelligence”.

“We are about to achieve Quantum Supremacy”.

“Automation will take all our jobs”.

My role is to help. I consult and write on digital transformation in the enterprise. Increasingly, we all must attain a certain level of digital fluency and address these challenges. Where we used to depend solely on the CIO or IT department, now all of us are expected to be at least conversant in key technologies and trends, just like a certain amount of financial, operational, marketing knowledge is expected.

That’s what this blog is all about: helping you become more digitally fluent and expanding your view of how to leverage the potential of these new machines. We’ll cut through the jargon, cover the latest developments and walk through topics in bite-sized chunks. These digital technologies will affect your work, your health, your children’s education, and more.

You are being asked to make digital choices all the time now. How do you equip yourself, the intelligent layperson, with enough knowledge to at least ask the right questions? Personally, should you store your photos in the cloud? What about backing up your computer to it? And, those on-line courses my kids are using to supplement (or maybe replace) their school – are they any good?

Business wise, what about that new cloud based accounting system – should we go with it? Are robots really going to take my job? What are we going to do with our key data that currently sits on old technology and expensive software? Organizations are increasingly confronted with digital transformation challenges. Those that are successful excel. Those that struggle fall behind.

This blog started out a few years ago focused primarily on the cloud, on the engines and how they worked. But, we need to expand the discussion. Digital enabled capabilities confront you everywhere. Think about what you can do right now: Do you want artificial intelligence to recognize and organize your pictures? Translate foreign languages? Find decorating ideas for your new apartment? These are just a taste, and more are coming. We’ll help you sail these new seas smartly and safely.

Please dive in, enjoy current postings but also search the archives when you come across a topic you would like to understand better. Naturally, feel free to contact me directly with your questions and if you need help.

In no time, when somebody refers to “software eating the world” you’ll understand.

By John Pientka

John Pientka

John is currently the principal of Pientka and Associates which specializes in IT and Cloud Computing.

Over the years John has been vice president at CGI Federal, where he lead their cloud computing division. He founded and served as CEO of GigEpath, which provided communication solutions to major corporations. He has also served as president of British Telecom’s outsourcing arm Syncordia, vice president and general manager of a division at Motorola.

John has earned his M.B.A. from Harvard University as well as a bachelor’s degree from the State University in Buffalo, New York.

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