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#38 Roaring 20's a Look Forward to 2021
on Wed Feb 10 2021 16:00:00 GMT-0800 (Pacific Standard Time)
In this episode, Darren Pulsipher, Chief Solution Architect at Intel, asks Rachel Mushawar, VP of Sales at Intel, for her insight on what’s ahead for the Roaring 20s after the disruption of COVID-19.
In this episode, Darren asks Rachel Mushawar, VP of Sales at Intel, for her insight on what’s ahead for the Roaring 20s after the disruption of COVID-19.
The past twelve months has been marked with unmistakable change and uncertainty, professionally and personally. Not every year will be like 2020, but the lessons will make us better every year going forward.
Despite individual circumstances, every person has had to pause and figure out what was important. We hold our teams, friends, families, and relationships closer than we ever have.
And although we have been physically isolated, connectivity through technology accelerated at an unprecedented rate. Everyone’s sense of possibility in this area has been rejuvenated, and in a way, unlocked and freed for the future.
On the other hand, the pandemic has created more responsibilities. Almost half of adults in their forties and fifties have a parent 65 or older and have young children or are financially supporting older kids. This means they are likely juggling their children’s distance learning, working from home, and caring for elderly parents.
The net job losses in the U.S. in December were all women. Some of this has to do with the increased responsibilities at home during the pandemic. If you have young children at home who are now distance learning, and you’re an hourly worker, how do you do it? You don’t. And although during lockdown fathers nearly doubled their childcare, we have a long way to go in the 20s around gender equality. It can’t just be about technology.
As we move into the 20s, we’ve got a whole generation of children who have spent the last 12 months homeschooling.
In fact, one in four American households have at least one child 14 years old or younger. For those students that come from a disadvantaged background, A World Economic Forum study found that 25% do not have a computer. In addition, 33% of students in rural communities have little to no access to the internet. The lack of these two fundamentals of distance learning increased the digital divide.
A lot of old ideas have been shattered in 2020 as companies had to immediately pivot to work from home. Eighty-five percent of organizations expanded or implemented a variety of work-from-home policies that are going to extend past COVID-19. Many companies realized the savings from reducing physical real estate as productivity stayed the same or increased with a stay-at-home or nomadic workforce. Many employees are also realizing time savings from eliminating commutes and personal preparation such as hair, makeup, and wardrobe. A trend going into 2021 will be a more casual, natural look.
As commutes vanished, connectivity increased, and bedrooms became offices, however, a downside emerged as the average workday lengthened and it became harder to shut down.
One of the key things in 2021 is going to be how we continue to leverage technology to keep us connected. For example, there are Zoom-like technologies that take it up a notch and provide social opportunities similar to a water cooler chat in the virtual space. Thirty-two percent of adults had a virtual social gathering in 2020. Intel has done visits to a virtual goat farm and brought in yoga instructors to help fight isolation.
As we go into the rest of the 20s, technology is going to become a cornerstone for every major transformation regardless of whether it’s in the private or public sector.
How does this new way of working and increased responsibilities at home all boil down from a CIO’s perspective?
There are a handful of strategic imperatives for IT. We can break them down in to the traditional categories of applications, network, and data center.
First, for applications, CIOs have got to figure out how to enable contactless, meaning, how do you drive everything-as-a-service? This is not just for retailers, but for healthcare, government, and manufacturing. The second part with applications is knowing who your consumer is and how they digest content.
Realizing the importance of your network is next. It is the turbo boost to all things digital. Organizations must have a network that will, for example, enable automating your factories or providing telehealth. They must be forward thinking for when 5G becomes more of a reality rather than investing in yesterday’s technology. Networks are extended beyond traditional data centers now, so that’s something we need to pay attention to. Of course, security must be a priority here.
Just like networks, security is not an exciting, sexy topic, but it’s a key aspect as we think about all of the endpoints that are now pervasive in our everyday lives. The threat surface is increasingly exponentially with employees working at home on different devices and the implementation of everything-as-a-service to customers. Security is no longer about securing data at rest and in motion anymore. It’s also everything in between.
Instead of the traditional data centers, we should be thinking about them as centers of data, serving certain workloads. The cloud is growing 30 to 40 percent per year, for example, to bring centers of data closer to employees or customers. It may never make sense, however, for some top secret critical data to move to the cloud, but stay on prem. CIOs must understand what their centers of data are, and which would serve which segments of the organization best in terms of recovery, storage, cost efficiency, and performance.
Moving in to the 20s, organizations must make strategic changes, both in hiring practices and in how organizations service their customers, keeping these concepts in mind.