On October 11, 2022, Google Cloud and C2C Global partner Pythian will be participating in the “Next on the Road” series of watch parties for the Google Cloud Next ‘22 keynote address and announcements. C2C President Josh Berman (
There’s so much programming around Next: from Google, but also from the many partners hosting watch parties. What for you is really going to make this event experience unique?
I think it’s the make-it-real aspect. It’s always interesting to hear the keynote and get a full appreciation for where the Google advancements are going to be, or their strategy potentially on acquisitions, or at least incorporating those acquisitions into the organization, into the framework, but the goodness comes from, well, what does all this mean for me? How do I take the announcement I just heard and apply it to my actual application infrastructure strategy? How do I look at my 2023 budget and say, “Should it be augmented based on what I heard, or does my architectural assumption differ because of what I just heard, and what’s the double-click? Not just what it means to me, but what’s the impact to my strategy going forward?” The reality is, the announcements create excitement, but the real work starts now.
Looking forward to the keynote, obviously that’s going to be a big draw. What are you expecting as someone who’s been a Google partner for a long time and has a real stake in what’s going to be announced? What are you hoping to hear? What are you expecting to hear? Imagining?
I think I’m looking forward to evolution on a few fronts. Front number one: security. They just completed their acquisition, and now they’re going to say, “Well, here’s my holistic security set of offerings.” In fact, we might even hear an evolution of the security pillar to, say, it’s not just either application- or data-centric security, but maybe it goes beyond that. Maybe it goes in networking, in infrastructure and PII, privacy. That would be an interesting foray. Data protection. How do I empower the Chief Information Security Officer? How do I make them my primary buyer? That would be an interesting evolution on the security side.
I’d also like to see the evolution of the Google data foundation work. Let that be a primary architectural design, and then everything else they’re going to build on top of that, things like Cortex, things like specific industry solutions from core systems ERP all the way to visualization and Looker. Show me those assets I’ll be able to download from the marketplace, or secondary assets so that I can create out-of-the-box solutions that I can now augment to what makes sense for me personally. That’s number two.
Number three I think is innovation. Innovation in AI, innovation in ML, innovation in cognitive, all of the new. Here’s what we spent time and energy on in 2022 that is now going to be available in 2023 for you to consume, so I don’t need you to be an expert in doc AI. I want an easy way for you to consume that and apply that to your actual business problem, and by the way, here’s 15 examples of it working effectively.
Last time we spoke, we were promoting an event where you were speaking specifically about AI solutions. We just published a survey of our membership, and one of the big insights was that while AI and ML are not the technologies most users are working with right now, they’re number one in terms of the technologies they’re expecting or hoping to implement in five years, in three years, next year. How specifically do you think AI and ML is going to figure into that innovation forecast for the coming year?
I think what won’t be true is more development platforms for creating ML algorithms. Because I think that is difficult to consume. What’s much more easy to consume is out-of-the-box, downloadable, industry specific algorithms that I can apply. So, how do I make it really easy to train? How do I make it really easy to infer? How do I make it really easy to implement within my application process? That’s where I think we’re going to see the value there. They’re going to say in your IEE, in your BigQuery configuration, even in your Looker dashboards, you should be able to apply out-of-the-box marketplace algorithms and make your modifications for it to suit your purpose.
So a lot of low-code and no-code?
Exactly. While I philosophically don’t believe no-code low-code will displace code––there’s always a reason why there’s code––I think it’ll be a much more dramatic use for things like data analytics going forward.
We’re very excited that Josh is going to speak. I’m interested in why it was important for you to have Josh involved. What are you hoping that he’s going to bring to the conversation with the rest of the Pythian universe?
It’s the making-it-real conversation. The value of C2C is to say, well, I want to have conversations with my peers. I want to network within the community, and Josh in effect is representing the community in that room. I want to be able to take what we just heard and say making it real means of the eight things we heard, four things are way more important than they might have suggested, and these four things are the ones that are going to contribute the most to changing the value of the CIO, changing the value of IT, shifting IT from being an order-taker to a value provider. That’s the real-time feedback we want to provide to the crowd, and then when we say, “Okay, here’s the four that we think will provide the most value,” let’s then take that conversation to the next step and say, “How does it feel for you, individual CIO?”
There’s going to be a session with Josh, and then there’s also going to be a session that you’re leading, which is about your wins and lessons of the past year. It’s interesting to me that at a watch party for Next you’re making the point of taking time to look back and assess what’s really worked up to this point. Why that choice? Why last as well as Next?
Because so much of what happened this year affects my strategy for next year. And the biggest, of course, is talent. I lost a decent amount of talent. I am trying to innovate, which requires new skill sets. What am I going to do to acquire or upscale or rescale the talent that I have in order to implement what we just heard? So give me a sense of what capabilities you have, or that you missed. Give me a sense of the value you produced within cloud that you didn’t think you achieved the goal on. Let me get a sense of the investment you want to do in analytics, where it might provide value to you in 2023. Because arguably 2022 was a growth year. It was not unlike in sports. It’s preparing for the championship in the following year. Nobody was winning awards in 2022, because of all those macroeconomic impacts, but now that you’ve prepared for that, where are the banners coming from in 2023?
So the wins from last year were preparation for wins in the coming year.
Do you have any parting thoughts before we leave?
I think it’s going to be a great event, personally. I think we’re going to have a lot of people, and the big thing we added to the end was “Birds of a feather” tables. What we really want to do is have people come together not necessarily on tech. While there might be a couple tech tables, industry I think is going to be way more interesting. Let’s get a couple retail together, a couple banking together, a couple manufacturing together. Let’s talk about what we heard and how it impacts us as an industry. And yes, if you want to know a little bit more about BigQuery, that conversation will also occur. It’s a good mix in the room. We’re going to see executives and practitioners and partners and middle ground. I think everybody’s going to be in there, which I think will make for a fun event.