AI is not a strategy: what companies need to know to overcome technical obstacles in their company

O’Reilly Media President Laura Baldwin discusses the roadblocks that businesses face legacy systems and why the cloud will be even bigger in 2020.

AI is not a strategy: what companies need to know to overcome technical obstacles in their company
O’Reilly Media President Laura Baldwin discusses the roadblocks that businesses face legacy systems and why the cloud will be even bigger in 2020.

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Karen Roby from TechRepublic talks to Laura Baldwin, president of O’Reilly Media, a company that publishes technical textbooks, about the skills developers need for 2020 and what the company needs to know to stay current on the market. The following is an edited transcript of the interview.

Laura Baldwin: We have a lot of our own data. We have 5,000 business customers and 2.5 million users on our learning platform that is truly technology-oriented with an emphasis on business. And what we see is a huge shift in 2019 that is really much deeper in the cloud than before.

We still see people going after main languages, Kubernetes,
, Java, JavaScript. But what we really see is that people dive into it to find out what the architecture they need for their future is and how they make their old systems work with all the new things coming up using all those languages. : productivity tools for developers such as Google’s Go. What we see is how these companies are trying to bring things together to move to 2020. It is a whole new, different world with cloud and micro services.

SEE: Programming languages: JavaScript developer reveals their favorite tools (free PDF) (TechRepublic)

Karen Roby: One of the things you are talking about is “next architecture” and what people need to know there. Explain that to us.

Laura Baldwin: One of the things we are very aware of is what we call older systems, and the fact that most companies are dealing with implementations that they made 10 or 12 years ago and that they will continue to maintain. What they need to do in the contemporary world of cloud and micro services is figuring out how to use those old systems and make them work in the new world that all these containers and cloud architectures offer. And so what we’re talking about as the next architecture is the stratification of legacy, plus all the new technologies that enable incredible advances and innovation in technology. But the reality is that they all have to work together, and we are very focused on that and we see our customers doing the same.

Karen Roby: Where do you think companies go wrong, or are they just not there yet with their way of thinking to understand how this will all work together?

Laura Baldwin: I think they are not sure where to start. And you know, we did a research not long ago. We investigated our entire audience about artificial intelligence (AI) in the company and what they needed to know. And the reality is that 73% of the respondents in that survey tried to figure it out or believed it would not be for them. They believed they couldn’t do AI.

What we see is that there is a huge decline, I think, in technology, namely: “How do I make these technologies work for us? How do we make them work for our organization?” I think what happens, as you see, many learning platforms are about: “Learn this specific skill.” But what companies are trying to figure out is, “What is the strategy around these things?”

One of the things I always say is that AI is not a strategy – AI is a technology. You need to figure out how you can use that technology to promote every strategy you have. We see that a lot on the platform: people just look for it to try and discover what they can do with these new technologies. We have case studies in which we show the best of the best from large companies such as Netflix and Microsoft, so that everyone who comes to our conferences or actually gets on the platform can see how other companies are doing.

That has been a very important way for people to learn, just to experience and understand what is possible. We are working hard to ensure that people understand what is possible with these new technologies.

Karen Roby: We talk a lot about the big three languages ​​and of course Python, Java and JavaScript are still very important when we approach 2020. But in terms of new programming languages, what do you hear a lot about that, and how will that work? Do the companies also have to work in this?

Laura Baldwin: Yes, tools such as Rust and Go, we see really large numbers trying to learn these tools. If you look at it, they are real productivity tools that help people move faster. Although the languages ​​are still important – Python is currently the most important one there, and the growth continues – the reality is that many of those old systems I was talking about are built around Java and JavaScript, and the need to Stay informed and the innovation that takes place there is just as important as knowing the new things, and you can tell by the data that comes from our learning platform.

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