AiThority Interview Series with Mark Campbell, Chief Innovation Officer at Trace3
Despite trends like GDPR, I think where systems, live, run, get and store their data will become less of a concern as the world becomes a tighter connected mesh of people, things and data.
Tell us about your interaction with intelligent technologies that you work with?
We review hundreds of emerging tech companies each year, searching for the ones that will have the most impact on our customers’ challenges. A growing proportion of these are products with embedded AI/ML or are tools that enable our customers to build and deploy AI/ML solutions.
What is the biggest challenge in modernizing Legacy Systems?
As with most transformational shifts, technology is the easy part.
The cultural, personal, political and procedural hurdles are the ones that trip up most modernization efforts. We commonly see sunk-cost bias, procedural inertia, political infighting, and personal fear become serious roadblocks to modernizing legacy applications and systems.
Why are enterprises laying a huge impetus on moving to the Cloud?
While many customers initially moved to the cloud on the promise of cost savings, it is debatable whether any of them saw this. However, as public cloud offerings and enterprise IT have co-evolved over the past eight years, we are seeing the bulk of our customer moving on-premise applications to the cloud for the agility, flexibility, and scalability that the cloud offers. Most large enterprises are now fine-tuning their eco-system to get the right balance between cloud-native, hybrid, multi-cloud and legacy applications and where each should live.
What today is the biggest threat to Enterprise Data?
Most data breaches today can be traced back to an individual that opened an ill-advised attachment, misconfigured access through the corporate perimeter, or the proverbial insider threat. While their external attacks through direct exploitations do happen, the vast majority of data loss is due to the enterprise granting permission for the bad actors to do it.
With hundreds of parallel but crucial components, how easily are enterprises integrating their systems?
Systems integrations will continue to be a tricky part of enterprise IT as long as companies buy other companies, build new systems to replace old ones, and as long as technology keeps marching on. Like death, taxes, and daylight savings time, systems integration will be a challenge for the foreseeable future. However, there are standard frameworks like containerization, infrastructure as code, function as a service and data interchange architectures that are making enterprise-level systems integrations much more tenable.
What industries can leverage from Trace3’s Innovation Services?
Trace3 Innovation services are being applied across all industry verticals. Our customers are some of the leading oil & gas, healthcare, financial services, travel & transportation, MSO/cable, media and entertainment, manufacturing, shipping, and logistics companies in the world.
What is the hardest part of being a Chief Innovation Officer?
Being a Chief Innovation Officer for a leading technology transformation partner can be a very daunting task made more difficult by two often conflicting currents – technology never stands still and industries seldom get simpler. As such you need to continuously keep abreast of what new challenges your customers are facing from their industry, competition, regulation, internal pressures and external threats. You then need to match these challenges from a tidal wave of emerging technologies by sifting through the thousands of new tech companies that pop up each year, spot the driving trends and identify the most promising offerings. So connecting an ever-evolving demand to a never-static supply is the trickiest challenge I face.
Which events and webinars would you suggest to our readers as being the best in grasping information on emerging technologies?
I personally value the non-manufacturer-oriented conferences and instead look to discipline-centric events and webinars like RSA, BlackHat, O’Reilly Conferences (like AI), CB Insights conferences.
Where do you see AI/Machine learning and other smart technologies heading beyond 2025?
As has happened with terms like digital, computer, internet and the “e” prefix, AI & ML will start to disappear as terms as they become assumed in all solutions. There will simply be no non-AI products on the market (except there will still be COBOL running on a mainframe somewhere) and so no-one will make the distinction.
So really its more about where technology will be heading after 2025. I believe that systems will be given more autonomy both physically (e.g., autonomous vehicles) and procedurally (e.g., no human in the loop required for medical prescriptions, custom manufacturing, or purchasing). I also believe that there will be more collaborative systems that come alongside people to take over the mundane, dangerous, demanding and perceptual tasks that the user needs.
I also think that locality will become less of an issue while privacy becomes paramount. Despite trends like GDPR, I think where systems, live, run, get and store their data will become less of a concern as the world becomes a tighter connected mesh of people, things and data. This will be balanced by a heightened level of privacy for people, governments, governments, connect-things and cyber entities. Privacy will be a built-in requirement in future systems forcing sloppy solutions out of the market.
What start-ups are you keenly following?
I track hundreds of start-ups but there is a handful that I keep close tabs on.
This week my list is (in alphabetical order):
- Vast Data
Tag the one person in the industry whose answers to these questions you would love to read.
Easy – Anand Sanwal, CEO & Founder, CB Insights
Thank you, Mark! That was fun and hope to see you back on AiThority soon.
Mark Campbell is the Chief Innovation Officer at Trace3 where his teams review over 1,000 tech start-ups each year. Based out of sunny Denver, Colorado, Mark is a researcher and industry watcher who leverages his 25 years of real-world IT experience to help enterprises adopt emerging technologies to tackle their toughest technical and business problems. Mark holds telecom patents, writes frequent articles for tech publications and works with the world’s largest IT venture capital firms.
As a fully integrated Transformative IT Authority, Trace3 is the premier provider of IT solutions and consultation services. Through elite engineering and dynamic innovation, Trace3 empowers executives and organizations to keep pace with the fast-moving business landscape through the transformative power of IT.