D2 is in the books. Our “Future of Data and Devices” tech conference on Thursday delivered on its promise to stir up discussion of where big data, the cloud, and connected devices are converging—and how entrepreneurs and innovators can stay ahead of the curve.
What did we learn? Here are four of my broad takeaways:
1. A major shift in IT is occurring (which occurs only once every 10-15 years) whereby analytics technologies are actually starting to solve real business problems. That’s from Jit Saxena, one of the godfathers of big data. (He admitted that back in his Netezza days, the attitude was more like, “I don’t care about your business problems, look at this cool technology.”)
2. The world has become much more distributed in terms of product design, development, marketing, and talent. Smart companies across different industries are figuring out how to tap into cloud connectivity, data sharing, and more efficient ways of making both software and hardware.
3. Watch out for the apps on your phone that harvest your contacts or location without your knowing about it. Digital privacy is all but dead.
4. Customer data is becoming a form of currency—and an entire ecosystem is emerging to support it. This ecosystem touches, and will even drive, sectors such as healthcare, finance, energy, transportation, and government. That’s from MIT’s Sandy Pentland, who has thought very deeply about these trends.
We had a lot of fun organizing the sessions. Thanks to our always fabulous hosts, the Fidelity Center for Applied Technology (FCAT) in Boston. Special thanks to our event sponsors: Cisco, Comcast Business, Fairfax County Economic Development Authority, MFA—Moody, Famiglietti & Andronico, and Roundtable (R.R. Donnelley). And thanks, of course, to all of our speakers and attendees, who made the event amazing.
Enjoy the photo recap above, and see you all next time.
Gregory T. Huang is Xconomy's Editor in chief. E-mail him at gthuang [at] xconomy.com.