The ten best tech articles of 2021
Another year has passed, and technology and digital continue to advance, as businesses focus on each as sources of new sources of revenue and resilience. The innovations were well represented in a variety of pieces throughout the year. While it’s impossible to fully represent the breadth of this writing, here are ten standout pieces that provide greater context to the progress made and issues faced in 2021.
The cost of the cloud: a trillion dollar paradox
By Sarah Wang and Martin Casado, a16z.com, May 2021
Sarah Wang and Martin Casado of venture capital firm Andreessen Horowitz argue that while the cloud offers significant value early in a business’s growth, the costs it imposes on the business can eventually outweigh. advantages. Although primarily focused on startups, this article has been a useful source of thought for enterprise technology leaders as they continue to explore the long-term business implications of the cloud.
Why computers won’t make themselves smarter
By Ted Chiang, The New Yorker, March 30, 2021
The notion of “singularity” has seduced the tech community for decades, heralding a future with an infinitely powerful artificial intelligence capable of improving independently. Even with the phenomenal advancements in computing in the 21st century, it seems like we are nowhere closer to actualizing this explosion of intelligence. Is it really possible for a computer program to surpass the intelligence of its human creators? Chiang offers an interesting counterpoint to those who say yes.
The technopolar moment: how digital powers will reshape the world order
By Ian Bremmer, Foreign Affairs, November / December 2021
For centuries, nation states have been the primary player in global affairs, but that is starting to change as big tech companies start competing with them for geopolitical influence. Tech giants are increasingly shaping the global environment and exerting tremendous influence over the technologies and services with which billions of people interact on a daily basis. This piece explores the sovereignty that tech giants wield over the digital space and beyond.
Moore’s law for everything,
By Sam Altman, SamAltman.com, March 16, 2021
As CEO of OpenAI and former President of YCombinator, Sam Altman has a unique perspective on the future of artificial intelligence. In a recent essay, Altman explores the intersection between rapid advancements in AI, politics and economics, including global AI governance, wealth inequalities, and how AI could change the geopolitical balance of power. He finally concludes on an optimistic note, noting that the AI revolution “will generate enough wealth for everyone to have what they need, if we, as a society, manage it responsibly.”
The Outsider: How CEO Frank Slootman Turned Snowflake into the Greatest Software IPO of All Time
By Alex Konrad, Forbes, February 1, 2021
Former ServiceNow CEO Frank Slootman has portrayed himself as an unstoppable force in the tech industry, running companies with an iron fist and demanding excellence from his constituents. Taking the reins as CEO of Snowflake in 2019, Slootman unleashed another aggressive transformation to transform the cloud-based data warehouse into a multi-functional data hub capable of outperforming the industry’s biggest competitors. In it, Alex Konrad unveils Slootman’s playbook for turning Silicon Valley’s next uplifting tale into America’s fifth biggest tech list.
How to deal with ransomware hackers
By Rachel Monroe, The New Yorker, June 7, 2021
This article offers a lucid look at the evolution of the cyber extortion industry through the eyes of the rare ransomware negotiator. If you’ve ever wondered what happens when a business falls victim to a ransomware attack, this article provides information on how to fight (or rather negotiate).
Students Who Grew Up With Search Engines Could Change STEM Education
By Monica Chin, The Verge, September 2021
A generation gap in the way we use computers is emerging in classrooms across the country. In an age when Google-style search interfaces are ubiquitous, many students today have little or seem to need to know much about file folders and directories. It is a compact yet meaningful story about the puzzling, though often humorous, situations brought on by technological advancement.
What happened to IBM’s Watson?
By Steve Lohr, New York Times, July 16, 2021
Ten years ago, IBM’s Watson supercomputer defeated Ken Jennings, the best “Jeopardy! ” human. player ever. IBM executives have said their artificial intelligence will transform industries, generate fortunes for the company and start a technological revolution. In What happened to IBM’s Watson? New York Times tech reporter Steve Lohr traces the company’s missteps with Watson that led IBM to settle on a much less ambitious AI strategy, suggesting that “the march of artificial intelligence through The traditional economy, turns out, will be more progressive. -step of evolution than of cataclysmic revolution.
For agile transformation, choose the right people
By Rob Cross, Heidi K. Gardner, Alia Crocker, Harvard Business Review, April 2021
Researchers at Babson College and Harvard Law School find that while Agile methods can improve processes and speed time to market, many Agile teams are not organized for long-term success. This article examines where many Agile efforts go wrong and offers a revised approach to building strong Agile teams.
Epic Games thinks the internet is broken. It’s their plan to fix it.
By Gene Park, The Washington Post, September 28, 2021
The Internet’s “social media age” has stifled consumer engagement in commerce, leaving users’ brand exploration limited to the interests of social media tycoons. Defending internet freedom against abusive collective advertising, Epic Games CEO Tim Sweeney presents his plan for the Metaverse, a revolutionary online ecosystem where users and brands can collaborate freely and interact seamlessly to transform digital consumer experience.
Peter High is chairman of Métis Strategy, a business and IT consulting firm. He has written two best-selling books, and his third, Getting to Agile, was recently published. It also moderates the technology podcast series and speaks at conferences around the world. Follow him on twitter @PeterAHigh.