This blog post is part of the Big Data Week Speaker interviews series. In this article, Alex Bordei, Head of Product Management at Bigstep, shares his thoughts on the impact of big data in business, the AI revolution and how to manage the Internet of Things.
1. It has become a tradition for Bigstep to be close to BDW, helping us grow from a community events group to a global festival of data. How do you maintain your competitivity on the cloud market? You seem to be one step ahead of even the biggest companies. What are your secrets?
It is true that everybody is in a fierce race to provide developers and companies with the easiest, cheapest and fastest possible environment to run their applications. We keep our edge by being specialized, by focusing on our target workloads which is high volume and high velocity data.
2. How did businesses adapt so far to the impact of big data?
Most big data use is part of digital transformation initiatives which are wider and impact entire organizations. Automating processes and speeding up decisions is key to gaining or keeping your edge over the competition.
3. Why is it important for organisations to become data-driven?
Being data driven is fundamentally about time. You reduce the time you waste on wrong paths and invest in only what’s been proven to be working. Time is the most expensive resource out there and organizations buy it indirectly with investments in big data.
4. What are the challenges encountered when trying to leverage data?
It’s never about technology, velocity or size it’s mostly about the organizational structure. People are the hardest to crack open silos out there.
5. How do you see the industry evolving over the next few years?
The big data industry is splitting. We now talk about advanced analytics, realtime processing, datalakes. etc. It’s function over technology and I agree with it. I think it helps keep things clear.
6. How do you consider the new automation wave and self-teaching AIs will impact the world?
This is highly controversial. My personal opinion is that automation has been around since the industrial revolution and there is no escaping. Some businesses have been more entrenched in manual operations than others as they depend on the human components more but as technology evolves more and more complex tasks will be done by machines. Just look at Uber vs taxis. On one hand this frees people from wasting their lives on menial tasks and on the other hand takes the livelihood away from some people. It needs to be tackled carefully by our society but ultimately it is a positive outcome of humanity’s drive to improve itself.
7. Tell us a bit more about your topic at the BDW2017 London Conference. Why did you choose this particular subject?
GDPR (General Data Protection Regulation ) raises awareness on some very controversial aspects such as big data being used to promote inequality and discrimination. Without tracking there is no optimization, with tracking there are privacy concerns. We need to discuss this and find solutions.
8. Who do you think should attend your talk at Big Data Week? Why?
It’s a general topic, I think it targets everybody although I’m a technical person and I’ll probably focus on how to actually do this or that.
Alex Bordei is a developer turned Product Manager. He has been developing infrastructure products for over ten years. Before becoming Bigstep’s Director of Engineering, he was one of the core developers for Hostway Corporation’s provisioning platform. He then focused on defining and developing products for Hostway’s EMEA market and was one of the pioneers of virtualization in the company. After successfully launching two public clouds based on VMware software, he created the first prototype of the Bigstep platform, in 2011. He is engaged in mapping out ever more useful perspectives on the big data paradigm in order to encourage exploration and innovation through big data.