Panel reflects on the evolution and power of disruptive technology

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At ISACA’s North America CACS conference Tuesday morning, an executive panel spoke on the past 50 years of tech disruption—and where technology is taking us in the future.

Technology has truly democratized society, according to the panelists.

“I want to impress on everyone how easy it is to disrupt technology today and how little knowledge you need in order to do it,” panelist Jed Yueh, founder of Amavar and author of Disrupt or Die, told the audience. “You can go from idea to building a company in very little time, and there are so many resources available.”

As an example, consider how long it took college student Mark Zuckerberg to effectively transform the world and how we interact socially. He coded Facebook in one week—and he wasn’t even an engineer.

Joining Yueh on the panel were:

  • Kim Bollin, Vice President of internal Audit at Workday
  • Ken Venner, Former CIO of SpaceX
  • Jenai Marinkovic, CTO and CISO of Beyond
  • Moderator Thomas Phelps IV, vice president of corporate strategy and CIO of Laserfiche

The panelists looked at industry predictions—both those that came true (the 1980s prediction that “decisions can and will be made by artificial intelligence, by computers grown large or very small like a pocket encyclopedia“) and those that fortunately never materialized—including Ken Olson’s 1977 statement, “There is no reason anyone would want a computer in their home” and an ISACA (then the Electronic Data Processing Auditors Association) prediction that said, “Many members will leave the association if the name is changed from the EDPAA to ISACA.”

They also shared what they believe to have been the most disruptive technologies invented in the past decades. Among the responses:

  • The internet—It has democratized information and transformed the ability to transfer data
  • Social—We can take the collective minds of humanity and bring them together on social. The privacy considerations are daunting, but while consumers say they absolutely want privacy, they are remiss to hold companies accountable when that privacy is breached.
  • Mobile—We are now living in an always-on world.
  • Cloud—We’ve taken the expense away and enabled accessibility for so many organizations, regardless of size and budget.

The executives also looked at future challenges and opportunities, such as:

  • AI—How do you secure it? But even more importantly, what do you do if the data is laden in bias? If data or systems are biased, there are going to be serious social issues. AI is personalized in many ways. If a system has assumptions about certain races, for example, people’s livelihoods could be at risk.
  • Retail disruption—Amazon is considering a model shift from shop and ship to shift and shop—where predictions are made about what you want and need, and you pay after receiving the items.
  • Blockchain—The benefits are a more trusted, online, portable identity you can take with you everywhere—but there are still security issues and risks inherent with blockchain.
  • Quantum computing—The implications and knowledge needed to understand a totally new technology stack are huge.
  • The need to shift to data-centric organizations—Consider Disney, which has long been an entertainment, theme park and merchandise company. They are increasingly creating content and capturing data, and becoming truly data-centric.

Technology has truly changed the way we live and work for the past 50 years in which ISACA has been in existence —and the pace of change is only getting faster.

Where do you think technology will take us over the next decade?

(This post originally appeared on the ISACA blog, which can be viewed here).

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