Attending Google I/O you can instantly feel the inspiration and visually see the excitement from the developers. I quickly learned that long gone are my days programming COBOL!?!?! Creativity runs wild at the event and while it is easy to get excited about the innovation that Google splashes around, I try to snap a business lens on everything I see so I can start matching Google with the top IT and business priorities ESG captures in our research. This involves some creative thinking, but here it goes.
Let’s first start with the most creative piece--I need to give credit to Corey Latislaw for tweeting these fascinating and accurate notes.
The first observation to call out is the potential impact Google has across any business and this is really the way companies should approach ideas and initiatives they have on their whiteboard. Let’s take, for instance, input. I admit there was a day I was fascinated by the mouse as an input device on my IBM PS/2, but boy have we made some progress. Google makes multi touch on tablets seem like a dinosaur technology. Vision and voice innovation are very alive within Google and there are many ways businesses can apply these innovations to top priorities, such as the goal of improved collaboration and communication: speaking commands to drive common tasks for employees, speaking search commands for efficient access to information across federated business systems, visually taking employees out of the office with VR (virtual reality) and AR (augmented reality) views of its customers, and ML (machine learning) techniques that utilize a camera lens to recognize people, places, and things.
And just as we were getting comfortable with mobile-first, Google CEO Sundar Pichai basically strikes that concept as he shifts to AI (artificial intelligence) first. This was demonstrated with simple concepts that can have significant impact inside businesses, like Gmail automated replies, proactive alerts through Google Home, and a rich set of resources for developers at Google.AI. The potential benefits for business are twofold - there are opportunities to gain efficiency in the workforce and in the quality of interactions with customers.
Underpinning all the fascinating innovation output is the Cloud TPU, Google’s 2nd-gen tensor processing unit designed for the enormous amount of computation required by machine learning. Without getting too nerdy here, the cloud TPU is a resource for developers that they can use alongside Intel Skylake CPUs and NVIDIA GPUs to design and build machine learning systems.I do think Google missed an opportunity at I/O to weave in a business message. I understand the audience is primarily developers, but businesses have some key cybersecurity challenges on their plate and it would have been an ideal opportunity to quickly address the issue and highlight the value of choosing Google to help. Google has a perception issue inside of enterprise IT that is likely tied to the consumer side of its business, but issues like privacy are something Google will want to address with IT and business executives as they establish awareness and potential footprints inside these businesses.