ITKnowledgeExchange recently had the chance to talk to ITKE blogger, President of the Bradley Strategy Group and this month’s ‘featured blogger’ Tony Bradley. His blog, Tech Strategy Trends, helps business owners and IT administrators wade through marketing hype and navigate the rapidly changing tech landscape.
ITKE: Tell us a little bit about yourself: What do you do? What’s your area of expertise?
TB: I am a principal analyst with Bradley Strategy Group. I analyze and write about emerging trends in technology—with a particular focus on security, Microsoft, mobile devices, and social networks. As a tech writer, I keep in touch with new technologies, services, and devices, and try to keep readers informed in plain English terms that non-techies can relate to. As an analyst, I work with companies to help them make smarter decisions about their own investments in technology. As a marketing consultant, I work with companies to craft effective marketing content and deliver it to the right audience.
ITKE: If you weren’t working in IT, you’d be…
TB: That’s a great question. Pilot would be my first choice. As a teen I wanted to be a pilot, and I joined the Air Force with aspirations of becoming a pilot, but got…”distracted” with the sort of college fraternity lifestyle of just being in the Air Force. If I wasn’t a pilot, I’d probably be a performer. I could see myself in an acting or singing career—as if there aren’t thousands of people more talented than me who can’t get a break.
ITKE: Who’s one person you look up to in the IT world, and why?
TB: Living? I respect Aaron Levie, and what he’s been able to do with Box. I’ve had the pleasure of speaking with him personally on multiple occasions, and his vision is ambitious and infectious. Box is about much, much more than just storing some data online. If dead people are allowed, I’d have to go with Steve Jobs. Until recently I was staunchly pro-PC, and part of the irrational Apple-bashing crowd. Now that I’ve embraced the iPhone, iPad, and Mac OS X, I’ve gained more appreciation for Apple, and as I’ve learned more about Jobs, the man, I admire how he was able to get those around him to see his reality and how he made the impossible possible. He was the Walt Disney of the tech world.
ITKE: How to you see the future of IT developing over the next decade?
TB: First, I think the various platforms will matter less. There’s a new breed of technology—led by companies like Box—that transcends the device and operating system. Your experience, and your ability to access and sync will be constrained less and less by which vendor you choose. Second, although the comparison has become trite, our tech will be more and more like “Minority Report”. I’m not referring to Tom Cruise swiping his hands in mid-air to navigate windows a’ la Leap Motion. I’m talking more about the way information and ads sort of “knew” who people are, and delivered custom results. Things like Apple’s Siri, or Google Now will continue to evolve to become more intelligent, and more useful—more like Tony Stark’s “JARVIS” virtual assistant in the Iron Man movies.
TB: What advice would you give prospective IT workers (say college students)?
ITKE: Learn to program. I wish I had invested more time earlier in my life and career learning to program. You don’t have to become a developer per se, but having the foundation of understanding how program code works opens a lot of doors that you can’t open without that foundation. As a CISSP, I’d also say security is a good direction to go. Security in and of itself is very broad, but the bottom line is that there will always be a need for it.