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Exciting Technologies Mueller asked each panelist to share the most exciting or transformational technology on their horizon. For Truesdale, it is completion of Wi-Fi infrastructure in every classroom and access to Chromebooks for students in grades 3 to 12. "We also have three magnet schools that teach robotic coding," she says, "and gamification is coming along nicely, as it pushes critical thinking skills." At Bhatnagar's company, organization- wide analytical solutions are big at the moment. But in his crystal ball, "how we take big data and advanced analytics to business problems will be transformative," he says. "The only way companies will build competitive advantage in coming years is through data," he continues. "We have exhausted marketing, outsourcing, Six Sigma, etc., to a large extent, but ML (Machine Learning) and AI (Artificial Intelligence) will show efficiency and effectiveness in times to come. Robotics and other technologies are elevating our standard and quality of life. I think the revolution has started." For Hughes, "one of the shifts at Brighthouse we are benefiting from is in service-delivery mechanisms. Instead of owning data centers or development resources, we will consume that from third-party providers." The breakthrough technology that excites him most, though, is analytics. "Insurance and financial services are already leveraging sophisticated analytics and big data," he "There will still be some highly specialized IT jobs, but cross-pollination between IT and business is becoming more critical." — Rishi Bhatnagar says, "and we are too, looking to evaluate risk more effectively and capitalize on that like others in our industry." Hiring IT Talent The skills of the panelists can be seen in their hiring practices. "I don't hire IT people," Bhatnagar stresses. "I want to hire business people who know IT. Every IT person today is first a business solutions provider, so they must understand business a lot more than they used to. There will still be some highly specialized IT jobs, but cross-pollination between IT and business is becoming more critical." Hughes concurs. "We are taking off-the- shelf software solutions to deploy within our organization, and the only way that is cost-effective is if the business can adapt to them. So, you must be able to translate between business and IT, and that means knowing what (and) how that business function operates, which is a tall order for people in those roles." Mueller interjected, "From our commercial real estate role as landlord of this corporate park, we empower employees to think that everyone must be a technologist," he says. "Understanding and translating between business needs and how you execute and put the technology in place allows you competitive advantage." Truesdale echoes his sentiment. "Everyone has to be a technologist. There isn't anybody who can exist in the 21st century and not be able to navigate and be confident in a tech world." BALLANTYNE SPRING 2018 76 Feature

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