Interview with Anthony Bartolo, Sr. Cloud Advocate at Microsoft
Born – First generation Canadian (Toronto, Canada) with a Maltese background.
Studied / Education background – Studied Computer Engineering while completing an apprenticeship as an auto mechanic.
Current role / bio – Sr. Cloud Advocate – Connecting people, places and things for the enablement of everyone.
Who do you work for and what does your role entail?
As a Sr. Cloud Advocate for Microsoft’s Engineering organisation, my job is to listen to the IT professional community regarding the challenges they face. I then share that insight with engineering to help them create better services to further enable said community. I also share what I learn from the community with the community worldwide so that everyone can benefit.
What’s been your biggest work achievement of the last 12 months?
I am currently part of an on-going project with the Missing Children Society of Canada to help harness technology to help find kids. The project, an open source solution , has now been expanded to the UK for adoption.
What is the biggest challenge facing the industry?
Many organisations are diving headfirst into adopting technology without understanding the opportunity or problem they face that needs to be addressed first. Lack of communication between the business decision maker, IT professional and developers that support the organisation in question. This makes the challenge worse as everyone tries to implement their own ideas without consulting what the other party is trying to accomplish.
What’s the best piece of advice you have ever been given?
Communication and fully understanding an organisations need for future growth trumps any ability to adopt shiny new technology. One’s team needs to be part of the business otherwise said team becomes a cost centre.
What are your predictions for the IT industry for 2019/20 or beyond?
IT professional on-premises experience (deployment, management and security) will increasingly become more in demand as new solutions are adopted by organisations worldwide. It is amazing the amount of architectural and security expertise that is required to properly adopt solutions that include machine learning, IoT and general cloud adoption. Great opportunity for IT professionals that do require more communication with the rest of the business to achieve this.
How do you perceive the hype around AI, a big concern ethically or a huge opportunity?
Many feel that “rubbing a little AI” on any solution will make it successful. AI has many moving parts (Machine Learning, Edge Computing, Cognitive Services, etc) and can be a benefit if adopted correctly to address a defined opportunity or problem.
Planning and communication are key and require all parties that support an organisation to implement properly. Fully understanding the opportunity or problem this addresses will also ensure best efforts to ensure ethical breaches do not occur.
What do you think is going to be the next big technology development? Quantum Computing? Smart Robots?
We have only scratched the surface on AI adoption. As we better understand AI’s possibilities, we will see better support of computing (Quantum Computing), data streams (IoT, Sensors, historical data, etc), and outputs (Smart IoT / Robots) fuelled by our own creativity to address opportunities and problems.
Join Anthony's session 'Future of Computing: Harnessing AI to Help Save Lives' which is taking place on Thursday 10 October at 2:00-2:45pm in the AI & Data Analytics X Keynote Theatre.
Anthony will also be speaking on a panel 'How will data collected from IoT devices allow for further strategic insights?' which is taking place on Thurday 10 October at 3:30pm-4:15pm in the AI & Data Analytics X Keynote Theatre.
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