Eight Industries That AI Will Change Forever

(courtesy of Forbes)

Companies handle a great deal of information every day, which can make it difficult to tease out trends or watch for sales opportunities. Artificial intelligence (AI) improvements are reducing that strain by automating data analysis, which can reduce costs as well as the time required to make decisions.

Recent AI technology developments mean that firms now have a chance to take advantage of stronger analysis automation in fields like shipping, travel, health care and even transportation. Below, executives from Forbes Technology Council highlight eight industries that will benefit most from artificial intelligence.

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  1. Internet Of Things

Consumer behavior can be studied and learned by artificial intelligence, thereby improving upon the production of consumer products for the internet of things industry. When deployed in homes and cars, this intelligence can learn more about humans and how they think and act, thereby helping the IoT devices’ response. – Chalmers Brown, Due

  1. Sales Automation Services

Rarely a day goes by where I don’t get an offer for lead-generation services. Sales automation companies like InsideSales.com are red hot now, and for good reason. There is definitely a need to improve the sales process, and if artificial intelligence can examine online behavior or profiles accurately to identify potential opportunities, then companies like mine would sign up for such services immediately. – Tim Maliyil, AlertBoot

  1. Virtual Assistants Artificial intelligence isn’t yet ready to replace the human element, which powers virtual assistant apps. However, AIs process mounds of data in seconds, helping to expedite and personalize the decisions that assistants make on behalf of their clients. The resulting efficiency and cost reduction would help such apps break out of the Silicon Valley bubble and enter the mainstream of average users. – Gurpreet Singh, TalkLocal
  2. SMB Tools

Firms with fewer than 500 employees make up 99.7% of all businesses in the U.S. When I look at the SMB landscape across all industries, I see a lot of opportunities for tech companies to put the very best tools in the hands of small-business owners. Artificial intelligence is no exception. Small-business owners don’t care how their software works, just that it works. – Timothy Chaves, ZipBooks

  1. Autonomous Transportation

The National Safety Council estimates 38,300 people were killed and 4.4 million injured on U.S. roads in 2015, which saw the largest one-year percentage increase in 50 years. With car accidents and car-related deaths on the rise in the U.S., the single most promising application of artificial intelligence is autonomous transportation. Computer-engineered driving will decrease accidents and deaths. – Scott Stiner, UM Technologies, LLC

  1. Shipping And Logistics

Aside from the obvious current conversation around artificial intelligence enabling self-driving cars, I would expect to see similar technologies employed to help solve challenges in shipping and logistics, such as space allocation in trucks/shipping containers, and the dynamic management of route systems to improve delivery times on the fly. – Robert Calise, CommunityCo

  1. Security Analysts While companies are leveraging AI for everything from fraud detection to self-driving cars, the security industry is especially primed for an AI-driven paradigm shift. In security, we need deep visibility into what is happening in the enterprise. This creates a vast amount of data – too much to be readable by humans in finite time. AI can help security analysts make better decisions faster. – Jamie Butler, Endgame
  2. Health Care

Health care will be the primary beneficiary of artificial intelligence. Good health is in everyone’s interests and, however they are funded, health-care costs are significant and unavoidable. The efficacy and efficiency that AI will bring to health care will enable us to trim costs, as well as improve outcomes, with all of us gaining better understanding and management of our personal health. – Matthew Russell, Digital Reasoning

Job Opportunity: IT Support Specialist

RS&H, Inc.

An Equal Opportunity Employer. All qualified applicants will receive consideration for employment without regard to race, color, religion, sex, sexual orientation, gender identity, national origin, or protected veteran status and will not be discriminated against on the basis of disability.

Please view Equal Employment Opportunity Posters provided by OFCCP here. (http://www.dol.gov/ofccp/regs/compliance/posters/ofccpost.htm )

The Company:

RS&H provides fully integrated architecture, engineering, and consulting services to help clients realize their most complex facility and infrastructure projects for land, air, and space. We are committed to bringing extraordinary solutions to our clients through the promise of imagination, ingenuity, and innovation. With a tradition of excellence that began in 1941, we are consistently ranked among the nation’s top 100 design firms. We attribute our success to an unwavering commitment to our core values of: integrity, quality service, business success and valuing associates.

The Team:
RS&H is currently seeking an IT Support Specialist.

The Opportunity:
We are expanding the role of our Service Desk and are looking for a talented IT Support Specialist with a focus on providing first call resolution while meeting customer satisfaction and continuous service delivery demands. The ideal candidate is interested in an opportunity to expand their skillset, learn new technologies, and to work as part of a dynamic team supporting end-user Information Technology needs. This role will collaboratively work with the business and other IT associates to provide day-to-day support for a wide range of applications and hardware across the enterprise.

Duties and Responsibilities:

  • Monitors helpdesk email, phone and ticketing system for incoming requests for assistance from associates and works with associates to identify relevant problem details.
  • Resolves incidents and service requests, including logging tickets in the tracking system to document incidents and manage the helpdesk ticket queue.
  • Troubleshoot, research, diagnose, document, and resolve technical issues surrounding Windows 7, Windows 8, Windows 10, MS Office applications, email, and other special applications.
  • Escalates problems to senior level staff when necessary.
  • Takes ownership of user problems and communicates progress in a timely manner.
  • Create new user accounts in various applications.
  • Provide Tier 1 support to Production applications (AutoCad, Revit, Microstation, etc.)
  • Performs configuration changes, updates and upgrades to systems and applications as directed.
  • Deploy and setup desktops, laptops, phones, and voicemail to new employees.
  • Other duties and projects as assigned by management.

Qualifications:

  • High School Diploma or equivalent required; Associate’s Degree preferred.
  • Preferred candidate will have relevant technical certifications such as A+, Network+, and/or MCSA.
  • 5+ years of experience working in Help Desk/support role.
  • A minimum of 5 years of experience supporting desktops, laptops, and mobile devices in a Microsoft Windows environment.
  • Strong working knowledge of Microsoft Windows with the ability to solve complex workstation issues.
  • Experience deploying software via Microsoft deployment tools
  • The ability to communicate effectively with employees throughout the firm.

Core Competencies :

In addition to the position’s skills, education and experience requirements, the following RS&H competencies are considered foundational to understanding performance, now and in the future.

• Teamwork

• Leadership

• Change Orientation

• Communication

• Ingenuity

• Client Focus

If this sounds like the role for you and you’re ready to join an amazing team, please apply.

Apply Here: http://www.Click2apply.net/3b25c2qst6

7 Technology Trends That Will Dominate 2017

Personally, I’m amazed at the technology we have available to us. It’s astounding to have the power to retrieve almost any information and communicate in a thousand different ways using a device that fits in your pocket.

There’s always something new on the horizon, and we can’t help but wait and wonder what technological marvels are coming next.

The way I see it, there are seven major tech trends we’re in store for in 2017. If you’re eyeing a sector in which to start a business, any of these is a pretty good bet. If you’re already an entrepreneur, think about how you can leverage these technologies to reach your target audience in new ways.

1. IoT and Smart Home Tech.

We’ve been hearing about the forthcoming revolution of the Internet-of-Things (IoT) and resulting interconnectedness of smart home technology for years. So what’s the holdup? Why aren’t we all living in smart, connected homes by now? Part of the problem is too much competition, with not enough collaboration—there are tons of individual appliances and apps on the market, but few solutions to tie everything together into a single, seamless user experience. Now that bigger companies already well-versed in uniform user experiences (like Google, Amazon, and Apple) are getting involved, I expect we’ll see some major advancements on this front in the coming year.

2. AR and VR.

We’ve already seen some major steps forward for augmented reality (AR) and virtual reality (VR) technology in 2016. Oculus Rift was released, to positive reception, and thousands of VR apps and games followed. We also saw Pokémon Go, an AR game, explode with over 100 million downloads. The market is ready for AR and VR, and we’ve already got some early-stage devices and tech for these applications, but it’s going to be next year before we see things really take off. Once they do, you’ll need to be ready for AR and VR versions of practically everything—and ample marketing opportunities to follow.

3. Machine Learning.

Machine learning has taken some massive strides forward in the past few years, even emerging to assist and enhance Google’s core search engine algorithm. But again, we’ve only seen it in a limited range of applications. Throughout 2017, I expect to see machine learning updates emerge across the board, entering almost any type of consumer application you can think of, from offering better recommended products based on prior purchase history to gradually improving the user experience of an analytics app. It won’t be long before machine learning becomes a kind of “new normal,” with people expecting this type of artificial intelligence as a component of every form of technology.

4. Automation.

Marketers will be (mostly) pleased to learn that automation will become a bigger mainstay in and throughout 2017, with advanced technology enabling the automation of previously human-exclusive tasks. We’ve had robotic journalists in circulation for a couple of years now, and I expect it won’t be long before they make another leap into more practical types of articles. It’s likely that we’ll start seeing productivity skyrocket in a number of white-collar type jobs—and we’ll start seeing some jobs disappear altogether. When automation is combined with machine learning, everything can improve even faster, so 2017 has the potential to be a truly landmark year.

5. Humanized Big Data. (visual, empathetic, qualitative)

Big data has been a big topic for the past five years or so, when it started making headlines as a buzzword. The idea is that mass quantities of gathered data—which we now have access to—can help us in everything from planning better medical treatments to executing better marketing campaigns. But big data’s greatest strength—its quantitative, numerical foundation—is also a weakness. In 2017, I expect we’ll see advancements to humanize big data, seeking more empathetic and qualitative bits of data and projecting it in a more visualized, accessible way.

6. Physical-Digital Integrations.

Mobile devices have been slowly adding technology into our daily lives. It’s rare to see anyone without a smartphone at any given time, giving us access to practically infinite information in the real-world. We already have things like site-to-store purchasing, enabling online customers to buy and pick up products in a physical retail location, but the next level will be even further integrations between physical and digital realities. Online brands like Amazon will start having more physical products, like Dash Buttons, and physical brands like Walmart will start having more digital features, like store maps and product trials.

7. Everything On-Demand.

Thanks to brands like Uber (and the resulting madness of startups built on the premise of being the “Uber of ____”), people are getting used to having everything on demand via phone apps. In 2017, I expect this to see this develop even further. We have thousands of apps available to us to get rides, food deliveries, and even a place to stay for the night, but soon we’ll see this evolve into even stranger territory.

Anyone in the tech industry knows that making predictions about the course of technology’s future, even a year out, is an exercise in futility. Surprises can come from a number of different directions, and announced developments rarely release as they’re intended.

Still, it pays to forecast what’s coming next so you can prepare your marketing strategies (or your budget) accordingly. Whatever the case may be, it’s still fun to think about everything that’s coming next.

Source: http://www.forbes.com/sites/jaysondemers/2016/11/16/7-technology-trends-that-will-dominate-2017/#984b93d1b2aa

3 reasons to get a Microsoft certification

October 25, 2016

The world of IT is a constantly shifting landscape. Technologies and the companies that provide them come and go, but there are few powerhouses quite like Microsoft. This organization has survived crashes and tech bubbles for one main reason: They make quality products.

Businesses know this, and it’s why Microsoft’s wide variety of products and services are used by these institutions on a regular basis. What’s more, many organizations will often associate this reputation for reliability and effectiveness with a person who has obtained a Microsoft certification.

On that note, let’s take a look at some of the work Microsoft has done, and what that means for someone willing to put in the work toward receiving a certification.

1. Microsoft is at the forefront of innovation

“Microsoft’s success stems from its ability to stay current.”

Microsoft’s success stems from its ability to stay current with what consumers and entire enterprises need out of their technology. At the moment, this translates to a more efficient use of the Azure cloud platform. While this service has been gaining a lot of ground on Amazon Web Services, a recent development may help increase the service’s market size even more.

GeekWire’s Dan Richman reported that the Microsoft Azure cloud will be previewing what the company is calling Analysis Services. Basically, this new feature allows companies to take information gathered from multiple sources – including Microsoft, Oracle and Teradata – and extrapolate conclusions from it. Unlike other analytical tools, this enables businesses to access information from all kinds of sources, which allows for a lot of data diversity.

2. Office 365 is a success

The Microsoft Office line of products has always been a major part of conducting business. However, with a switch to a subscription model with a cloud-based platform, the company is seeing a massive uptick in Office 365 purchases.

To begin with, average consumers have really begun to sink their teeth into this technology. A chart posted on The Motley Fool showed that Q1 2016 Office 365 subscriptions are nearly three times higher than they were at the same time in 2015.

At the same time, Microsoft has begun to make Office 365 more appealing for enterprise clients. The company has already started making smarter features for the product.

3. The company is poised for continued greatness

What’s more, it looks like Microsoft’s success is going to keep on rolling. The company opened stock trading at more than $60 per share on Oct. 21, 2016, according to CNN. This is a record high for the company, which hasn’t happened since 1999. Clearly, Microsoft’s past work has started to catch up with it, and there’s been no better time than now to ride this wave of success.

Regardless of if you go with Microsoft technical certifications such as in the Azure cloud or a more generalized Microsoft Office certification, you’ll know that you have working knowledge pertaining to one of the best technology companies out there right now. New Horizons Computer Learning Centers can help get you the training and skills you need to have a successful career.

Source: http://www.newhorizons.com/resources/article/articleid/40143235/title/3-reasons-to-get-a-microsoft-certification

New Horizons Named One of the Top 20 IT Training Companies

November 2, 2016

Conshohocken, PA — November 3, 2016 New Horizons Computer Learning Centers today announced that it is named as one of the top 20 IT training companies on TrainingIndustry.com’s annual Top 20 IT Training Companies List. We’ve been honored with this designation for the past seven years in a row.

This year, the Top 20 IT Training Companies List was based on the following criteria:

  • Leadership and innovation in IT training
  • Breadth of IT training and delivery methods offered
  • Company size and growth potential
  • Quality and number of clients/users
  • Geographic reach
  • Awards, recognition and competitive differentiation

“The 2016 Top IT Training Companies List recognizes the most prominent names in IT training,” said Ken Taylor, President, Training Industry, Inc. “We found that these companies provide some of the highest quality corporate training available, often adapting their offerings to meet the specific training needs of their customers.”

“We are proud to receive the recognition as a Top IT Training Company by TrainingIndustry.com again. New Horizons strives to deliver the highest quality of training and comprehensive capabilities to our millions of clients around the world and we are proud to see that our efforts are being recognized,” said Shelley Morris, EVP and chief strategy officer of New Horizons.

About Training Industry, Inc.
Training Industry spotlights the latest news, articles, case studies and best practices within the training industry. The company publishes the annual Training Industry Top 20 and Training Industry Watch List reports covering many sectors of interest to the corporate training function. Our focus is on helping dedicated businesses and training professionals get the information, insight and tools needed to more effectively manage the business of learning.

About New Horizons Computer Learning Centers
New Horizons helps businesses advance by upgrading people. New Horizons IT and Business Training solutions have kept businesses—from startups to global enterprises—ahead of the technology curve for over 30 years. With 300 learning centers in 70 countries around the world, New Horizons provides measurable return on any company’s training investment while our learning methods meet the styles, demands and schedules of management and employees. New Horizons combines the resources of the world’s largest IT training company with the responsiveness of a local partner. New Horizons is certified as a Microsoft Partner with a Gold Learning competency, Cisco Partner for Learning Solutions, CompTIA Authorized Partner, IBM Authorized Training Provider and VMware Authorized Training Center. For more information, visit our global website at www.newhorizons.com.

###Media Contact:
Mark Tucker
Vice President, Marketing
New Horizons Computer Learning Centers
(714) 940-8000
mark.tucker@newhorizons.com

 

Source: http://www.newhorizons.com/resources/article/articleid/16/title/new-horizons-named-one-of-the-top-20-it-training-companies

Google Fiber Project Delayed Indefinitely

(courtesy of the Florida Times-Union)

Plans to bring Google Fiber to Jacksonville are on hold, opening a window for their competitors such as Comcast and AT&T to get even more aggressive on expanding their high-speed internet service on the First Coast.

Google’s parent company is halting operations and laying off staff in a number of cities where it once hoped to bring high-speed internet access by installing new fiber-optic networks.

The company also announced that Craig Barratt, a veteran tech executive who led the ambitious — and expensive — Google Fiber program, is stepping down as CEO of Access, the division of Google corporate parent, Alphabet Inc., that operates the 5-year-old program.

In a statement, Barratt said Google Fiber will continue to provide service in a handful of cities where it’s already operating, including Atlanta; Austin, Texas; and Charlotte, N.C.

The company will put further plans on hold in at least eight more metropolitan areas where it’s been in exploratory talks with local officials. Those include Jacksonville; Dallas; Tampa; Los Angeles; Oklahoma City; Phoenix; Portland, Ore.; and San Jose, Calif.

Jill Szuchmacher, who was director of expansion of Google Fiber, said last year the company would not seek incentives, subsidies or tax breaks from Jacksonville if the city agreed to allow the installation of the fiber-optic network. The company saw Jacksonville as a valuable market that has fostered a “growing tech-hub” and is developing an entrepreneurial business community.

Susie Wiles is the Jacksonville liaison for Google as the company is a client of her government affairs firm Ballard Partners. She introduced Google Fiber’s concept to many Jacksonville government, business and civic leaders.

Wiles said she was told by Google Fiber that they’d pause the proposed Jacksonville project before the company announced it publicly. She said she’s confident the company will return to finish the Jacksonville network.

“I take it completely at face value that it is a pause,” Wiles said. “It’s my belief that if there is new and better technology coming down the pike… it makes perfect sense to me why they would hit that ‘pause’ button.”

Wiles acknowledged Google Fiber officials were impressed by the welcome presented by Jacksonville leaders a year ago who essentially cheered the proposed fiber optic network and unveiled the plans at a City Hall news conference anchored by Mayor Lenny Curry.

“I’m hopeful and optimistic that they’ll be cheering it on again soon,” Wiles said. “The very nature of the technology industry is that it’s dynamic. I think this is just reflective of that.”

Requests for reaction from the mayor’s office went unanswered Wednesday.

Angela Mattia an associate professor and chairwoman of the information management department at Jacksonville University, said she’s not so sure Google Fiber can halt plans on a major proposal and return to it later.

“I think it’s in serious doubt. You don’t see Google do that very often. Once they change direction, they’re off into a new thing,” Mattia said.

Google announced plans for the fiber optic infrastructure for Jacksonville a year ago as a flurry of other companies announced similar plans.

Comcast and AT&T already had started similar projects because much of their networks were already in place.

Mindy Kramer, a Comcast spokeswoman, said the company declined comment on the Google move. Her company is moving ahead with plans for internet improvements in Jacksonville.

“We have an extensive fiber network already in place as part of our network infrastructure in Jacksonville,” Kramer said in an email Wednesday. “It’s what has enabled us to offer multi-gig speeds to residential customers via our Gigabit Pro product that was announced this past April.”

Gigabit Pro is a 2 Gigabit-per-second service delivered by fiber optics to homes, she said. That service is already available in Florida cities including Miami, Fort Lauderdale, West Palm Beach and Jacksonville.

AT&T officials also declined to comment on theGoogle Fiber delay.

But AT&T spokeswoman Rosie Montalvo also said that company is well into high speed broadband expansion in dozens of cities and Jacksonville’s service is already in place.

“We’re focused on our plan,” she said, adding 75,000 customers already are using the highest speeds of AT&T 1 Gigabit service in the Jacksonville area. “We’re certainly positioned in Jacksonville as a gigabit provider.

“We plan to deliver this internet service to more locations in Jacksonville. We’ve already launched in 40 metropolitan areas and we plan on doing 67 and Jacksonville is part of that,” Montalvo said.

Google Fiber announced last October it was beginning to negotiate with Jacksonville to establish the cable infrastructure system to provide speeds of up to 1 gigabit per second. That’s about 1,000 megabits per second and is much faster than average broadband services that provide about 12 megabits per second.

For an internet user, that means they could download about 25 music song files in one second with the Google Fiber speeds.

With Google Fiber now out of the way — even if it’s a temporary delay — Mattia said it appears the company’s faltering is unique to Google and AT&T and Comcast will only grow bolder.

“AT&T and Comcast have been into the whole telecommunications end of it and Google hasn’t,” Mattia said. “They [Google] also are very quick to change direction when they need to.”

Related: Google Fiber begins negotiations to lay super-fast Internet network in Jacksonville

A recent report by tech news site The Information said the business was under pressure by Alphabet CEO Larry Page to cut costs after failing to meet financial goals, including a target of signing up 5 million subscribers.

Mattia was quick to point out she believes the Google Fiber delay is unique to Google and the disruption of the plan is not representative of the industry. It also does not reflect negatively on Jacksonville which was selected by Google for its growing technology industry.

“I think it’s irrelevant to Jacksonville’s profile. If we were the only city that didn’t move forward, I would say then we should think about it,” Mattia said. “What we’re seeing is that they [Google] just stopped in their tracks moving forward.’

Third of knowledge workers expect their jobs to be computerized in five years

Knowledge workers realise their jobs will either change dramatically or disappear as the result of new technology, according to research

Over a third (35%) of knowledge workers don’t think their roles will exist in five years as a result of technology advancement.

While artificial intelligence and automation software is seen as the biggest threat to roles carried out by people, collaboration technology will also have an impact.

This is according to research from Atos’s communications and collaboration unit Unify, which surveyed 9,000 knowledge workers – people who “have to think for a living” – in the US, UK and Germany.

The Way we work study also revealed that 65% of knowledge workers expect their roles to change in five years. It found that technology is changing working habits and styles, with 52% of knowledge workers more regularly working in virtual teams across different locations.

Of these workers, 42% think virtual teams can be more effective than face-to-face teams, while 49% said their company operates through technology and communication rather than through offices and locations.

Using technology enables workers to collaborate with more people, and 36% of those surveyed said creative thinking is one of the biggest benefits of this.

“Today, knowledge workers have an unrivalled freedom in how they connect and engage with each other. This has been provided to them, by and large, through technology,” said Unify CEO Jon Pritchard.

“The Way we work study shows the significant impact that technology, the trend of digital transformation and the on-demand economy is currently having on the workplace. It’s our belief that knowledge workers will increasingly want to define how, when and where they work.”

In 2013 research, Carl Benedikt Frey and Michael A Osborne estimated the probability of computerisation for 702 detailed occupations. The study – The future of employment: How susceptible are jobs to computerisation? – listed the jobs and, using a methodology, estimated the probability of their computerization.

See from the list below whether your job is at risk of being taken over by a computer (0% = non-computerisable, 100% = computerisable).

  • Telemarketers – 99%
  • Accountants and auditors – 94%
  • Retail salespeople – 92%
  • Word processors and typists – 8%
  • Machinists – 65%
  • Commercial pilots – 55%
  • Actors – 37%
  • Firefighters – 17%
  • Chemical engineers – 2%
  • Recreational therapists – 0.3%

Link:  http://www.computerweekly.com/news/4500278356/Third-of-knowledge-workers-expect-their-jobs-to-be-computerised-in-five-years

This isn’t crying wolf: Machines will take white-collar jobs during the next administration

In this series, professionals provide advice for the next U.S. president. What do you want POTUS focused on? Write your own #nextpresident post here.

Dear Madam / Mr. President:

Over fifty years ago, in March 1964, a document known as the “Triple Revolution Report” landed on the desk of your predecessor, Lyndon Johnson. That report, written by a prominent group of intellectuals that included two Nobel laureates, argued that the United States was on the brink of dramatic social and economic disruption as rapidly advancing industrial automation technology was poised to throw millions out of work.

Needless to say, that dire prediction did not come to pass. However, there are good reasons to believe that technology has finally advanced to the point where such concerns need to be taken seriously. The fear that machines might displace workers and create unemployment has a long history, and because the alarm has been prematurely sounded so many times in the past, there is a real danger that a “little boy who cried wolf” effect will leave us complacent and unprepared if and when the disruption finally arrives.

Recent advances in artificial intelligence and robotics suggest that it is entirely possible that a significant impact on the job market could begin to unfold during the course of your presidency. The most important thing to understand about all this progress is that computers no longer have to be programmed step-by-step. Machine learning—a technology that involves smart algorithms churning through vast amounts of data—in effect allows computers figure out for themselves how to perform tasks or reach specific goals.

The recent triumph of Google’s DeepMind technology at learning to play the ancient game of “Go” and then triumphing against one of the world’s best players was an especially vivid demonstration of the technology, but, in fact, machine learning is already in widespread use across both industries and occupations. Smart algorithms have already displaced lawyers and paralegals who once reviewed documents as part of the legal discovery process. An increasing number of news articles published my major U.S. media companies are being generated autonomously by systems that analyze data and create content that is often indistinguishable from a story written by a human journalist. Machine learning is also powering the latest generation of robots, and the machines are rapidly becoming more flexible and dexterous.

As technology continues to accelerate, the number and types of jobs that can be automated is certain to expand dramatically. It’s not just factory workers that can be replaced by robots and machines: Rapidly improving software automation and specialized artificial intelligence applications will make knowledge worker and professional occupations requiring college educations and advanced skills increasingly vulnerable. This demonstrated capability for information technology to climb the skills ladder and threaten the jobs taken by college graduates is a special cause for concern because it calls into question the only conventional solution we have to offer workers displaced by automation: ever more training and education.

If technology eventually results in wide-spread unemployment, or if it drives down wages for the majority of workers as jobs are deskilled and commoditized, then we could also run into a serious problem with consumer demand. Jobs are the primary mechanism that gets purchasing power into the hands of consumers so that they buy the products and services generated by the economy. If automation has a negative impact on consumer demand and confidence, then we run the risk of economic stagnation or even a downward, deflationary spiral.

While these concerns may seem either far-fetched science fiction or a return to the Ludditism we’ve experienced in the past, many of us in the technology community believe the risk is real–and that it deserves serious consideration. At a time when our political system is intensely polarized and seems unable to respond to even the most mundane challenges, the prospect of a dramatic and unanticipated economic and social disruption is not sometime we can afford to take lightly.

If the automation of jobs proves to be a relentless trend, then there will eventually be no alternative but to consider unconventional solutions–perhaps including a guaranteed basic income for all Americans. Needless to say, the implementation of such policies would present a staggering political challenge. Given that there is no reliable way to predict when the disruption will occur, or how fast it will unfold, it is imperative that planning begin well in advance. A logical first step would be to initiate some experimental pilot programs designed to test various policy responses. The data generated by these programs would be invaluable in eventually crafting an effective national policy to adapt our economy and society to the implications of disruptive technology.

I urge you to consider including among those who staff your new administration experts who are familiar with recent advances in artificial intelligence and robotics and with the potential economic and social impact of these technologies, and who are prepared to initiate the planning process.

Martin Ford is the Author of Rise of the Robots: Technology and the Threat of a Jobless Future, winner of the 2015 Financial Times and McKinsey Business Book of the Year Award.

Source:  https://www.linkedin.com/pulse/isnt-crying-wolf-machines-take-white-collar-jobs-during-martin-ford

What’s it like being an IT director?

IT DIRECTORS SERVE AS A PRIMARY POINT OF CONTACT BETWEEN THE PROFESSIONALS IN THE IT DEPARTMENT AND THOSE IN OPERATIONS, BUSINESS, CUSTOMER SERVICE, SALES, AND OTHER AREAS.

Information technology (IT) directors are in demand across many industries. These tech-minded individuals are responsible for managing computer resources so that a company’s IT systems are well-maintained and carefully protected. IT directors are at the top of the IT department, overseeing managers and staff members. They both coordinate and implement the systems and services that keep essential information and technology solutions available to the rest of the organization.

IT directors serve as a primary point of contact between the professionals in the IT department and those in operations, business, customer service, sales, and other areas. The specific responsibilities assigned to the IT director will vary by industry, and a solid knowledge of the particular sector a company is in important for IT directors to fill their roles.

What Can You Expect from an IT Director Job?

Responsibilities

IT directors are responsible for resolving the issues that naturally arise from any type of business technology. Some of the common responsibilities that you may find in an IT director job description include:

  • Organizing programs to increase efficiency
  • Overseeing technical projects that are designed to improve upon or achieve business goals
  • Directing networks to improve efficiency
  • Collaborating with information engineers to solve management problems
  • Supervising managers and employees in the IT department
  • Creating financial budgets for senior executives
  • Researching new products and keeping up with the latest technology innovations
  • Recommending new systems and software to senior executives
  • Organizing and implementing disaster recovery systems
  • Collaborating with information engineers to solve business challenges
  • Identifying market opportunities in IT

Work Environment

Are you asking what does an IT director do? IT directors can work in a range of industries and job sectors. In today’s economy, nearly every company relies on some type of technology as part of their operations. Finance, insurance, information, management, and manufacturing are some of the most common industries for IT directors, but you can find top IT jobs in many other areas as well.

Schedule

IT directors typically work a regular full-time schedule. While their most common hours may adhere loosely to a traditional nine to five schedule, it’s not uncommon for these professionals to put in a lot of overtime. The Bureau of Labor Statistics reported that about 40 percent of computer and information systems managers worked more than 40 hours a week in 2014. This was also true of about half of top executives.

Schedules will often vary from week to week or seasonally for IT directors. They’re more likely to put in overtime when business is going through a busy period which will put added strain on the company. For retail companies, this might be around the holiday, while businesses focused on tourism will see an added strain on their IT systems during summer vacation or spring break.

What Qualifications Are Required to Be an IT Director?

Education

IT directors need to have a strong background in a technical field. They’re normally required to have a minimum of a bachelor’s degree in a related area. Some applicable degrees may include:

  • Information Technology
  • Technology Management
  • Business Management

There are many courses that you should include in your education to gain the knowledge necessary to become an IT director. You’ll need a strong foundation in information technology to serve as the core of your education. Important IT courses will typically include:

  • Computer interface
  • Database management technology
  • Business applications
  • Information systems
  • Operating systems
  • Web design
  • Systems analysis
  • Project management
  • Computer architecture
  • Technical wiring
  • Software development
  • Global information management

In addition to an extensive knowledge of information technology, you may also need an MBA and solid business background to secure a position as an IT director. With an MBA, you’ll gain additional insights into organizational management, leadership, and business practices.

Depending on the job you’re applying for, you may need more education specific to a particular operating system or program, such as Office365, Amazon Web Services, or cloud computing.

Experience

IT directors typically have an extensive background in both information technology and leadership positions. The most common career path is for one to begin as a lower level IT employee. With a few years of experience, you may progress to a management position. Many companies will hire lower level IT managers with only a few years of experience. To secure a promotion to IT director, you typically need five to ten years of management experience in an IT field.

Skills

While a solid knowledge base is one of the most important things to establish when you want a career as an IT director, there are also several valuable skill sets you may need to possess. Just what is an IT director? This professional is someone with a well-rounded skill set in several key areas. Cultivate these skills as early as possible in your professional journey and you’ll be well-placed and ideally equipped for a position as an IT director down the road.

  • Analytical Skills – IT directors must understand how to assess a situation quickly and efficiently. Down times can spell disaster for any business, so directors in this area must have a quick plan for recovery.
  • Business Skills – As a director, it’s important that you understand how all aspects of the business are managed. This will help you best position your department to collaborate effectively with others in the company.
  • Leadership Skills – IT directors are at the head of their department, and are responsible for both managers and other employees beneath them. They need to know how to motivate and direct efficiently.
  • Organizational Skills – IT directors have a lot on their plate at any given time. It’s important for them to understand how to prioritize and organize everything that they’re dealing with.
  • Communication Skills – Strong communication skills are important in any IT field. Not everyone that you work with will be proficient in information technology, so you need to know how to communicate both in technical terms with your peers, and using more common terminology for those in other departments.
  • Technical Aptitude – Technical systems are changing all the time. While it’s useful to have an in-depth knowledge of a particular program right now, this may become obsolete in a year’s time. It’s more important that you have a natural aptitude for adapting to and understanding new technology.

Salary Expectations

How much do IT directors make? According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, the median annual salary for computer and information system managers was $131,600 in May 2015. Those who worked in information industries had the highest salary, at $148,070. Those in computer systems design and related services had a salary of $139,600 while IT managers in finance and insurance earned $136,240. Overall, computer and information system managers made less than $80,160 in the bottom ten percent and more than $187,200 in the top ten percent.

Job Outlook for an IT Director

Projected Growth

The job outlooks is favorable for professionals in most technical fields. The Bureau of Labor Statistics reports that computer and information systems managers can expect a projected growth of 15 percent over the 2014 to 2024 decade. Meanwhile, job growth for operations specialties managers is projected at just seven percent, which is the same as the total growth anticipated for all occupations over this period.

This growth is the result of many increasing needs in this area. Retail establishments need a growing force of trained IT professionals to help them keep customer information and financial activity safe and secure. The healthcare industry is expected to pursue extensive growth in information technology as new technical programs and products become available to consumers in this area.

Career Trajectory

An IT director position is the pinnacle for many career paths. This goal is typically achieved after spending many years working up the ladder of lower and upper management positions. There are only a few positions that are higher up the ladder. Depending on your ultimate goal for career-life balance, you may find that a job as an IT director is satisfactory to hold until retirement.

However, if you do want to progress beyond this role, your best option is a job as a CTO. A company’s chief technology officer is responsible for overseeing all technical aspects of the business. This includes establishing the company’s overall vision for its technical departments and its strategic direction for development and growth. You typically need a minimum of ten years’ experience in upper management, such as IT director, to land a position as a CTO.

You may also find fulfilling career advancement from a move to another business. As an IT director for a small company, you may have only minimal challenges and a small team to work with. By advancing to a fortune 500 or Fortune 100 company, you could greatly increase your salary while also obtaining a more challenging and satisfying job.

IT directors carry out a vital role that will only increase in importance as companies become more reliant on the technical aspects of business management and customer service in nearly every industry.

Source:  http://advice.careerbuilder.com/posts/whats-it-like-being-an-it-director

Job Opportunity: Programmer Analyst III

Company:     Winn Dixie

Title:    Programmer Analyst III  Job Number 16007138

Job Overview:  The programmer analyst III is responsible for analyzing, understanding and translating business needs into business/technical requirements. This position will analyze, design and develop information systems as well as act as subject matter expert in respective technology.  In addition, the programmer analyst III will lead a variety of projects and provide guidance to junior associates,

Primary Responsibilities:

  • Ensure compliance with project management office (PMO) standards, procedures        and Sarbanes Oxley.
  • Design, code, test, and implement complex programs and packages.
  • Develop appropriate programs and systems documentation according to established.
  • IT standards.
  • Coordinate analyses necessary to identify viable solution alternatives, create technical documents, high level solution designs and work estimates.
  • Conduct systems tests monitor results and take required corrective actions as needed.
  • Help support/manage systems during deployment and pilot until effective transition has occurred to the support teams.
  • Provide training on respective system or technology solutions to team members and   business partners.
  • Participate in structured walkthroughs and technical reviews.
  • Promote and use the company standard systems development life cycle (SDLC)          methodologies.
  • Define appropriate technology deployment strategies to increase organization’s          maturity in tool use.
  • Provide technical consultation in new systems development, new package system       evaluations, and enhancement of existing systems and participating in structured      walkthroughs and technical reviews.
  • Select appropriate tools to develop systems and software.
  • Make tough decisions with minimal direction; act as a coach and influence tactical      direction.
  • Provide work effort estimation and project risks to the project manager on respective projects.
  • Deploy and support vendor packaging, designing and building interface around it.
  • Lead system changes including the coordination of cross-functional business           resources, testing, training, communication, implementation and documentation.
  • Lead design on given functional specifications, produce software deliverables and       assist in post implementation support and enhancements.
  • Lead the identification of software implementation and use best practices, document guidelines and procedures and train the organization on the software applications.
  • Provide technical direction in systems analysis, design and development in          coordination with enterprise architects and/or solution architects.
  • Evaluate and coordinate vendor product demonstrations to meet business customer  needs.
  • Interface with and make presentations to business partner management and peer       groups on complex issues.
  • Perform other job-related duties as assigned.

For more information and to apply for this job go to  https://winndixie.taleo.net