Interview: Terry Goodman, Intech Solutions
How has Australia coped with COVID-induced changes to operations and workplaces? Will things go back to a ‘new normal’ in 2022?
Australia quickly and effectively embraced a ‘work from home’ policy. A clear side effect of this was how we define a ‘team’.
In the past, a team was typically a group of people who worked together from the same location. Now, the ‘location’ aspect has diminished and teams are formed of people from anywhere. Not only have boundaries between staff in different locations diminished, but so have the boundaries between internal teams and vendors who now work much closer than in years gone by.
Online forms of communications have also changed the dynamics of team leadership. Introverts now have a greater voice than they did in the past, and the dynamics, and resulting output, of a team have generally benefited from more even contribution from team members.
We will return to offices as people tend towards human face-to-face interactions, but the expanded, more inclusive and cross-geographic composition of teams will remain.
Which new technologies will reach critical mass and become dominant in 2022?
Graph databases are rapidly gaining momentum, emerging from an origin of ‘connecting dots’ in law enforcement and intelligence agencies, to a data storage technology that enables the exploration of connections and relationships in a wide variety of contexts.
Graph databases work by storing the relationships along with the data. Instead of calculating and joining the relationship as relational databases must do, graph databases simply read the relationship from storage. Compared with relational databases, graph databases are often faster for associative datasets and map more directly to the structure of object-oriented applications. They can scale more naturally to large datasets as they do not typically need joint operations, which can often be expensive. Graph databases work best when the data you’re working with is highly connected and should be represented by how it links or refers to other data, typically by way of many-to-many relationships.
What is the major potential tech pain point that will face all organisations large and small in 2022?
Security. A distributed and highly connected workforce has increased the attack surface area available to be exploited, and at the same time, threat actors are ever increasing their sophistication. The need to go above and beyond to implement secure practices is no longer the exclusive realm of the ‘big end of town’, now every business big and small needs to protect themselves from criminal cyber gangs.
What’s on your tech wish list from governments, innovators and the wider industry in 2022?
Integrated single sign-on security and password management. We all have so many passwords to manage — our work logins, bank account details, social media profiles and many more, each with two-phase authentication, varying minimum strength password policies and enforced password expiries. We must not write down our passwords, but so many people do. Password safes are commonly used amongst IT professionals, but scarcely used by anyone else.
Government and industry can solve this problem. The Australian Government is rolling out its myGovID system that provides better single source authentication for government systems, but this needs to be expanded for whole of economy use. It is my personal wish that government and industry will partner closely to enable Trusted Digital Identity (see: digitalidentity.gov.au/have-your-say) to become a reality across government and all industries.
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