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Google Cloud Next ‘23 Recap | Pythian

PythianTeam GCN23-1

I first attended Google Cloud NEXT in 2016, and since then, the conference has grown > 10x in attendees, moved to a bigger venue and expanded well beyond the application and infrastructure offerings of the early days on the Google Cloud Platform. That first year, I was lucky enough to be on a main stage speaking about deploying applications into GCP to support more efficient farm and field operations for a major agriculture provider. Those early days of cloud were all about building distributed applications, effective network topologies, and data protection. I am not sure at that time I could have even imagined where we would be in 2023 in our discussions about applications of AI in nearly every facet of our daily personal & professional routine.
This year was the move from cloud as a tool to cloud as a must-have enabler. GCP brings a scale that when combined with the integration across many diverse and complex services, has allowed us to arrive where we are today with AI being available across infrastructure operations, database operations and embedded in multiple diverse data consumption tools already in-use across our enterprises. Each category brought a range of new capabilities to improve efficiency and accuracy in how data is consumed to make more impactful decisions.

Infrastructure Operations

  • Threat Hunting with AI - The announcement of Mandiant Hunt brings an advanced level of augmentation for infosec teams looking to identify threats earlier, assess potential impacts and identify strategies for protection and remediation.
  • Cloud TPU v5e from NVIDIA - As we continue to generate more data and look to retrain complex models more often to ensure recommendations and outputs are accurate reflections of the evolving world around us, we must have scalable compute capability that provides high bandwidth connectivity to memory, storage, networking and traditional CPUs. These NVIDIA TPUs are the most advanced in their category, providing data science teams access to larger computing capabilities than ever before, optimized for modern model training and valuation.
  • Security Command Center - Agent-less vulnerability scanning provides an advanced level of protection without the overhead of agent management or risk of missed agent installation. The increased visibility into our environment ensures broad analysis of application behavior for identification of threats of malicious actors probing your infrastructure.

Operational & Analytical Database Operations

  • BigQuery Studio - The handoff between different teams supporting analytical insights can often include Data Engineers, Data Scientists, and Business Analysts all working from different tools. This handoff introduces risk for bad data, misinterpretations or delays. With the introduction of BigQuery Studio teams can collaborate across different stages of producing analytical insights using a single tool. BigQuery studio brings enterprise level controls for access to data products, models and outputs.
  • Application Integration - Modern analytical insights require rich data from many different sources being continually updated. The introduction of Application Integration brings an iPaaS model with 90+ pre-built connectors spanning common applications and databases. This is a huge step toward simplifying data acquisition for later analysis and modeling.
  • Duet AI for Database Migration Services - Database migrations can be extremely complex, and project success is often only ensured by having an experienced team manage complexity and unknowns. Duet AI brings an intelligent assistant to augment teams during planning and code conversation to decrease risk and time for database migrations.

Empowering People With Data

  • Duet AI in Google Workspace - Individuals across all organizations invest a large percentage of their time writing new documents, often including content they have reviewed or accessed in other forums. This time consuming process of summarization or integration of data takes away from an individual’s ability to add creativity to their content and output. Duet AI increased productivity by automating formatting of data, structuring documents for specific voice tone and verifying accuracy of facts.
  • Duet AI in Looker - The Looker product teams announced the public preview of Duet AI capabilities, bringing the ability to ask questions using natural language that becomes rich dashboards and graphics to understand business performance.
  • Codey - Codey brings AI to the software engineer’s toolbox, providing recommendations on code structure, code generation and code conversation between languages. Codey will fundamentally reshape the role of software engineers, increasing their efficiency and elevating the quality of work that less experienced software engineers can produce.

My key takeaway was the changing economics of cloud and location of application execution and hosting. The capabilities to automatically analyze database structures and software source and develop automated methods for migration accelerates the ROI for migration of legacy technology to modern, cloud-based platforms. Organizations will be able to reevaluate decisions made as little as two years ago against new financial models and begin to see the value proposition for application modernization and migration has significantly improved with the application of AI.

Your AI journey has begun and will only be as successful as your data quality, your team's technical skills and your organization's capacity to adopt new capabilities. Pythian can accelerate your journey, beginning with our Generative AI workshop, we will educate your teams on the possibilities, priorities and potential for business process automation, develop a plan for improving data quality and develop communication plans for the effective rollout of AI across your organization. Click here to learn more about Pythian’s Generative AI strategy and offerings that accelerates enterprise innovation. Or, contact us to schedule your workshop today. 

I look forward to seeing you all in April 2024 at the Mandalay Bay in Las Vegas.

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