TECH TALK: BILL MAGEE
Two multi-billionaire tech moguls who should know better. Slugging it out in the full public glare over who has the biggest social media site. As for businesses anxious to advance their cloud-based digital transformation plans, size doesn’t matter.
They probably wish they could ignore, if not drop altogether, the mega egos of Elon Musk and his mishandled sloppy reboot of Twitter and Mark Zuckerberg’s Meta rival new kid on the networking block, Threads, apparently aimed more at celebrities and lifestyle than proper news.
It’s rapidly reaching the point of no return. Musk’s “rebranding” of Twitter as “X” joins around 900 other X registrations in the States alone, according to trademark attorney Josh Gerben, including one that Zuckerberg took out as a sidebar division a few years ago. In the land of litigation, expect court action.
The social media skirmish masks a much bigger prize: who gains the upper hand on the mushrooming generative artificial intelligent (AI) global industry expected to be worth many trillions.
Silicon Valley views AI as tech’s “holy grail” that it hopes will reverse a commercially disastrous retreat in recent years, caused by plunging advertising revenues and investment levels with thousands of jobs shed.
A cio.com survey highlights chief information officers bullish about accelerating AI from its current role in isolated pockets of the enterprise into a more organisation-wide uptake.
To be expected, a high-powered marketing campaign is well underway, as well as proposals for an AI “voluntary code” and making processes open-sourced, to circumvent likely regulatory and compliance hurdles.
Yet privacy and security commercial concerns continue to grow – just how to safeguard precious data, analytics and related infrastructure from attacks by hackers and scammers.
Social media platforms continue to harvest our lives that remain a prime target of cybercrime that’s hit a two-year high amid a resurgence in ransomware.
Like it or loath it the insistent “always on” networking phenomenon has become an artificial way of life in today’s digital era.
Backed up by what’s become known as “mindshare” where those behind the scenes endlessly test and probe our neurological responses and short attention spans.
They also exploit FOMO, where susceptible subscribers endlessly monitor their social media for “fear of losing out”, to ensure it remains embedded in our psyche.
They’ve succeeded. The stats remain on Big Tech’s side, with an estimated six billion people participating online globally.
Cyber and Fraud Centre Scotland highlights Ofcom’s 2023 report where 92% of the UK population use the internet, of which 90% engage with social media platforms.
Verizon reports human error is easily the top cause of data breaches. Alasdair Hendry, a director and head of transformation and consulting at Edinburgh’s Exception digital services and solution provider, stresses organisations must always accept that IT advancements should be “human-led”. Yet vital team-building, where levels of employee digital literacy vary, is often de-prioritised. It must be all about building an understanding of people’s needs, challenges and concerns.
Digital transformation represents an iterative shift that’s never finished through constant testing, failing and learning a more flexible culture emerges, and all achieved through incremental changes.
Don’t be in too much of a hurry to get it right and seek expert help, when needed, to accelerate the digital journey. Harvard Business Review agrees. An organisation can change all the processes and policies it likes on paper. “But until you work on changing the minds and feelings of your people, it won’t work.”
The trouble is Musk and Zuckerberg head up platforms belonging to those “too big to fail” brigade, claims digital marketing and branding expert Jonathan Ellenor, chief executive of Magna Marketing.
“They’ve struggled to adapt to changing expectations and trends,” he adds. “Also, the past decade has showcased the darker aspects of humanity on social media platforms.”
Big Tech moguls indulging in costly digital power play squabbles should take heed and sort it out. Maybe get a chatroom?
This column is supported by Exception