Initial Expectations for Digital Transformation

As a quick intro, and definitely not a way for me to fill the word count requirement, my name is Olger Hoxha, I live in Boston, grew up in Beverly, and was born in Albania. I currently work in cybersecurity at Raytheon as an Information System Security Manager. Technology has always been one of my strongest interests and passions, and I have been looking forward to this course ever since I signed up for it 3 days before the first class. Then came Professor Kane in our first class on Wednesday. I had read the description and information posted online of what to expect before coming to class. It’s one thing to glance at a syllabus on week one and feel hopeful and excited of what is yet to come.

Countless semesters, I’ve sat down in the first class and thought “I will Ace this class; I will participate, show up every day, do every assignment early; I will read every word that’s assigned, and walk out a stronger and more knowledgeable person.” That generally lasts until week 3 or 4, when life gets in the way, and I don’t prioritize the reading. I show up to class after skimming the reading on the walk from the car to the classroom, and realize wow, no one realized I didn’t read it, I guess I can coast the rest of the semester. They probably could realize but thought he’s only hurting himself.

However, it’s another thing to go through the introductory class for ISYS8621 as we all learned a few days ago. For the first time that I can think of, I did not necessarily feel that hope, but instead felt a type of curiosity. I was definitely scared straight, but instead of running away, I felt like this would be a great challenge. I’ve felt out of touch with technology over the past few years; NFTs, Crypto, Blockchain all spiked in popularity then faded away before I could really begin understanding them. I’m curious about the future of where this technology will take us, and I’m looking forward to learning how to anticipate it and how to ride the wave.

Given my background, job, and career path, I have a deep interest in cybersecurity and figuring out how these emerging technologies are secured. It seems like every few months we are reminded that quantum computing is in the alpha stages, and consumer products are right around the corner. If and when that type of computing power can be owned by individuals or criminals, the majority of our public-key encryption currently in place right now would be cracked at a rate faster than we can even fathom. This would change the entire infrastructure of the internet, and require a complete overhaul of how we secure websites and perform the majority of our secured interactions on the internet. I’m looking forward to reading more about where the industry is going in this field; based on a quick google search, Google plans to unleash that power by 2029, so it appears there’s only a couple of years of runway before the industry needs that overhaul.

My other big interest and curiosity revolves around augmented reality (AR). Mark Zuckerberg has been on interviews talking about what Facebook sees as the future of the world. In this world, everyone is wearing AR glasses; there’s no longer a need for a cellphone as your glasses will make that appear in your hand. In this world, there is no need for an additional type of screen; your glasses will augment reality to create it.

The next big shift appears to be towards capitalizing on all use cases for streaming. While streaming options for movies, tv, and music have already fully taken over the industries; others appear to be on the verge of adoption. For example, the next big one that appears to be coming soon is the video game cloud streaming service. Google Stadia, Nvidia GeForce Now, Amazon Luna have already announced offerings and many have begun supporting the service, however, consumers still report some latency issues which hinders the ability for these types of technologies to yet be a mainstream option. Another main cloud streaming option that I’ve begun seeing is a Virtual Desktop infrastructure. Instead of purchasing a $800 or even $1500 computer, one could buy a cheap ‘dumb box’ of sorts that would have hookups for your monitor, keyboard, mouse, and be internet capable. From there, you’d pay a service provider like Microsoft to stream an extremely powerful computer from the cloud to perform your heavy processing at a couple cents or dollars per hour. You would be able to spin up that computer in seconds, with 64GB of ram, or some of the best graphics cards available and perform your intensive video processing, 3D modeling, or whatever other use case you have. The possibilities and use cases are endless.

In summary, I’m excited for this course, and I’m thankful there was a spot open. At the heart of it, this class feels relatively simple. Do the readings, think about the ramifications of the technologies, and actively participate. I’m looking forward to the challenge and I’m ready to take a full byte out of this course!

3 comments

  1. At the heart of it, this class is very simple for the reasons you mention. Unfortunately, since I think most other courses condition students to really only work around the major deliverables, the expectations are quite different. For those that get into it, though, it doesn’t really feel like work at all.

  2. Hey Olger, I’ve definitely felt the same when starting a new class. The first few weeks is strong and easy to keep up but then other parts of life can make things difficult. I think the benefit of this class is that it will always be interesting and refreshing content to keep us engaged. Since most of the content we will be seeing is brought forward by our classmates and what interests them the most.

  3. Olger, I love your post. I couldn’t agree more with your sentence regarding NFT, Crypto, and Blockchain. Like you, I founded it hard to keep up with all these digital trends. That is why I am also searching for a system that will allow me to stay relevant.
    PS: Thank you for bringing to my attention the video game cloud streaming service. Until I read your blog, I wasn’t aware that something like that was in the works. Pretty amazing!

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