At Oracle Dyn, we’re a leader in cloud-based infrastructure that connects users with digital content and experiences across a global internet. As a result, we love technology and its impact in the world. But how has technology impacted our own leadership? We decided to ask Kyle York, GM & VP, Business & Product Strategy, some questions on how technology was impacting the way he worked?
TLDR; Technology can make you a more efficient leader, however, it’s your interpersonal communications and relationships that will make you a great leader.
Q: What impact do you believe more technology, including robotics, will have on your work relationships?
A: The value of technology is to make work easier to manage and to accomplish tasks with less effort and greater flexibility. We’re certainly on the cusp of a sea change in innovation, where things like AI and robotics will begin to impact the workplace. But, fundamentally, being successful in the workplace – and having success as an exec or entrepreneur – comes down to your relationships with people. So, I don’t think that my work will be impacted in the short-term by these changes in an immense way – but I do think that technology, at-large, will change the game considerably over the next 20 years. For one, imagining what will come next and become the norm after a laptop and smartphone will change the way we work just as the computer changed a typewriter-dependent world 20-30 years ago. I have a hard time believing robots will be able to read people and drive empathy, which is important for a business leader to thrive.
Q: What trends do you think will most impact your work experience in the next five years? How are you preparing for them?
A: The focus on data and the tools that are becoming available that will allow us to solve problems more quickly – and more accurately – than ever before are the ones I keep an eye on. At Oracle, we focus on data as a business, so I think that the advanced technologies that are coming into their own – the AI, self-driving cars, IoT, robotics, and other related tech – will all hinge on the data and in the robustness of the networks and the computing that is connected to this new tech. It’ll be interesting to see how the appropriate context is brought to this data, so it’s not absent of gut, which I believe is where the ordinary become exceptional. How well the new tech is integrated with the network infrastructure will determine how fast companies are able to innovate and evolve on their visions to change the world.
Q: Please tell of a time when you felt isolated/lonely while using technology at work and what you did about it.
A: Early in my career I was a remote worker living on the west coast in California, with my employer back on the east coast. It can be tricky staring at a screen all day, distracted by home life, and without that necessary human engagement you get in an office environment. Every time I felt this lonely feeling take over, I’d hit the road and visit a client, partner or corporate headquarters.
Q: How has technology over-reliance impacted you on a personal level?
Haha. Probably only when I’m driving. If my GPS told me to drive into a lake, I would probably think it is a short cut.
Q: How much time do you spend using technology tools to collaborate compared to in-person or phone calls? What tools are you currently using and why?
A: I’ve spent my career working at and building SaaS companies and have also developed in a period of time when apps have blossomed into critical business tools. We’ve used Slack for some time and it’s become a big part of our workplace. It started as a developer tool, but all of our teams use it to help quickly and fluidly manage projects. Our marketing group uses it to share competitive intelligence and fast-moving news stories. Our NOC uses it to share details of the network with private groups. I’m personally locked into more than a dozen channels that I use to keep up with specific areas of the business. It doesn’t take the place of group meetings and standard progress reports, but it’s another way to keep connected and ease and quicken the way we can communicate – and it’s a lot faster and more nimble than traditional email. It’s not just market trends that matter, but also internal ones.
Q: What benefits would you receive if you had more face-to-face meetings with your team over using technology?
A: Infinite benefits. I try to meet face-to-face with people as much as possible. There are so many subtleties and nuance that is lost over an email or a slack chat. As I previously mentioned I tend to spend time during meetings talking casually. You’d be amazed about how much I’ve really learned during those discussions. Again, people work harder when they know you care about them and their success. It is hard to do that virtually. The human experience is still the best tool available and it tends to lead to better progress and resolution on important topics.