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The Best Pieces We’ve Read (And Watched) This Year — So Far

Splunk’s thought leaders share the most valuable reports, blogs, webcasts and articles they’ve encountered in 2023.

Best perspectives pieces

In this curated digest, explore how tech leaders are approaching hybrid work, what CEOs need to know about generative AI, best practices around building AI/ML systems at scale, sustainability challenges for major companies, and leadership advice and secrets from over 200 successful CEOs.

Reimagining the Government Technology Workforce

Read time: 10 minutes

This article focuses on the shift to hybrid work for the public sector, spotlighting tech leaders in city, county and state government. With the pandemic receding and orgs continuing to adjust to the workplace dynamics of the future, previous off-hand comments like "people are our greatest resource" now have to be put into practice. This article mentions topics like inclusion, fairness, burnout and productivity. The conversation also forces the point about measuring productivity: "To me, the measure is if the work gets done. … In the end it is about business services and whether we are serving our customers and being effective." This is a major shift from traditional ways of measuring human productivity and effectiveness, and it's all positive for the government.

—Juliana Vida, GVP, chief strategic advisor, public sector

What CEOs Need To Know About Generative AI*

Watch time: 45 minutes

This discussion, led by McKinsey experts and based on their article of the same topic, explores how leaders can begin to implement AI in their organizations. They’ve been speaking with many global industry leaders over the past few months, and described the past month in particular as being the time to move from “consider to commit.” They offer several practical examples that I found helpful and relevant. It’s a fast evolving space, and their counsel to begin with a 2x2 approach (listening for details and explanation) seems very rational and was positively received during the call.

—David Whitwell, GVP, chief strategic advisor

*Editor’s note: This video requires a LinkedIn account to watch.

10 Surprising Things Successful Leaders Do Differently

Read time: 4 minutes

While waiting to board a flight back home recently, this article came across my feed. I found it intriguing because often we spend time and energy focusing on technology, trends and buzzwords, but forget to revisit, refresh and innovate our skills in leadership — which drives all of these things forward. The author interviewed over 200 highly successful CEOs, military officers, entrepreneurs and leadership gurus, asking their secret to leadership and the advice they would give to a younger version of themselves. Ten key themes emerged.

—LaLisha Hurt, industry advisor, public sector

RecSysOps: Best Practices for Operating a Large-Scale Recommender System

Read time: 8 minutes

Building AI/ML-powered systems at scale requires a well-designed system for observability, and this blog represents a fantastic framework to think about how to bring observability and security into the development processes of an AI powered, mission-critical application. Additionally, the blog highlights the importance of having a cross-functional team that includes both technical and non-technical members, as well as having a clear understanding of the business goals and objectives for the recommender system. You could easily make the case that this is true for the development of any AI-powered business process or application in the enterprise.

—Cory Minton, Field CTO

Identifying "unknown unknowns": A perspective on non-traditional competition

Read time: 14 minutes

The topic of monitoring for and identifying "unknown unknowns" in regard to value chain risk and disruption is something that we have been hearing across industries as a transformation priority. This article, published in 2020, takes a prescriptive ecosystem approach to understanding emerging risk, and shares how data-driven companies such as Tesco are revolutionizing retail. The authors explain that "while the approach of value chain analytics provides an understanding of competitive dynamics within a market, it can, however, fail to identify threats from new and different competitors that may be emerging externally to the industry."

—Bri Morgan, senior manager, industry advisory

What is really driving ExxonMobil’s clean energy commitments?

Read time: 12 minutes

Sustainability — what that means, and whether any major companies will actually change — remains one of our most pressing global issues. Though this article focuses on the energy industry, it’s more widely applicable and is a good demonstration of the broader challenges major companies face, including poor and easily misaligned emission measures, limited spending commitments, problems with government policy initiatives and profit disincentives. Key takeaways for how companies can meaningfully act include building tangible projects fast with potential for scale; focusing initially on making current operations more effective; implementing more robust measurements; and tying long term policy initiatives to measurable regulation.

—Mark Woods, Chief Technical Advisor, EMEA

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