Jeroen Kloosterman is a Product Strategy Manager for Oracle Digital. He is responsible for sales play selection and development, sales force enablement, business development and he has an advisory role for enterprise customers when it comes to AI and Analytics. He promotes digital selling methods and analytics within Oracle itself to improve the sales function and he is an advocate for machine learning using Oracle (see https://www.youtube.com/c/JeroenKloosterman).
He launched his career as a Business Consultant where he implemented Oracle technology for enterprises throughout Europe. Later he evolved in Oracle: first to Sales Engineering, then Business Development and now Product Strategy.
Having such a diverse background in sales, data analytics, consulting and engineering, how do you identify yourself professionally? And what is your opinion about the future jobs that will be in high demand?
Yes, that sounds diverse. Interestingly, at some level I feel that the essence of my job has not changed that radically. My passion has always been rooted in technology. In the past I would apply it directly, one customer at a time. Nowadays I try to reach a larger audience by speaking about technology and the innovation that it brings.
Regarding the jobs that will be in high demand: AI brings higher levels of automation, which will result in some type of jobs changing radically and others becoming obsolete. One field where we can expect growth is naturally those jobs related to AI itself: programming, robotics, et cetera. For young people that are choosing a career it’s important to be conscious about the influence that advances in technology can have on those careers. In any case, every professional should have a mindset of continuous learning to be prepared for what’s coming.
You were one of the key panelists at the MASIT Conference – Data as an Asset. What was the most exiting note you shared or learned on this conference?
The fact that the major technological obstacles for adopting AI in the enterprise are disappearing. The cloud topology has made it much easier for companies to start and experiment with data science, without risky investments. We also see advances in software tools that guide the data science process itself and let teams work together efficiently. As a result, companies will be able to apply AI to real world scenarios and get much faster ROI.
Are you able to differ the different regions in terms of their technological development? What is your opinion for the Balkan region?
I believe that in the field of information technology the changes for success are equal across the world. The internet is everywhere, and knowledge, jobs and business opportunities can stream freely online. The “natural resource” in this field is education/skill, and the Balkan region has a lot of talented people. Related to this, it’s well known that part of the young talent is leaving the region for various reasons. It’s important that the Balkan region works on keeping and even attracting people to work here to prevent “brain drain”.
You are an advocate for machine learning using Oracle. What are the challenges you are facing now, and what are your predictions for the future course of development?
There are a number of typical challenges for companies that want to start with AI/ML. The most obvious ones are the need for technology and people with the right skills. Companies typically understand those challenges from the start.
Another challenge that’s less well known is that of the necessity for the right data and high quality data. The success of AI depends largely on this. This means that the same age-old data challenges still apply: We have to take care of data quality. We have to take care of data security. And we have to break the data silos that exist between different departments/applications. It’s important for companies to realize that AI is a lot more than models or algorithms; it’s also about data integration, data quality, data management and analytics. Companies need a solid data strategy to hold it all together.
Regarding the future: The impact of AI has been compared to what happened during the industrial revolution. I tend to agree with that analogy. Just like in the industrial revolution, AI will allow us to produce entirely new products. The way we produce those products will also be radically different from before. And AI will even makes us think about the role of humans in the business process.
What would your advice be, for the Macedonian IT company for increasing their competiveness on the global market?
I would advise to innovate on every level. Being among the first to implement emerging technologies, such as AI, can be a competitive advantage and a way to grab market share. Also, innovate as it comes to marketing, for example by finding new ways to connect to your potential customers digitally.