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Media Interview with Aaron Hurst, senior reporter for Information Age

Aaron Hurst Information Age

‘The pandemic has triggered waves of innovation that we previously didn’t think would be possible for a good few years – this is no doubt going to continue,’ says Information Age senior reporter Aaron Hurst.

If you feel overwhelmed with the constant stream of info being shared from all platforms, sectors and sides, take advice from Aaron on what’s worth paying attention to in the tech sector (including the metaverse, AI and even waterpipe broadband)…

Tell us a bit about the topics/niches you cover for Information Age?

Information Age is a B2B tech publication focused on delivering news and practical features for technology leaders, particularly CTOs and CIOs. We cover an array of segments in the tech sector, from AI and cyber security to cloud, edge and IoT. We also write about digital transformation across a variety of verticals, including healthcare, education and retail.

Then there’s also our content around diversity, equity and inclusion in tech, which we use to promote our company’s Women in IT Summit and Awards Series.    

What do you think the long-term impact of the pandemic will be on the sectors you cover?

Generally, I believe the pandemic has triggered waves of innovation that we previously didn’t think would be possible for a good few years later, and this is no doubt going to continue. Businesses in all industries need to continue innovating to stay competitive in their market, and maintain strong customer experiences.

I’d also say such a world event has brought the need for resilience against future incidents up the corporate agenda. With cyber attacks seeing a surge over the past two years, and continuing to evolve, organisations must ensure that security and disaster recovery are kept up-to-date.

Will the quick adoption of new technologies in business continue as the world reopens?

Not only do I think this will happen, but it’s also a must for organisations of all sizes when it comes to retaining customer trust going forward. We’ve seen research demonstrating that consumers are increasingly likely to look elsewhere if tech fails them, such as when engaging with banks.

How did you originally get into the media industry/journalism and what keeps you in it?

It all started when I secured some work experience at my local newspaper at the age of 15, as I had some family friends working in sales there. I learned how to convert press releases into news articles, experienced what it was like out in the field, and made lots of cups of tea and coffee for my colleagues – not necessarily in that order! From there, I knew this was what I wanted to do.

I honestly didn’t envision ending up writing about business technology, but once I took an opportunity to join IA as an intern while still at uni, I never looked back and have embraced the constant innovation there is out there to cover. It’s a very exciting area of journalism to be in, and that will continue to be the case, I’m sure.

What would be your dream news story to report or feature to work on?

Probably an interview profile with Elon Musk – exploring his journey from a developer behind the creation of PayPal, to CEO of SpaceX and Tesla, as well as securing an agreement to buy Twitter! I just think it would be great to document his insights around scaling tech corporations.

What kind of contributions do the team at Information Age find useful from PRs?

We like to take on press releases telling stories that CTOs and CIOs can benefit from, including research and new products that fill a big gap in the market. Also, we’re always looking to take on exclusive, vendor-neutral thought leadership articles that provide practical business tech guidance for leaders.

What are some of the most unusual tech-related stories Information Age has covered (the ‘broadband delivered via water pipes’ was a new one for us, we admit!)?

Yes, I do remember coming across this plan to trial broadband delivery via water pipes on the UK Government website and finding the story peculiar, yet well worth covering! That’s certainly up there as among the more quirkier stories.

Another story that stands out in this respect is the launch of a non-profit network platform that is helping refugees from Ukraine find shelter. That was a real feel-good development to have covered for sure.

More and more print magazines are going digital-only – what are the big benefits of digital publishing?

I’ll admit that I have had a soft spot for print in recent times, especially with local newspapers such as the one in which I found my journalism passion still distributing physical products. However, digital-only allows for more real-time content, as well as superior editing capabilities for ongoing stories (and the odd typo!). It also expands reach far beyond any capacity that print, at least beyond the major nationals, is capable of.

Information Age went digital-only in the mid-2000s, and we’re now looking to leverage more multimedia content to diversify the website, and explore new revenue streams. This, of course, wouldn’t be possible with print.

What are the big trends coming up in the world of business that people should be looking out for?

I believe that one of the biggest trends to look out for in B2B tech is the metaverse. Developments are being put in place at a rapid rate, and looks set to disrupt an array of sectors, from retail to insurance.

Then there’s the surge in partner networks in the cloud; more and more businesses are looking to break down silos and leverage a variety of capabilities from various vendors, all in one place. This is only going to grow in prominence.

We should also keep an eye on the rise in AI, hyperautomation, and other automation technologies. With administrative tasks and customer service becoming increasingly automated, leaders must ensure that all algorithms are explainable, and constantly monitored, to successfully have them work alongside employees and drive value. AI is not a silver bullet that can work on its own – human intervention to keep it focused on business outcomes will continue to be key over the coming years.

Aaron Hurst can be found tweeting @aaronpeterhurst.

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