Talking Tech Innovation and AI with Dave Linthicum, Deloitte’s Chief Cloud Strategy Officer

Talking Tech Innovation and AI with Dave Linthicum, Deloitte’s Chief Cloud Strategy Officer

The need to adapt and innovate has never been more pressing. To shed light on this, Unlearn's latest podcast episode brings Dave Linthicum, who knows a thing or two about shaking up the status quo.

The need to adapt and innovate has never been more pressing. To shed light on this, Unlearn’s latest podcast episode brings Dave Linthicum, who knows a thing or two about shaking up the status quo and artificial intelligence.

The discussion featured Linthicum, Chief Cloud Strategy Officer at Deloitte, Kelly Sarabyn, Tech Partner Enablement and Advocacy at HubSpot, and Asher Mathew, Co-founder of Partnership Leaders. These pros dived deep into the nitty-gritty of digital transformation, artificial intelligence, and the future of business partnerships. Let’s start unpacking these takeaways.

Our Unlearn panel discussing artificial intelligence, startups and the future of partnerships.

The Startup Advantage

Startups are disrupting traditional business models left and right, so it’s crucial to stay agile.

Linthicum suggests taking a page out of the startup playbook. “Your ability to create a process or your ability to create a product that’s different than the existing products as you’re able to move faster,” he said. In other words, it’s not just about having a big name or a vast resource pool – it’s about agility and speed.

Startups are nimble and quick to adapt, often outpacing their larger counterparts. They’re not bogged down by bureaucracy or outdated systems. Sarabyn chimed in on this, emphasizing the need for efficiency. “I want to use all these AI tools to free up my time so I don’t do anything,” she noted. The message is clear: Use technology, like AI, to streamline operations and stay ahead of the curve.

Don’t underestimate the power of acting like a start-up if you’re a large corporation. Leverage new technologies and be quick to innovate. Otherwise, you risk being left in the dust.

AI as a Productivity Booster

So you’ve got the startup mindset down. What’s next? Tools, specifically artificial intelligence tools. Linthicum already laid the groundwork, emphasizing that the ability to move fast and innovate is crucial. But what does that look like in practice?

This is where artificial intelligence comes in. AI is a powerful tool that allows you to:

  • Automate mundane tasks
  • Analyze large data sets
  • Help you make smarter business decisions

But it’s not just about internal operations – it’s also about how you interact with other businesses.

Mathew weighed in on this. “The ability to have those things add value within the business and that’s always my core concern,” he stated. 

Artificial intelligence can be a valuable asset in a world where networking and partnerships are more critical than ever. It can help you identify the right opportunities, streamline communications, and even predict the success of potential partnerships.

Is AI All-Good? Not Quite.

But before you go full steam ahead, it’s worth pumping the brakes to consider the other side of the coin. AI isn’t a one-size-fits-all miracle solution – it has its complexities and challenges, especially when it comes to data security and ethical considerations.

“We have personal AI bases that are around us now, and we use them every day, and they normally enhance our lives. But I can see ways in which they can be abused,” Linthicum cautioned. More than data breaches or hacking, you also have to consider the ethical use of AI. 

  • How is the data being used? 
  • Who has access to it?
  • How are decisions being made?

These are questions that need answers.

Mathew chimed in with a reality check, stating, “Not every tool is going to work for every use case.” 

This is particularly important for businesses looking to integrate AI into their partnership strategies. It’s not just about adopting the latest shiny tool – it’s about finding the right fit for your needs. 

This involves testing, experimentation, and a good deal of discernment.

However, the conversation continues beyond data security and tool selection. There’s also the issue of personal AI and its implications for individual privacy. 

Sarabyn raised concerns about data security, emphasizing the need for stringent measures to protect personal data. This extends to personal AI applications, which are becoming increasingly prevalent in everything from social media algorithms to personalized marketing strategies.

Shift Back to On-Premise

So you’ve weighed AI’s pros and cons, but another curveball is coming your way: the shift back to on-premise computing. 

Linthicum said, “We’re putting things back where we found it because there’s a more cost advantage to make it happen.” It’s a trend that’s gaining traction and one you can’t afford to ignore.

Here’s where partnerships come into play. 

Collaborating with other businesses can offer insights into what’s working and what’s not in terms of infrastructure. Sharing experiences and even costs can help you make a more informed decision. 

Cost and Security Factors

You might be wondering why businesses are even considering moving away from the cloud. Two words: cost and security. 

Linthicum pointed out that traditional computing could potentially disrupt the cloud market. “The biggest disrupter to the cloud is going to be traditional computing,” he stated. 

But how do you decide what’s best for your business?

Again, partnerships can be your guiding star. If your partners are in regulated industries or handle sensitive data, an on-premise solution might align more with their needs and, by extension, yours.

So, evaluate the cost and security implications not just for your business but also for your partners. Don’t make these decisions in a vacuum. Leverage your partnerships to:

  • Gather insights
  • Share risks
  • Choose the most effective option

It’s a collective decision that can impact joint ventures and long-term relationships.


From leveraging AI to making infrastructure decisions, there’s a lot to consider. But you don’t have to go it alone. Partnerships can offer invaluable insights, helping you make informed choices that benefit your business partners.

We have more insights like this in our Unlearn podcast, so check it out and subscribe for more chill but enlightening conversations from Asher and Kelly.

Join The 1700+ Leaders Transforming Partnerships

As a member of Partnership Leaders you will:
  • Build and learn with the top partner people at the best companies around the world.
  • Increase your impact and accelerate your career with proven resources, tools, and best practices.
  • Grow a network of peers, partners, and advisors with common objectives.

Apply for a membership here!

Login error!