Welcome to The Systematic Summary, Systematic’s weekly roundup of the news, books, and interviews that will make you a more informed business technology professional. Every week, I’ll be bringing together the best media for IT and BT leaders to consume in one, easy-to-digest list. Let’s get started.

Catch up on this week’s news:

Tech reporter Casey Newton took a deep dive into the updates causing a stir at encrypted messaging app Signal.  

Encrypted messaging platforms have been in the spotlight for the last few weeks since WhatsApp delayed a series of privacy changes that worried users. As people began searching for secure messaging alternatives, apps like Signal and Telegram began making headlines. In a dig at WhatsApp’s parent company Facebook, Signal took to Twitter earlier this week: “January just ended, but if one of your New Year’s Resolutions was to break up with Facebook there is still plenty of time.” In this thoroughly reported piece, Newton explores the concerns raised internally by Signal employees at the lack of a content policy and updates that could create “new avenues for abuse.” The battle to become the best secure messaging app continues.  

Via Platformer

As the demand for IT talent soars, the average salary for IT jobs has landed in the six-figure range. 

With a projected IT spending increase of 6.2% in 2021, there has never been a higher demand for IT support within companies. The average salaries for IT professionals of all levels are showing that the market is going to have to pay to secure the best talent. From roles in DevOps to cloud engineering, salaries for mid-level jobs are peaking around $150,000 (the average annual salary for DevOps developers is $137,820), with the lowest salaries coming in around $80,000 (for a job as a help desk support technician). 

Via CIO Dive

Forbes profiled Frank Slootman, CEO of tech darling Snowflake. 

Snowflake made history as the biggest software IPO ever when they went public last September. The day the markets opened, shares more than doubled. The Netherlands-born CEO, who is well-known for saying he “crawled ashore with $100 in [his] pocket” for an internship in South Bend, Indiana, charts his trajectory from an intern in the fake-leather industry to CEO of a multi-billion dollar company. Slootman’s advice? Don’t get into an elevator that is going down. 

Via Forbes 

CIO rounded up 10 of the biggest budgeting mistakes to look out for in 2021. 

From missing easy-to-forget expenses like mid-year software pricing increases to not accounting for innovation in their department, CIO rounded up ten costly budgeting mistakes not to make in 2021. With IT spending expected to soar in the coming year, this list is a good set of reminders for even the most experienced budget owner.  


Jeff Bezos is stepping down as CEO of Amazon. 

The breaking big tech news this week was Jeff Bezos’s announcement that he is stepping down from his position as chief executive at Amazon to become the executive chairman. The leader of Amazon’s cloud computing business, Andy Jassy, is set to replace the founder. So what’s next for Bezos? In his words, “As Exec Chair, I will stay engaged in important Amazon initiatives but also have the time and energy I need to focus on the Day 1 Fund, the Bezos Earth Fund, Blue Origin, The Washington Post, and my other passions.” There is a to-be-expected amount of speculation of what will occupy his time in the coming months, but Bezos assured his staff via an email distributed on Tuesday that he has never had more energy and that “this isn’t about retiring.” 


Find some weekend reading:

Automation and the Future of Work (2020)

Aaron Benanav

Aaron Benanav, sociologist and researcher at the Humboldt University of Berlin, digs into the future of the workforce and the undeniable role automation will play in shaping our lives in Automation and the Future of Work. Benanav’s reconsideration of automation theory provides a counter to the idea that “robots are stealing our jobs,” instead positing that developed nations simply aren’t growing at a quick enough rate to provide jobs for all who need them in a capitalist economy. 

The Year in Tech, 2021: Tools for Preparing Your Team for the Future (2020)

David Weinberger, Tomas Chamorro-Premuzic, Darrell K. Rigby, and David Furlonger

Paired with The Year in Tech, 2021: The Insights You Need from Harvard Business Review, this bundled Ebook, slide deck, and group of case studies will help you and your team understand and implement the most important technological innovations this year.

Learn from the experts: 

FINRA CIO Steve Randich speaks with Peter High, President of Metis Strategy, about cloud computing best practices and his perspective on IT’s role in an organization on podcast Technovation

Via Technovation

Dyann Heward-Mills, Founder & CEO of HewardMills, speaks with 7-time CIO and author Mark Settle about privacy data management. If you enjoy their conversation, consider subscribing to Mark’s monthly newsletter, The Modern CIO.

Via Workato

Feedback for The Systematic Summary: If there is something you’d like to see in next week’s roundup, email me at [email protected] with the subject line “The Systematic Summary.” 

Sarah Dotson
About Sarah Dotson

Sarah is the Content and Community Lead for Systematic.