Some troubling physical symptoms will prompt a visit to the doctor, who will praise your decisiveness: your alertness to early warning signs and quick action have prevented a bigger problem. “That’s just my cybersecurity experience at work,” you’ll say offhandedly. “I guess we’re not so different, you and I.” The doctor will stare at you and respond, “Well, I’m a doctor. I went to medical school.” Pat him on the shoulder, nod and reply that you are a doctor of computers. Just two sides of the same coin.
Your office will implement new technology that will allow employees working remotely to join office meetings via hologram. Not only will your image be projected into the boardroom, but your avatar will also be able to walk the halls as if you’re there. This will go a long way to improving camaraderie on the team. Best of all, no one will know that unlike your avatar, you are wearing sweat pants.
Ancient wisdom will reveal itself. As you put the last piece of a data centre into place, the building will rumble and a hidden door in the floor will slide open. Climb down the ladder, where you will meet an IT manager from a time before the web, if such a thing can be imagined. He will explain that your installation was so perfect and exacting that it unlocked this secret chamber, where he has been patiently waiting for The Chosen One for 40 years. You have a great destiny, he will say, adding that he will be happy to share his knowledge with you in exchange for a hamburger, or anything at all but canned beans.
The TV screen used for presentations and meetings will be replaced with an augmented reality projection that can be manipulated like a touchscreen and dismissed when it’s not in use. That means that for most of the time, the wall will be pristine, white and uncluttered. A sense of calm will fill the office and you will be better able to focus.
Your actions will have unintended consequences. The deployment of smartphones with screens up to 10 inches will be surprisingly popular and create a cottage industry of “IT Pants” — which sport pockets big enough to accommodate these personal mobile devices — within your organization. This will spark a revolution in bottoms that transforms the fashion industry forever. Soon, everyone will be wearing IT Pants, even people who don’t work in IT. People will wonder what they did before they had huge pockets: how did we carry our phones, groceries, or even babies? Nothing will ever be the same.
You tend to look inside a system and secure the things that people don’t see. This month, outer security will be of greater importance. Consider, for example, the raccoon chewing through data cables in the woods behind the building in broad daylight. It contrasts with the usual security threats in every way: it’s conspicuous, without malice, and utterly indifferent to any digital tools you might wield against it. All the same, it interferes with your interests with every bite.
Keeping notes will become easier with a new transcription product that automatically turns meetings into text. It will properly attribute all remarks to the correct speaker and capture speech with perfect fidelity. But it will also redline any ungrammatical utterances and make recommendations for improvement. The team will decide that this is beyond the scope of the product’s intended use and turn down the pedantry setting.
Things are materializing this month. Malware will take on a physical form and prowl the halls. More than anything else, this will be a tripping hazard. Take this development as an opportunity to meditate on impermanence and the inevitability of change. The merging of the physical and digital worlds might trip you up today, but just as a mountain is reduced to sand by eons of rainfall, this too shall pass and be forgotten.
To meet the office’s power conservation goals, everyone on the team must sacrifice. The space heaters are the first to go. Antique CRT monitors renowned for their aesthetic qualities and evocation of a simpler time must go into storage. Robotic vacuum cleaners used to ferry mugs of coffee to people’s desks will somehow be deemed “not essential to operations.” Adapt to your new environment with an open heart.
Creativity will be enhanced with the help of an AI, which will design a new data centre with its strange and alien mind. Because it’s untethered by human assumptions, the result will look like a mess to you – but work like a dream nonetheless. Pat the AI on the head, tell it it’s a good boy, and give it some tasty algorithms to chew on.
Expect money from unexpected sources. A simple collaboration tool that you and a small team threw together on a whim will prove to be popular and lucrative. The universe is telling you that every effort is worthwhile, and you never really know where success will come from.
With Mercury in retrograde, your mind turns to intellectual matters. Are we in a simulated universe? How can we tell? What would administering such a system be like? By the end of the thought experiment, a sense of relief overwhelms you. Even if we are in a simulation, at least it’s not your job to keep it patched up and running smoothly.