Published on in Innovation

The first full day of Fujitsu Forum in Munich saw over 12,000 customers, partners & guests descend upon the ICM in Munich.  With a packed agenda and lots of amazing innovation to see, there’s plenty to report!

Opening the event, Fujitsu’s President Tatsuya Tanaka thanked our customers for letting us innovate the future with them.  He highlighted Fujitsu’s innovative work and vision underpinning many areas of society, from healthcare to energy research.

“We must create an ecosystem of innovation, to co-create new business models with our customers.” – President Tanaka

Duncan Tait presenting the connected cowDuncan Tait, EVP of Fujitsu EMEIA, then took the stage to describe Fujitsu’s approach to two big questions:

  • How do we rapidly bring technology & ideas together to thrive in a digital world?
  • How do we balance ICT and digital innovation in order to digitize with confidence?

Duncan described how we are answering these questions for our customers with a digital, data led approach to innovation that encompasses both robust, secure ICT and more disruptive “fail fast” projects.

“Those companies that get digital transformation right are delivering transformational outcomes.” – Duncan Tait

He also illustrated one of the more unusual applications of Internet of Things & analytics technology – the connected cow.  This project uses technology to monitor cattle movements & has delivered increased milk production.

Later, Intel’s Genevieve Bell (a full-time anthropologist and part-time futurist) delivered an inspired keynote on building a better future, talking about the trends which will shape our world in the next 10 years.

For anyone looking for some inspiration around Hybrid IT, Genevieve summed it up with:

“The future is complex. We’ll always drag all that comfort, and nostalgia along with us.

“The future is no blank slate that you will get to write again. All our current habits, the good and the bad, we will bring with us.”

GB dataAnd those trends? She named six: Data ‘eating’ the world; smarter devices and services; the rise of robotics and automation; an even greater focus on privacy & security; mass personalisation; and a new age of storytelling through virtual reality.



Elsewhere we heard that we’re only just seeing the tip of the iceberg of the Internet of Things (IoT).

Dr Alex Bazin, Fujitsu’s VP of IoT, told a packed breakout session that by 2020 we’re expecting to see 50bn devices connected to the internet. This will see an extra 44ZB of data generated a year; resulting in a potential economic impact of up to $11tn in 2025.

But it’s not just about this technology, which is becoming cheaper and more readily available. He argued: “The Internet of Things is less about things, and more about people and processes. Smart things are useful if they are connected to people and processes, and they deliver value.”

How businesses can enable digitalisation has been a big theme to emerge in today’s sessions. Fujitsu’s Mike Sewart and David Roswell hosted a breakout session to tackle the issue.

David said some people are looking at digital in the wrong way – and the result is the ‘digital iceberg’. It’s not just about the product, it’s also about the underlying infrastructure and systems.

“When people think of digital they think of what’s most visible…it’s got to be more than pixel thin approach,” he said. Changing this will help bridge the digital divide between Fast IT and Slow IT, they added.

“Digital is about taking a more holistic, end-to-end approach towards transformation,” Mike concluded.

Hybrid IT has got Forum buzzing. Fujitsu’s leading thinkers in the field hosted a breakout session on weighing up the risks versus the rewards in the world of Hybrid IT.

Fujitsu VP Head of Hybrid IT Andrew Brabban asked: “With everything to gain, and nothing to lose – what’s not to like about cloud services?”

Organisations need to strike a balance with the potential risks, he argued.

And how about the risk versus reward question? Mark Phillips, Fujitsu’s UK Head of Hybrid IT said: “The spectrum of possible leaks has broadened, but so has the range of benefits.”

Looking to the world of retail, Matt Horwood, Marks & Spencers CTO, spoke on Technology Trends in Retail.  Matt shared some fascinating thoughts on the Marks & Spencers’ journey to being a digital leader in their field – one important point being a focus on the digital customer experience not just online, but in-store too.

Perhaps most vital was Matt’s insight into how he’s transformed his technology function within M&S to deliver the business outcomes their business needs:

“We’re preparing for the pace of change through setting common, shared technology goals, investing in & growing our capability, and removing barriers to innovation.”

workplaceFinally, we wrapped up the day with a lively panel discussion on Future Workplace – Visions & Perspectives featuring experts from Citrix, VMWare, Google, Microsoft and of course Fujitsu.

The panel agreed that more focussed, granular applications will be the shape of the future in workplace productivity – but this will require a new approach to applications management.

The insight that struck me the most was from Christian Reilly of Citrix, who said:

“Many business transactions of the future won’t be human – they’ll be device to device. Your technology could even respond on your behalf for you.”

Would you trust your devices to reply for you? Maybe not yet, but who knows in a few year’s time!

Stay tuned to the Fujitsu blog for more highlights from the event tomorrow.

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Jim Millen

Digital Content Editor at Fujitsu
I'm the editor for the Fujitsu UK & Ireland blog, and love to write about the exciting work Fujitsu do in digital & technology innovation.

Any feedback on the blog or our other social channels? Please do connect and let me know!

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