Published on in Built EnvironmentResponsible Business

I occasionally drop in and listen to BBC’s long-running Desert Island Discs radio programme.

Its archive is an 80-year-old treasure trove of fascinating personal stories interspersed by the guest’s favourite songs. It regularly strikes me that while the interviews are recorded at a moment in time, it’s fascinating how much of what is discussed is timeless.

I was recently listening back to an interview with Jens Stoltenberg, the Secretary General of NATO, from July 2020. He was describing the approach NATO takes to preparing for future crises. He described how the focus of the organisation is not on preparing for a specific scenario, but to be prepared for the unforeseen and to be adaptable when things are constantly changing.

If we put aside the military context, I think there is a huge amount that can be taken from this approach in terms of building resilience into our communities and organisations. Our capability to prepare for, respond to, and recover from significant multihazard threats will be a determining factor in how we face the greatest challenge of our generation, climate change.

With more and more countries working toward a society that puts the global environment at the forefront, considering sustainability on a global scale is more important than ever before. At the same time, there is a need for a more liveable society that considers various points of view, enabling people to prepare for emergencies and flexibly implement countermeasures.

Trusted Society is one of the key pillars of Fujitsu’s new business brand, Uvance. Uvance recognizes the importance of innovating and implementing trustworthy technologies to solve societal problems collectively through cooperation between countries, governments, citizens, and business partners. As a digitisation company, we believe that technology will have a major role to play in achieving this vision. However, we are equally aware that this can only be realised by fostering a culture of trust with our partners and the wider public.

In 2019, Fujitsu Ireland published a report, Driving A Trusted Future in a Radically Changing World, which showed how 1 in 3 Irish people surveyed described the pace of change over the previous five years as ‘radical’. A majority felt that this pace was mostly caused by technological innovation.

Although a quarter of the public considered technological changes to be positive, nearly as many felt nervous about what’s ahead (this was pre-pandemic!). With 65% of people saying that sustainability is not being taken seriously enough by organisations, that anxiety is understandable.

It was notable in our report that both business leaders and the public agree that trust is the most important factor to help society embrace the benefits of greater digitisation.  As technology leaders, we must bring people along on this digitisation journey. Organisations need a radical approach to technology planning, with a strategy that gains the most value from emerging technologies, but equally one that ensures humanity is at the heart of every innovation.

Societal and business life has changed dramatically in recent years. How we collectively respond to these changes will have a major bearing on the success of Ireland over the coming decades. We know that resilience, adaptability, agility and especially trust will be essential.

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Tony O'Malley

Tony O’Malley is CEO of Fujitsu Ireland and Chairman of the Fujitsu Ireland Limited board. He is leading the delivery of Fujitsu’s innovative ICT services to the public and private sectors.

As CEO, Tony is committed to creating value for customers and putting into practice Fujitsu’s vision to create a Human Centric Intelligent Society.

He also oversees significant research programmes in Ireland in collaboration with Fujitsu Laboratories Japan, in particular addressing Data Analytics and Healthcare systems for assisted living.

Tony sits on the Dublin Chamber of Commerce Council and is a member of the Insight Centre for Data Analytics Advisory Committee.

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