With Fujitsu Forum 2016 almost upon us, I thought I’d take a nostalgic look back at last year’s event and some of the things that made me stop and think during my two days in Munich.
One man who never shies away from making bold statements about the future of technology is our global CTO Dr Joseph Reger.
In a 60-minute ‘freeform’ session on preview day, he walked among an audience of international journalists and analysts fielding any questions they wanted to ask.
Here are the five top thoughts I left with from his session.
1. On digital transformation…
Dr Reger spoke about it at 2014’s Forum, it was the hot topic of 2015, and now in 2016 the trend still seems a long way from fading.
“Politicians are talking about it,” Dr Reger said. “The German Government has a paper published on it.
“A lot of things have happened [in the last year] and there’s incredible excitement in the market, with lots of real-life projects starting.
“The market has become busy with these topics, so we wanted to show how our theme of human-centric innovation in action fits into that.
“Digital transformation is becoming our daily bread. But it only works in cases in a way of a co-creation – where you sit down with a technology company, create a plan, and look at the tools available.”
Dr Reger said only when you marry this with people who understand their business strategy and objectives does digital transformation work.
2. On software development…
“The world needs to be much better at software, though it’s not as bad as it used to be,” he said.
“Integrated development environments can catch problems at an early stage.
“Open Source is one mechanism on the periphery. If the periphery is big enough to try and test all the time, we will kill bugs faster than they are produced.”
Dr Reger described the topic of Open Source as his ‘pet topic’ right now, and his separate keynote at last year’s Forum on this is well worth a watch.
3. On the security of internet of things…
“Ten years from now I think it’s safe to assume the number of devices connected will be close to 100bn – a factor of 10bn from what we have now.
“The problem with that growth is it’s not 10 times more. It’s 100 times more – that comes from Metcalfe’s law (the guy who invented Ethernet).
“He says the complexity of a network is going up as a square number of components in the network.
“If it’s going from 10 to 100bn, the attackable part of the network goes up 100 times as well.”
Dr Reger said this is something we have to respond to now, but it’s happening even if it’s not visible to us. For example, for someone working in a power plant: “They know it’s an issue, and they are taking care of it,” he said.
4. On digital disruption…
“Historically most of the VC money went into companies with disruptive technology,” Dr Reger said.
“But in terms of technology, it’s more or less trivial. Just take brands like Uber or Airbnb for example.
“These companies did not need cutting-edge technology to cause disruption. In Europe, where there are lots of established industries, the job is not to do something entirely different. The job is to move those industries into the future.”
5. On artificial intelligence (AI)…
“We are closer to natural stupidity than to artificial intelligence,” Dr Reger said.
“But obviously we’ve got to progress. General AI (GAI) – we’ve been talking about it since the sixties.
“We’re still quite far away from GAI but that’s not a problem. You don’t need a humanity-replacing AI to be useful.
“You don’t need that at all. There are immediate applications of certain AI processes and self-learning algorithms that are worth a lot.
“You will see when GAI arrives when it is not me standing here because I’ll have replaced myself with my cellphone!”
Some wise words here I’m sure you’ll agree!
I’m looking forward to hearing what Dr Reger has to say at the next Fujitsu Forum in November.
Be sure to grab your ticket if you haven’t already, and keep an eye on our blog and social media channels for lots more content about the event.
Watch Dr Reger’s full 2015 talk here: https://youtu.be/AuBBT4e63Mc
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