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What were you doing 5 years ago and what will you be doing in 5 years time?
With the advance of technology who knows what the future holds, but we know that changes are afoot. I spoke to two Chief Executives and asked them about their predictions. Russell Howarth is CEO of Nominet and Peter Hutton is CEO of Eurosport, owned by Discovery Communications.
5 years ago we were all reading the newspaper in print, now we pick up our various gadgets whether they are tablets or phones and read online, how time changes. I asked them how they see reading content developing even further in 5 years’ time. Peter Hutton sees social media being at the forefront for the future, he explained “Whatever technology best leads you into social media, whether a watch, a phone or a bigger screen will be the primary route to information as social media drives you to new stories or new ideas. However, I still think for more in depth content, whether literature or my daily Killer Sudoku puzzle, there is still a role for print.” Yet Russell Howarth commented “Through predictive AI and behavioural mapping, content will be chosen based on peer evaluation and will be delivered via interactive voice command/control (see this video if you need any proof of what’s to come!)”
I also prompted debate around the biggest changes in IT departments within organisations in terms of how they are staffed and how they operate. Peter’s comment was quite simple “Will we actually be able to find where they are?” True enough perhaps for a large organisation whereas Russell believes that there will be “much bigger focus on network security and analytics to mitigate IP/customer data loss and a continuing shift to cloud based applications all integrated over multiple platforms. IoT technology and encryption will play an increasingly important role whether a service or product company demand from the business for increased data and analytics will drive more demand for data scientists to be a core part of BI”.
What is true of your organisation?
Moving to the gadgets that we use today I asked them both what device has had the biggest impact on the way they operate and how will that change in 5 years’ time? “Over the last few years, Smartphones are the most common device that shaped the way consumers interact and transact. Speeds of broadband have increased digital adoption across all demographics” stated Russell whereas Peter’s most used device is “my son’s I-pad, which most activities in the house seem to revolve around (either finding it or switching it off). In 5 years’ time I accept I will have lost the battle and he will be walking round with a headset.”
That is true in many a household and will no doubt only get worse!
On the subject of children I was intrigued to know their thoughts on the classroom experience of those born in 2016 as opposed to those people born in 1970.
A frightening thought if you think back to your childhood, how many gadgets if any did you have? Russell stated that “the Digital ‘Montessori’ – a freedom to explore along pathways with immediate feedback and gamification of topics to measure and reward progress may be the next step forward with children being highly immersive, interactive and collaborative … and a lot less papier-mâché!
In addition there could be “Strong demand for creative and scientific – reinforcing maths and programing … most likely less getting cold and wet on a rugby field, and more competing over a simulated 7D experience where they can simulate what it feels like to be thoroughly miserable and chilled to the bone!”
Peter has similar views with a simple one liner to sum it up “Far more virtual reality experiences – immersion in a topic, a place an idea”.
Finally to end our discussion and take us all to a place of warmth and beauty with nothing around, I asked them what one person from the world of technology would they want on a desert island. “Oh, with the prospect to entertain myself, keep fit and eat I’d need at least George Foreman (consumer tech!) for some grillin!” laughed Russell. Quite simple for Peter “The man who can make my Derby County stream work”.
Interesting replies and much food for thought from both CEO’s working in different industries. Do you have similar views on technological change? I would like to know, or who would you take to your desert island, that I would be intrigued about?
Categories: Technology, Entertainment & Communications