The Vinod Gupta School of Management recently had the pleasure of hosting Mr. Unny Radhakrishnan, Chief Digital Officer, Maxus Global South Asia and Mr. Harish Shankaran, Director, Creative Technologies at Maxus Metalworks for an interactive session on “The Future of Everything”. The session was held on the 23rd of February, 2017 and was a part of the Vaarta, 17 series of guest lectures.
What the “Future of Everything” signifies, strikes a particular note in all of our minds, one that has been lingering within for the past decade or so. The question that most people have on their minds today is, “How fast can we expect technology to move, and wherein the future will it take us”. Technology of late, at least the most phenomenal of the lot, has been disruptive. It has broken barriers and conventional systems to usher us into the world where we literally cannot survive without it. So where is it taking us? Are we prepared to face our own evolution?
The session focused on digital strategy and how existing organisations are leveraging information and groundbreaking inventions to realise their goals. Today everything is connected through flows of information, with the advent of mobile communications and the internet, there is now an enormous amount of available data. We are moving into the era of Artificial Intelligence and can already see its applications in so many real life incidences, like using a Smartphone or using predictive models for complex forecasting in financial markets. Every new venture that we see as a success today has somehow leveraged the same information to grow, be it Facebook, Apple, Amazon or Tesla. This change has created what the speakers termed as the Consumer of the Future, one who is aware of the changes taking place globally and has complete knowledge of what he or she requires in the form of a product or service. Intelligence and the impact of its widespread prevalence in recent times have changed the global business scenario. Organisations must now continually adapt and bring in new ideas and technologies to be able to maintain a competitive advantage.
The future of everything involves to a great extent the notion of Imagineering. Imagineering is the implementing of creative ideas into practical form. We exist in a time when augmented and virtual realities are no longer a part of science fiction, where flying cars are not just part of a sci-fi movie and where machine learning has helped develop interactive personal computers that have the ability to converse with us. All of this with an exponential growth in computing power and intelligence is propelling us into the future at superfast speeds. We must adopt the concept of “Moonshot Thinking” as well. It says that instead of a mere 10% gain, a moonshot aims for a 10x improvement over what currently exists. The combination of a huge problem, a radical solution to that problem, and the breakthrough technology that just might make that solution possible, is the essence of a moonshot. It is what we need to be able to adapt to this upheaval.
The session ended with a Q&A round and was filled with extensive questions which the speakers answered with great zeal. The discussion left the audience with an eerie feeling of excitement towards what they were about to witness in the coming years and the innovative means that can be employed in order to make a successful transition into the future.