OpenText chief executive officer (CEO) and chief technology officer (CTO) Mark Barrenechea yesterday laid out his vision for the future, one that will force many organizations to do some quick maneuvering in a number of areas.
What was clear in a strategy dubbed Business 2030 that he outlined during his OpenText World 2022 keynote speech in Las Vegas is that change will be happening at warp speed. Speaking to a live audience of only 1,200 at the Venetian Resort and a virtual audience estimated at around 10,000 – indicative of the fact people are still wary of business travel – Barrenechea likened the change to what will happen to cells in the human body.
“About 40 per cent rejuvenate and recreate every 90 days and every cell in our body is created new every seven years. Why can’t business follow that momentum as well?”
If developments unfold the way he and his executive team say it will, then organizations will have no choice but to change, and in a dramatic fashion.
This is happening, said Barrenechea, because information is abundant and everywhere, and acceleration into the cloud continues to increase.
“We will get to digital transformation, and complete that by Business 2030. And there is a whole new set of requirements coming. There’s a whole new generation of work with Gen Y, Gen Z, there’s a whole new nature of collaboration, a whole new set of requirements – climate, trust, compliance.
“Ever since the Russian war on Ukraine began, we have commercial customers asking for military and federal- style trust in compliance, and OpenText is all in providing that level of trust and compliance to (them).”
There will also be much more data produced, and well before 2030, he said. “Three years from now, we’ll be automating more machines than humans in information management. We’re on this curve right now, bringing more robots, sensors, planes, trains, automobiles, computer-to- computer, cloud-to-cloud – we’ll have more machine-based automation than human based automation.”
There are, said Barrenechea, four exponential forces in existence today, each of which will lend itself to creating new ways of how organizations will soon function: The Rate of Automation (software, robots and machines), The Increase in Computing Power (doubling every 18 months), The Power of the Network (nodes, connected users, machines) and Data Sets, The Growth of Information.
As for Moore’s Law, he said, it “remains completely intact, where the FLOPS (Floating Point Operations Per Second) will keep doubling every 18 months, which is really important when we talk about Business 2030.”
The exponential growth of automation, computing power and network data sets, said Barrenechea, “is the spring that’s going to lift us up to 2030.”
The most profound change, however, will not come from technology advances, but from the two age groups that will dominate the work force, namely Generation Y – those born between 1981 and 1996 and Generation Z – those born between 1997 and 2012.
“Their expectations are radically, radically different. There will be instant expectations, which means even the idea of 90-day (software) releases will be antiquated by the time we get to 2030. It’s going to be all about ‘me – the internet of me. I want it now.’ It’s going to be instant.”
The Gen Ys and Gen Zs, he said, will want control of their space, their time, and their agenda.
Since all this change won’t happen overnight, now is the time, he said, for organizations to start “preparing for the intelligent information core, preparing for the new agenda, preparing for the new roles, preparing for the new workforce, preparing to get to AI – and not AI for efficiency, but AI to drive growth in your business. Build and own your own digital capabilities and centralize the complexity.”
Barrenechea also suggested it might also be time to reduce the amount of hardware currently in circulation.
“When we all went home for the pandemic – and welcome back, it’s The Great Reunion – we had two devices. We had a work laptop and a home laptop. You know what? We’ve been working on one device, and now we’re back in the office, why do we have two devices again? That sounds stupid. By the way, when we all want to work from home, we worked on the public internet. Why do we go back to the office and have corporate LANs?
“I say rip them all out. We’re ripping them all out. We worked on the public Internet. (Some say) ‘oh, it’s not secure. It’s not reliable.’ I don’t know, it seemed to work. Now that we are back in, let’s keep centralizing that complexity to free us up to get to 2030.
“We envisage one end device, regardless of where you are, work on the public internet, and move things to the cloud, and centralize that complexity, sort of the joy of IT.”