Get ready for the digital quake of ICT megatrend driven disruption

If you think you are having a hard time now keeping up with the pace of change in technology then get ready to move to an even higher speed.

At the 23rd IFIP World Computer Congress 2016 Industry Prospect Conference  in Daejeon, South Korea delegates were warned of an impending Digital Quake driven by disruptive mega trends. The conference was organized by the Ministry of Science, ICT and Future Planning. Significant support was provided by a number of hosts:

  • Institute for Information & Communications Technology Promotion (IITP);
  • Korea Electronics Association (KEA);
  • Electronics and Telecommunications Research Institute (ETRI);
  • Korea Electronics Technology Institute (KETI);
  • Korea Information Society Development Institute (KISDI);
  • National IT Industry Promotion Agency (NIPA);
  • Korea Internet & Security Agency (KISA)

Among the presentations, Gartner provided the attendees with tips about the top trends for 2016 and warnings of an impending digital quake were received from a globally respected industry pioneer.

Disruptive Megatrends

Canadian industry pioneer, founding Chair of the Global Industry Council with IFIP IP3, and Microsoft  Most Valuable Professional (MVP), Stephen Ibaraki, gave a keynote presentation to the large audience in the 1500 seat grand convention hall on the ICT Megatrends tipped to create a future digital quake likely to cause 80 per cent global disruption. In doing so, he cited the work of Pedro Domingos, Computer Science Professor at the University of Washington and winner of the SIGKDD Innovation Award, ICT’s equivalent to the Nobel Prize.

Mr. Ibaraki, a retired educator who has himself received over 50 national and international awards throughout his career and is a prolific industry commentator, investor and successful serial entrepreneur, highlighted the impact of megatrends including:
• Machine learning, as enabled by Big Data;
• The automation of scientific discovery, which dramatically speeds the pace of progress;
• The replacement of white collar workers (not just blue collar roles) by machines;
• The transition from deterministic to probabilistic computing; and
• The rise of evidence-based decisions in a wide range of areas, based on improved access to data.

He also noted over 500 other MEGATREND data points including:

  • The most powerful resource for driving Megatrend Innovation—the 1.5 million user Digital Library  from the Association for Computing Machinery or ACM.
  • Microsoft’s explosive global innovation in their product and services such as 110+ million Windows 10 devices and IoT ecosystem, personal digital agent, Skype real-time language translation, HoloLens  and
  • The critical importance of technology driven and supported startups in driving sustainable economic growth.

Prior to the conference Mr. Ibaraki participated at an historical unprecedented United Nations event—the first time external non-governmental stakeholders were given the extended ability to inform the United Nations through three panels and unique with live streaming and Twitter for questions. Areas of discussion included WSIS+10 and Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). Both have a significant underlying reliance on technology and are indicative of megatrends.

Gartner Top Trends for 2016

Advanced machine learning was also one of three top trends highlighted by VP and Research Director of Gartner CIO Research, Andrew Rowsell-Jones. With predictions that enterprise IT budgets would grow by a global weighted average of one per cent over the coming year, Mr. Rowsell-Jones pointed to trends of:
• Device Mesh, the interconnectedness of multiple, increasingly intelligent devices and data sources. Gartner predicts that in 2020, consumers will spend $65 billion on Smart Homes Services and that by 2021, one million new things will join the Internet of Things (IoT) every hour;
• 3D Printing (with predicted growth from around 300,000 units this year to almost six million units in 2019); and
• Smart Machines, expected to be the most disruptive trend over the next 10 years as the IoT drives massive increases in data to enable predictive analysis and machine learning.

Adding to the theme of digital disruption, Jin Hyung Kim, President of Korea’s Software Policy and Research Institute, pointed to existing and impending revolutions in mobile technology as well as for the automobile and health sectors, saying that cars now run not on fuel, but on software.

Mr. Kim also highlighted the impacts on employment, particularly the youth market, saying that governments must act now to prepare young people for the jobs of the future.

What Can You do to Prepare?

The Global Industry Council (GIC) is well aware of this impending disruption. The GIC 2020 Skills Assessment report aims to provide guidance to business, industry, governments, educators and ICT professionals in developing a response. The report states “This is a challenging time for ICT. Many of the methods, techniques, and solutions that evolved as the industry matured have been commoditized. During this evolution technologies and new usage models have meant that certain subject areas require fewer people with a specific skill set but those that remain in that skill area must have a deeper expert knowledge.”

WCC2015 is the flagship event for IFIP, the global professional body for those working in ICT and computer science. For more information, visit

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Jim Love, Chief Content Officer, IT World Canada
Dave O'Leary
Dave O'Leary
Dave is a founding managing partner of REDDS Venture Investment Partners ( His career in post-secondary education included roles as CIO, Vice-President and acting President. Dave is a member of the Practitioner Board of the Association for Computing Machinery. He chairs the ACM Practitioner Board Marketing Committee and is also a second term member of the Board's Professional Development Committee. (ACM - Association for Computing Machinery--official IFIP international member representative, largest and most respected international computing science, research, education, innovation professional association well known for their AM Turing Award (Nobel of computing) with 1 million USD prize, 1.5 millions user digital library, 2 million reach, learning center, Applicative conference, Queue magazine, 200 conferences/events, 78 publications/news, 37 Special Interest Groups). He is a board director of the Global Industry Council and the immediate Past President of the Canadian Information Processing Society of British Columbia. Dave is co-founder and director of an ISV computer technology business and is currently leading and advising start ups in the USA, China, Europe, and Canada. He serves as a task force member of the Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers (IEEE) and is the past chair of the Canadian National Council of Deans of Information and Communications Technology. He served two terms as a director of the Canadian National Information and Communications Technology Sector Council advising on National technology and economic strategy. Dave has appeared as a panel member in a number of Microsoft webcasts and has presented globally on the business and technical impacts of technology in training. He is the recipient (2002) of the highest national award for leadership in post-secondary education.

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