It’s a Mad, mad, world but I am confident we will be better off for it!

I watched the whole thing there 
Unfold upon my TV screen 
“A new world order is on its way
Well pass the popcorn please 

-Thomas William Cochrane”

Being a Canadian I hold a soft spot in my heart for my fellow Canadians who have managed to breakout in the music scene. One such artist is Tom Cochrane whose hits “Life is a Highway” and “No Regrets” propelled him to fame both within Canada and across the border all on a single album “Mad Mad World” (and yes, we bought albums back then).

Reminiscing over the weekend I couldn’t help but think of how much change has occurred and how “mad” our world has become over the last decade –

Think about it, ONLY 10 years ago –

– We were still buying music (albums) albeit digitally through the apple store – streaming services didn’t exist

– We booked hotels by calling their 1-800 numbers and peruses rentals in the paper or on Craigslist

– GPS was constrained to proprietary devices – it wasn’t available on phones

– We still hailed taxis with our thumb and a good whistle – Uber didn’t exist

– We shared files via email and USB sticks – Dropbox was in its infancy

– Nobody knew what a “selfie” was – Instagram was just getting started

– A cool, electric car was an oxymoron – Tesla was just getting started

Now that we are 14 months away from ringing in a new decade all signs point to accelerating innovation.

During a recent Hitachi NEXT event in San Diego I heard the CEO and President of Hitachi Ltd., Toshiaki Higashihara talk to the “Yin” and “Yang” that come with technological innovation –

Specifically, he spoke to the “Light” and the “Shadow” that accompanies IT evolution –

The “Light” are the benefits to both corporations and society;

– Better healthcare

– Increased Convenience

– Increased Productivity

– Increased Safety

– Better Quality of Service

– Lower costs

The “Shadow” refers to the malicious threats that accompany the shift to the digital age –

– Personal and Corporate Security Exposure

– Potential for large scale Cyber- Attacks

– Potential for damaging Data Breaches

We are definitely on the cusp of one of the most exciting decades in the history of mankind –

With that, I applaud Hitachi Ltd., for taking a refreshing approach to this

– Combining their 100+ years of Operational Technology expertise in Transportation, Energy, Healthcare and Water with their 50+ years of Information Technology expertise to transform all industries into an “as-a-service” industry – Take for instance their “Train-as-a-service”

– Focusing their highest corporate mandate on a “Double Bottom Line” with a commitment to invest in driving Innovation that not only benefits their bottom-line but society as a whole – Take for instance their Proton Therapy System allowing for more affordable and less evasive cancer treatment.

We are seeing signs from other Technology leaders like Pat Gelsinger from VMware and Satya Nadella from Microsoft also pledging to using their powers for good and a commitment to driving societal benefit as an equal measure in line with Technology Innovation.

No doubt that the pace of change is increasing and we will continue to live in a “mad mad world” but I am excited about what the future holds.

Disclosure – I am currently the SVP & CTO Global Field and Industry for Hitachi Vantara

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