Everything is always moving a little faster in this day and age. Innovations are emerging and spreading at high speed across the world. A spread that took years to achieve in 1950 takes just weeks in the 2020s. What will happen in 2040 we can't imagine, but what do some of AddPro's leading figures see through the glasses of the future?
In a conversation with CEO Nicklas Persson, Marketing Director Nicklas Henriksson and Sales Director Mattias Viderum, we take a look back at the last century and how it took 75 years for the phone to reach 50 million users. Radio took 38 years, TV 13 and the internet four. While Pokemon Go reached the 50 million mark in just 19 days.
Then we slide into what's bubbling in society right now: the requirement to connect remotely using digital tools and platforms. Not least during the onset of the global Corona pandemic, companies that failed to implement remote working and remote meeting solutions realised that it's high time.
- Working remotely will get a boost for a long time to come after what started in Wuhan, says Nicklas Persson. For us, it means that our offering will be affected as our customers change the way they organise and locate themselves. Now people are seriously discussing whether they will even need offices in the future.
- Anyone who has been used to being able to walk and work in a particular place needs to think again. I think that in the future a job will be defined as something you do - not a place you go. We will see a difference between what is designated as local versus global; a new division, continues Nicklas Henriksson. Now everyone who has the opportunity to work remotely must be prepared to do so.
A mobile society
It's a digital storm we're all part of with the fourth industrial revolution, where AI, the Internet of Things and robotics are becoming more commonplace. Back in 2015, Bill Gates told us in a Ted Talk that mobile is the number one platform and that the pace of adaptation will accelerate. In the reality we are now in, it only takes seconds to reach lots of people. Bill Gates was right.
- This makes the future even more difficult to grasp. Just think of the difference between how we humans travelled in 2003 and how small the Chinese economy looked then. Now we fly ten times more and the whole society seems to develop almost logarithmically," says Mattias.
How does AddPro actively weave these new conditions into its offering?
- We see great opportunities for our customers in the technology platforms that will be crucial in the near future: IoT, BI, 5G, AI and robotisation. AddPro wants to evolve and will be able to help customers on the journey ahead.
Private life + work life = life
The AddPro blogs have long discussed what sets the framework for the developments that are becoming clearer every day. Among other things, the boundaries between private and working life have become blurred, which means that the way people behave in their leisure time is what they expect in their working life.
- This is linked to the fact that people and machines are being built together even more. When humans are digital, who will update the individual? If I have a chip in my arm that I use to log in to my workplace and use as a bus pass - is it me or my employer who owns the chip, asks Nicklas Persson.
But if the private sphere is increasingly merging with working life, other questions will arise. For example, what this means for IT, law, taxes and equality.
- What will GDPR look like in 20 years, asks Nicklas Henriksson rhetorically? If we think that regulation is complicated in the 2020s, what will it look like in 2040... And when AI replaces more and more jobs. Who will own that value? Not to mention the issue of distributional politics: Bezos is the richest man in the world and no man has ever gotten rich so fast without being a crook. So certainly there are new issues to follow and which we are already discussing.
- In the past, the one who knew the most owned the most. Today, it is the one who can take in and manage the most information that is the most successful," says Mattias Viderum. Perhaps the social divide can be erased if everyone gets the same amount of information. Money may not be as important in the future!
So what does AddPro do in 20 years. Any guesses?
- It's a tricky question. You have the ability to misjudge what's coming in just a few years and if you compare what we were 20 years ago, we were a completely different company than we are today, with completely different skills. I think we'll see new challenges in 20 years - most likely we'll be more strategic about our customers' business models and a catalyst to help them grow, take on new markets and keep up with developments," says Nicklas Persson.
- IT used to be a necessary evil, a cost, but already companies see us more as an investment. And even more so in 2040 - if I may guess, Nicklas Henriksson.
- Yes, and now we are starting to see R&D and IT budgets merging more. In 20 years, we'll still be focused on helping customers do smarter business. The question is, what will the traditional IT department look like in 20 years?
However, the coffee spot is something the trio believes will remain analogous - where people meet and build relationships.
- One is impressed by the speed of development. Everything can be done and you're hardly surprised anymore," concludes Mattias Viderum.
How do you see the journey into the future? And what expectations do you have of AddPro as a time traveler and partner in 2040? Please contact us to jointly map out the road ahead.