Tag: Ask the Experts

Kimmo Alkio, TietoEVRY CEO

“When one discovers the impact of technology, the global scope of innovation, how it advances societies and is so critical to business, that’s when you know that the tech sector is now and will always be one of the most exciting industries in the world,” proclaims Kimmo Alkio, president and CEO of TietoEVRY, the Nordic software and services company.

Alkio has been traversing the world of technology since he graduated from Texas A&M University in the 1980s. He started his tech career with Digital Equipment Corporation (later acquired by Compaq), followed by F-Secure and Nokia before joining the former Tieto in 2011.

“Those who’ve been in this industry for a while have seen how we’ve been through a large learning curve across different technologies, different business models, and evolving ways of working,” Alkio said. “This experience, along with the development of close customer relationships, are the foundations for success in the field.”

Change has been constant throughout Alkio’s career. He had just wrapped up Tieto’s merger with EVRY (in December 2019) when society shut down shortly after, prompted by the Covid-19 outbreak. Alkio describes it as an exciting but challenging time.

The dual forces of a life-changing pandemic and a newly settled merger posed an opportunity for us to question our old habits, to learn how to engage virtually with employees across the globe, and maintain and even intensify the activity levels with customers,” he said.

According to a Tech Pro Research survey, 70% of companies either have a digital transformation strategy in place or are working on one, an impressive figure which might suggest that the vast expanse of industry is well on its way to a promising digital future. In reality, 70% of digital transformations fail, most often due to resistance from employees, according to research conducted by McKinsey.

Stakeholder demand and public expectation continue to rise at pace. Driven by the pressure to decarbonize, nearly every sector is setting more rigorous sustainability standards with digitalization at their heart. If companies can’t manage the change, they risk reputational damage and becoming irrelevant.

“When it comes to digitalization, what companies need most is to outline their commitment and goals and formulate a plan to offer structure and translate strategy into action for their people,” says John Sczurko, executive president of consulting at Wood.

Yasuki Tsukahara of Yokogawa

Yasuki Tsukahara, the director and managing executive officer for Yokogawa Solution Service Co. Ltd., reflects on the complex and data-intensive path we must take to reach a renewably powered world.

After 35 years with Yokogawa, Yasuki Tsukahara has had many careers within the company. It began by supporting business development for international oil companies and it led to his position today, helping to build solutions for industrial automation, as well as testing and measurement solutions, around the world. Currently his focus is on delivering solutions to help the renewables industry succeed. In Yokogawa’s mission to support a world powered by renewables, Tsukahara outlines three must-haves to make renewables a more viable option for the power providers.

Dr. Sanjiv Gossain of Cognizant speaks to Ignite News on industrial digitalization

Sanjiv Gossain is a firm believer in the power of technology to solve major societal challenges. His knack for untangling complex problems defined his academic years and later a career spent bridging the gap between business and technology.

As the Cognizant Digital Business and Technology Leader and Global Head of Google Cloud, Gossain says that “no two days are alike.” Change has been the only constant during his decade and a half with the company, and his belief in the importance of what Cognizant does has never wavered.

“Our clients come to us for help to keep up with change,” Gossain said. “The business leaders want to be able to respond to increasing competition and rising customer expectations. The tech people want to figure out how to speed up to deliver products and services in weeks, not months. And then there are the underlying factors they all must deal with, including sustainability, which is where I see great focus these days.”

Dr. Sanjiv Gossain of Cognizant is a firm believer in the power of technology to solve major societal challenges. His knack for untangling complex problems defined his academic years and later a career spent bridging the gap between business and technology.
Itera CEO has his eye on these emerging industrial IT trends

“Twenty years ago, we were asking how to manage the potential for digitalization in industry, and today we are doing the same thing,” according to Arne Mjøs, founder and CEO of Itera, the Nordic tech company in creating digital businesses to industrial companies seeking sustainable change.

Mjøs explains that the digital capabilities today may be light-years ahead of what it once was, but everyone is still talking about the same concepts and still figuring out how to extract more value from data that are locked in silos and legacy systems across IT and OT.

The idea of technology doing more for industrial companies first blossomed in Mjøs’ mind in 1995, following a talk with Bill Gates in Oslo. “Already then, Gates was talking about the future of software and the power of having information at your fingertips. It sparked something in me.” 

Sharing data is at the heart of it all, according to Mjøs, and it’s what is going to propel these trends and big ideas into the industrial mainstream. And perhaps what’s even more crucial, he says, is to ensure that everything we do technology-wise has a sustainable end in sight.
Rolf Thu CTO of Aarbakke
Rolf Thu, CTO of Aarbakke

Most people are talking about DataOps as if it’s an idea that emerged within the last 5 to 10 years. But according to Rolf Thu, it’s something Aarbakke, a world-leading mechanical solutions supplier to the oil and gas industry, has been thinking about since the early 2000s.

Thu says that digitalization and what’s today known as DataOps has been long in the making — people just didn’t know what to call it. For Aarbakke, it’s been a steady evolution, introducing digital solutions step by step over the years until the company emerged as the “smart factory” it sees itself as today.

“I joined Aarbakke in 1989, and the theme throughout my career has been learning,” Thu said. “And what we’re doing now with data is also about learning. We are learning from best practices, we are increasing the competence of our employees, and we are constantly seeking improvements for our factory through better and smarter uses of data.”

There’s no shortage of sources for ocean data. But unfortunately most of it is tucked away in databases, living in isolation, and not being put to work to save our seas. It’s a challenge that Aker Group and the World Economic Forum believe they can meet, which is why they established the Centre for the Fourth Industrial Revolution for the Ocean (C4IR Ocean) .

As Kristine Hartmann, the Chief Operating Officer for C4IR Ocean, tells the story, it all started three years ago in Davos. Aker CEO Øyvind Eriksen was a participant at the exclusive World Economic Forum event, where he joined an environmental session followed by an oil and gas session.

“He realized then and there that these two arenas were discussing the very same problems related to the oceans, but they weren’t talking together,” Hartmann said.

Ieva Martinkenaite

AI expert Ieva Martinkenaite, advisor on AI for the European Commission and an executive with Telenor Research, reflects on the AI promises and moonshots that once filled the newspaper pages, finally answering the question: What happened?  

Over the past several years, we have experienced incredible hype around all things “AI.” This has been fueled by staggering VC investments into research and breakthrough innovations in machine learning (ML) from the internet giants.

If we were to believe what we were once promised, we should be working alongside intelligent robots, sitting in self-driving cars, and engaging with human-like chat-bots by now. However, due to real-world complexities, making those technologies work and be accepted as safe is a much more difficult task than we first anticipated.