Brian Comiskey, director of thematic programs at the CTA, hosted a panel walking through why innovation at the long term is important, with a focus on cybersecurities, Cloud Ai and robotics. The panel included Robert Blumofe from Akamai, Veronica Lancaster from the CTA and Efram Slen from Nasdaq.
The Current State of Digital Utilities
“I would characterize them as being in a reality phase,” said Blumofe. “I don’t mean colliding with reality, like with the metaverse or crypto. These are colliding with reality, whereas AI and Cloud is delivering on their promise.”
According to the panelists, the realities of rising costs are going to transform the future. With the pandemic, the world experienced two years of digital transformation, although AI has been hindered by concerns by people worrying about taking away their jobs.
All three of these sectors — cybersecurity, the cloud and AI — are critical. They are seen as critical functions that support the technological ecosystem. When it comes to digital utilities, there is so innovation that you need to look at it as a whole, and it is constantly evolving. In terms of innovation, it comes down to scale and simplicity. The key capabilities and the technologies are already there.
Cloud scales well, but businesses have to put cost in to the equation. Cloud adoption is so easy, but now there is so much data in the cloud that security risks have heightened. The benefit will come to companies that can make cybersecurity easy, so people don’t have to put together these complicated processes. These companies need to have the balance of portfolios that are low cost, high-scale without cracks in password authentication.
Moving Ahead with New Standards
New standards for consumers, particularly when it comes to utilities, comes down to sophistication and meeting consumer expectations. If the utilities aren’t there to support users, it’s going to be problematic. Standards play a role there, although standards are still be established. One of key standards to keep an eye on is Matter, which is affecting smart home devices starting this year. Theoretically with Matter, users don’t have to be loyal to one brand and one app or system could work across different manufacturers. According to Lancaster, this will complicate things, but in a good way.
“It’s just evolving so fast,” said Lancaster. “We’re looking at so many different buckets constantly.”