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Fourth Industrial Revolution

Fourth Industrial Revolution
Are you seeing 5G convergence with other exponential technologies?

Top Answer: The reality of 5G is that the market's not there yet, nor is the technology. It's very early. You hear a lot about 5G and you see the infrastructure being deployed, but applications tend to be in very specific areas. We're starting to see some convergence of 5G and wifi in the radio network and on the edge, but it tends to be in logistics applications. I haven't seen it come into the office in any way. I've seen demos of what T-Mobile is doing in retail, but I don't see it directly because I don't live in that space. You do see 5G in public services, and you're going to see it in medicine as well. 5G will be in a lot of spaces, but if you walked into the average tech company today, I don't think you would see 5G turning us inside out.

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What are some recent examples of convergent technology?

Top Answer: I was at a Microsoft Ignite conference a few years ago and one of the sessions was about mosquito trapping in Guatemala. But they weren't talking about how technology was trapping more mosquitoes; they explained how they were using drones to fly into parts of Guatemala that humans couldn't get to. They would drop in mosquito traps, retrieve those traps with the drones later, and then determine if there is malaria in that area. Once they did that, they could treat that area to kill off the mosquito population. They weren’t creating technology to kill mosquitoes. They just happened to use a technology that now exists to do it. And I get the feeling that's probably what we'll see more and more: people are going to take a technology that was used in one way and apply it to a different use case to start converging problems together.

Is Web3 here to stay?

Top Answer: For the enterprise, this trend isn’t likely to go away. While I believe there are a number of key reasons for that, I’m just going to focus on 4:  1. Our current security and identity mechanisms are like Ibuprofen for our headaches — they aren’t cures. The use of Blockchain for identity has a very bright future, even as an authentication and approval chain for other applications. The internet today is layered with fixes for the last fix to a legacy decision. It’s not too dissimilar from many older internal IT shops. Web3 has the potential to provide cures. Risks to future success include cross chain ID management.  2. Many of the trending solutions in IT today that are unlikely to go away, like the Metaverse, are directly supported by Web3. I believe a business without a metaverse presence in 2027 will likely not be a business at all.  3. If we can get past the fact that many of the leading Web3 companies are owned in large part by a few huge VC funds (centralized), and instead focus on what the networks can provide as alternative transaction methods for finance, trade, and more, we are likely to open up a new frontier for global access that could potentially deliver on the original promise of the internet.  4. Web3 will bring in more power for the buyer. Today we sell our souls for a “free” search or image posting opportunity, but it doesn’t have to be that way. Web3 has the potential to deliver that power.

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What are the top challenges for businesses in adopting Web3?

Top Answer: I think a lot of businesses aren't even thinking about it. It is really early and people just aren't aware.

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What advice would you offer IT leaders wanting to explore Web3?

Top Answer: Like my early advice for approaching edge computing, you should identify a clear use case and try it. I believe that IT organizations should be entrepreneurial in spirit and action. As such, I highly recommend creating the equivalent of a startup in your IT organization that is focused on how Web3 might enable new business models or improved service and engagement. Waiting another three or four years for the market to decide might just mean getting permanently left behind. 

Is Web3 different from Web2 in any real way beyond its name?

Top Answer: There are differences between Web3 and Web2 that are mostly involved in trust and access. I can’t say for sure whether those two things will hold true and be enough to extend the gold rush we’ve seen with Web3/Crypto to date. But there is both an opportunity and a need to gain more freedom from the largest internet players. There is also a need to extend capabilities in finance and exchange to everyone. In theory, capabilities that have historically belonged to large financial institutions, and even governments, could be delivered in ways that allow a specialist in Angola to work directly with a buyer or exchange in Alaska. Only time will tell if this “decentralization” will be meaningful. There are certainly reasons to suggest that decentralization efforts today are as similar to centralization as Tomato and “ToMAHto” — it’s the same fruit, it just sounds different.

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