Technological innovations have produced the most important advancements of the modern world. The earliest inventions revolutionized farming through mechanization. Later technology achievements in energy, transportation, communications, healthcare, and ultimately the computer sciences transformed the lives of every person on the planet.
Today we live in a digital world, with hyper-connectivity dramatically impacting the way we communicate, consume data, and make everyday decisions. Information technologies make our lives more efficient and smarter, and our communities more resilient – while at the same time challenging foundational principles such as privacy, security, and even democracy.
The pace of advancement is moving faster than we have ever seen, and the avalanche of disruptive, next-generation digital technologies such as the Internet of Things (IoT), big data, analytics, cloud computing, artificial intelligence and machine learning will make our future more digital, automated and autonomous, transforming norms of everyday life. RIDGE-LANE Limited Partners is positioned to lead companies through this digital transformation and into a more intelligent and digitally secure world.
OUR GUIDING PRINCIPLES & THEORY OF CHANGE
IoT and “Smart Everything” is the Future. The growth of intelligent connected devices has been phenomenal, playing a role in smart cities, transportation, urban safety, the connected home, commercial building and energy efficiency, and industrial automation. This speed of proliferation will be further accelerated by working hand in hand with transformative technologies like artificial intelligence and the cloud. A key turning point for IoT will be the shift from the current “Intranet of Things” deployment model to one where data can be exposed, discovered, entitled and shared with third-party IoT application developers, creating an even smarter and more connected world.
Mobile Will Penetrate all Aspects of Our Lives. Two decades after the introduction of the first mobile phone, almost every developed country has at least 90 percent mobile phone penetration. Advanced networks combined with the computing power of smartphones will allow mobile to become the default means of connecting to the Internet. We are also seeing mobile move into a multi-channel interaction between the technology and the user, where more features and advanced applications integrated into IoT and “smart everything” will allow mobile devices to become hyper-personalized and incorporated into every aspect of daily life.
Big Data Analytics is Driving Business Growth. Big data analytics has become increasingly important in organizational decision making, driving modern business operations and enabling efficiencies in business processes across the globe. Organizations that take a holistic approach to data and analytics, create end-to-end architectures that allow for data management and analytics to inform better decisions throughout the organization, and make data and analytics part of the business strategy, will have a better rate of success, and ultimately quicker and more profitable growth.
Moving to the Cloud Makes Financial and Operational Sense. As more organizations are plagued by the enormous costs of managing infrastructure while dealing with the high costs of delivering availability, security, and performance, the adoption of cloud services will continue to rise. Key factors driving cloud growth are the increased quality of public clouds and their ability to provide operational efficiencies and financial economies of scale – with centralized offerings incorporating identity, authentication, authorization, logging, reporting, analytics, monitoring, storage and disaster recovery. With these centralized offerings, developers don’t have to incorporate these capabilities into every application they build, saving time and cost. Big data analytics is also increasingly taking place in the cloud.
Transforming Through Artificial Intelligence and Machine Learning. The emergence of AI and ML will jointly usher in a digital-physical world of highly intelligent devices and systems that will enhance and/or replace many traditional human tasks, and allow people, machines, and business processes to co-exist in a unified system. The AI and ML technology have the combined power of transforming virtually all technology devices into intelligent, thinking machines. In this new world, we will see machines working as participative assistants with human experts and where AI initiatives will reinvent business models and ecosystems. We should expect a steady decline in centralized hardware platforms and a rise of platform-independent, modular software, with autonomous systems developing enhanced capabilities. The ability of user interfaces to engage with users will allow for intelligent systems to collaborate, engage, and solve business problems over disconnected geographies. Routine data management tasks will be taken over by intelligent machines, freeing up time and new revenue streams to focus on critical business issues.
Securing the Digital Environment. Cybersecurity is an imperative. As more of our physical world becomes digital, protecting our cyberspace and preventing damage from threats like ransomware, data breaches, malicious software, coordinated botnets, spam, phishing, social engineering, fraud, and others – is essential. As cyber threats are increasing in sophistication and the amount of damage they can potentially cause, and with state-sponsored groups increasing their attacks on countries’ national infrastructures and their democracy – governments and the private sector will need to strengthen their cyber defenses – to protect not only national security and the economy, but democracy as we know it.
The Public and Private Sectors Must Work Together for Mutual Benefit. The public-private partnership model established for critical information sharing has suffered great strain in recent years. Very little useful and timely information is shared. Yet, the private sector owns and operates the vast majority of networked systems and critical infrastructure and depends on a strong relationship with the public sector to defend it. Relationships and shared capabilities must be developed well in advance of the next crisis. Properly deployed information technology systems permit sharing at network speed, in a manner that facilitates coordinated action with mutual benefit, while honoring both privacy and security.
Modernize Legacy Systems to Adapt to the Digital Transformation. The legacy technology footprint is extensive – across industry, academia, and government. Older operational technologies have multi-decade expected performance lifetimes and cannot be easily replaced as network-centric technologies come to market. Understanding that industries dependent on large physical infrastructures cannot change as rapidly as those operating exclusively in the cloud or with other virtual infrastructures, we advocate for intelligent adoption of new technologies into older plants and facilities without disrupting existing safety and security systems, while providing needed modernization to compete in a globalized and highly connected market.
Updated Procurement Processes are Needed. Innovation and commercialization of new technologies happens faster than traditional acquisition processes. Often a new technology idea can go from concept to product delivery in under two years, while typical procurement cycles from needs development to product evaluation and selection to testing to purchase could take five or more years for major operational technology acquisitions. Even if an organization’s procurement cycle can be shortened, by the time the technology is delivered, a new or greatly improved version is arriving on the market. This shortened innovation and delivery cycle requires the development of a quicker, proactive, and progressive method of acquisition that also does not limit proper testing and evaluation.
We foster innovation, translating technology to humanity, ensuring that it serves its purpose of creating a better quality of life – for individuals, organizations, government and society as a whole.