The Wheels of Transformation

By Srinivas Kumar
Chief Technology & Product Officer at Mocana Corporation


In Why Strategic Thinkers Like Jeff Bezos and Elon Musk Embrace the Rule of Things That Will Never Change, Jeff Haden makes two great points to ponder: 

  • According to Jeff Bezos, the frequent question is “What's going to change in the next 10 years?” and not “What's not going to change in the next 10 years?”
  • What Elon Musk (and Aristotle) may regard as a first principle "Boiling things down to their fundamental truths, and reasoning up from there."

It is merely the wheels of transformation from the “emerged” to the “emerging” – from the “why” to the “why not.” Things change in the blink of a decade.

  • In the 1980s, the semiconductor industry witnessed the emerged “analog” transform into the emerging “digital.”
  • In the 1990s, the telecommunications industry witnessed the emerged “copper” transform into the emerging “fiber.”
  • In the 2000s, the IT industry witnessed the emerged “physical” machines in enterprise server farms transform into “virtual” machines in cloud-based data centers.
  • In the 2010s, the emerged “virtual machines” witnessed the emergence of “virtual containers.”
  • In the 2020s, the emerged “connected things” are witnessing the emergence of AI/ML and “digital transformation” in cyberspace.
  • Over a decade, the emerged “web browser” as the universal app was challenged by the emerging “app” in app stores.
  • Over a decade, the emerged “small screen and hard key keyboard” was replaced by an emerging “large screen and software keyboard” (using the same fingers more efficiently).

Boiling the above down to the fundamental truths, it was about utility models for cost reduction, high availability, efficiency, agility, and scalability for mass market – reasoning up to value creation with applications, services, and data sharing for revenue generation.

Over the coming years, the emerged “strength of password policy” in two-factor authentication will be challenged by the emerging "root-of-trust policy" with automated and scalable key and certificate lifecycle management in converged information technology and operational technology ecosystems.

Root of trust anchors

Boiling this down to the fundamental truth, it is about empowering the vision of zero-trust networking between billions of things (non-real-life machines) and humans (interactive users) – reasoning up to trusted machine-to-machine and human-to-machine connectivity with mutually authenticated identities for cyber resilience and protection of cryptographic keys. Microsoft Windows 11 requiring a Trusted Platform Module as a root-of-trust anchor is a clear indicator of changing times – explicit and verifiable trust in things.

The fundamental truths evolve too. Just as with the use of mice instead of humans in lab experiments, the use of programmable machines (devices, robots) instead of humans for interactive services and in manufacturing processes is an emerging reality – reasoning up to artificial intelligence and machine learning as technologies to harness data for deep learning and condition-based maintenance for safety and security.

Humans must learn about machines to innovate, so machines can better understand human needs! If machine capabilities change every 10 years (from the silicon wafer to the application frameworks), does that equate to human expectations changing every 10 years? If humans are not going to change in the next 10 years, would machines?

If you change the way you look at things, the things you look at change

– Wayne Dyer


Historians look back at ancient data and arrive at new conclusions, revealing the mystical nature of data that is revealed over generations of scrutiny. Well, there is no absolute immutable truth in data, just probabilities. Data is the new oil and fuels the global economy. Trust in data will prove to be the emerging challenge – because discovered data will increase (and perhaps change) in the next 10 years.

No truth in data

What will not change in the next 10 years is that one would still expect truth in data. But since there is no truth in data, one can only hope to establish perpetual trustworthiness of the data in the present, from machines. The emerged human-machine interface is witnessing the silent transformation to the emerging human-machine interdependence every 10 years.


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