Human technologies

Until it gets to a motivated environment filled with inspiration, technology is no more just a tool –says to Napi Gazdaság Gupta Sanjay, business intelligence and information management solutions division director of T-Systems Hungary.

−Technology is nothing... –you cited Steve Jobs on the Business Intelligence –Human Technologies conference organised by T-Systems Hungary. What do you think about this remark of the former company leader?

Human technologies −I do very much agree with the approach and spirit on the basis of which Steve Jobs made this remark, because he continued like this: “What is important is to trust in the people, believe that they are fundamentally good and smart, and if you give them the tools, they’ll be capable of miraculous things …”Technology is no more just a tool until it gets to motivated environment filled with inspiration. That’s why we have chosen the Human Technologies as title for this conference: this way we emphasise that technical excellence is not enough: we must also consider the human environment we want to place the given technology to, as there are business and social factors acting behind it, and the importance and strength of these aspects is a relevant aspect of technological development.

−In your lecture you mentioned intelligent society. It’s been a long way to merely talk about such thing, and it’s going to be a long time before it fully develops. What was the course of this path?

−In the beginning information technology (IT) was appeared as a means supporting corporate operations. However, the development directions it set course for later –for example that the internet became faster, cheaper, and more easily accessible –have broadened the scope of the users. In the meantime, the demand and needs of the society towards technology have been more clearly formulated.
The adaptation of technology to the needs is an evolutionary process. As in case of many inventions, it sometimes happened here too that the inventor wanted to invent something completely different from what he eventually did. But this doesn’t mean at all that this is an invention created by mistake. It only means that the initial motivation changed in the course of the development, and the inventor realised, that in another form these inventions might play an important role in responding to certain issues of the society. Innovation does not always mean the creation of something that didn’t exist before; in many cases it is a new utilisation of an existing thing. In today’s world, part of the innovation processes in the field of info-communications (ICT) means placing existing technologies to new contexts.

−What has T-Systems Hungary done to be part of this process?

−Among other things, our Smart City –Digital City initiative is an attempt to answer this question. With its various solutions, this initiative covers a significant spectrum of city operations and management. Our developments related to transport –such as our Courier project or the ticket selling systems or our healthcare projects –are also good examples of solutions having direct impact on the life of the people. But our big data solutions serve the same purpose, for example the one with which we can deliver real-time, relevant promotional and advertising information to all, who require them. Another big data based solution of ours is the so-called Social Media Command Center (SMCC), which reveals what the customers of our customers –i.e. the end users –think about the services, products or campaigns of our customers in the social media. Information provided by the SMCC may help our customers to align their market offering with the needs and preferences of the end users more efficiently.

−Is the intelligent society created on the basis of the needs of the people involved in it, or is it the goal of the ICT companies?

−This is a question that can be asked of any player of any innovative industry. The question is, whether and to what extent the inventions generate the need, or responding to the existing needs creates the new inventions.
It would be immodest on my part to clearly answer this question in this complex –ICT or social –environment. I think this effect is mutual. Information technology or the info-communications industry does bring certain topics to the surface, but –in their defence–they always offer real and tangible values, otherwise masses of people would not use their solutions. On the other hand –in a sense –needs formulated by the society are being responded to as well. How surprising it may seem, for today’s ICT companies and inventors it is an “obligatory practice”to deal with social sciences. Needs coming from there also emphasise and reinforce certain directions of development. Community opinions appearing in the social media –either directly or indirectly –can give inputs to the ICT companies driving them to various solutions and innovations. So, this is a bidirectional process, but part of the society will always be critical regarding how much we generate the needs ourselves. In the meantime, as long as we do it in order to make life more comfortable, more transparent and more predictable –and this way creating an intelligent society –I think we serve a good cause.

Source: NAPI Gazdaság (József Diószegi)

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