Reinhard Clemens talks about the industry 4.0 revolution and its impact on business processes and models.
Editorial

Prepared for the ne(x)t generation.

Reinhard Clemens, Member of the Board of Management Deutsche Telekom AG for T-Systems, and CEO of T-Systems.
More speed, security, efficiency, productivity – there’s no end to the digitization tools and methods that help companies do business more efficiently and effectively. Blockchain, mobile payment, predictive maintenance – the list goes on and on. Not only do they unlock new business models and improve your ability to service current markets better, but they also provide inroads to entirely new market segments. However, every thought, new idea and process has to pass through a network. And that’s where digitization comes in – long before the algorithms, sensors, actuators, bits and bytes.
Auto makers, for example, now want to be mobility providers – essentially service companies for mobility. That’s an entirely new way of envisioning their market role and demands a transformation of their business model. Two trends will have a particularly dramatic impact: electric vehicles and autonomous driving. Both depend on artificial intelligence (AI) and smart networks. But for AI to work as a viable technology, it mustn’t be slowed down by the network.
If the battery is the heart of the vehicle, the software is its brain. And the more autonomous the assistance systems or vehicles are, the more intelligence – i.e. learning software – they need. Cars can then interact via sensors in fractions of a millisecond over ultra-fast next-generation networks, enabling a truly automated driving experience. All thanks to 5G, one of the focus topics of this issue.
But who will organize the integration of cloud and edge computing to literally take the necessary computing power (read: latencies) to the streets? Who will provide the data centers that need to offer much higher capacities than today’s worldwide computing hubs? Who will manage the highly scalable cloud platforms and myriad network technologies behind it all? Even as all these trends unfold, the complexity of these systems will skyrocket as distributed technologies spread, cybercrime grows and the Internet of Things swells to accommodate 25 billion devices, machines and sensors by 2020. Clearly, digitization is putting ever-larger demands on networks to be secure, reliable and high-performance. And today’s networks aren’t powerful enough to exhaust digitization’s full potential.
At T-Systems, we believe the answer lies in a highly integrated self-learning system. A system whose underlying network controls all the resources and processes in an intelligent, holistic, highly automated fashion.
In other words: a software-centric model of an intuitive network of new possibilities.
Best regards,
Reinhard Clemens