Jo Van Onsem (Group President, (International Public sector) - XEROX)


Innovating in the Digital Era: A Public Sector Perspective

The Changing Face of the Public Sector and Technology
We see a lot of evolution as technology is being driven for progress. In particular, we look for what can be disruptive tomorrow for our business. Most of the world knows Xerox for printing, and, as a matter of fact the whole Digitalization is putting a tremendous pressure on the market which reduces volumes of sales opportunities. We need to go for it because no business in the future will be there forever and it would all be driven by technology.
Tomorrow administrative processes will be completely automated and run by Robotics. Taxi drivers probably see severe threats and same is with taxi companies. So today we provide systems consisting of hardware and software to deploy electronic ticketing for public transport companies.
We look towards smart phones for what they can do, being used for acquiring, demonstrating, accessing, using means of public transport that can put a lot of pressure on business. So what we do is: we see how work was done three years ago and how it can be done. We have developed a complete solution that is completely disruptive for our business. Compare it with the traditional mobile phone, and with time we will see that smart phones will become a medium that will completely replace the ticketing system. So this is how technology will change our world today and it will continue to change it tomorrow.

Disruptive Innovation: Challenges
Of course, it will project challenges, as it will change our business model. Today we are more in project delivery. We deliver projects and in many cases we also operate afterwards. But clearly if we move to film based systems this is becoming a recurrent business model, for millions and billions of transactions that we need to manage. The value is going increase in data in just organizing for one specific transport medium solutions. It would be multi-modal if we look to it for the power of what it can be, it will extract other sense of business, not only the public transport but also like opening the lock of a shared car, accessing the receipt, paying for the taxi and ultimately paying for the service you require. So it’s really disruptive if we look towards what the current businesses are doing and organizing.

Changing role of a CXO
While sitting at backend and thinking that we may leave something that will last forever, it is completely wrong. We see an ocean of startups. People are creating new economies and we have seen that happening in the past. I have been in the business since years, so, I have seen main frames moving to mini computers, moving to laptops and desktops, moving to tablets and tomorrow we will see the information is being carried in a chip. So those things are changing dramatically the world that brings value to the quality of our lives and as a global player we do have a concern about the robust ability of our work and you know all areas of the world are developed equally so that people feel comfortable in their habitats where they have been born and raised and then we stop huge geopolitical moves from people like - feeling for violence, feeling for poverty, because our planet is what it is and that’s the only limitation we have which should not be meet by whatever means of technology that creates a bigger planet. So we have to be careful about the natural resources, because once they will be gone, we will be probably having a lot of technology but with a very little to use. So this should be the concern of every leader, every CEO that the business he leads has a concern and control on global wealth and not a local wealth.

Tech Trends Predictions for 2016
What is happening today, what we see today, is there to stay and continue. If we look to what 3D printing could be for medical industry, what 3D printing can be for everything, then that is producing goods. We have not seen what is happening with big industries like airlines where they can fly planes without a pilot. Then comes the autonomous cars, well that looks interesting. Autonomous cars would probably cause accidents, but if we look today, 70% of road accidents where people are getting killed are caused by human failure. We can reduce it substantially. But obviously, we see the first car that fails is an autonomous car, the first plane that crashes are autonomous ones, well that will be of course a worldwide news, but at the end of the day, we use the number of incidents by factors of 100s and 200s, this is what I would call progress. Sooner, things will happen but what about the resources? We see introduction of electrical cars as an alternative for the polluting fuel we have today. The electric cars would need the electric powers so we need to get them again. What about using water, what about recycling? I think these are the elements that are going to affect the fundamental changes that would fundamentally change the way we live etc. So I think this technology is going to continue, what all aspects are going to come, I don’t know but I am open these kind of things as we have a great future ahead. All these evolutions create a better world for everybody.

Key Takeaways
I think it’s important that we all have a responsibility because first of all we are employing people. All these employees have families so I think we have a responsibility for creating an environment for them to ensure them. Its people who work day to day for us and have a sustainable environment. I understand that employment is going to be a race for the best talent. For that we need to look at the communities where we are. We need to look where we do business and where we are. We know Returns, shares, investors etc. are important but we need to relate the stability by evolution by innovation.