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It’s time for data to grow up

It’s almost 2020, and I’m determined to begin the new decade with a firm resolution: it’s time for data to grow up. Let me explain what I mean.

Like me, many of you have children. There was that lovely time when they were newborns, totally dependent on us for everything. Those moments were, in retrospect, fleeting. It’s amazing how quickly our children grow up and become independent. And as much as we might miss those early years of childhood, our most critical job as parents is to love and nurture our kids to become increasingly independent and autonomous.

My wife and I began thinking of ourselves as “successful parents” when our children started achieving things on their own — from happy first steps and first words to scarier accomplishments like operating a vehicle for the first time. And then the really big one — they get put to work. Their first job is a relief, but a poignant one, as they no longer “need” mom and dad. As we empower our kids to reach their full potential, they go through a process of maturation that requires ever-increasing levels of autonomy. In short, they grow up.

Like children, companies grow up too. Most recently at Hexagon, my colleagues and I made a deliberate shift in our business focus and in how we will describe our company and what we stand for moving forward into 2020 and beyond. We determined that our story and what we can offer our customers is one rooted in autonomy.

What drove this shift is the proliferation of data. It’s everywhere — but it doesn’t drive the value we think. Climate change is occurring 10 times faster than at any time in the past 65 million years. And we have 10 times more data today than we had in just the past five years!

This begs the question: Why isn’t our technology — why isn’t our business, why isn’t our world — 10 times better? The short answer is this: Data, too, needs to grow up. It needs to be empowered. To achieve its full potential. To become increasingly autonomous.

At Hexagon, we believe this is a goal worthy of pursuing with our entire focus and energy — to help our customers put data to work to empower an autonomous future.

So, what does this mean for you?

First of all, it means that Hexagon is full-speed ahead with our world-leading reality capture technologies that are digitalising the world around us, making everything digitally accessible — so that all things, places and locations are machine-readable and accessible to the power of advanced analytics and algorithms.

Next, it means your data doesn’t live a sheltered life in a silo by itself. Instead, it interacts, connects and works with other data, simultaneously and seamlessly.

Most importantly, it means your data leverages data to make unaided decisions — learning from its mistakes and getting smarter over time.

At Hexagon, we call this new reality a Smart Digital Reality™. One that puts data to work in ways that enable it to become increasingly autonomous and truly grow up.

Autonomy is data at its best, most grown-up, advanced state. It is the ultimate form of data leverage — it will lead to greater efficiency, productivity, quality, and perhaps most importantly, sustainability.

While most think of autonomy as something that will drive our cars, I believe it will do so much more. It will protect our cities. It will improve our climate. It will make fossil fuels cleaner, mining safer, manufacturing more efficient, buildings smarter, and our children’s future brighter.

My resolution (and that of Hexagon) for 2020 and beyond? Empowering an autonomous future to better the world. Our kids deserve that!

 

Ola Rollén

Ola Rollén has served as the President and CEO of Hexagon, as well as a member of its Board of Directors, since 2000. As President and CEO, Rollén is responsible for driving the company’s growth, both organically and through strategic acquisitions that continue to transform Hexagon into a leading global provider of information technologies. Prior to joining Hexagon, Rollén held the positions of President of Sandvik Materials Technology, Executive Vice President of Avesta-Sheffield and President of Kanthal. He also previously served as a board member of Vestas Wind Systems A/S. Rollén holds a Bachelor of Science degree in Economics.