It is hard to imagine what the world would look like without the Internet. Its pervasiveness does more than just connect people, it also connects things, making global information-sharing transformational for society. In fact, the data being generated as a result of the Internet of Things (IoT) is doubling every 12 hours, creating endless amounts of consumable information and changing the way people live. IoT is also helping to create new and disruptive technologies, which lead to more personalized, consumer-centric services.
Change is now the norm for businesses in this environment and Thales is no exception. As a company, Thales is both driving new digital transformations for customers and also undergoing a cultural transformation that encourages employee innovation and entrepreneurialism.
At the heart of this cultural transformation is Thales xPlor which was launched in 2015 and celebrated its one-year anniversary in July. This project office was designed to leverage the Thales ecosystem to engage with start-ups and academia for the development of new, innovative solutions to key customer challenges.
It also helps directly support the company’s digital transformation vision: To transform the markets we serve and improve the digital future for our customers by solving the challenges they face.
The mission of Thales xPlor is to create new streams of value by identifying and partnering with emerging and disruptive technologies and companies, with the goal of creating new business ventures and technology insights.
Among the trends creating challenges and opportunities for customers are connectivity and mobility. At a time when so many devices and objects are connecting to the Internet, it is imperative for enterprises to ensure that their networks are secure and their data is protected. Safeguarding these networks without overly burdening the user is one of the many challenges Thales customers face in this new environment.
The amount of data generated by this environment is stunning, and the phenomenon of big data threatens to overwhelm even the most sophisticated customers. But with the right tools, there is also valuable insight and operational efficiency to be gained, especially in industries like airlines where margins are razor-thin.
In this new digital age, however, big data doesn’t belong just to the big players. Even as data gets “bigger,” information and connectivity – thanks in part to social media – are becoming more democratized. Social media has changed everything from home buying to newsgathering, and is opening new frontiers in terms of customer service and national defense. Harnessing the power of social media is vital for any enterprise that wants to learn more about its customers or – in the case of the military – monitor the activities of its adversaries.
The way this data is stored and shared has also changed. Through the cloud, information exists independent of any one brick-and-mortar facility, and has unshackled enterprises from the costs and constraints of hardware and geography.
But it has also introduced vulnerabilities that often make data networks difficult to defend – particularly when decisions must be made to counter threats occurring at speeds measured in megabytes-per-second.
For humans, decision-making in this fast-paced, data-laden environment can be daunting. That’s why technologies that feature Artificial Intelligence (AI) are becoming increasingly important. On the battlefield, AI informs systems defending friendly aircraft against advanced threats, and tech companies in the private sector are annoinuncing consumer-focused advancements in artificial intelligence and machine learning nearly every day.
Fusing AI advancements with the right security, communications, data and network solutions is our job at Thales, where customers across key industry sectors count on us to help them navigate the evolving business, security and operational environments created by this new age of technological disruption.