As a child, Christian Obermeyer built and programmed his first computer – and got his first virus. Security has had top priority for him ever since. Today, as Principal Cybersecurity Architect at Siemens, he searches for deficiencies in the system landscape to keep on improving the company’s cybersecurity. He researches the latest ideas and trends to ensure that Siemens keeps right up to date with cybersecurity. But as a trend scout and thought leader, he is also looking at the bigger picture: How will our world change over the next five to ten years, and what are the risks and opportunities to be found in the new technologies? How can people and companies keep pace? Here’s Christian’s advice.
GET OUT OF YOUR COMFORT ZONE AND MOVE!
“The old industrial way of thinking, ‘first school, then vocational training / study, then work at Siemens until you retire’ won’t be feasible for much longer, and will be replaced by: go to school and learn a profession which might be obsolete in five to ten years. Then go back to school and learn a new profession. And so on. We need to get up and do something ourselves. As evolutionary theorist Charles Darwin said: ‘It is not the strongest of the species that survive, nor the most intelligent, but the one more responsive to change.’ Yet we find this difficult, because as soon as we are in our comfort zone, we want to stay there. But there is actually a wanderlust or explorer gene (DRD4-7R), as geneticists at Yale University in Connecticut discovered some time ago. This gene ensures that there are people who love change, movement and adventure.
Especially in digital companies like Google, we see a lot of willingness for change, movement and adventure. That’s exactly why these companies adapt to change fast. But Siemens is able to move fast as well – like in the first lockdown of the coronavirus pandemic: Here we managed to get home working fully up and running in less than two weeks. This was a huge achievement, and made me very proud.”
UNDERSTAND NEW TECHNOLOGIES AND USE THEM TO YOUR ADVANTAGE!
“Developments in technology are racing ahead exponentially at the moment, and every year there are a lot of new opportunities. Technology know-how is doubling within a year and it’s hard to keep track of all of these innovations. That’s why it’s essential for us to keep up to date at all times, understand the latest technologies, accept them and make use of them. And many of them make our lives much easier! Here are just two interesting examples: I’ve recently been using an Oura ring, which is a smart ring which I can use to track my vital functions and my sleep, among other things – with laboratory quality. It’s currently the hottest product on the market among biohackers and is bound to replace smart watches at some point. The ring has helped me to improve my sleep rhythm and to feel fitter as a result, without having to go to the doctor. It even told me in advance when I was getting sick – and it was mostly right. There are also studies in which a Covid infection has been reliably identified with the help of the ring.
Another good example is Walmart. In the USA it’s setting up a new delivery service for groceries. The refrigerator communicates with Walmart and tells it which groceries are needed in what quantity and when. Then someone comes to your house and restocks for you. If you don’t want this, you can choose to have your fridge filled by a robot. Payment is automatic, via a stored credit card. You don’t need to do a thing. In my opinion, it’s fantastic!”
MAKE SECURITY AN INTEGRAL PART OF YOUR PRODUCTS!
“Each of these new technologies is good per se and can offer us many excellent opportunities. But of course there are always people with malicious intent. That’s where cybersecurity will play a key role in the future: It’s not the products with the highest number of functions that will come out on top. It’s the ones with the best security standards. The more digital technologies we use on a day-to-day basis and the more important data becomes in doing so, the greater our need for security will be too.
Making cybersecurity an integral part of each product right from the outset will therefore be key. At Siemens, we already implement security by design and default in several products, among others in the digital industry sector. For the future, we aim to integrate cybersecurity right from the development stage into all our products and solutions. Siemens wants to lead the way here, as the market continues to look at us as an innovation leader. And this is also what we’ve committed ourselves to in the Charter of Trust.”
THINK ABOUT YOURSELF AND GRAB THE CHANCE!
“In its Future of Jobs Report 2020, the World Economic Forum states that trends like cloud computing, artificial intelligence, big data or e-commerce are changing tasks, jobs and skills, creating around 97 million new roles and thereby opening up lots of opportunities. Furthermore, there are future models that predict that someday we will be self-employed, working in teams on a project basis just for a particular topic and then moving on. Then everyone will be paid a basic income for this. So everyone can seek out the projects they enjoy most, in whatever their area. For this, we need to think about ourselves: What do I find interesting? What do I still want to achieve in life? How can I use all new technologies to my advantage? What are my career options? Of course at first these are all uncertainties, but once you tackle them and know where you want to go, you will always do what you love. That’s at least the experience I’ve made so far. By the way, I haven’t had a TV since I was a student, which means I have around two hours a day more than many other people to get to grips with the latest technologies .”
Have we sparked your interest in the future? Would you like to find out more about the changes in the next five to ten years? If so, you’re sure to enjoy Christian’s technology forecasts! Click here to visit his LinkedIn profile.