French CIO: watch out for the 10 breakdowns that are coming to digital

Estimated read time 4 min read

French CIO: watch out for the 10 breakdowns that are coming to digital

To correctly predict the future, it is still necessary to analyze the present accurately. It is to this task that the president of Cigref, Jean-Claude Laroche, ex-CIO of Enedis, now director of mission to its presidency, undertakes in preamble.

The organization of CIOs of large companies held this week its 53rd general assembly. In this context, it is publishing the latest edition of its Strategic Orientation Report: 10 ruptures by 2030-2040.

Quantum, environment, fall of the Gafam…

The next decade, like the current one, promises to be eventful in view of the prospective exercise carried out by the members of Cigref. It is true that the last few years have not been without chaos.

“The digitization of all human activities continues in a world that is transforming at lightning speed, marked by shocks that we generally did not anticipate, and whose magnitude never ceases to amaze us,” emphasizes Jean-Claude.

In terms of technology and innovation, Cigref anticipates two main disruptions. The first will have as its source quantum computing which, by 2030, could be “operational and widely disseminated.”

The CIOs retain as a breakthrough hypothesis, an acceleration of quantum research allowing an operationalization and a distribution. Such a scenario, however, assumes levers, such as increasing private investments and solutions to current technical and physical difficulties.

Towards a disaggregation of telecom networks

The second major technological breakthrough will come from the deployment of 5G, then 6G, which will be succeeded by the “introduction of concepts such as Open RAN”. The resulting virtualization and automation will lead to “the disaggregation of telecom networks.”

It is impossible to ignore digital technology and its impacts, and on the environmental issue more broadly.  The Cigref projects on a risk of a high intensity solar storm between 2030 and 2040.

Such a phenomenon would deprive organizations of their electrical and communication networks. Which company is ready to face such a scenario? The levels of preparedness in the face of this risk are “very disparate, except in certain military fields.”

Large companies also consider it desirable to anticipate a tightening of regulations on recycling (100% of digital equipment), an aggravation of tensions with China and a withdrawal of the United States on their national interests alone.

Microsoft, Amazon and Google: I love you, neither do I

Wish or credible hypothesis, the Cigref wonders about a rupture which by 2040 would result in the collapse of the economic model of the MAGS (Microsoft, Amazon and Google). The organization recently criticized the pricing policies of these now omnipresent giants, conspired but acclaimed despite everything.

This reality reflects all the difficulty of doing without them, while accentuating the consequences of increased dependence.

“This possible disappearance of the digital giants could pave the way for the emergence of new players, but could also complicate access to certain digital products and services,” thus imagines Cigref.

Fiction or hope, CIOs project themselves on a Europe that has been able to consolidate a high-performance digital industry and strengthen its strategic independence. On the other hand, this progress would be accompanied “by a global and generalized surveillance enabled by digital tools.”

AI and its effects on work

Less dystopian, the 10th rupture originates from “the progress of Artificial Intelligence, and particularly generative AI”. These developments would lead to radically modifying the organization of work by 2030.

2030 is practically tomorrow, with positive effects on the efficiency and productivity of employees, but potentially also job losses and increased needs for professional retraining. But the Cigref favors the scenario of the best.

“New professions related to the development and supervision of generative AI could emerge, thus creating new opportunities. This evolution could also reduce the working time of employees, impacting the balance between private and professional life.”

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