Research Library

Study Tour Report: Building the Digital Platform

The 2018 April LEF Study Tour based itself in Seattle and San Francisco to build clarity around the nature of the digital platform and how it applies to the IoT and machine intelligence. LEF staff welcomed a cadre of keen attendees, and together we set about learning by spending time with innovators in this space.

Over the course of five days we visited organizations that are investing heavily in digital platforms – Amazon Web Services, Microsoft Azure, NVIDIA and GE Digital. To augment that viewpoint, we also visited a range of start-up organizations funded through either Seattle-based Madrona Ventures, or Silicon Valley’s a16z, to get ideas about the sorts of problems that need to be solved, but which the big organizations are not addressing.



Single Topic Report

PDF (3.9 MB)



Glen Robinson
Emerging Technology Director and Distinguished Engineer
Glen Robinson is an Emerging Technology Director for Leading Edge Forum.  Glen’s main focus of research is leading edge Enterprise technology solutions that will power the 21st century business. He is the co-author of our research publication The Renaissance of the IT Organization. The cloud has unlocked innovation that is now allowing the next wave of disruptive technology solutions to come to market, and whilst businesses are still working out how best to maximize the value from cloud services, they are now aware of ‘the Matrix’, this advanced sensing, deciding, all-seeing, global force that will be a significant threat to some.  But others will learn to understand it, to harness its power, giving them and those around them super-powers.  Put simply, we are moving into a time where our own capabilities will be augmented by that of powerful, intelligent robots.  A lot of the tasks we do today won’t exist tomorrow as they will be fully automated but also watched over and governed by advance cognitive intelligence.  The interface into this world is moving away from the screen on our device, to the world around us becoming an interactive physical and digital experience, which will be responsive to our needs.   As consumer expectations leapt forward with the adoption of the internet, so too is it about to leap forward once more now the Matrix is upon us.  This will change the way we service our customers, deal with our employees and live and do business in the 21st century.