The future of the Internet is an interesting topic to think about, especially as the CIO of Boeing. Boeing has a global supply chain approach that relies heavily on the interconnected ability of our workforce and global partners. In the future, the Internet will enable vast improvements in the way global businesses and individuals work and communicate. Everything will happen faster, from collaborative global product design to instant communication with whomever we want to talk wherever in the world they might be.
Much of this will be accomplished through greater bandwidth, not only in developing countries, but also through higher wireless speeds around the globe that will truly untether work as we know it today. For example, I am writing this on a Saturday afternoon from my wireless home office, but I could just as easily be connected almost anywhere. The majority of the global workforce is unable to do this. With 6.7 billion people now inhabiting the planet, just a fraction of those are always connected at high speeds. Fast forward 10 to 15 years and this will change dramatically. I believe 20 years from now anyone around the world will be able to take advantage of ubiquitous connectivity and collaboration.
Of course with these advances come greater responsibilities for companies and individuals as they interact with this global Net. Information security and privacy will become even more critically important. In the future, when billions of people have every detail of their lives including personal and financial information, always online and connected, privacy and security will be at the top of everyone's mind. At Boeing we are intensely focused on information security as we expand our global reach and as our business model becomes more engaged with global production. We are also focused on ensuring our employees’ data and privacy are guarded carefully.
The other thought that comes to mind about the future of the Internet is that the user interface and system limitations that we all face today will drastically change. Think about the way you work today on a computer compared to 10 or 15 years ago and then fast forward. Today you are expected to interact with a computer the way the hardware and software manufactures designed their systems to work. In the future your interface to the interconnected world will be as you design it. You will choose your screen configurations and interfaces for devices and even new media that haven’t existed before. Think of the Ipod as a recent example of new media. Because product development lifecycles will be much shorter, new and innovative ideas will be brought to reality much faster as well, which will be very exciting.
Napoleon Hill in 1937 said, "What the mind can conceive, man can achieve." I wonder what his mind thought the future would be like 70 years ago. Clearly what is in our minds today about the future can be achieved. Let's all ensure it is done responsibly and with the right safeguards in place to protect our future as well.
— John Hinshaw, CIO, Boeing