Insurance and other industries always are searching for new and better ways to do business, and, not surprisingly, Microsoft Chairman and Chief Software Architect Bill Gates says software advances will lead the way.
Speaking at this years Comdex Global Technology Expo held here last month, Gates told an audience of several thousand that the industry still needs a platform to enable faster and more efficient commerce and e-commerce. This platform will be built, he noted, on an infrastructure of software that delivers what he called “seamless computing.”
Gates focused on various seams or “constraints” that have held back development of a better infrastructure for business. In the 1980s, the problem was that hardware was not sufficiently developed to allow rapid development, he explained. In the 1990s, hardware advanced, but there were constraints on connecting devices until the Internet matured enough at the end of that decade.
“People thought that was the last boundary, the last thing to be solved,” said Gates. “They were wrong.” In the current decade, which Gates has dubbed “The Digital Decade,” the challenge is to overcome the “seams” in order to establish software connections that will enable better commerce, he noted.
Todays “seams” include boundaries that prevent technology devices from communicating, as well as those that keep different software applications from working cooperatively, Gates observed. “Many things are not done because of these difficulties,” he said. “You are going to have many devices; they should be connected.”
Once we get rid of the seams, said Gates, “we can deliver all the scenarios we dreamed about.”
How will that happen? According to Gates, “It requires a lot of investment” in research and in building new software applications. He added that companies should work with industries who are conducting pioneering research, while “standards organizations need to move into new frontiers” to better enable communication. He focused particularly on “boundaries between corporations, where the ease of moving information in a secure way is still way too difficult. We have to schematize data in standard ways.”