Top tech firms must ensure digital access for all: Cisco CEO

Top tech firms must ensure digital access for all: Cisco CEO
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A man types on a computer keyboard in this illustration picture February 28, 2013. REUTERS/Kacper Pempel/Illustration/File Photo

Davos: As the world moves towards embracing digital economy, top technology companies must keep the competition aside and work with all the stakeholders to solve some of the real issues people are suffering from, Cisco CEO Chuck Robbins said on Tuesday.

“The top message is that we have to put the competition aside and work with the governments and members of the civil society to solve some of the real problems like providing education, skilling people, eradication hunger and so on,” Robbins told the gathering at a session on the first day of the World Economic Forum (WEF) here.

“The responsibility falls on the business community to try to optimise access to the digital economy. There may be need to embrace partnerships with competition to bring the benefit of technology to society,” the Cisco CEO added.

Robbins was speaking at a session titled “How will industries, institutions and innovation shape the future of the digital economy?”

“I believe the mandate going forward for us is to step up our efforts. The CEOs of 24 top tech firms met nearly three weeks ago and discussed how to utilise their cash and resources to help the society bear the fruits of digital transformation,” Robbins emphasised.

Gavin Patterson, CEO of BT Group, said that collaboration and sharing data with competitors was critical in improving access and tech skills for future generations.

“All future jobs will have a tech element. The governments and businesses must support learning and retraining workers to accommodate a rapidly changing job market,” Patterson noted.

According to Neelie Kroes, board member of Salesforce, young people want to know what is going on when it comes to social media.

“A child spending time on iPads is our responsibility. We should not look at the governments to find solutions but tech honchos can come together and fix this responsibility,” Kroes told the audience.

“We must overcome societal resistance to digital technology via regulation and being transparent in order to build trust,” she added.

For James C. Smith, CEO of Thompson Reuters, privacy is a big concern.

“We are seeing a growing technology backlash as people are growing concerned about what it will mean for the future of jobs and trusted sources of information,” Smith noted.

“We need trusted access for all. Digital identity is the building block towards trusted access, authentication and privacy,” he added.

Michael Gregoire, CEO of CA Technologies, said the key issue in the future was going to be who owns the data and who was going to finally monetise it.

IANS