Three questions for Alexander Gunde
President, Global Technology Sector, DHL
1. New technologies often promise to change the world. Are those promises being fulfilled?
Yes, they are. Sometimes new technologies are overhyped to start with, but their long-term impact is underestimated. New ideas move so quickly from being seen as extraordinary to the point where people just expect them to be there. The mobile internet is probably the best example of that. Today, half the world has access to information, entertainment and services from a device in their pocket. And in the current Covid-19 crisis, we see their benefit more so than ever, as, for example, AI helps to track and forecast the spread of the virus, and robots are being deployed to help with tasks such as cleaning and sterilizing.
2. What are the next major frontiers for technology and innovation?
In business, I believe that the biggest challenges often come not from the limitations of a particular technology, but from the complexities of implementation. It’s easier to make the internet of things work inside the walls of your own factory than to do the same thing across a supply chain involving dozens of organizations, hundreds of activities and thousands of interactions, for example. It’s those sorts of challenges that business and society are beginning to address today.
3. How does DHL see its role in a world of rapid technological change?
We want to be both a beneficiary and an enabler, especially through co-creating with customers and partners. We’re always testing and piloting new solutions and evaluating new technologies in our quest to innovate. And we can help our customers to deploy, integrate and support new technologies.