I. Dadasovas: “Today, the term digital universe is becoming more and more perceptible”

Information Technology (IT) is probably the fastest developing area, which dramatically alters both business and the society, while creating new challenges. “These processes lead to new challenges. One of the most important challenges is to collect, process, store, secure and access rapidly increasing amount of information as well as to make prompt decisions on the basis of such data, while optimizing these processes”, shared his views Idrakas Dadasovas, Chairman of the Board of a group of banking and information technology companies “Penki kontinentai”.

What are the five most important achievements of the last decade in the Lithuanian IT sector that you would like to highlight? What was their contribution to progress in Lithuania?

First of all, rapidly increasing impact of digital technology on both our daily lives and business should be mentioned. This includes both the dramatic progress of telecommunications and increasing impact of the Internet.

Constantly accelerating speed of the Internet promotes the development of digital technology:  the banking business (online banking, mobile bank), development of retail trade business, Internet Protocol Television (IPTV), education (distance learning), telemedicine, rapid growth of number of various smart devices are sufficient examples.

Today, the term digital universe is becoming more and more perceptible.

What are the key tasks awaiting the IT sector in the next ten years – what is it that we have to catch up to, achieve, create?

Many experts believe that in the next ten years, solutions based on the Internet of Things, big data and cloud technology will be of utmost importance. These three trends already have a significant impact on the development of universal databases, creating new jobs, increasing the competitiveness of the country and strengthening the economy.

However, these processes lead to new challenges. One of the most important challenges is to collect, process, store, secure and access rapidly increasing amount of information as well as to make prompt decisions on the basis of such data, while optimizing these processes.

Is the current Lithuanian government sufficiently aware of the priorities in the IT area and does it make adequate efforts for us to become truly competitive in this area? What should be the focus of attention and what should be promoted?

I am absolutely certain that the state must contribute to the development of the country’s IT market, by ensuring favourable conditions for it. Moreover, it is necessary to provide maximum support to companies that focus on the development of final products and increase of export to various countries.

Another equally important task of the government is to provide conditions for the training of qualified professionals.

Are IT professionals currently graduating from institutions of higher education sufficiently trained? What do they lack and how are they better than foreign IT professionals?

There is no synchronization between what is happening in the global IT market and the knowledge acquired by the students. Technological growth and development are now well ahead of the level of knowledge of young professionals who graduated from universities or other institutions of higher education. Therefore, I believe it is necessary to change the education system and enable today’s students to broaden their horizons, acquire the necessary practical skills in the first courses and make use of their knowledge to the maximum extent.

What are the specialties that you would recommend for young people? Today, IT professionals are in great demand, what is your forecast for the future?  

Specialties related to information technology are among most popular ones in both Lithuania and other countries of the European Union. The task of the state is to enable young people to make the right decision, when choosing their path.

My advice to young people who are choosing their future specialty is to choose the area that is interesting and that offers maximum opportunities for making use of one’s skills, rather thank thinking of fast money. After all, when you do what you like, it is easier to achieve the desired result and to succeed.

Currently, so-called startups are greatly popular both worldwide and in Lithuania. Do Lithuanians have the potential to create something global like “Facebook” or “Skype”? What should be the focus of attention of professionals and entrepreneurs for their product or development to conquer the world? Or maybe it is better to confine oneself strictly to the country’s or regional market?

I appreciate young people who have innovative ideas, try to implement them and wish to see the results of their work. Unfortunately, after many years of careful observation of stories of many startups, I have noticed that most of them fail to meet expectations of their investors. And the best part of the results achieved by startups goes to investors and sponsors.

As to the business, leaders should analyze the history of global companies, learn from mistakes, constantly observe the IT market and have a clear understanding of their goals as well as be stern auditors of their products or services. These are the only conditions, under which one can survive in the market and maintain the leading positions.

How shall our technology-loaded life change in the next ten years? How shall our outlook on privacy, communication and business change?

The more active the penetration of advanced technology into our daily lives is, the more pressing the issue of data confidentiality becomes. Information storage and protection are tasks that will become highly important. This is particularly relevant, when it comes to cloud technology, because data stored in a public, private or hybrid cloud require comprehensive security. Therefore, various security solutions, including biometric tools, mobile devices, voice recognition systems, will find their place in different areas of everyday life and business.

As a man who has great impact on shaping the area of information technology you are a futurologist in a sense; which technologies will have the greatest importance and impact on our lives in ten years?

The aforementioned Internet of Things: it consists of billions of everyday objects and devices with unique identifiers, which can automatically record, collect, analyze, receive and exchange data.

For example, running shoes recording the pace of running, a bridge that collects information about the number of passing cars, watches capable of transmitting data on the physical condition of a person, etc. Similar objects are already changing our lives, and they will become more accessible in the future.

Thus, the amount of information shall continue to grow rapidly. It is predicted that in 2013–2020, the amount of information shall be ten times greater, i.e. it shall increase from 4.4 billion to 44 billion gigabytes.

I believe that new opportunities to encompass and efficiently process these massive data flows will dramatically change our lives in the next ten years.