Robert F. Smith, Vista Equity Partners’s Founder, Chairman and CEO, believes that the Fourth Industrial Revolution has already begun. With the effects of COVID-19 continuing to unfold, our world is constantly adjusting to its new reality. Now that industries and individuals have access to enormous amounts of computing power, expansive information libraries (like databases) and constantly improving analytical frameworks, every industry from healthcare to agriculture to financial services continue to adapt through remote hiring and effective health precautions in shared work spaces.
Since so much of this adaptation is assisted by the Internet of Things — an increasingly interconnected network of physical products that digitally communicate with each other — widespread and concurrent changes to how businesses operate will eventually affect every industry and human being on the planet. How these changes get introduced over time gives a clearer picture of Smith’s reasoning and the demand for greater efficiency through the digitization of work across industries. “The way we think about it is as leverageable scale,” he said in a 2018 interview with Bloomberg at the World Economic Forum. “Our customers are demanding we offer the highest quality [services], like artificial intelligence, machine learning and cognitive solutions.”
Smith’s point is that a single business won’t usually have the ability to meet those demands, but by working collaboratively a company that can share resources with other businesses to scale services across regions, consumer products and work environments. As a corporate leader in enterprise software and financial services, Smith partners with companies and organizations from varied backgrounds to bring greater efficiency to how they develop solutions for customers.
Smith believes that every company has to carefully consider how to derive extra productivity from existing business to keep up with customer needs and the greater digitization of workflows. Businesses should adopt innovative techniques that reduce how much time and effort it takes to accomplish similar goals in order to scale their services.
According to Smith, an eye to our interconnected future will ultimately create the most significant improvements for customers, but he acknowledges that these improvements pose risks to our human sense of spontaneity and intuition. With faith in humanity’s ability to persevere and adapt, finding that balance between interpersonal connections and our digital communities is paramount if we’re to take proper strides into the future.
Learn more about Robert F. Smith and his current entrepreneurial and philanthropic endeavors.