The Network for ICT and Business Decision-makers

Focal topics

Digital Transformation

Digital infrastructures, cloud computing, artificial intelligence, smartphone apps and digital business models: digital transformation is multifaceted and concerns society at large, and first and foremost, businesses. The pervasive process of change is based on digital technologies that require a restructuring of the entire business organisation. Companies who are not systematically active in shaping digital change run the risk of lagging behind their co-competitors.

One example is the transformation of conventional data centre infrastructure into a cloud solution, which can result in huge cost advantages for companies, - for instance by eliminating local software and hardware resources and due to the scalability and flexibility of the cloud. The transformation process may take years. Data security is a particular challenge for companies. Another example of digital transformation is the transfer of ERP systems to real-time business management systems and of dataware models to cognitive decision-making models by means of artificial intelligence.

Innovation Management

Innovation management goes beyond realising ideas in a company. In the process of innovation, newcomers with unconventional ways of thinking question internal procedures as well as products, thus facilitating renewal from within the company. Innovation is also fuelled by networking in the scientific community. In this process, the Future Network focuses especially on the Austrian market.


The digital world requires completely new job profiles. Occupational images in IT are set to change massively in the years to come. Businesses as well as providers of education and training should prepare in advance for the new requirements. Currently, data scientists are in great demand. In contrast to the former dataware specialists, they are expected to contribute a wealth of creativity and communicative skills.

Future of Work/Digital Workplace

The workplace of the future gives staff access to business data at any time, in any place and from any device. Owing to virtualisation, the application and data are no longer located in the client, but exclusively in the cloud. The computer workplace will be reduced to access to a browser. For user support, a digital assistant similar to Apple's Siri or Microsoft's Cortana will be integrated into the digital workplace of the future.

Data Science/Data Scientist

The significance of data for enterprises is growing rapidly. It is even more important to derive concrete results and recommendations for action from these data. Therefore, data scientists will be in great demand in the future world of IT. As yet, there is no precise job description. However, one thing is certain: in addition to profound expert knowledge, data scientists need to have a high degree of coordination and communication skills and a great deal of creativity.


In the digital world, security is the key factor for success. Increasing threats to business IT due to worms like WannaCry, the ransomware Trojan recently raging worldwide, have shown that IT security staff are sometimes unable to cope with the increasingly sophisticated attacks. Within the framework of a business security strategy, the IT department takes initiative proactively, makes tests and collaborates with the authorities. Current trends towards mobility, cloud utilisation and changing compliance regulations also require a continual updating of security skills.


The great challenge for public authorities lies in simplifying and connecting a large number of independent business processes. Citizens need to be offered universal access and simple handling without media disruptions, for instance, through the use of single-sign-on principles and shared databases. The implementation of the Digital Agenda for Europe in Austria is an important issue. In the field of e-health, the challenges posed by Big Data and Artificial Intelligence take priority.

Industrie 4.0/Internet of Things

Today no industry can do without IT and, in the majority of business sectors, IT has even come to play the central role. Data as active components are increasing in importance, as are the challenges arising from ever more complex software with its connectivity and new forms of interaction. Catchwords like Industry 4.0, the Internet of Things (IoT) or Digital Business have brought additional momentum into the further development and discussion of these issues. The Future Network addresses these topics and invites experts to present their views from different perspectives.

Applikations and Software Development

What are the current trends in applications and software development, apart from long-runner agility? How can users and their feedback be integrated more intensively into development, and what opportunities arise from the option of continuous updating and improvement? At the Future Network, experts talk about these issues and answer related questions.

IT-Market Trends

Artificial Intelligence (AI) and Machine Learning, intelligent apps, blockchains, virtual reality and digital technology platforms are some of the market trends that the IT world will face over the next few months. In the field of health, for example, an AI app that will help doctors with their diagnosis in real time is at the development stage, according to market researchers at Gartner, Inc. Their summary of current trends is: "intelligent, digital, mesh."