A third wave of digital transformation – the growth of global urban services –  is coming, and it will be bigger than the first two, Dr Anil Menon, Global President of Smart+Connected Communities at Cisco Systems Inc., stressed at the Digital Transformation panel at Business BSF.

This wave is a huge opportunity for countries like Slovenia, Mr Menon added, stressing that it was all about “who will win the race” of becoming a smart country.

Mr Joseph Macri, Vice-President Public Sector, Europe Middle East & Africa at Microsoft Corporation noted that Slovenia was at the same time small enough to be agile and big enough to have an impact as a reference country.

Mr Boris Koprivnikar, Minister of Public Administration of the Republic of Slovenia, meanwhile noted that we were facing the 4th industrial revolution. However, technology is already here, the real revolution is how we use it. According to the minister, the state has one role in this revolution – to provide open data and open communication, and though that improve “the lives of our citizens and improve the opportunities for businesses”. “A country without big data is just another country hoping for the best,” he pointed out.

The debate kicked off with presentations of their companies’ activities by Mr Dieter Brunner, CEO of Iskraemeco d.d., who pointed out that people needed an internet of energy, by Mr Luciano Cirinà, CEO of Generali CEE Holding B.V., who believes industry will play an even more important role in improving people’s lives, and Mr Boris Sovič, Chairman of the Board of Directors of Elektro Maribor, who stressed that the energy sector was the forerunner in the digital transformation.

Mr Primož Pusar, Partner and CEO of Pristop, on the other hand stressed that “the pain is around the corner if you don’t change immediately”. “Digital transformation is becoming a race to adapt to a new reality,” he also stressed.

Mr Mitja Jermol, Head of the Centre for Knowledge Transfer at Jožef Stefan Institute, noted that society faced a clash of generations. “It is not only about opening the minds, it is also about opening institutions,” he stressed.