I remember being a young, enthusiastic, and almost certainly arrogant (some may say not much has changed) Geologist at BP. I was keen to push the latest thinking and technologies and keen to exploit whatever expertise I already had. I also recall looking at the mid-50’s types and thinking how they stopped progress….. too afraid to change and even more afraid to grasp the changes. Well, now I am the mid-50’s guy and I’m pretty sure I now know how those guys felt. It’s pretty scary and the pace of change is much faster now than it was back then in the early 1980’s making it terrifying at times. And yet, I am not them. I am someone who is excited by technology and change. I have my iPhone, iWatch and all the gadgets. I’m on social media and have been for over a decade already (my son introduced me to Facebook when it was still something for college kids). For fun, I am actually making records at my home studio and releasing them as records using the Internet and all of the services out there. I have over 30 books published – mainly ghost stories – and they are available on Kindle, other electronic media, as audio books and paperbacks – I do all of this myself as a hobby. In other words, I have grasped and enjoyed the opportunities that have come with technological and business innovation. I welcome it. I am no Luddite.
At the moment though, I am finding it more difficult to keep up with what is going on in our world. I have never observed so many technological innovations and business adaptations as we are seeing right now in and around commodity trading. Blockchain is just the start. There is a lot of hype associated with Blockchain and I think one must temper the excitement about it a little because of the hype but everywhere I look there are Blockchain trials and initiatives in trading, traceablity, transfer of ownership and much more. Blockchain seems to be a truly disruptive technology and I believe now that in 5-years time it will have transformed the CTRM software industry and the broader commodities industry to boot. It could unlock true trading, for example, in which you or I can sell our power from solar panels on our roof to aggregators at a local level – don’t believe me? Well just check out what Ponton is doing in its trial with Blockchain and listen to the vision of its CEO. Blockchain could revolutionize the entire industry.
But then, we need to add things like big data, data mining – especially of things like social media, automation, machine learning, the Internet of Things, visualization, business intelligence, cloud and the list goes on. It truly is mind boggling to the point where it is impossible to visualize how things could look in a few years time. I’m excited but like the old guys from back in the early days of my career, I will admit a bit of fear too. Maybe I have just finally reached that age or maybe the speed of change is so fast that it has become pretty scary, I don’t know.
So, when faced with pulling together an agenda for the CTRM Conference this year, that is what we decided on. Commodities at a Crossroads….. the impact of disruptive technologies. We will have a super line of up speakers and panels who will try to speak to the future of our industry and particularly CTRM software. Join us by registering now and take advantage of the early bird discount…..