The Marriage of Legal and Tech…

Yesterday, I tweeted…

I had a few replies, and a few private messages.

What have you done now Bal?… Have you upset someone again?.. You get the picture, the usual ‘banter’ among friends.

So, what was I really doing in a room with some lawyers. Well, the lawyers were from the Legal Team. Whilst, as you may appreciate I can’t go into detail about what we spoke about and discussed – yep, I learnt a thing or two from them… what I can share is a common theme that was being discussed.

I was in the room, not only for my good looks, but for my knowledge and experience in technology.

We talk about many industries and departments becoming more and more ‘digitized’. With that, I mean, more automation, simpler processes through using the latest technology and more importantly.. taking advantage of some of the latest technology that is available to make the department more efficient and effective.

We can clearly, and physically, see it in manufacturing. Robots at the end of a manufacturing line, stacking boxes onto pallets whereas a number of years ago, you had people doing the same job.

Why were these robots introduced? Well, they may have been expensive but they were quicker… easier… and more efficient. The ROI would have been realised within a short period of time.

More and more automation has been introduced into manufacturing.

Along with the robots, and with further advancements in technology, we’ve become smart… we now have wearable technology (i.e. Smart Glasses) to help with tasks…

All this is great. And there’s more coming in the world of manufacturing. But what about other departments and areas?

Marketing… that’s an interesting one. It’s more likely to be called ‘Digital Marketing’ these days.

So, back to, why was I in a room with lawyers from our legal team.. well, it was to discuss, what is some of the latest technology, that we could use, to make some of the processes in Legal more effective and efficient.

You might be thinking, Legal AND Technology? – really? – Yep… it’s happening in all areas. All functions. All departments. Change is coming…

And just to prove the point, here’s a video, from Berlin, of a hackathon focused on Legal, my favourite line from the video is “the marriage of law and technology is interesting”.

It sure is… it’s very interesting.

My Review of London Tech Week

Last week, was London Tech Week – and on this blog, I shared what it was about, what to look out for and my thoughts on some comments the Mayor of London had said and around Smart Cities.

I was able to go down for a few days… there was a lot going on, and it was great to see how everyone was willing to learn and understand, share and interact with audiences and communities.

First for me, was Tug Life…

A pop-up event, with 12 events, 50 speakers over 4 days… it was great. I was able to listen and learn to some key people. There was some great information being shared, for example, the Four Stages of Creativity…

I was also asked to share a few words, which I gladly did. I spoke about how retail is changing, and how with the advancement of technology is helping us digitally engage with products – and how important it is for customers to experience the journey and story of what they are buying into. Traditional methods made this easy, but now it’s slightly more difficult in the digital space as a) it’s easier to do, and b) how can you stand out from all your competitors.

On Thursday, I was over at the Excel Centre for Tech XLR8…

There was ALOT going on! – and that was only a good thing. Honestly, from the various talks being given around the various rooms in the centre, to the folk exhibiting their latest technology and engaging people to understand and experience…

An example, Daqri had a booth where they had their smart helmets and glasses – folk where coming along, understanding that you don’t need a whole huge infrastructure – you can start small and grow with your needs. This is just one example, there were many more folk showing similar technology…

Then there was the Robotics zone..

I could write 2 or 3 blogs just on what they were showing and demonstrating. Let’s be honest, robotics is becoming more and more popular and the use of robotics in a variety of industries is becoming more and more effective. For example, takeaways, and a certain delivery company using robots for deliveries (rather than humans)…

And then there was my first love… Kodak

who have been using their camera and lens knowledge to develop some amazing 360 cameras, and other new tech… it looks like, they’re beginning to do something effective with their knowledge of cameras.

All in all, a great few days, and more importantly, I was able to not only share my knowledge and experience, but also take in & learn from industry experts, especially around Robotics and Reality (both, Augmented and Virtual).

There were many more events taking place around the capital city.. and next year, i’m looking forward to spending the whole week and participating in more events.

The more we are able to collaborate, the more we are able to experiment on new ideas.


London Tech Week 2017

So, here it is… London Tech Week 2017!

‘Where creativity, talent and innovation come together’ – and that is so true. There’s a number of events, activities and (drinking/after parties) taking place all week. People are flying in from around the world to take part by sharing knowledge and learning from others.

There’s some great events… I’m not going to go through them all (you can find them on Google – oh, who are also hosting some events), but at the Excel Centre, you have have the Tech XLR8. It has some brilliant people attending and fantastic talks each day, every day, this week.

You’ll get the usual in various places.. such as Robot’s welcoming you…

to lots of creative people and activities taking place. The Mayor of London opened Tech Week…

One of the things that were mentioned was how, Sadiq Khan wants to transform London to a ‘World’s Leading Smart City’. He announced there would be some investment, for example the £1.6m investment for the clean technology incubator, Better Futures.

There’s also a new Tech Innovation Centre, that’ll home 800 startups in the East End of London.

This is all great. My thoughts for a ‘Smart City’? – there’s a few key ingredients you need… (and looks like, London has many of them).

  1. Smart Leadership – It all starts from the top. With the Mayor opening the week (which is great example of Leadership believing in that technology is key to the City), to the leaders of some major organisations & companies around the World coming to London to talk and learn.
  2. Smart People – There are a lot of smart people around London. Many of them are doing events from Tech XLR8 to Tug Life, to many more. Smart people connecting at these events is only a good thing!
  3. Smart Thinking – It’s when these connections are made, that they can then foster a relationship and blossom the ideas generated. Thinking together and having opportunities (including Space, Offices, etc…) will help ideas move into a ‘pilot’ phase.
  4. Smart Results – The first London Tech Week was in 2014. It’s only become bigger and better over the years – and this shows that there are actions that are taking place and more importantly, delivering results.

I feel, any city, in the UK, can do this. A number of cities (outside of London) are in London, taking advantage of the audience and promoting what they can offer and sharing some of their experiences – most of which are just outside of London.

So, the question is.. Bal, which events are you attending?

I’ll be at the Excel Centre, a few others… but one i’m looking forward to is Tug Life III…

I’ll be there on Thursday morning – which has a great title (each day, there is a different topic) and looking forward to listening to key experts share their knowledge and what they think is going to happen.

Human Vs Machine. Isn’t that so relevant for everything tech related today.


Recently, I was talking to my nephew about jobs. The conversation was centered around how jobs have changed, how requirements are different and why there’s so many new job titles appearing. For example, we didn’t have Chief Innovation Officers that long ago… also, the one I quite like, are Big Data Scientists. Sounds like they are really clever.. and to be fair, the ones I know, are.

Nephew, change is gonna come.

It’s true. In fact, it’s happening right now. For example, if we go back around 20 years ago, most executives and managers had secretaries and administrators to write their memo’s… read memo’s and letters they’d received, schedule calendar events, organise meetings, etc… With technology, the need for a secretary/admin person has been diminished. There was the ‘Blackberry’, sorry, there is the ‘Blackberry’ as it’s still around, which could do most of those tasks. Now, with newer phones and devices, you can do a lot more by yourself, not needing someone.

Talking about needing someone, well you don’t really. There’s even robot’s that have been developed, with whom, if you wanted to, make love to! Who needs ‘Date Night’?!

And with technology, the emotional side of things also increase. For example, Robots being able to pick up emotions, tone of the voice, feelings, etc… and being able to respond back. Don’t forget, they’re all programmed, so what-ever they know, and how they react will be the right way – and on top of that, if it’s unsure of a situation, through a clever learning process, it’ll learn about new situations and events, and act accordingly. And this is especially important for all the men out there – if you’re like me, you’re probably always saying the wrong things at the wrong time in the wrong place.

Yes, there’s been films and documentaries on this. And yes, it is scary. But going back to my point of change.. a lot of the jobs that exist today, will not exist in the future.

Taxi/Bus Drivers – Driverless cars (which are already being tested)

Doctors and Nurses – Computers, Cameras and Scanners  – machinery that can understand and diagnose what may be the problem with your health.

Designers – don’t even need them! – “An algorithm has usurped the traditional role of a designer to generate millions of unique packaging designs for Nutella.”, shown in the video below….

There’s so many examples… look at how retail is changing. More and more grocery stores are opting for the ‘self-checkouts’ in their physical stores. And I say physical stores, because there’s more and more on-line shopping taking place, where you don’t even need a physical presence.

This blog, which is about lean thinking in a digital world, has a header image… I think that answers for a lot that is going on. A lot of start-ups are challenging traditional thinking. A number of entrepreneurs are looking for ways in which they can do something a lot more easier. I think it was Bill Gates who said, if there’s a task to be done, he’ll find the laziest person to do it, as they’ll find the easiest way to do it.

Think of anything. Think of its process. And make it simple. It’s as easy as that. That’s the basic fundamentals of Lean Thinking. The Digital World part… is introducing, if not already done so, new technology to the process. With that mix, you’ve got something exciting…