The 4th Industrial Revolution: Highlights from Dreamforce '18 - Adaptus
The Adaptus Team at #DF18
  • Content by: Mary Rose Avila, October 1, 2018

171,000 people joined together last week (not including all the staff, security, speakers and others who made the event possible), flooding downtown San Francisco, to come together at Dreamforce ’18 for a full four days of collaboration and inspiration. Each day was dedicated to a key value: trust, innovation & AI, equality and sustainability, and finally, personal empowerment and mindfulness.

Speakers such as Mayor Libby Schaaf and Mayor Michael Tubbs spoke on building inclusive cities, while Jeb Bush spoke on trust and even Lars Ulrich discussed connecting with fans. Al Gore spoke about the global sustainability revolution. There was even a dreamtalk on personal empowerment and mindfulness with Jewel, Deepak Chopra, the Plum Village Monks, and others. This was only a few of the 2,700 sessions available during #DF18.

The real challenge for a Dreamforce newbie like myself is scheduling… Just how is it conceivable to hit as many relevant sessions as possible, work in the Customer Success Expo and hands-on training, meet with industry leaders and attend client mixers, and still have some time to eat and sleep? Luckily, Salesforce has a great Event application that certainly helped me navigate the entire conference.

I was lucky enough to snag a coveted seat within the main hall to view the primary Keynote presentation in person. This keynote was shown through all the other convention halls and seminar locations. There was even an additional 10+ million viewers online. To say the size of this event was impressive is certainly an understatement!

Although the theme of the opening keynote was “Dreamforce: A Celebration of Trailblazers,” I was really engaged with the idea of the 4th industrial revolution. This isn’t a new idea (as described in the book by Klaus Schwab, appropriately titled “The Fourth Industrial Revolution.”)1 The 1700’s brought us steam, followed by electricity in the 1800’s and finally computing in the 1900’s. Today, we are at the 4th Industrial Revolution: connectivity. It’s not just enough to have a device or piece of equipment, it must be connected to others near as well as far. From TV’s to refrigerators, from thermostats to cars, everything seems to have a way to feed content into the world around us.

“But it’s bigger than that. We are all deeply connected,” Marc Benioff2.

We all know, however, that connectivity comes with a great risk.  As we open our lives by opening to the things around us (aka IoT), it allows negative consequences to lurk just below the surface. For example, walking around Dreamforce, my phone was connecting to different booths, devices, and engaging applications. Even my convention badge was connected – all it takes is to be in range and my information is automatically uploaded to that vendor or session.

 “In the world where technology is taking us over, in the 4th industrial revolution, realize that we all have a responsibility to ask this question “What is truly important to us?”” Marc Benioff2

On the fourth morning of the #DF18, I woke up and noticed my phone was acting very strange. My apps weren’t loading, I couldn’t access email, everything was turning on and off. Luckily, my phone’s calling feature (meaning: the phone part of the phone) was still working, so I called the smartest IT person I know: my husband. His first words to me “I bet you’ve been hacked.” Oh, man!

Finally, I was able to get everything up and running again, and it seems to be working fine now. But, it makes me ask myself “What is truly important to me, today?”  Nothing is more important than protecting what I have built for myself and my family. In the age of connectivity, ensuring that level of security is critical.

The week at #Dreamforce18 was exhausting but exhilarating. I met industry leaders that are just as excited about the possibilities in the 4th industrial revolution as I am. I listened to talks from Showtime’s marketing executives, to learning about today’s healthcare customer to cybersecurity concerns. I had great meals, heard great music and had great conversations. And, the swag, oh the swag!

A ticket to Dreamforce isn’t cheap. If you are a company who uses Salesforce, or if you’re just interested in learning about anything from marketing to development to healthcare, I highly recommend you attend next year’s conference. There is certainly something there for everyone. Start planning now because tickets go fast and hotel prices only go up from here. In the meantime, make sure to continue to think about the effects the 4th industrial revolution will have on you and your customers. You might not be as protected as you assume you are. I know I learned my lesson. I hope to see you there next year!

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