I spoke recently to Marco Brattinga. He is one of the thought leaders in the Netherlands when it comes to the practical use of Semantic Technologies in business environments.
Thomas: You are a long-time regular at the European SEMANTiC conference with a special angle on business development and exploitation. Where do semantic technologies already unfold their commercial potential??
Marco: Especially in the last two years, we see an increasing demand for semantic technologies by our customers. It seems that we are on a pivot-point in which business-needs demand solutions that cannot be solved any more by a traditional approach. This is most clearly visible in organizations that have to deal with a lot of variety in their data, operate in a large network and/or have to deal with fast-changing regulations. The public sector, manufacturing, and the utility sector are among the parties that demand semantic technologies. Commercial potential is apparent in situations where meaning is fundamental for business success, for example in data interchange, compliance to regulations and artificial intelligence.
Thomas: Does SEMANTiCS conference aim to give orientation on the commercial application of semantic technologies? How do you keep up to date with the latest trends?
Marco: It is very important to understand the difference between a promising, intelligent solution and something that can actually work in a business situation. Naturally, we read the relevant online and offline publications within our field of semantics and AI, but it is also very important to divert into other areas, both business and IT, because a lot of things that will actually work, is about connecting relevant technologies together. For example the Digital Twin concept within manufacturing or innovations from the developer’s community like API’s.
Thomas: You are this year’s Industry Chair. What do you expect to see on new use-cases, products or services?
Marco: As an industry chair, I expect to see a lot more cases in which semantic technology really delivers business value now. Not just prototypes, but solutions that are critical for business operations. I expect to see cases on the use of semantic technology in large-scale transaction applications. I also expect to see cases where semantic technology drives artificial intelligence solutions, and the use of semantic technology for data compliance and data governance. From a product and services perspective: I expect to see a lot more mature products and service-delivery: stuff that is proven, based on best-practices and already tested in multiple real-life situations. The time for tinkering is over, it’s time to deliver now.
Marco Brattinga MSc is Ordina’s principal expert for intelligent data-driven organizations. Marco studied Information Technology at the University of Twente. He has more than 15 years of experience as an IT architect and consultant in the public sector. Since 2011 he has been working on semantic web technology for the exchange of information between organizations and data management issues, in particular the semantic description of datasets. Marco is actively involved in various communities that stimulate semantic web technology in the public sector.