Tuğberk Duman, the Head of Innovation at Futurice joins AIR 2018 Tech & Innovation panel

June 14, 2018 No Comments

Tuğberk Duman, the Head of Innovation at Futurice says that emerging tech has the potential to revolutionize how organizations operate. However the aviation companies’ inexperience with new tech poses a challenge to implement them into the industry. Nevertheless, Duman says that the difficult task of persuading organizations to embrace innovation is in fact what inspires him. Hear more from Futurice Head of Innovation at AIR 2018 Tech and Innovation Panel.

Why did you choose to work in technology?

No matter which sector you are in, I believe technology is a key differentiator when it comes to developing a competitive advantage. Increasingly, customers aren’t just influenced by the quality of physical assets such as aircraft or the facilities at airports. How quickly and effectively airlines and airports adopt emerging technologies in order to make their customers’ lives easier, is also a factor in customers’ purchasing decisions.

Emerging tech also has the potential to revolutionize how organisations operate, how quickly they respond to new market challenges and their ability to innovate at speed. Embracing emerging tech requires transformation at an organisational level, from ways of working to how the organisation is set up. As an aviation enthusiast, I would like to reveal the full potential of this transformation. That’s why I work in technology.

What is the most remarkable technological change in aviation you are looking for?

I’m interested in how technology can transform the way we work rather than in technology for the sake of it. I would like to rid people working in the service business of mundane tasks, allowing them concentrate on what really matters – serving the customer. A future where employees are more fulfilled by not being tied down with mindless tasks and where customers get better service is one where everyone wins. Technologies such as AI and biometrics which change employees’ role from controllers to helpers are on my radar.

What is the most interesting thing people don’t know about your field?

Working with emerging tech in the aviation industry is challenging but fun at the same time. From the technology point of view, there are usually no “best practices” to follow when dealing with emerging tech). The value proposition to customers is difficult to validate with traditional methods as customer exposure to that particular technology might be non-existent.

Then there is the fact that airlines and airports organisations are set up on a zero-risk basis, which is understandable given the sector they operate in. Buying a billion-dollar aircraft is an easier decision than investing in innovation projects, which tend to have a loose scope and more ambiguous horizons. My role is to lower the threshold for aviation clients around innovation projects and I love the challenge involved.

Your personal inspirations are…?

I am inspired by stories in the media which highlight malevolent uses of emerging technology because I feel strongly that this is an abuse of what tech is meant to do. Whether it’s AI, biometrics – or any other technology- making ethical and user friendly practices the standard is what gets me out of bed every morning. I’m keen to work with like-minded people to use these standards as the basis for defining how humans and machines interact and collaborate now and in the future.