CEO John Chen Discusses BlackBerry’s “Converged” Future During the 2023 Annual General Meeting

At BlackBerry's Annual General Meeting, CEO John Chen emphasized the company's transformation from a hardware-centric organization to a software-defined powerhouse. Chen's strategic vision focuses on two key areas: the Internet of Things (IoT) unit and the Cybersecurity unit. He believes that these sectors will converge to create a smart world, enabling secure and interconnected devices across various industries.

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Under Chen's leadership, BlackBerry has achieved significant milestones in both business units. The BlackBerry IoTBU has witnessed the widespread adoption of its QNX real-time operating system software in over 235 million vehicles.

Additionally, their edge-to-cloud software platform, BlackBerry IVY, now integrates with Cylance AI, the company's advanced cybersecurity solution. On the other hand, BlackBerry CybersecurityBU has garnered dominance in government and industry certifications with their UEM, CEM, and secure communications software. Their pioneering AI cybersecurity solution, Cylance AI, boasts the industry's largest malware collection, enabling the development of powerful AI and ML models.

Chen acknowledges the rising threat of cybercrime and its potential to impede the growth of IoT endpoints. To counteract this, BlackBerry aims to protect and accelerate progress toward a unified ecosystem of IT, OT, and IoT. The convergence of these technologies, managed by AI, presents an opportunity for businesses to leverage generative AI and Large Language Models (LLMs) to enhance their operations. However, trust is crucial in this context.

He also outlines the necessary elements for building trust in converged systems. First, trusted organizations must prioritize safety and security in their products and services. They should employ robust software stacks, safety-certified operating systems, and comprehensive endpoint solutions. Moreover, they need to ensure supply chain and code security, meet industry certifications, and safeguard privacy.

The issue of trust in the digital age has been recognized by McKinsey & Co., KPMG, and the World Economic Forum (WEF) as a "digital trust deficit." This imbalance threatens the societal benefits of digitalization and impedes innovation. According to Chen, BlackBerry is uniquely positioned to bridge this trust gap. McKinsey & Co.'s report validates this claim, emphasizing BlackBerry's ability to combine enterprise cybersecurity solutions with IoT platforms.

BlackBerry's commitment to cybersecurity and its expertise in IoT place it at the forefront of building trust in converged systems. With their comprehensive portfolio of products, services, and intellectual property, BlackBerry aims to instill confidence in businesses and individuals alike.