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Culture eats digital strategies for breakfast.

Published by Luc Hendrikx
March 26, 2019 @ 2:08 PM

On March 21st 2019, Cognizant hosted a breakfast session for Digital Leaders to walk them through the blueprint for modern organisations that want to be successful in an era where more and more companies are competing on code and data. Cognizant identified one key success factor: Culture. Companies that have the most brilliant digital strategy, but who don't manage to keep their people on board, have wasted their investment. The pressure on your people continues to grow as change is now measured in weeks, not months. Human-to-Machine workflows and algorithms are telling people what they should do and monitor their performance constantly. Businesses have an insatiable demand for creativity by their people.  Culture matters, and the most effective business leaders know when it’s right.

During this highly interactive breakfast session, the following four people animated the debate on this topic:

  • Euan Davis, VP Center for the Future of Work EMEA Cognizant
  • Emile Fyon, Head of Digitalisation at AXA, and Christophe Castan, Head of Artificial Intelligence at AXA
  • Wim van Hennekeler, Head Consulting Benelux

Euan Davis, VP Center for the Future of Work EMEA Cognizant, outlined how leaders need to intentionally reshape the organizational culture to energize people for work in the digital age. He also spoke about the main common denominators of organisations that thrive in this period, where we only start to define business models that monitise data:

  1. Platforms are everything. Euan defines platforms as a way to generate insights by connecting assets together. They are a set of software that generates intelligence. It collects data and looks for connections. Platforms predict. Cognizant sees these platforms being created everywhere. 
  2. It's all about innovation and partnering. Europe has the talent to be a Digital Superpower.  However, other regions are catching up fast. If we get this wrong, we can become a laggard in no time.  
  3. You need a different relationship with the machine to get the work done. As intelligent machines increasingly work alongside us, they’re redefining the concepts of trust, relationships and collaboration at work. Some workers will embrace these machines as part of the changing nature of work, even considering them as colleagues in the workplace. Others will resist them at every turn. 

Emile Fyon, Head of Digitalisation at AXA, and Christophe Castan, Head of Artificial Intelligence at AXA, talked about their experience in creating a culture fit for digital innovation within their organization. They shared the AXA recipe for success throughout the lifecylce:

  1. Before the Proof of Concept: Focus on proving the business value. Define a smart scope and keep it simple. This phase requires an Evangelist.
  2. During the POC: Focus on understanding what your results will mean in production. This phase requires the mindset of a business savvy engineer focused on value realisation. 
  3. Preparing delivery and delivery into production: Make sure that the business users are in control and can autonomously configure the solutions. For Artificial Intelligence projects at Axa, IT provide the business with a set of "valves" that they can open and close themselves. Confidence in the automatic decisions is gradually growing through parallel processing. This requires a project manager with a fire fighter attitude.
  4. after go live: work on quality to on-board the more difficult tail of the curve. This requires a change agent.

At Axa, they're no longer talking about a 'minimal viable product'. They now strive to at least deliver a 'minimal lovable product'. The key difference is the fact that the solution should not only work and be usable, but that user friendliness is a key part of the solution.

Wim van Hennekeler, Head of Cognizant Consulting Benelux, highlighted the prerequisites for successful digital transformation in the areas of leadership, workspace, power, reskilling, EX (employee experience) as well as the future of work.

Cognizant analysed the major macroeconomic, political, demographic, societal, cultural, business and technology trends observable today. Based on this research, they identified the 21 new jobs that will emerge over the next 10 years and will become cornerstones of the future of work.

Posted in:CIONET Belgium

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