2017 New York Digital Workshop Executive Summary

July 18, 2017

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Consulting Quest hosted its second annual New York Consulting Procurement Conference, in the format of a digital workshop, at the AMA Conference Center on June 29th. Thank you to everyone who joined us.

 

This year’s event focused on the topic of Digital disruptions—how Digital is disrupting entire industries, transforming business operations and opening a vast realm of possibilities. The event was insightful thanks to a combination of both speakers and attendees from companies like Verizon, Bloomberg, Solvay Group, Solvay Novecare, SpecialChem, Stratalis Consulting, Valeocon Consulting, Association of FinTech Professionals, Flevy and many more. We were also glad to welcome our Advisory Board Member from Canada.

 

The workshop was broken into five sessions, each led by a guest speaker from a specific industry. Our speakers presented us with valuable insights into their experiences, dealing with different facets of digital innovation. This spurred insightful and dynamic discussions among the attendees.

 

Innovation in the Digital Environment

 

As digital innovations account for a growing share of trade and economic growth, business executives must understand which doors such technologies can open for organizations in different industries and what actions they need to take in order to adapt.

Various generational trends suggest that digital is opening a vast realm of possibilities, with tech giants entering the value chain. Laurent Thomas, VP Strategy at Solvay Novecare, provided great insights on the chemical industry. He explained how digital technologies such as Artificial Intelligence, Augmented Reality, SaaS, Chat Bots, 3D printing, etc. are used to boost operational excellence, innovate business models and create the conditions required for digital transformation, thus leading to exponential change.

Bijon Mehta, President at Association of FinTech Professionals, gave a fresh perspective on the innovation and digital transformation journey for financial institutions. He stated that the most recent wave of digital transformation started within the past 4 years, through the introduction of innovation labs, launch of new incubators & accelerators and the pursuit of a broad range of other innovation activities including Design Studios, Corporate Venture Funds, University-based Programs, etc. 2017 was a critical year in seeing how these initiatives developped.

 

 

Digital Transformation: A Challenging Path

 

However, there are many challenges faced by digital transformation. Some of the most common ones include the difficulty of building an innovation culture and awareness, the disconnect between digital groups and the rest of the organization, competing or misaligned internal efforts, budget issues, and the lack of senior management support.

Therefore, a complete paradigm shift is needed to avoid these problems. Thomas Bertels, Partner at Valeocon Management Consulting, explained that organizations need to put in place an operating model with a rapid design and execution cycle and also place emphasis on executive involvement.

Rajiv Gupta, an expert in procurement, suggested that the procurement division also needs to support the enterprise’s digital transformation objectives. Procurement units need to change the mechanization from their old ways of doing business and orchestrate a procurement-as-a-service portfolio. They also need to understand the pros and cons of using a single technology provider, as opposed to a set of solutions.

 

 

Three Ways Digital Transforms Consulting

 

David Tang, CEO of Flevy, offered insights on how consulting firms are adapting their offerings in the age of digitalization. He explained that digital transformations appear in 3 main ways within the consulting industry: i) Increasing customer touchpoints across channels, devices and platforms; ii) Rise of robotic process automation and iii) Some dismantling of traditional consulting services and the emergence of new business models such as new subject matter expertise, analyst work, framework/methodologies, as well as data and market research reports.

 

 

Digital is Much More Than Technological Advancement

 

It is important to recognize that Digital is not just about technology, as George Hemingway, Partner at Stratalis Consulting, pointed out. As he put it, digital is about value, vision and victory. Digital itself is not enough to create value. It also requires to have the right vision and systems in place. To make a system intelligent, a human touch is needed. This is one step further than mere digitalization.

To conclude, digital innovation is about culture, clarity, consistency, corporate experience and innovating markets. Those who can innovate must play a role in shaping and influencing the culture and be prepared to play the long game.

Thanks again to everyone for a fantastic event!

Please contact us at Info@consultingquest.com for more information about future events.

Helene Laffitte

Hélène Laffitte is the CEO of Consulting Quest, a Global Performance-Driven Consulting Platform. With a blend of experience in Procurement and Consulting, Hélène is passionate about helping Companies create more value through Consulting. To find out more, visit the blog or contact her directly.

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