Key Takeaways from IDC’s 2018 European Digital Executive Summit

25 Jun

Key Takeaways from IDC’s 2018 European Digital Executive Summit

Philip Carter
Chief Analyst, Europe

Read full bio  @carter_pc

Last week, IDC hosted its 4th Digital Executive Summit in Malaga, Spain – and what an event it was! Over the past four years, IDC has invested a lot of effort in building a vibrant digital community including executives, vendor sponsors, innovators and the IDC team. While going through the feedback from the event, we were excited to find the following comment:

We are becoming a tribe – and need to stick together in the world of digital transformation 🙂 Love the group
Martin Damm, Chief Digital Officer, Sticks ‘n’ Sushi

It was an eye-opening event as we heard stories from some companies that are imagining the almost impossible – such as one leading oil drilling organisation that is planning to build an ‘autonomous’ oil rig in the North Sea! However, there is a sense that extreme pressure is growing on digital leaders to execute on the digital transformation initiatives that they kicked off two, or even three years ago. As can be seen from the pre-event survey below, 86% of the attendees have either just delivered first results, or are in the process of trying to scaling those initial results to the broader business.

Figure 1 Progress of Digital Transformation Journeys

Source: IDC 2018

MVPs, PoCs and incubation projects, while cool, are not enough. To help organisations deliver on this, Meredith Whalen (SVP of IDC’s WW Digital Transformation Research) introduced a new blueprint focusing on building digital determination to help organisations push through this tricky phase. This focuses on building on four key areas as highlighted in the figure below:

Figure 2 The Digital Determination Blueprint

Source: IDC 2018

The sessions over the 2 days went into a lot more detail on all of these elements– and it became clear that there is a gap emerging between the ‘digitally determined’ and the ‘digitally distraught’. For example, on the subject of new metrics, one leading bank highlighted how they saw Net Promoter Score as an established metric for digital, whereas most of the other attendees were just beginning to use it as a measure of customer advocacy.

Focusing on the ‘organisational structure and culture’ element, Jan van Vonno (head of IDC’s European Digital Transformation Research) led a very exciting ‘Innovation Challenge’ that allowed the attendee to experience a new way of working. This activity involved building the city of the future (in 2028) with Lego across 8 different industries using agile methodologies (sprints, MVPs, ritual dissent, and a 2-minute video) with outstanding (and in some cases hilarious) results!

This year, the Innovation Challenge also included seven founders/CEOs of ‘innovators’ (emerging vendors or start-ups) in an attempt to bring the ‘entrepreneurial’ spirit and cultural angle into the enterprise setting.

A packed program, but fortunately it wasn’t all just about work though. We found time to connect dance Flamenco, beat some drums and enjoy the wonderful location in Malaga…All-in-all a memorable event!

For a quick tour of the two day event take a quick look at this short video:

We’re looking forward to welcoming you to next year’s IDC Digital Executive Event…the ‘hunt’ for the next wave of innovation has begun…

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