Last week Reed Professional Services were delighted to be a sponsor of the 2018 Digital Transformation Conference. Taking place in central London, the event saw a host of speakers from a range of sectors share ideas and insights on how Digital Transformation is shaping their business, and what key trends are essential for the coming years ahead. The schedule was jam-packed with 21 speakers and panels, plus networking sessions.

The conference kicked off with a rousing talk from Bruce Daisley, VP EMEA, Twitter, who talked about the importance of creating a culture of innovation (with a handy plug for his book, The Joy of Work, which you can find here). Contrary to many of the changes that digital and cloud-based tools have bought to modern work, with a remote working and ‘always on’ culture being more prominent, Daisley talked about the value of co-locating and being in ‘sync’ with your peers, and how this can increase both productivity and job satisfaction.

This focus on culture and people was carried throughout the day, with the number one message repeated again and again being that digital transformation is about culture first, and technology second. Aaron Holt of Pluralsight drove this message home when he talked about the importance of mastering your supply chain of technology skills. This is something that felt particularly relevant to us, as we work to help bridge these gaps for many of our clients by taking ownership of complex projects for them, giving them access to our ‘supply chain’ as needed. (You can read more on this topic on our Mind the Gap Series). Tim Walwyn of LiveTiles visited this again, reminding us that Transformation is not a destination, but a mind-set.

A particular highlight of the morning session was a talk by Nuno Job, CEO of YLD. He spoke about how customer expectations often move at the same pace as, or faster than, technical innovation – a key issue for anyone working in the tech sector, even more so for those delivering consumer-facing tech (the BBC’s on-demand media for instance). One of the main ways he suggested handling this was by shifting from a culture of delivery to a culture of learning. No easy feat.

The afternoon panel session featured Jia-Yan Gu, HSBC, Jason Arundel, M-Files, Lucia Adams, Made by Many, and Elizabeth O’Neill, Charity Aids Foundation, and saw a return to the common theme of people and culture first. This is one of the many reasons we at RPS work in-house with many of our clients. By working to understand, acclimatise, and develop where needed the culture of our client’s teams and organisations, we can make change and digital transformation more effective and impactful, so it was good to see this approach welcomed and championed across so many organisations.

Of course, it wouldn’t be a Digital Transformation conference without a reference to AI and machine/deep learning, which is set to be one of the biggest areas of focus for many in 2019. Rather than people worrying about robots taking their jobs, it’s important to understand the benefits of allowing machines to handle the mundane day-to-day tasks, freeing up the ‘human element’ to focus on innovation. It was particularly interesting to hear the team from Pfizer’s take on this, as the medical sector, in particular, is set to take huge strides forward thanks to these new technologies helping to provide insights from data analysis that human teams simply don’t have time to uncover.

The day was rounded off by an entertaining talk from Andy Curry of Lion and Mason, who reminded us that UX feeds into everything, and understanding your customers or target market is critical to success at every level.

Overall, it was a very insightful and fast-paced day, and we’ll be digging into some of the talks in more detail over the coming weeks on the RPS Insight Blog. In the meantime, you can check out the full deck from Ludic Creatives here:

http://ludiccreatives.com/digital-transformation-conference-2018.html

 

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