(US and Canada) Mario Faria, Vice President, Gartner Research Board talks to Robert Lutton, Vice President Sandhill Consultants, about digital transformation and data management and how they go hand in hand with analytics, AI, and machine learning.
Faria shares that they don't see that digital and data analytics are two different things. They are just different facets of the same topic areas that you need checks for to better operate the company. So how can you transform anything in the world today without digital technologies? How can you look at problems or establish metrics you're tracking down if you do not have the correct data or the right KPIs to measure. So it's all about the digital and data analytics coming together to make a difference.
He introduced another term that Gartner uses; Digital Native Companies. These are born and created with the digital spirit since they weren't seen with that digital mentality. However, they are seeing now that non-digital native companies, such as transportation, banks, and insurance companies, are trying to compete or emulate the behavior of a digital native company. So how can they do that? Simply think like a digital native, use the startup mindset, any high use the only approach to great minimal viable products. Test, and if you fail, learn something new that you're not going to do it again. So it's all about putting those things together on AI, machine learning, and data management, looking at what clauses will be put together to promote the change.
Faria shared that there are a lot of companies out coming up like fintech insurance, stacks in all segments, healthcare decks, a lot of smaller companies who are trying to get a piece of this model. But they come to introduce the word world without the legacy mentality from the already established companies. So they do indeed have a leg up when they don't have to deal with that legacy.
Discussing the legacy companies that Faria has worked with, especially with chief data officers and analytics officers, he shared digital transformation initiatives he thinks are going well and the failures. He highlights that with the advent of cloud computing, all companies have access to the same technology no matter what size they are. Data is so spread out and available everywhere. They have a lot of new techniques to drive analytics and machine learning that are publicly available out there.
So what companies do so well is first, they don't start with technology. They look at customer issues. They can choose that as a first consideration. Also, they have a clear roadmap of what they want to achieve. They take small steps first but have a larger objective that they want to achieve. Finally, they are so metric-driven that you can't become a digital native or triangulate that behavior if you don't use metrics all the time. Sometimes the right things do not go well because they treat the digital transformation as a technology project, or there is no business buy-in or lack of executive support. Sometimes there's no change manager involved for transformation like that.
He shares an example of a company they took as a case a few months ago. Heikkinen was able to make a digital transformation effort to integrate the refrigerators from the places where they sell their products. We send source a mobile integration in cell phones from the sales reps and everything. By doing that, they're able to look at the whole supply chain at scale. It was a project that was driven by their IT Organisation. They were able to emulate the behavior. They thought about that initiative. They started the small proof of concept without any boundaries, and it went well. It was only after that they scaled that up. So, any non-digital native can emulate the behavior to find the right sponsor and tap the right opportunities there to drive that change.