"If you're the Pony Express and you're breeding horses and the automotive business is coming about, at some point in time you will become irrelevant"

Vincent Degardin Programme Manager | Digital & Business Transformation Programmes 12/04/2021 Stratégie, Digital Transformation, digital governance, data analytics, digital business models

Wishing to discover what digitalisation can bring to business models, work environments and innovation processes? Our top-notch team of trainers are there to help you boost your skills in Digital Transformation.

From 20 May to 18 June 2021. Solvay Brussels School is organising a series of 5 masterclasses, of 2 days each, on five key topics for implementing digital transformation in your company: Digital Business Models, Strategy, Data Analytics, Digital Governance and Go to Market.

Learn more about each of these masterclasses with the interviews of our teachers and experts:

Digital Governance Masterclass | Led by Georges Ataya | 10 & 11 June 2021

What impact does Digital Governance have on a company today?

Organisations may fail on small issues. It is essential that they master the risks, they ensure that whenever they have any essential activity to put in place, any essential business benefit, business feature, important for the client or for the transformation, they have to ensure that all risks are avoided, they have to ensure that benefits are reached and that resources are adequately used during the project, during the transformation, as well as when it is implemented and during the operations phase.

Do you have an example that could illustrate that?

One of them is the impressive internet application that is developed by Belfius bank and I had recently the CIO speaking on how complex it is to create the simplest of those applications, that exist almost worldwide. The other example are all those failures that I witnessed as an “expert witness” for the justice system, when they missed some governance issues, they missed some risks, they missed some technology, that resulted in the project being a failure altogether. And that happens very frequently.

Could a company be affected if it doesn’t implement Digital Governance in its strategy?

It’s not a question or not if we need to adopt adequate cybersecurity measures. It's not a question or not, if we need to use major tools to reach our clients. It is essential for organisations today to master the technologies, master the methods to manage those technologies and to master the reaching business benefits from those methods and from those technologies.

What will the participants get from the “Digital Governance Masterclass”?

What is important for us is that we ensure that at the end of the day, at the of the module, they master those few essential models, methods, governance activities, that they should put in place in order to ensure that they are tracking adequately the project while it is being transformed. That they are putting in place all those operational services that are essential for the transformation to be effective.

What we deliver during the 2 days of the module are references of all the frameworks that exist already, that participant should refer to and understand so they select the tool, the method, the concept that they need. We give them the pointers to those methods, and explain to them when they need them.

Go To Market: Strategy & Execution Masterclass | Led by Alex Papanastassiou | 17 & 18 June 2021

What impact does “Go to Market” have on a company today?

Well, Go To Market has traditionally been an important aspect, whether you're launching something new, or bringing to market new facets of a product or a new offering, or pushing something, or delivering something to the market. But the environment is significantly different as we speak, because what we have is an economy that is increasingly connected, increasingly digitised.

That means that the clients, whether these are consumers or businesses, doesn't matter, but they tend to behave differently, the tools they use are different, and the different players, whether that's influencers or decision makers, buyers, consumers... tend to be connected and to be operating and behaving slightly differently, which means that nowadays, Go To Market needs to be considered as a holistic process that involves the different stakeholders, and you need to consider these stakeholders in building your Go To Market approach.

So, it remains very important, but it has become more complex and requires a more holistic approach to be successful. 

Do you have an example that could illustrate that?

There are actually numerous examples from, you know, the way a company like Tesla has restructured the buying process of a car and using online to do so, to drive attention and go towards the sale of a car that basically is something that is 90% done, fully online, maybe 100% done fully online, if you, you know, if you consider it as such.

But there are also other examples like what is happening in cryptocurrency space with the different players who need to take into account a complex ecosystem of other entities from governments to central banks, to legacy players, to consumers and businesses that need to be educated on different ways of running transactions, or managing transactions.

So, they all need to take into account the different players and to build their Go To Market strategy by thinking through a sort of design thinking process, or we're actually using a lot of the design thinking principles and methodologies to build a Go To Market strategy these days. And therefore, these are examples of new things that are coming to market and require that holistic approach. But I would argue that even more traditional businesses need to do the same actually. 

Could a company be affected if it doesn’t implement digital transformation in its strategy?

Actually, you know, digital transformation is not something that you do, just because everybody does it or because it's fashionable. Digital transformation has a purpose to make a company better suited, more fit to a different environment.

And an economy that's not connected is different from an economy that's connected in very many ways, from the level of information that consumers have, to how information flows, to whom influences whom, to how business buying happens. So, everything is transformed in the logic of the product, the buying process, and how people consider options in how many options they will consider in what sources will influence them.

And therefore digital transformation is primarily designed for making a business better suited to a connected economy. So you don't have to do it. But if your industry is actually affected by digital by new ways of doing things, as well as by new tools and new platforms, and assuming you have competition, which is the case of almost all companies, then if you don't engage in that and one of your competitors does, they will be better suited to a connected economy and therefore they will have an advantage.

So, in that sense, not engaging when you should is actually a pretty big mistake. We're not trying to say that you absolutely must, for the sake of it, but since the economy is changing, it's like you know, if you're the Pony Express and you're breeding horses and the automotive business is coming about, at some point in time you will become irrelevant.

What will the participants get from the “Go to Market: Strategy & Execution Masterclass”?

The ‘Go To Market: Strategy and Execution’ has been designed really around these two topics of strategy, i.e., how do you consider things at a large scale but also how do you actually execute because if you only have plans, it's worthless. So, we have a very sound balance of practice and theory and actually a lot of practice, we're providing tried and tested methods that come from design thinking but also from all the methods and ways of structuring commercial plans and Go To Market strategies that we have in business.

And we are helping people develop a sort of holistic approach, taking into account the different stakeholders and building a plan that will cater to the interests of all these stakeholders so that the path to market is unhindered and is as efficient as it can possibly be. So in short, what we're going to provide are the tools for people to be able to be autonomous in developing Go To Market strategies on a continuous basis, moving forward.

Who is this Masterclass aimed at?

This is typically for people who are business leaders, for executives, of larger companies, as well as people running medium sized businesses that have challenges bringing something new to market or that want to improve the way in which they are bringing new offerings to the market. It's primarily designed for people who are interested in, not only thinking about Go To Market, but also making sure it's executed and done in a way that's effective.

And in that sense, we are, you know, covering different industries, because we are taking a structured approach that can help each professional knowing their business, knowing their industry, actually apply that holistic approach to their own problems, so that they can be more effective at bringing an offering to market.

> Read the first part of our interviews HERE.



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