Digital Transformations at The Science Museum, London

Signium UK hosted the latest in a series of Business Leaders' Breakfasts in London's Science Museum with the theme "Digital Transformations."

10/13/2015

The Event

The Event was attended by a wide range of CEOs and MDs from many sectors to hear from three distinguished guest speakers; Ashley Friedlein, President of Centaur Media PLC’s Marketing Portfolio, Charlie Horrell MD EMEA at Diligent Inc, and Charles Yardley MD EMEA at Forbes.

The Theme

Our theme reflected that the behaviour of organisations and customers is changing, products and services in both B2B and B2C environments are now conceived, designed, made, purchased and delivered through increasingly varied digital methods and channels. Are businesses meeting the challenge of this evolving world? In answering this question the debate addressed who is driving this change, how businesses are adapting and innovating to meet the needs of their customers and what senior management must do to win in the digital age.

The Key Issues

Led by our three guest speakers, the delegates covered many pertinent issues, many of which had universal resonance. We include a flavour of the debate here -

  • The ever increasing desire to deliver great customer experience has driven a set of characteristics commonly associated with digital transformation, including use of big data, collaboration, agility, transparency, product innovation, and a clear and progressive culture of learning.
  • There is a shift towards a philosophy whereby connectivity is integrated across the business throughout its various functions, enabled by digital capability.
  • Many organisations wrestle with how to manage their digital transformation, and who should lead it.  Many put this charge in the hands of their Chief Digital Officer, or their Chief Customer Officer.  Increasingly these individuals have a broader remit across multiple functions as the force of digital and its universal impact demands a cohesive strategic approach, if it is to deliver on its promise.  
  • Increasingly we may well see marketing reporting into the Chief Digital Officer instead of Chief Marketing Officer, as digital shifts away from being the servant of marketing and people fully appreciate its relationship across all functions.
  • Cloud based access and manipulation of data and content is an emerging force. This high margin model has seen successful suppliers grow significant revenues through helping clients become more efficient. Key attributes of this success are speed of response to client on-boarding and the ability to be incredibly granular in measuring and reporting on outcomes and performance, instantly.
  • The disruptive force of digital on seemingly kinetic traditional businesses was a strong theme. Players such as Uber, Airbnb, Alibaba, Netflix and Facebook have taken dominant positions in traditionally asset heavy sectors (Taxis, Hotels, Stores, Cinema, etc etc) without the need to own such assets. Forbes’ experience echoes this theme of transformation and disruption with its highly innovative journalist/blogger remuneration model.