Updated: Jun 26
Exclusive Trusted Magazine Q&A with Lisa Bondesio, Transformation Director
How could you describe your career path in a few words?
Non-linear, that is for sure. I’m a creative thinker, so I started in the Publishing and Branding industries but then shifted to consultancy when I joined Deloitte. I found that I was good at making sense of strategy and turning blue-sky thinking into more practical delivery programmes.
I'm always learning, so I went back to study for a post-graduate MSc. (Master of Science) and that was my prompt to set up as an independent consultant working on a spectrum of change projects – technology, process, and culture-based transformations. Of course, that was before business change became digital transformation!
Nowadays, I would say my superpower is wrangling CEOs and helping Business Leaders grapple with seismic changes because of rapidly evolving technology. Organisations can find it hard to move beyond the digital buzzword, but without getting people on board, most change programmes fail to launch correctly or in a way that creates and sustains value. So, I help large organisations to design and lead complex business change and digital transformation programmes.
What are the highlights of the key digital innovation trends for 2022? Can you give us some major examples?
It’s hard to narrow this down to 2 or 3! For me, advancements in Artificial Intelligence (AI), Blockchain innovation and Extended Reality (ER) are really the standout trends of 2022.
Natural Language Processing (NLP) and Machine Learning are far more sophisticated than they were even a few years ago. These innovations are stimulating further developments in industries such as healthcare, finance, and customer service. They are also changing the way we interact with the underlying technology. For instance, Adobe Creative Cloud suite uses AI –for instance, features such as Sensei combine machine learning and AI to enhance image editing, automate repetitive tasks and improve creative workflows.
Blockchain technology is evolving beyond crypto currencies, finding application in sectors like supply chain management, and voting systems. A great example of this is Maersk, the world’s largest container shipping company. They’ve collaborated with IBM to develop TradeLens, a blockchain-based platform for global trade. The platform aims to streamline and digitize complex supply chains by providing visibility, documentation automation and secure data sharing and it supports a collaborative ecosystem, including shippers, ports, and customs authorities.
In retail, IKEA are using Augmented Reality (AR) to enhance the retail experience for their customers with their IKEA Place App. Ford use Virtual Reality (VR) to design and simulate vehicle interiors so they can test ergonomics and design ahead of a physical prototype. So, this technology is moving far beyond immersive gaming or shopping experiences. For me, the combination of AR and VR is exciting because it provides new ways of learning and working.
Based on your experiences, what are the impactful trends in digital innovation that are becoming more important in the context of 2023?
Without a doubt, the advances in Artificial Intelligence (AI) and Machine Learning (ML) will be powering further developments in automation, deep learning techniques and predictive analytics. This is fundamentally shifting how we work and live. And no, I don’t think that robots will take over, but I do see that business leaders need to cut through the dramatic headlines to have a better understanding of these technologies and how they will impact organisations in the future. In short, they need to be change responsive, not change reactive. Digital transformation is not about the technology, it’s about the people using and interacting with the technology.
Closely related to this will be data privacy and ethics, as the regulatory frameworks drive organisations to focus on ensuring responsible data practices. I think we can expect increased attention on data protection, user consent and the ethical use of AI. Future proofed organisations will be those who have made a conscious investment in privacy-preserving technologies, secure data sharing frameworks and robust governance strategies.
The recent energy crisis has refocused organisational attention on sustainability, so I think we can also expect to see a focus on eco-friendly digital innovations. This could take the form of energy-efficient technologies, green data centres and renewable energy integration.
In your opinion, how can they create high value for organizations?
Digital transformation is no longer the sole preserve of the CIO. In my experience the most successful transformations draw from a wide variety of skill sets and expertise, with cross functional teams drawn from both the technical and business sides of the organisation. I see three main value streams that emerge from digital transformation:
Customer Value, where the focus is on customer need, and not technology. Providing a great customer experience underpins your ability to create value, so you should wield technology with consistency and purpose if you are to boost revenues and increase customer loyalty.
Operational Value, where cost reduction and increased efficiency is achieved by using technology to automate processes. Many companies fail because they use digital change as a proxy for culture change when it comes to the way that the business operates. Culture is not built by new processes, it is shaped by shared values, in combination with digital capabilities that put people at the heart of the transformation.
Ecosystem Value. As businesses evolve to a more digitally enabled model, their eco-system has profound influence on the bottom line, whether through suppliers or partners, so secure digital platforms can facilitate this interaction.
To create real value, any digital transformation should be the lynchpin of a comprehensive organisational strategy – encompassing culture, stakeholder engagement, process, and innovation, as well as technology and data.
Lisa Bondesio works with large organisations to design and lead complex business change and digital transformation programmes. She has worked in over 20 countries for some of the world’s leading companies, major international foundations and significant providers of public sector infrastructure. When she is not helping clients, you can find her transforming in the real world – renovating old houses for fun.