14 Jun 2024 23:12

Meet the Leader

Didier Bonnet, Senior Vice President & Global Practice Leader at Capgemini Consulting

Didier Bonnet, Senior Vice President & Global Practice Leader at Capgemini Consulting, recently took time out for an interview on undertaking digital transformation and the associated risks.

This interview comes at a time when the focus on Digital Transformation in enterprises and governments has never been greater. Organisations are increasingly looking at making sure that their business strategies are not only underpinned, but driven by the right technologies.

Here is what Didier Bonnet, one of the world’s leading voice on Digital Transformation and Smart Cities has to say on the unprecedented change that is underway.

Q: Do you think Digital Transformation is a need based phenomenon or technology based phenomenon?

Didier: I believe digital transformation has become a business imperative for all organizations regardless of sectors. Digital technology is fast evolving and, in the process, creating new opportunities to connect with customers in new ways and with better experiences as well as ample opportunities to increase the performance of operations (like IOT for example). Not taking advantage of these new innovative possibilities is, I believe, a very risky strategy for any firm. So, to some extent, the exponential progress of digital technology has created the need…..but the need is a business not a technology imperative. 

Q: How safe are the companies who already higher up the Digital Transformation curve? Are they putting their costumers at risk?

Didier: No, I don’t think so. In fact, I think the opposite. It is the companies that are not digitally transforming that are putting their organization at risk, because customers will eventually migrate elsewhere to get a better, more intuitive experience. Also going digital in not like an on-off switch. You don’t put your consumer at risk with unproven technology and new experiences overnight. The way it works is that you design, you test, your experiment, you pilot proof of concepts until you have sufficient confidence about the results. So, they are plenty of ways to de-risk the transition to digital.

Q: If an enterprise wishes to digitally transform their business, where can they begin?

Didier: I would say begin in areas where you have a chance to make a business impact. What I mean by that, is that I see too many companies being so careful about not disrupting the core of their business that they “do digital” at the edge of the organization e.g. developing a mobile app, opening a digital lab etc. These will never transform the organisation. So best to start in an area that would have real impact, for example, “Let’s try to find a business model and design an experience to attract the millennials to our products?” or “Let’s step change in our operations by increasing productivity by 50%, how can digital technology help us do that?”. These can be scary because they are at the core of the business, but they are plenty of ways to de-risk the digital development through experimentation and proof-of-concepts.  

Q: Wouldn’t bringing more devices online exponentially increase the associated risks?

Didier: Yes, there are invariably risks. For instance, network performance risks, security risks, manipulation and fake news, personal data/privacy risks and so on. But I tend to remain a digital optimist! We should not underestimate the power of the human brain (and now machines) to help us solve these problems. Networks are getting more efficient, cyber security awareness is increasing etc. There will always be (as there always has been) people with ill-intentions, but it is for individuals, corporations and Government to be vigilant and pro-active in managing those risks. Short term, my main worry is about personal data and privacy. We need to have better codes of conduct at enterprise, industry and governmental levels. But it is a hard problem to crack as it is difficult to have blanket legislations: what is acceptable to some is totally unacceptable to others. I think this will not be solved by technology but by human empathy and integrity and self-regulation as trust is becoming a powerful business currency.   

Q: At an enterprise level what is your suggestion to organizations that feel digital transformation is not for everyone?

Didier: Think again! I cannot think of a single sector or firms that cannot use digital technology to offer an improved experience to its customer, to substantially improve operational performance or to find new sources of growth through business model innovation. Of course the competitive pressures are different across sectors and geographies but I really do believe that doing nothing is not standing still, it is going backwards.


Didier Bonnet is a part of the esteemed speaker panel for CDO Conclave 2018, scheduled for 7-8 March in Dubai. The summit aims at providing a better understanding of how digitization impacts each department and process in an organization and how the CDO aligns C-level executives for a common purpose.

Read complete interview at http://www.cdoconclave.com/me/in-conversation-with-didier-bonnet-svp-and-global-practice-leader-capgemini-consulting/


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