Senior business leaders recognize Artificial Intelligence (AI) as the new driver of industrial value creation. But, many struggle at innovating hyper-personalized experiences and efficiencies for their customers, workforce and ecosystems with AI. To lead in the new with AI, businesses must start visualizing and deploying AI as a strategic fulcrum of building smarter products supported by smart services. Based on insights derived from Accenture’s proprietary survey and case study research, we developed a three-prong approach that products and hi-tech companies must adopt to become adept at developing and delivering intelligent business value with AI.
we.CONECT: The pop in your job ––What is most exciting about your role, and why are you passionate about your job?
Marita Vavoulioti: I have an electrical engineer background, my passion is Innovation @ Scale, and my top strength is Learner. I have worked in more than 10 countries across Europe, and Asia. My comfort zone resides in CMT on the Network / OSS side, my passion resides in Real Estate, and I had the privileged to lead some very interesting projects within F&S, focused on channels space. I am always interested in doing impactful work: work that matters to our clients and to Accenture.
we.CONECT: What are the top projects you are currently working at Accenture?
- In a post pandemic era, which will be defined by social distancing, reimagine urban living is very relevant for SEA, considering how many retail malls we have.
- Reinventing the experience around Resiliency across: Spatial, Environmental, and Social leveraging technologies like IIOT, AI, Robotics would be a big focus area for IX.0.
- Creating a space that promotes: Security & Safety, Sustainability, and maintains the Well being via touchless experience is a key for our society
we.CONECT: Where are the pitfalls that determine the success of digital transformation?
Marita Vavoulioti: It is very crucial for every company to know what is their biggest motivation for digital transformation. Is it related to internal purposes or is it for their end clients? Indeed, if you’re pursuing new tech adoption for your company’s benefit—to save time, improve processes, or avoid day-to-day time sucks like returning emails and sorting through sales leads—it’s likely you’re merely digitally optimizing your business, rather than transforming it. This isn’t necessarily a bad thing, but it is a far cry from Digital Transformation.
So why does it matter? For two reasons. First, digital optimization is like grabbing the lowest-hanging fruit on the technological tree. It keeps you even with your competition, but it will never advance you past them. Second, it means you’re focusing more on your company than you are on your customer, and that will never cut it in today’s marketplace
we.CONECT: Looking at the current situation with the COVID-19 outbreak and to the future, what kind of leadership challenges and essential skills will be crucial in the next 3-5 years?
- Adaptability and Flexibility: One thing is for certain, the ways companies operate and work are going to change. The world was already changing rapidly, but the pandemic accelerated it. There will be few “jobs for life.” Someone that is going to succeed in a post-coronavirus-world will need to be able to adapt to ever-evolving workplaces and have the ability to continuously update and refresh their skills.
- Tech Savviness: One of the best ways to prepare yourself for a post-coronavirus-world is to acquire technology skills. The reality is that technologies such as artificial intelligence, big data, the Internet of Things, virtual and augmented reality, and robotics will make businesses more resilient to future pandemics, and anyone that can help companies exploit these technologies will be in a great position. Whether you work in a factory or an accounting office in a post-coronavirus world, you need to be comfortable with these tech tools as well as be able to work with them effectively.
- Creativity & Innovation: We have already seen the importance of creativity and innovation during the pandemic. Businesses that have been able to come up with ways to deliver services virtually (like many healthcare providers have done) or quickly shift to new products (like Mercedes F1 that have shifted from making racing cars to innovative breathing aids) have been able to better weather the storm. In a post-coronavirus world, we will need human ingenuity to invent, dream up new products and ways of working. Human creativity is going to be essential.
- Data Literacy: As the fuel of the 4th Industrial Revolution, data is a critical asset for every company. With the right data, companies are able to better predict the impact of future business disruptions and are better able to serve customers with the right products and services during or after any pandemic. Companies that understand business trends and shifting customer needs are better able to respond in the right way should a future pandemic come along. However, the data is useless to a company unless there is data literacy—people equipped with skills to understand the data and make better decisions because of it. Professionals with data literacy will be even more appealing to prospective employers than ever before.
- Critical Thinking: Another skill that will be essential as our global economy rebuilds from the damage done by COVID-19 is critical thinking. During the pandemic, we have seen a spike in fake news and misrepresentations of data and studies, as leaders, businesses, and governments are trying to shift blame and divert attention and proper scrutiny. People who can objectively evaluate information from diverse sources to determine what is credible will be valued. Not all information should be trusted, but organizations will need to rely on critical thinking to understand what information should inform decision-making
- Leadership: One of the changes in a world that is heavily augmented by the support of machines and where social distancing and home working might continue for the foreseeable future, is that more people at all levels of an organization will be in a position where they lead others. The gig economy is only going to grow post coronavirus, and people will be working in more fluent teams where people are taking the lead at different times. Professionals with strong skills in leadership, including how to bring out the best and inspire teams as well as encourage collaboration, will be in demand.
- Emotional Intelligence: Closely linked to leadership is another skill that is even more important in uncertain and challenging times: Emotional Intelligence (EQ). The ability to be aware of, express, and control our emotions and be aware of others’ emotions is what emotional intelligence is all about. At times when people might feel uncertain about their job and the future of their business, it is key to connect with people on an emotional level. Individuals with strong EQ will be coveted by organizations of all sizes and in all industries.
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Do you want to learn more from more innovative speakers? Join in on the sessions on IIoT Strategy, New Business & Service Models, Smart Factory Readiness for SMEs, Industry 4.0, Operational Excellence and many more this March 01 -02, 2021 at Industry of Things World USA in San Diego. Sign up now and you will meet the leading community of IIoT decision-makers for the event’s 6th anniversary!
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01 – 02 March | Paradise Point Resort & Spa, San Diego,USA