The Digital Future

Kevin Benedict

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In Defense of the Human Experience in a Digital World | @ThingsExpo #IoT #M2M #API #DigitalTransformation

Wisdom and experience still has a role to play in a digital world

Last week, I was a keynote speaker at the Mobile Edge '16 conference in Lisbon, Portugal.  Following the conference I met individually with many different companies. These companies represented a variety of industries, sizes and digital maturity levels. I was sharing my latest digital strategy report findings, and then answering questions and brainstorming about what the data meant to each of them.

At the hotel, following a long day of meetings, it occurred to me that the biggest value I was bringing to these businesses was the breadth of my experience - the kind of experience that has turned my hair gray.

The report I was sharing was titled,"40-Months of Hyper-Digital Transformation." This report was the result of surveying 2,000 global executives across 18 countries on the current impact of digital technologies on their business, and their expectations for future impact. In this report I wrote a lot about artificial intelligence and software robots. I wrote about how robotic process automation will change the role of processes, employees and managers.

While pondering my day over a hot drink, it occurred to me that the report and the data I shared could have been presented by a junior employee with good communication skills. The value my gray hair brought to the table was the ability to understand the back-story, the history, how today is different, and analyze what needs to be done today to prepare for tomorrow.  It was perspective, experience and wisdom gained from many years of accumulated successes and failures.  It was my human baggage that was so valuable.  It allowed me to listen to many disparate situations and challenges, understand them, and then see a unique path to success for each. It allowed me to see their challenges in abstraction and define steps to follow. I chuckled and sipped my coffee. Just try to do that, I challenged all the bots and artificial intelligence engines I had been writing and speaking about. Just try to do that.

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Kevin Benedict serves as the Senior Vice President, Solutions Strategy, at Regalix, a Silicon Valley based company, focused on bringing the best strategies, digital technologies, processes and people together to deliver improved customer experiences, journeys and success through the combination of intelligent solutions, analytics, automation and services. He is a popular writer, speaker and futurist, and in the past 8 years he has taught workshops for large enterprises and government agencies in 18 different countries. He has over 32 years of experience working with strategic enterprise IT solutions and business processes, and he is also a veteran executive working with both solution and services companies. He has written dozens of technology and strategy reports, over a thousand articles, interviewed hundreds of technology experts, and produced videos on the future of digital technologies and their impact on industries.