TECH | Mar 20, 2019

The positive side of Digital Transformation

From the best practices presented at Engineering’s Kick-Off Meeting 2019, the five words to describe the technology which is changing (for the better) our way of living and working

For Stefano Epifani, Digital Transformation can be seen as “a phenomenon that is reshaping economic, political and social scenarios, leading us to reflect on what things become when they are “touched” by digital logic. An authentic revolution of meaning destined to transform the way we see the economy, but also much more. Because change starts with technology, but affects society and people”. And it impacts so much on us that it is essential to understand how much and how our life can improve through technology and digital transformation.

With the aim of seeking the best in change generated by process innovation implemented also through technology, at Engineering’s Kick-Off Meeting 2019, held on 11 March in Rome, 14 different best practices from disparate areas were presented, which had in common a positive impact on people’s lives.

To innovate, writes Massimo Canducci, is “to think outside the box, to propose business solutions derived from the experience from other markets and correctly adapted to new ones, in a non-trivial way and in the search for new business opportunities for companies and new services to be offered to final consumers and citizens”.

If, based on the “applied innovation” experiences presented by Engineering, we should want to simplify and identify a few emerging keywords, we could think of these five.

Simplification

The word simplify is often associated with the use of technology to optimize office work, including by abandoning old tools in order to be more efficient. This is the case of S.T.E.P. (Semplification and Trasformation of Engineering Processes), through which Engineering is profoundly changing the internal process management work.

However, to simplify also means to make the day simpler: for example, Park & Joy is a smart navigator which suggests the route where parking is most likely and allows you to pay for parking with a smartphone and only for the actual parking time. Used in over 100 cities in Germany, the 3-tap app demolishes what is a non-trivial problem for anyone.

Demolishing the complexity of a sector is to simplify: by shifting from agriculture to Smart Agriculture it is possible to achieve important results as demonstrated by Save the Grape, a Smart Agriculture project carried out with the historic winery Maison Anselmet, which exploits the opportunities of sensors and the ability to read and interpret the data collected to support agricultural entrepreneurs in decision-making processes. In practical terms, deciding in a simpler way in order to make better decisions.

Inclusion

Inclusion means not excluding anyone, helping everyone to improve their experience thanks to technology. In the Inf@nzia DIGI.Tales project, the educational experience of children between 3 and 6 is supported thanks to the creation of multi-sensorial spaces of expression and experience which help didactic learning and refer to a “unifying” educational model in order to help to overcome the technological gap between home and school. An application of the Montessori principles which helps schools and families to form a community with the common goal of helping children.

Sustainability

“If we want to live on this earth, we must all do something”. This is how eCube was presented, a project which allows, thanks also to the Blockchain technology used to certify users’ energy and economic transactions, to facilitate the exchange between customers using storage, vehicle-to-grid and mobile accumulators. A 100% green energy which can be exchanged and not lost helps sustainability.

Sustainability is also monitoring and verifying what is happening. Thanks to Digital Enabler, which uses Big Data, Cloud and Artificial Intelligence, data from heterogeneous physical and virtual sources are managed and analyzed, to help administrations and citizens monitor traffic and air quality.

Security

To see the good side of Digital Transformation, it is certainly necessary to monitor the risk, the threat. In this context, two projects were presented at Kick-Off: CTImate, a cyber threat intelligence platform, which enables the collection and advanced analysis of large volumes of data and Trillion, a socio-technical platform which promotes and establishes virtuous community policing mechanisms through which citizens and law enforcement agencies together contribute to make territories more livable.

Openness

The concept of free software, and of openness in general, has always found space in Engineering projects. One example is Digital Framework, a digital integration platform of one of the largest Brazilian telecommunications companies, which uses an architecture based on microservices, open source technologies, agile methodology and a no-vendor locking approach. Because Digital Transformation becomes a value only when it guarantees freedom of choice without excessive conditioning tied to technology.