SOCIETY | Dec 5, 2017

Cars and datum centrality: interview with Roberto De Martin

The car is becoming a platform for data collection: what are the new challenges and opportunities?

“The increasingly close link between business and effective use of data has now become clear for companies. Less trivial is the challenge that we will have to face from now and over the next few years, aimed at transforming information and data into better services for the customer.”

This is how Roberto De Martin, Information Systems Manager for Hyundai Italia with great experience in the ICT Automotive sector, defines the impact that data have and will increasingly have on business models and ways of managing businesses, also and especially in the car sector.

“In a context in which cars will become increasingly connected and therefore a source of new data to be analyzed, it is essential to understand how these can improve the customer experience. Data gathering as an end in itself will not be useful for anyone.”

How can corporate governance be improved through analytics?

“For us the issue is particularly relevant, given that we recently put into practice and presented at Visualize YOUR World an analytics platform for the after-sales business. The project, born from a discussion with Engineering before launching the project and representing a successful example of Open Innovation, makes it possible to capitalize the many data gathered on the ground, including from the distribution network, for making them available to those who need them in a timely and flexible manner.

The Hyundai Analytics Platform, based on QlikSensetechnology, has allowed consolidation, standardization and cleaning of data from different sources in order to provide a tool that can create dynamic views on information according to the specific needs of individual users. In this way, not only has a managed and monitored collection system been constructed, but we have left the logic of pre-packaged reporting that may have given satisfactory results in the past but which is no longer adequate to the current context in which data governance has become a real factor of competitive advantage.

Through this new platform, the datum becomes immediately available when and where necessary, including on the move, thus increasing the autonomy of our colleagues and positively impacting on the level of service to the end customer.”

GDPR and security: what are the problems and opportunities for companies in which data collection becomes a central element?

“There is certainly a much higher level of attention than in the past to the aspects of privacy and security, precisely because of the large amounts of data available to businesses. I believe that the new European legislation on privacy – and we have already been working for some time on adapting to it in view of the May 2018 deadline – can only be seen as a good opportunity for improving ourselves. Taking into consideration the different aspects introduced by the legislation inevitably leads to reviewing and renewing processes, thus improving internal management and relations with the final customer.”

Changing the paradigm of car use, changing business models, does the role of the CIO in the Automotive sector also change?

“In the space of a short time, our industry has seen a radical evolution in paradigms linked to the car. The car has become, and will increasingly become, an active platform making it possible on the one hand to better understand customers and on the other to better meet their needs, enabling and offering new services that were unthinkable even just a few years ago. While the challenge has focused so far on the technology needed to enable this new world, the focus now inevitably shifts to the ability to analyze and use information effectively and to adapt business models and marketing strategies accordingly.

In this context, the role of the CIO is also evolving and acquiring greater importance, no longer being able to limit itself to technological governance of initiatives only. IT must open itself up to confrontation with lines of business in order to proactively support the definition of strategies and solutions and, given its truly cross-cutting role within the company, must be able to infuse the unitary approach initiatives necessary for avoiding fragmentation and redundancies, maximizing the benefits for the organization as a whole.”