PEOPLE | Oct 31, 2017

The datum as enabler of the creative process: interview with Guido Porro

Data, creativity and technology - a winning business combination

Never have words been more abused than Digital Transformation, so much so that they have often been emptied of any meaning.

This is how Guido Porro, Managing Director EuroMed at Dassault Systèmes, leader in the development of 3D design solutions, digital mock-ups in 3D and product lifecycle management (PLM) – starts our conversation on digital opportunities for business.

So, what is Digital Transformation and what is it for?

Digitally transforming a business means to enablethe operational efficiency of existing processes up to changing the business model too. Today the keyword is agility: processes need to be integrated and this cannot be done linearlyas it was in the 1980s.
Today it is necessary to leap between various processes, which thus become circular and no longer linear.
We need to activate different business functions with flexibility in order to activate the creative process needed to change our businesses for the best. For example, by allowing  the Marketing Manager  to talk to the people in charge of maintenance or distribution for a better understanding of  the issues in the sector and for a chance to improve  the customer experience all together. Flexibility allows you to win and winning is made possible by technology.

Can digitalization processes be the same for all businesses regardless of the size?

Seventy percent of our clients are small and medium size companies. They are examples of the Italian excellence.  Working in the most difference sectors, theyhave been able to seize digital opportunities and to reach to the point of being a benchmark for other companies. . From our experience, I can say it goes without saying that about Digital Transformation small and large companies have different approaches but these must be eliminated. Skills appropriate for where the market is going now  and how to analyze data to improve their businesses are competences that are also present in the smallest companies, so, implementing data analysis and AI strategies, only helps to eliminate the differences in the approach between SMEs and industries.

Which technologies should be watched carefully?

We should make room for technologies that make opportunity tangible. For example, 3D printingas well as virtual reality and augmented reality, enable manufacturing companies to shorten prototyping times, thus reducing go-to-market and getting closer to the customer. Presenting a product that has not yet come into production, showing it thanks to AR for example, allows you to collect immediate feedback to be able to use it to eventually modify the prototype. Another example of high value technology is Design Thinking, through which it is possible to approach the real needs of the customer, also by using listening activities on social networks.

Can Industry 4.0 and its second phase Business 4.0 support businesses? In which way?

The characteristic I personally prefer in this plan is its practicality, that is, the possibility to be an opportunity also for medium and small businesses. Companies should identify at least one of the envisaged areas of support and design a digital transformation that takes into account not only the need for a quick win, but that know-how to look at the medium on the long term. Our role as a company is precisely  to help businesses design a digital future that is able to exploit incentives as well as possible.

Data Governance: necessity or trend of the moment?

Nowadays, the issue of Data Management is  considered a central issue  by the most, but I must say that just talking about Data Governance doesn’t get me excited. The datum should be considered as an enabler of the creative process, indispensable for the success of products and companies. The many data that industries often also collect thanks to IoT are useless if they are not analyzed or not used to create business cases. The datum should be the point of entry to an interpretative Design Thinking process; it should stimulate the creativity of engineers and designers and not just be limited to appearing as trivial reporting. Nowadays Data should additionally feed us because, as a famous statistician once said, under torture, data will confess to anything.

Sonia Montegiove