The challenges of digital transformation
Next time you contact your bank or another service provider, you might find that you are not actually speaking to a real person. Virtual assistants, or chatbots, are becoming smarter by the day thanks to advances in artificial intelligence (AI). Take Vanda, for example. Developed by T-Systems Hungary for corporate customers, this learning chatbot was one of the attractions at the recent T-Systems Hungary Symposium in Budapest, where we discussed major challenges that digitalization brings to businesses, governments, and consumers.
Chatbots can help large corporates such as banks better manage their day-to-day customer service needs as they become more digital. However this is just one element of a massive digital transformation process that is happening all around us, affecting entire industries and the way we live our lives today. Citing figures to illustrate just some of the major trends in the coming years, Srini Gopalan, a member of the Board of Management of Deutsche Telekom AG said 70% of all workers are likely to be “digital natives” by 2025, meaning they will not be attached to a fixed working environment but instead will have highly mobile and flexible lifestyles. In addition, 25% of all consumer spending is expected to be online by this point, while 67% of all enterprises will have shifted to cloud-based IT infrastructures. He highlighted that it is important to acknowledge digital transformation not as an end-goal but rather as a continuous journey to stay ahead of the competition. Acknowledging this is a matter of mindset.
Of course, Srini also demonstrated how Deutsche Telekom is playing a significant role in helping companies to realise their digital transformation strategies. He pointed to a few examples where we are already engaging with our corporate customers on “smart” solutions, such as the implementation by one of the leading insurance group in Croatia of a dynamic workplace platform across Central and Eastern Europe, or the deployment of drones to monitor people, goods and vehicles at Durban port in South Africa.
Digitalization is everywhere
In fact, digitalisation is bringing profound changes to every industry, pointed out Zoltán Kaszás, T-Systems Hungary’s CEO, during his keynote speech at the Symposium. Zoltán described how we are creating a “smart universe” where everything is connected, and where people in all walks of life should be able to meet on equal terms. However, he also issued a salutary warning that technological change on its own is not enough. It is also critical to ensure that we do not implement technology for technology’s sake, but instead aim to solve the actual needs of people, companies and markets in a timely fashion.
Other speakers at the Symposium also highlighted the human element amid this huge technological change. Derek Woodgate, chairman of The FutureLab Inc., spoke about the importance of “human creativity” in future, and how universities will help implement digital learning strategies. In addition, he described how human intelligence will be aided by technologies such as AI, speech recognition, virtual and augmented reality, and machine learning.
Building digital banking
Will small Fintech companies currently being formed take over the banking business? Will traditional banks wake up and use their incubators to swallow the brightest Fintechs and accelerate their digital transformation? Or will one of the e-commerce or tech giants create the future’s digital financial platform? And what about instant payment, imposed by the European Union for banks? How will banks face the challenge of implementing “immediate payment” that enables customers in Europe to transfer money within just a few seconds − not only between banking accounts, but also between secondary identification, such as mobile numbers, and via platforms such as Facebook messenger or Viber? These and many other questions were discussed during the Financial Session, which was led by Gabriella Csanak and where our local experts and well recognized international payment experts shared their experiences with the audience.
Telekom’s role as digital partner
One thing is for sure: companies in all sectors and of all sizes are on a huge learning curve. As your digital partner, Deutsche Telekom is here to help. We regularly discuss the challenges of digitalisation with our customers and make sure we keep on top of all digital trends. By working together, we can succeed in overcoming the challenges that will certainly lie ahead.
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