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By @SimonCocking. We interviewed Lluis Altes Strategy Director for the Digital Enterprise Show #DES2017 (in Spanish too, which wasn’t easy!) to find out more about this cool looking event in Madrid this May.

What is DES, the 1 minute pitch?

DES2017 – Digital Business World Congress is the largest global event dedicated entirely to the transformation of companies and their management areas. It is becoming the great global business conference on digital business, in which to present all the technological innovations that help improve the customer experience, processes and daily business operations, as well as develop new business models. For this reason, DES2017 will keep in its roadmap, not only the experience of discovering all these technologies, but also the developing of an agenda for each one of the executives of a company, since there is no management area that should not drive their digitalization. Therefore, from the CEOs with the Leadership Summit, to IT managers with the CIO Summit, through marketing managers with Digital Marketing Planet, as well as the financial or human resources directors, they all have personalized inspirational sessions during May (23rd to 25th) in Madrid.

Also, DES2017 will gather again the best international experts in subjects such as Digital Leadership, Cybersecurity, Internet of Things, Digital Marketing, Social Business or trends that are starting to emerge as Blockchain or Artificial Intelligence. Again, there will be more than 400 speakers and game changers from industries as diverse as banking, tourism, retail, logistics, government or the automotive industry.

How will DES 2017 be different to the 2016 version?

The second edition of Digital Enterprise Show will focus on helping our audience to map themselves in the ‘Digital Maturity Journey’. This journey is made of three different itineraries that the companies must follow according to their level of digital maturity from where it starts its transformation process. The first itinerary includes the knowledge and understanding of our customers, the identification of the talent we have and/or we want to attract into our organization and the education in the digital culture of the business leaders. The second, puts forward a customer-focused business strategy, the development of the company’s internal talent, as well as a digital corporate culture that together with the management of the company’s business technology, allows the organization to continue in its digital transformation process. The last one refers to reach the point where thanks to the use of analytical tools and the data provides by the market the companies can create customer experiences beyond their expectations and where continuous innovation is part of the company’s DNA.

Digital transformation covers many possibilities, which elements/topics will DES focus on?

DES2017 is about sharing knowledge, inspiration and success stories combining thought leadership with realities. We will cover many hot topics in our 9 auditoria, the more cross topics will be covered in the main auditorium and the specific ones for industries and roles will be covered in the rest. Some topics that we consider key for the Masterminds Congress are the inevitable tech force shaping the future, AI, Blockchain, IoT. But, as this revolution is not about technology, but about change; we will pay a lot of attention to adapt the board to the digital age, customer experience and centricity, innovation, digitalization and compliance, agility, geopolitics and international business, digital literacy and development. In summary, how to build a digital culture that creates better organizations in an improved version of the world.

The congress will also have 12 vertical forums, 2 more than the last edition, that will discuss the state of the digital transformation in each sector, the challenges they face and the best practices and solutions to deal with the process. The sectors represented in these forums are: Banking, Insurance, Media and Entertainment, Automotive, Tourism and Hotels, Cities and Public Sector, Retail & FMCG, Health and Pharmaceutical, Industry 4.0, Logistics, Telecommunications and Utilities.

Along with all this, the Masterminds Congress is complemented by professional summits dedicated to profiles and key areas in the process of digital transformation, which during the three days will have discussions and presentations uninterruptedly. There are new additions to the CIO Summit, such as the 2017 edition of the CDO Summit (Chief Digital Officer) and CFO Summit (Chief Financial Officer); Also, the Digital Marketing Planet directed to marketing management; the HR Summit, which will analyze the new professional profiles that are demanding the companies; the Cybersecurity Forum on cybersecurity and the Open Innovation Market Place, where the most prominent Startups will be presented.

What areas of tech is Spain doing well in?

As I commented previously, I don’t think that this is about technology. Of course, it is the main facilitators of this change, but the key points have to do with people, with talent. When we talk about it we tend to forget that one of the key issues is to adapt the board of large organizations to customers and citizens demands.

But I can tell you the in Europe we need to speed up the process, as there is a large opportunity to take advantage of this revolution to position ourselves as leaders. Our problem is that we are slower than other regions of the world and this lack of agility is a strong ballast. Despite it, we have very interesting companies in industries such as banking, media, travel and leisure.

Who are a few interesting Spanish tech thought leaders to follow online?

Considering my natural aversion to borders and that we live in a blurring world, I cannot limit my answer to Spaniards. I follow people of every corner of the globe and I’m pretty sure that I miss many of my inspirations, but among them I can include Anders Indset, Silvia Leal, Chema Alonso, Roya Mahboob, Carlos Torres, Cristina Garmendia, Alex Tapscott, Susan Fonseca or Martha Heller.

What trends do you think people should look out for in 2017?

Well, there are many, among them I could mention plenty of invisible technologies that are impacting all areas of our organizations. But, I will give you a short list made of how to build and analytics culture, the impact of Blockchain in a blended industries world, Artificial Intelligence, Internet of Things and how do them all impact geopolitics and international businesses.

You recently visited Ireland & the UK to explain more about the event, how did it go, and what type of companies and individuals would the event appeal to?

Our international roadshow stops in Ireland and the UK gathered a lot of interest among people who are sensitive about how this transformation impacts their organizations and themselves. Our Digital Maturity Journey presentation, Forrester Research contribution and a fireside chat with last year partners helped attendees to better understand that DES2017 is beyond technology, it is about digital business and about people who lead the transformation. It is about sharing knowledge, ideas and success stories to stay relevant in your organization. It is all about intellectual honesty and killing organizational inbreeding to create winning cultures.

How can people find out more about the event and book tickets?

The easiest way is in our website  where they can find all the information related with the speakers, forums, partners…

Anything else you’d like to add / we should have asked you?

Just to underline that DES2017 – Digital Business World Congress is the place to be if you want to have a holistic view of what is going on in digital, what is helping organizations to succeed nowadays.
This is not just about technologies that will shape the future, but about people that leads the transformation in the roles, in their industries and about identifying the most inspirational success stories and who are their partners.


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