A digital shockwave is disrupting entire industries but many companies are still in denial, a seminar in Dublin will hear this week.

Irishman Professor Joe Peppard, recently appointed Principal Research Scientist at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology’s (MIT) Sloan School of Management, will tell attendees at the Auxilion hosted event on Wednesday (February 21st) that too many organisations are prone to a “digital lipstick on the pig” phenomenon.

“While we are impressed with the ambition of some companies, others, unfortunately, are either sticking their heads in the ground, muddling along without much direction or giving the illusion of progress,” commented Professor Peppard who is a non-executive director of Irish owned I.T. Alliance Group.

Referring to the phenomenon of “lipstick on a pig”, he said many organisations give the illusion of being digital.

“To the outside world, there may be some shiny new apps, but inside the company is scampering around in the dark. There may be lots going on under the banner of “our digital initiative”, but in reality there is little cohesion and minimal progress is being made.”

Professor Peppard says that a considerable barrier to digital transformation across many “digital lipstick” organisations is the presence of massive legacy technology systems.

“The accumulation of legacy technology, processes, work practices, routines and data has led to the establishment of what might be called ‘technical debt’. To get a sense of the scale of the problem, some retail banks and insurance companies are running their core operations on systems that were implemented 30 or more years ago.”

The Auxilion hosted “Elevate’ seminar in the Guinness Storehouse, Dublin on February 21st will also include speakers from Globoforce, Innovation Value Institute, KingramRed, Mainstream Renewable Power, MasterCard and Microsoft. Aimed at CxOs and heads of IT, it is free to register at http://elevate.auxilion.com/.

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