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Guiding an enterprise's digitization of business processes was a major theme at the 2018 MIT Sloan CIO Symposium, where business leaders shared their best practices with those in attendance. But while most modern, digitized companies are at least moving toward a complete enterprise digital transformation, some departments are certainly ahead of others in the process, according to conference speaker Frédéric Véron, CIO at Deutsche Bank.
In part one of this two-part video interview recorded during the event, Véron discusses which departments can be relied on to lead the way during enterprise digital transformation, and what areas, which include IT, are typically not as far along in the process. But according to Véron, even those departments that are pulling up the rear are making strides when it comes to the digitization of business processes.
Editor's note: This transcript was edited for clarity and length.
Digital transformation is the major theme of the conference. Which business departments are leading the charge on enterprise digital transformation?
Frédéric Véron: In my experience, it is primarily in financial services. I would say that the area where you see more of that transformation is what I refer to as maybe the front office, or the area that actually is in direct relation with the customers. In my previous organization, at Fannie Mae, for instance, we had a number of people who were working with vendors and banks that we were buying loans from. Those were the folks who were really driving the need for better systems, better customer experience and more modern digitization of business.
Today, I am working with Deutsche Bank and the equivalent, if you will, are older retail bankers that are around the globe, primarily with Deutsche Bank in Germany, but also Italy and Spain, and other countries. They are working [with] what we know as being bank branches and they work closely with the customers. We develop systems that are mobile platforms, on iPads or iPhones and so forth, similar to other banks. Those are all the systems that are more modern than we had in the past, so are a big driver from the digitization perspective.
Then you have, on the company investment side, all the work that we do with investors, all the products we have in that space that is also driving the digitization. I think those would typically be the leading groups in an organization to try new platforms, new systems, new technologies.
What about aspects of the enterprise that are not as far along in the enterprise digital transformation process?
Véron: It is primarily the support functions and, actually, IT itself to some extent. I have been working very closely with my groups to try to use data about our own systems in a more advanced way so that we are better equipped to manage those systems. But usually the IT organization itself is not the most advanced.
Then you have all the different supporting functions. Probably, just because maybe they have other focuses at this point, or because it is not a differentiator for the organization, but legal, and HR, and all the administrative support functions, corporate real estate, etc., are not as advanced.
Now, in some areas they are trying to change that. For instance, I've got a bunch of examples of HR departments focusing on employee engagement and in doing so realize that these tools are very useful. Therefore, they are developing platforms that are easier to use, more mobile, more modern and so forth to actually try to drive their engagements. So, it is going to depend, but on average, those are the functions that will be behind.