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July 02, 2021

Digital Process Automation Live - SPEAKER SPOTLIGHT: Digital Transformation and the Future - A simplified Approach

Courtesy of First National Bank of Namibia's Sergio De Sousa, below is a transcript of his speaking session on 'Digital Transformation and the Future - A simplified Approach' to Build a Thriving Enterprise that took place at Digital Process Automation Live.

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Session Information:

Digital Transformation and the Future - A simplified Approach

The phrase ‘Digital transformation’ has various definitions and perspectives. Regardless of the definition, it’s the intent behind the transformation that counts. The objective of any digital transformation initiative should be to use technology optimally, enabling a business to succeed in the future.
 
To understand how to optimally use technology, you must predict what you will need to do to win. “How can we future-proof our companies in these uncertain and unpredictable times? In order to demystify the future, I have created a practical guide.
 
Basically, the Future will belong to those who are able to properly combine Data with Processes leading to exponential Value. 

Session Transcript:

Very excited about our next guest coming from ... in Namibia. We have says, you're the souls with Us, sends you the cells that is the head of Digital transformation and Strategist for F and B Namibia. He's currently having data and digital transformation at F and B, in the Media. He has eight years of experience in driving transformation with national and regional payment systems during his time at the Central Bank of Namibia.

He then has started the Digital Transformation Department in F and B in the Media, one of the largest financial services providers in the Country.

He has built up the team to provide critical capabilities for the organization with robotic process automation.

Process, engineering, innovation, and data.

He's equally passionate about people, business, and technology says you What, what, what a, what a privilege for all of us to have a leader from the financial services in the country of Namibia broadcasting his expertise to our global audience today. Thank you so much for being with us.

Thank you, Jose, for the great introduction and good morning, or good afternoon, or good evening, wherever you're dialing in from, around the world. Yes. My name is Sergio ... and I'm very excited and privilege to be with you today to share a topic that I've learned a lot about and with practical experience in my time. And before we kick-off, I would love to share a little bit of art with you. I'm just going to be playing a video.

I'm busy getting it up, and once the video is done, I will carry on with my presentation.

So just allow it a moment to load.

Ah!

OK, Thank you for taking Taking the time to see that video, and I think what I liked about it, and why I wanted to share it, is very much in relation to the discussion that I'd like to have with you this during this session. And this time is that if we look at the world we live in today, and there's so much information, there's so much technology.

Many of us are digital leaders around the table, and very much our role is to make sense of all the information, all the opportunities out there, and guide our businesses, and help them to make sense of it.

And for me, what I liked about that video, is that, at the beginning, you see in it, by the way, it's physical art. It's a bunch of lights that were put together in a warehouse.

And simply, all they did is, they take the camera and move it into different perspectives.

So, at the beginning, it looks like chaos. You don't know what is being presented in front of you, but as soon as the camera starts changing its perspective and its angle, you start seeing a message. You start seeing the word light, it carries on moving. And then it looks like chaos again, And then you see the word doc. And I believe a lot of the journey, and the concept of digital transformation, and people involved in some form of driving digital transformation in the organizations is to try and make sense of the chaos, to simplify the complicated. And that's why we're here. And this is what I would love to talk to you about this afternoon.

Screenshot - 2021-05-26T204254.989Just to kick off with a discussion that we have, I was very interested to see how the concept of the topic of digital transformation has grown in terms of interest.

We know that it's been hyped up significantly over the over the last decade. But to what extent, and what does this actually mean?

And actually appreciated in the previous presentation, is that, and Kevin didn't make reference to digital transformation, I she'd likely made reference to business transformation.

And as a proxy for understanding, the trend in the interest that the world has had in this topic of digital transformation, I looked at Google Trends. So if you anybody knows what Google Trends, what it does.

It simply shows you the interest in a specific top topic over the pre-selected period of time, and it does it in relation to win that that if that topic reached its peak interest. So the blue line is digital transformation. The red line represents business transformation.

Why did I look at comparing these two? Because I found this quite interesting. It tells me that at the beginning of the previous decade, people were actually slightly more interested in the concept of business transformation than they were in digital transformation.

But you will see that around February 2014, there was something that happened way. The wool started becoming more interested in digital transformation. Then the concept of business transformation.

So it tells me that transformation has always been a priority on the agenda of, of senior leaders of executives, business know, that they have to continually change and transform their business in order to survive. But then something happened is that what I believe happened is that businesses started to realize that a key part of the transformational journeys requires an understanding of technology to have a successful transformational program. You need to incorporate technology. You need to incorporate digital capability somehow.

So for me, yes, it might be considered a good sign that people started getting invested in the idea of digital transformation, but I do have a flag and a concern that digital started leading the way. So people started saying, OK. Let's see what the technology can do. And then apply a transformation to the technology. Winning principle. I believe that organizations should first define what they want to do, why they exist, why, what their purposes as an organization, and then look at the technology to support them, achieving those strategic objectives. But, if you look at this, I'm worried that the world has gotten to a point to be. All these amazing concepts are starting to try, Business and Try and business is starting to customize it, visions and strategies around all these amazing concepts.

Very interestingly, you will see that.

Very interestingly, there's two just states that were very interesting for me to note there, is that prior to covert 19 and the pandemic starting, that the peak interest for the concept of digital transformation was reached in November

So, the scoring in terms of interest is done out of a score of 100. So at that point, in November 2019, the scoring was 67.

But it's very interesting, so full of perspective.

Just to give you some context here, is that it took about eight years for it to get to that point of interest.

And then very interestingly, what happened after that is that you'll see up to the end of last month is it still peaking? The interest in digital transformation is to peeking around the world. What is digital transformation? How can I use it? What are good success stories about it? But it shows you definitely that it went from a point system of 67 in November 2019, 200 points. In April 2021, it within the span of one year, we took ages to get to the November 2019 school. So very much this little meme that we've all seen a lot about, and it's probably been overdone. Yes. Actually, cover 19 has jumped and increased the, the the impetus towards digital transformation as can be seen in this graph.

Btog CTASo as we proceed in terms of the discussion, let's talk about, OK, what is digital transformation, And I'm sure many of you when you saw the topic of this discussion today, were saying OK, is going to give us a simplistic definition of digital transformation.

What do you think digital transformation is? if you look at the internet and do research? They are so many definitions and concepts about this, and, in fact, it's it's confusing when you try to talk to business, your sponsors, your stakeholders. And the idea is always to try simplify it. So, is your digital transformation journey? Some people see it as going from paper to digital some people see it as going from manual to automation. Some people see it as using technologies like blockchain or using technologies like artificial intelligence machine learning chatbots. So here's all this understanding around what is digital transformation? What are those? Those are all good components of it that can help on the digital transformation.

So, here's my view. My very simple view on what is digital transformation?

It doesn't matter.

I'm sorry if I set you up for that.

And I'll tell you why. I believe it, doesn't matter. I said, before, we can talk about what is digital transformation, We need to be able to answer the question, why?

Why are we going on a transformational journey? Why, as executives, as leader in this digital world? Why do we believe are trans organizations need to change and transform? Why do we need to change and transform? Because if you don't have that set up for yourself, and you cannot definitively say why, what doesn't matter that much, the what needs to support the why?

Very much as leaders, we need to be able to navigate and start with the why. And this was alluded to in the formal presentation, as well.

You need to articulate your vision, your journey, and holistically, and that technology should then support you, because, once you can answer the why, then you can know, What technology should I use? Which ones should I not use? What makes sense for me to do, what makes sense for me to not do and to avoid.

So I'm going to ask you run the table. Why do you want to change and transform? Why do, why does your organization want to change and transform it?

And often there are two very simple reasons either an organization feels like or person feels like they have to.

And this is sometimes a good start.

So one of the reasons and Josie alluded to this earlier, that a lot of digital transformation efforts have not been successful.

That is sad. So, it means that companies have invested in digital transformation, it hasn't been successful.

So, that what it tells me is that, oftentimes, it's because they felt they had to, and they had to, because, we've heard examples, we don't want to be another Blockbuster. We don't want to be like Nokia cell phones, and the examples go on and on. We don't want to be a codec, so we have to transform, because we don't want to become extinct.

The problem with that have two mindsets around transformation is that it puts you in survival mode, and once you in survival mode, gene fight, or flight mode, it starts to limit your creativity.

You see challenges, people, as an organ, an organization becomes more resistant to change, because they, in this mindset, we have to change. We want to survive.

But, it's a fight or flight mentality.

And because of this, organizations are but slower to adopt change. And as a result, transformation efforts, the results of transformation efforts take longer to be realized and materialist. So you can either have I have to mindset and transformation.

Or, ideally, you can have a while to mindset.

And this is, for me, very powerful. So, yes, your transformational journey might have started with a have to mindset. We have to be able to compete. We have to survive. We have to start looking at technology.

And that's great. But the opportunity that we have, and I believe, in terms of trying to increase the likelihood of success on our transformational journeys, is to first, remove organizing ourselves and in our organizations, to want to transform mindsets. This then puts us in a place where we are, we are open, we see opportunities instead of challenges. We are more agile, and we embrace change.

And, as a result of that, I believed in the results of the transformation, if it become more quickly visible, as opposed to an organization that feels that they have to, just for yourself.

Taking a seat back, whatever the initiative, whatever the goal of the project is. If you put two people to organizations, all things being equal next to each other, which of these two do you think have a better likelihood of success?

So, again, I'll ask you, Why do you want to change? Why are you here? Is it simply because of covert 19 and if it is that is fine, that might have been the jumpstart but to really succeed and try to achieve success in the future. You need to move to a one-to-change mindset.

This picture that I'm putting in five is very interesting for me and it dilutes to the video that I showed at the beginning of my talk. Is that if you look at this concept of being above the clouds, I think this is where we sometimes need to take a step back as, as leaders in our institutions, to say, yes, below the surface, below the cloud, they might be storms, and and wool winds and floods. It could be chaos, but we need to come to a place where we can get clarity of mind, and understand what we see on the horizon.

What do we see in the future? Why, as I mentioned before, why do we want to change? We need to be able to articulate that first, before we say, what we will use, how we will get there.

And I believe this thing gives us clarity on the future, and, as I say, part of the thing is, part of the talk that I want is to talk about how to simplify the future.

And I believe articulating your why, puts you in a very good position to articulate what your future state will look like.

Part of this, for me, and part of leaders, I believe, is we need to get into a place where we start simplifying complex.

Colin Powell said, This, had this, to say, I agree with a lot. Is that, you know, we sometimes make simple things complicated, and I believe that some things are just genuinely complicated, but I believe that we can simplify it, so that business and our stakeholders understand the complicated in a simple manner. And as a scholar, Paul said, is that. That's one of the real signs of creativity. So let's exercise some creativity and taking these very complex concepts to make business understand them in a simple way. Because what that also does, it makes people understand how it can benefit them, How the work that they aligned to this, and how they can support this initiative. And it makes buying a lot easier. Another I mentioned that I showed you, ought at the beginning of this with the, with the video, and other artists that we should all be familiar with Leonardo da Vinci, offset it put. We said simplicity is the ultimate sophistication to this from somebody that's considered one of the geniuses of the time.

He said, simplicity is the ultimate sophistication. So, as digital leaders, yes, we need to know what blockchain can do. And, and cloud computing, three-d. printing, et cetera, all these concepts. We need to understand that.

But we need to also be able to translate these complex concepts so that people can understand why redoing it, how it supports our why, and that will help us to increase the buy in that we that we will be able to get.

So this is my attempt at simplification.

Lot of what my role has been is to simplify these things and to create a vision and alignment within the organization, is that, for me, the future, in a simplified way, will simply belong dose that are able to take data, combine it with processes, which result in the value that you want to create as an individual or as an organization.

And, that value could be increase in your stock price. It could be increased in a customer base.

It could be increasing efficiency is reducing, reducing unnecessary costs, increasing customer satisfaction, that is the venue that you will derive. So, let's unpack this a little bit. But, before we do, in the previous discussion, that was the edges, I also ask Kevin, what is the common mistakes that people make on that transformational journey?

Email Graphic Virtual Conferences (1)-2Here, in terms of my, my equation, to simplify the future, is two common mistakes that I've been organizations made.

So organizations will either on a transformational journey.

Heavily investing data, because I believe that, at this point in time, everybody, every organization, understands how critical data is to their journey.

So, I'm not going to talk a lot about that, because I leave that. I believe that everybody's heard a lot about it, and you already bought into it, and I'm sure you are investing it in some form or fashion. But the problem is, the chain ...

data, and you're not looking at the processes to action that data, you are not going to create value. The data on its own is great, and it will give you great insights, but it does not give you value. Unless you are able to action that. You need to make a decision. You need to execute on a process to be able to action that data, to give you the results you want, and create the value that you intended.

On the other side of the spectrum is you can get the situation where an organization is investing in processes.

We're talking about digital process automation at this conference, and they looking at Robotics, and software and solutions, but they're not looking at the data to support. Are they doing? either executing on the right processes? And what this happens is, if you know, how do you know you're doing the right thing. If you don't have the data to support you, to Tell me what the right thing is to do, to say, this is what you should do, when you should do it. Where you should do it, to which customers, you should targeted. That is where the data will help make sure that you are doing the right things as an organization. And if you are doing things without the data insights, you potentially wasting resources, and they're doing the right things.

So as digital leaders around this table, when we looking at our transformational journey is, we need to holistically look at the end to end. It was also mentioned in the previous segment. We have to look at the end to end. We have to look at the data, start with the data. What is it saying? And being able to understand the processes that we have, the solutions, and the and the different various systems and methods that we have to execute on that data and combine them together in a way that will give us exponential value. You'll notice in my in my in my formula that I had previously, I don't talk about technology, I do not talk about digital.

Because, as I mentioned at the beginning, is in that graph that I showed you, is that I believe the technology's there, it exists.

But the technology needs to support the why, what we want to do. So once we have that clarity, we then go to the technology to help us in terms of executing on this, on that process.

So very briefly, when we talk about data, in that I've only got two slides, I'm not going to talk a lot about it, I promised you that is basically why we look at data and say, you know, nobody can predict the future. Jesse says, we can't predict the future, so we should create it and I love that Saint Joseph by the way.

But no one can predict the future. But I believe using data, you can get pretty close. So there was an article in mckinzie that I read recently.

And they said that there's a company called Measurable AI that at the beginning of the Qubit then pandemic wins, the, the subscriptions, or the usage of Zoop just thought it's increasing.

This algorithm was able to predict the quarterly earnings within 1% accuracy, compared to industry consensus that was out by more than 10%.

So, so, again, I'm just emphasizing, we know that data is important, and we must not neglect and need to continue to invest in this capability. We need to find the people that can actually help us make sense of that data scientists, machine learning experts, we need to heavily focusing based on this. We also need to know what data we need to use when we know these forms of prescript descriptive data, which tells us what is happening. We have predictive data that tells us what will happen. For example, if we reduce our costs by 10%, how much will our profits increase?

Then we have prescriptive data that tells us what we should do in a specific situation, and this is just some of the examples. There are many different forms, but these are different models of data that can give us insight, and helps us to tell us what is the right thing to do. So, we need to invest in this very, very intentionally as organizations.

Last comment on the data, so I would not do your service if I didn't talk about the customer in this digital transformation journey.

And one of the things data does is that it takes us from understanding very basic concepts about very basic concepts, are data points about our customers, in terms of we might know, gender. We might know age where they love, you know, the type of products or services they they, they get from us as an organization. We have basic types of information, but in terms of trying to get more information and analyze the information here, the objective is really to say, guys, we want to move from having this basic understanding and segmentation of customers. To being able to fill in the blanks, the stuff we don't know to get the beach the view of what an individual entity looks like, individual person, or an individual organization.

So, we need to move past this zero point three.

We are segmenting our customers based on, on, on gender is O, H, Or whatever, demographics. We used to try narrowed down, and we've heard these things to a segment of work. And that's for the individual. But the same for an organization. Instead of marketing or engaging an organization from the perspective of the industry?

They are, they operating, or the revenue, they turn over to really understand where they are, what stage they are in the growth cycle, and how we can best partner with them. Because then, I believe you have the greatest potential for having customers that are loyal. Customers. This touches the organizational customers that will refer you as an organization to others, and I believe that is one of the biggest objectives.

Just a comment on this, I think, lower the days where you can say you are customizing your communications to customers because you've said, dear DSS, you in your e-mail that is not customization and that is not a good use of data. I actually had an experience the other day where there's a company that I've made.

Screenshot (4)I've done online purchases for various goods from the four times the purchase from them four times right, And then I've got this e-mail from them and they noticed I hadn't made a transaction or made a purchase on the website for some time. So I got an e-mail saying this as you noticed, you haven't been, you haven't visited our story in a while. Please come by with some, got some great office for you. So I got a bit excited. They didn't say what the office when the e-mail.

So I clicked on the link to the website, and when I got to the website, there was about 70% of the stuff I normally buy was out of stock.

70% of the stuff I buy, and they know what I buy, because I bought from them, they have a database. Somewhere in the ecosystem that says, statute has bought this stuff from us, and 70% of the stuff, he buys. Hey, guys, we don't have it in stock. Is it worth sending this e-mail to him?

Because, honestly, at the end of the day, I was frustrated, they would have done better to not have sent me the e-mail.

So, how hard would it have been to say, for the ..., check, the algorithm, whatever, just say, OK, guys, such as I've been with us for awhile, let's see what he normally buys. Let's make sure we have it in stock, and then, see if we can offer him something. And we know there's also examples of great companies around the world that have gotten it, right. But, I'm just giving you an example of that. So, I had a chat with them and gave them some advice around that. But, that's in terms of how to use your data, to satisfy your customer, To make sure that you engage with them in a way to make them feel unique and understood, so that they know that you are adding value to your, to their lives every time that you engage with them.

I'm just checking my time to make sure I not run over.

Quickly briefly on process, is when we know this, some, this is digital process automation conference. And we've seen this quote by Bill Gates and why I love this quote is that it talks about.

guys, before you apply automation with technology, check the process for its inefficiency because if you apply that technology to it, you go to maximize the inefficiencies.

And I learned very early in my digital transformation career, that people were hoping that technology would solve their problems.

But I realized that in many cases, it wasn't the system, that was the problem. It was the process.

And simply by re-engineering the processes, we were able to derive 40% of the benefits that they wanted from the system Without even touching a system. And this is where I feel skills like process engineering, industrial engineering, have fallen short enough digital transformation journeys. And that's why, in my capacity, I started a team of process engineers that are part of the digital transformation journey to look at the processes. And the hype for me of process engineering is, that actually, at the end of the day, to remove unnecessary processes, and not just to automate them, There's a quote by Peter Drucker that you'll see on your screen. Now says, there's nothing so useless.

as, Do we efficiently, that, which should not be done at all.

And sometimes, we need to take a moment and say, guys, we want to get a system we want to automate, but do we still need to do this thing? Is there not another way that we can do it? And that's what we should do first and foremost.

And, very briefly, if you have your data, your data insights, know, typically you can action that data by either using humans. So, we've got, we've maybe you want to see what customers want to reach out to with a new value proposition. We can send that list, our sales representatives, and they can contact our customers to do a cell. Or you can do development on your existing systems to create and develop triggers, an e-mail us or you can use robotics to also fill that void and actually be able to engage with the customers and action that data. Just a very important point. It's very important to choose the right process to action. That data and the data should inform that. Because you also need Agile processes. Do you know that this data that changes on a minute by minute, second, by second basis? Stock market prices, exchange rates? So, to be able to capitalize on the changing data, you need processes that can respond.

However, you need to balance this gotten that talks about a T equilibrium which means that a company needs to find the correct mix of traditional, do traditional versus digital capabilities that they'll need to succeed. So, it's not one or the other, it's a combination of these that you as a company need to be aware of.

My last slide, simply, in summary, to simplify the futures to, is that, my view is the future will belong to those. That can correctly take data, apply the correct process, and this will give you exponential value and make sure that you thrive in the future. And, very briefly, some of you might be familiar with Simon sinek's Golden circle, which is three concentric circles. And at the middle of the circle is why then comes how, and then what is the result of it. So, with that, I thank you, and I hope you got something out of this presentation.

Thank you very much, says, your wonderful highlights of the important aspects of culture, mindset, you know, key principles for accelerating innovation, value creation, very good reminders for all of us. On, on, on, the important important items, some of the questions and comments that happened during your presentation, and have a little bit to do with the, your background and the journey that you have been undertaking at, and the financial institution.

I mean, financial institutions, banks are difficult places to implement, change, lots of regulations, lots of mindsets, they're still kind of stuck in the past. Tell us a little bit about the journey that you have had. How long it's been, what is it started? Just a little bit of color on how has it been to be a leader of transformation and the financial services space?

Thank you for the question.

It's a good point, I think, you know, coming into a new role, that, I was the first in this role, it can be exciting, but it can also be daunting.

So, if you come into a role that somebody else already had, it's, it's easier to say, OK, what did they do, and how can I go than that to improve? But, if you haven't had that, and looking at something as complex at the time, this digital transformation, to make sense, what do we really need to do as a company to transform? That was my first starting point.

Screenshot - 2021-05-26T204254.989And then just say, OK, what are the key things we need to pay per ...? We need to have to help in our journey.

And I think a lot of it has been since making, has been simplifying these complex these complex concepts that we've been throwing around and, and what it means, and when we should use it, when we should invest.

Then, obviously, you need to scale, because, obviously, at the end of the day, people want to see value. They want to see the return on investment. And that's where I've learned the art of very much taking, starting, small, getting a small budget. I'm doing a proof of concept, for example, like what it did with robotics Making. Sure, it works. And growing up, and it's become such a success story, and critical part of our organization. That we building, or not the moment, but, at the same time, is to stop, Continue the change journey. And Kevin also alluded to it in the form, in the form of discussion, where he says, it's sometimes good, when his customers talk to potential new customers.
30:14
So they can hear as well, same concept internally to take the customers that have benefited from some of our innovations, and actually pitch it to the rest of the executives, as opposed to just hearing from me.

And, so, I think it's a very interesting journey. I've added a lot of learnings underway, Android, Q, right. one of the recent changes is that, as part of it, I've added the data component to my portfolio.

Previously, it used to be looking at the digital transformation strategy. But, and specifically running robotic process automation, process engineering, as well as the innovation program within the groups? I'm also responsible for ensuring that culture, innovation, the questioning, why continuous improvement is part of that, that type of discussion. But, yes, it mindset is important, you know.

one of the things I always wonder is, whether if you are a fintech or startup, do you need somebody to drive digital transformation? And the answer is probably no, because your whole mindset is you starting from from scratch.

And in a bigger organization, it can be a bit more challenging, because you've got a lot of legacy. Yes, this systems, but the mindset, and the regulations 100%. So it's, it's, it's not a quick journey. But it doesn't have to be an excessively long journey. You have to find you have to have a low, five year, 10 year view and look at how you're going to derive value as you going. As you're going on your journey. Business still needs to be able to support existing customers. They need to fix issues that are they, and you want them to transform at the same time. And that's pretty much where I am to help business, to transform and grow. And in whatever capacity, while they still keeping the lifeblood of the organization. Going, making sure we satisfy our existing base.

That's Axilla and the, and the, tell us a little bit about, how do you, there is a tremendous amount of disruption happening right now in financial services and all over the world. And, so, there is there. But, there is the now, and then, there is the future that you have to manage a little bit above, Otherwise, you're going to be in trouble.

So, how do you, how do you deal with the need to strengthen the core through transformations and the core, you know, to lots of things that can be done in the core of the business to be better.

But, balancing that with the, with the making sure that you're not myopic. And also not overlooking some the, you know, threats from new technologies like blockchains, and Bitcoins, and all these digital technologies that are coming to the financial services sector, how do you? How do you operate on that on this? on this finding, the right blend and balance, if you will, of core versus future opportunities.

And it's a very interesting question, And one that is probably not straightforward, but I have also realized that as organizations, once you set your trajectory once, you've answered your why, and your purpose, and what you want to do.

It's difficult to sometimes done that, because you are being bombarded by a lot of new things, a lot of what competitors are doing. And you need to find away from the organization to not distract, because remember, you've got finite resources, you've got resources that you want to invest in machine learning, and AI, and robotic process, automation, et cetera, et cetera. Then you've got these new technologies. OK, now we need to check how we can use cloud computing, Now we need to see what we can do about Blockchain, so there's a lot of this stuff coming in, This is a massive challenge. But you need to investigate and understand what those things do, what they can do for you as an organization, and does it fit into your original plan. Understanding the gifts you need to view your pay and make sure that it's fit for purpose, because things are changing.

But be very careful. And we know that term, FOMO very well, fear of missing out and organizations must just be careful around that. Because there's a lot of shiny things out there. And images that you mentioned is, a lot of digital transformation efforts are not successful. That's effect. And I think a lot of it is because you keep wanting to add an experiment.

And I'm saying this cautiously because, I believe in experimentation, by the way, but you need to find a way to do it. Meticulously look at the data. That's why my formula use it. I need to understand the data. What does this technology can? What does it actually done for an organization?

And I mean, someone alluded to inform us sessions that sometimes the first mover advantage is not that great, OK. Sometimes it is, Sometimes it's not. But you need to, as our organization, have a conviction, this is our purpose. This is our focus what are we going to do? does this thing fits in and quickly decide whether it works a lot. Do those proof of concepts do those POCs, and then see if it's distracting from your, your why, and your focus, or in between, to add to it.

Email Graphic Virtual Conferences (1)-2And I think each organization niches to figure out that balance That that that's a, the Senate, as well put. And the I can sense your attention. Because in, you know, with great leaders and organizations, the world of greatness is not this or world. It's an and world field of complexities enforces that pull in very different directions, and it's not about sometimes choosing one versus the other. It's about finding the intelligent blending of the two, and that's going to be at the so I can see the measure in your awards is like, you know, you gotta be careful about experimentation. But lists and experimentation is really important. I completely relate. It's not that black and white. It's about finding the right balance and bland.

That makes sense for your organization.

I think, just to add on that, I think, I've also read, I'm sure any of us that do a lot of reading. You'll see. I find it interesting. On the wall that they're saying, You know, CFOs Chief Financial Officers need to think more like CIOs, and CIOs need to think more like CFO. So that they can be value. So, you've got this thing where you'd be pushed to have so many facets to this digital transformation journey. that it can be overwhelming. And, that's why, again, I really believe there's something autistic and creatively simplifying these things. Understanding the complex and simplifying it, because there is these the ones, and that's why it's it's not either or the balance is somewhere in between.

That's right, and that, OK, so, you know, love talking to you because you are a practitioner, You're implementing new ideas that create value The essence of innovation. So we all know about, you know, there is a high scale that exists with respect to technologists or a certain things sound really good, but when you look at that there's this thing is not ready to be implemented at scale, right? So there are lots of small bullets that you can fire, but no major cannon balls you should rely on for those types of technologies. So, as you look at the different technologies, there's A, there there are, there are a soup of ladder as with all the different technologies available AI, NLP, RPA, process mining, and the list goes on and on and on.

If you go, if you look from a practitioner perspective, what's creating value today in your implementation of innovation, in, in the financial services? What, what, what are you finding most useful right now for you in terms of value creation technologies that create value?

Yeah, so I'll take it from me up. My personal experience, Obviously, This is always what's working now, what you believe will work in the medium term and what you need to start investing in and experimenting with them long term.

But foresaw a robotics journey and our data journey has started showing great results, in fact, been showing great results.

And that's why we started putting together previously data was it's a note and process and robotics was separately. And I think part of the companies understood that you need to bring these things together to have a holistic view of, OK, what is it we actually want the data to do? You know, there was a time when I saw, you know, almost all companies, strategies and vision documents had something about data. It's like you couldn't have a vision document, maybe, if you wanted a reputable vision document that is needed to have something about data.

But oftentimes, it wasn't clear what that data was supposed to do. What is it was? What do you want to use it for?

And that's why, for me, I'm really passionate, I'm not a process engineer. I'm, I'm, my background.

Is in information systems, that's my qualification, but I'm very passionate about processes just, I mean, many of you would have heard about bread King, he wrote Bank four point, Oh, he talks about going back to first principles. So, even though looking organization that's been around for more than 100 years is to look at, OK, yes, we have this legacy, but if we have to start from first principles, how should we ideally do that?

So, yeah, I think it's, it's for me, we've seen value, in terms of, of robotics. We started with, I mean, I was the only one in the team when our team of 19 of doing all this stuff, and it's because we've managed to show success.

It's also because, and technology in itself won't, won't, won't give you the results. You need to have a proper process, and one thing that I feel is often neglected is change management. And we often think, project management and change management are the same. And we neglect the change management because we're doing good project management.

But, so much engagement is required to understand the requirements, big business, understand, and then to say, OK, if I give you this bit of data, how will you utilize it? If I want to make this process for you, how would it derive value to your customers to you, as a business, to your profits? So a lot of that has to, to create that thinking out of the technology that we've been introducing. And sometimes we get to say no to technology, that in our organization, was just didn't make sense. All the time was not correct, and that's also very important lesson that we've had to learn. So, we growing capabilities that are working, but we also very actively seeing the horizon that we mentioned, seeing what's out. They find new ways to quickly do investigations in studies and make a call, No, yes? Or, maybe in six months time.

And, I think, that's where you derive value. And, I mean, things that I'm very passionate about is artificial intelligence data. I mean, it's hard to do in this day and age. You gotta be a generalist and specialist. And we mentioned that tension.

Um, yeah, but it's an interesting world. And again, you have to start with wanting to change. I've also been in that place, we have had to change, and I realize there's just so much opportunity you want to change and learn.

And it's not about working harder. You know, the concept of work smarter, but it involves you actually taking your step, your eyes above the clouds and figuring out what is going to make the best impact for you and your organization in the next one year, in the next three years. And in the next five years, I hope I answered your question a little bit, at least.

Very, very much. So. Very much so.

So, one final quick question here is related to, no, you're in the media, what are the, are there specific challenges, or opportunities when it comes to the country, or maybe even the continent that are unique, or you're dealing pretty much with the same issues that everybody's dealing everywhere else in the world.

See, I think we can Africa Namibia. We've we I've heard a lot of people say that we in this place. We have the opportunity to leapfrog and obviously skip a lot of stages that other countries in the more developed countries have gone through and actually start and set the pace for certain technologies. And we've seen examples around that. Disruption in the financial services has been very significant in African, we know, many of those examples in Piazza, cetera.

But there's also you, right? There's a lot of mindset. And we also have, and I think one of the biggest challenges we have, which I think the whole world has, is this, this, this friction between innovation and regulation.

So, so, again, it's this journey of taking our regulators on board with us as we go along, Because, at the end of the day, they need to protect the financial system. In my, that's my regulators, protect the financial system. So it's understanding the things that they tried to achieve with regulation and having discussions to say, OK, but are there other ways that we can mitigate or achieve your objectives without having the stringent regulation which could in some instances, inhibit innovation? So yes, there's, there's, there's pros and cons, and these areas where we share very similar challenges to around the world. But we also in a place where we are trying to leapfrog, as much of the technologies that has been the I mean between South Africa, Namibia we've got very advanced banking channels with, with a banking apps, and online banking apps. We've received awards for it.

So that's one example where we've actually managed to do really well, in terms of of leapfrogging in that space, but yes, we are aware of other challenges that are out there, so challenges and opportunities.

Screenshot (4)Sasha, what a pleasure to have you with us directly from them, maybe to our global audience today, sharing your expertise, sharing your journey, of a culture, business, and also yet, digital transformation. So thank you so much for the insights. It's my pleasure.

Thank you for having me, and enjoy the rest of the conference, But.

Ladies and gentlemen, that was Saturday, the salsa directly from the ... via to our global audience today sharing his expertise, sharing his insights on culture, business, and digital transformation. We are going to change hats and at the top of the hour, we're going to be welcoming the Director of Global Digital Industrial Operations for Electrolux, How Dean is going to be here with us. Very excited about hearing house perspective on the human side of digital process automation. He's going to talk about the journey of digital process automation at the organization, and the, and the lessons learned on the, on the human side of that change.

So, we're going to be closing the session right now. Again, if you want to continue to participate in our exchanges throughout the day today, checkout the LinkedIn posting on the conference is undermining shows that Paris. You can look that up on LinkedIn. You'll see a posting there. Ask questions, interact thank our sponsors to thank our speakers for being part of our journey of digital process automation here this week. So I'll see you back at the top of the hour with how DIN.

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About the Author

more - 2021-04-29T154728.783-1Sergio De Sousa,
Head of Digital Transformation,
First National Bank of Namibia.

Sergio is an influential Digital Transformation and Innovation Leader with a proven track record of delivering outstanding results by leveraging the synergies between business and technology. He helps organisations devise and execute strategies to optimise technical capabilities in order to drive efficiency and growth.

He has 15 years’ experience in the financial services sector across areas of payment systems, robotic process automation, process engineering, digital transformation and innovation to name a few. I specialize in identifying and establishing critical capabilities within organizations in order future proof their operations for the future.

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