More than 150 tech and digital experts attended the 7th edition of IT Days, which took place on September 25th, 2019, at PwC's Crystal Park. The afternoon sessions brought together several local and international speakers who all shared their expertise and best practices around the trendy topic of "Digital Transformation".

Christof Jacques (Security Engineer, Check Point) took the stage after a well-deserved lunch break, and shared his knowledge in a presentation entitled "Cloud Security for Digital Transformation". He first stated that the cloud was one of the main motors behind the digital transformation and that it needed to be protected. "The attack surface involves network, identity and control plane. Solutions exist to secure each of those attacks," he added. According to him, securing the network can easily be done with the use of next generation firewalls. Concerning the identity, he commented: "The next vector that needs to be protected is the identity. Everything we do in the cloud is verified and controlled by username, password or application keys. The scale is now different as the cloud can be managed from everywhere. That means making sure they use complex passwords, have 2FA enabled and apply the principle of least privilege and provide JIT". Finally, he tackled the control plane security threat, which he called a new attack vector: "Everything you can normally configure in your datacenter, whether it’s the network, the servers, the backups, the databases are now managed from a public cloud portal. This is where we need additional security and where we deliver that security with CloudGuard Dome9".


How to foster a culture of change in a mature business

Ignacio Tirado (COO, Redspher) then gave a presentation, relating the story of the digital transformation of Redspher, a trucking company turned "IT company". "Back in 2015, people used to see transport as a fragmented market that was not optimized, etc. But distance must not be an issue but as a challenge. We actually wanted to kill distances, no one should ever think of distance as an issue, transportation issue, because they will have the answer," he highlighted. He then walked the audience through the different transformation steps of the company: first the digitization of a successful business model that is still growing, with an internal digital marketplace and 100% connected subcontractors. "The second step was to approach new markets. We first failed by trying to do it with the core business and then opted for an ambidextrous approach: explore, learn and then exploit and earn. We notably created a startup in-house and brought all the pieces we needed. Later, we were able to create a single platform which has had a tremendous impact on the company's revenue," underlined Ignacio Tirado. By following these steps, the company developed and also created a new culture and is now offering on-demand seamless transport services to its clients worldwide.

Digital Transformation: Success stories

Two more sessions focusing on digital transformation success stories took place during the day. "Blockchain, an opportunity to dust financial services" was the name of the presentation given by Romain Griffiths (CTO, NEOFACTO), Stéphane Duzan (CO-founder & CTO, Forge Digital Capital Markets) and Laurent Marochini (Head of innovation, Société Générale Luxembourg). The Head of Innovation first said that blockchain is not only a new tech but is also a new way to do business. "It brings a new mindset and has created new ways of working. At Société Générale, we have seen a huge development in the past 6 months, with many projects actually turning into reality," commented Laurent Marochini, who then shared the microphone with Stéphane Duzan who explained in details the concept developed by Forge Digital Capital Markets: "Forge is one of the 70 startups of the Internal Startup Call, an intrapreneurship program of the Société Générale Group. Developed in partnership with a leading startup incubator, the team is building a simple, secured and financial-grade solution to access tokenized assets". The startup was developed with the help of Neofacto, which specializes in the development of blockchain applications. As explained by Romain Griffiths, "we have the culture of both the big accounts and startups. We are able to take over the realization part and delivered a technical framework in 6 months". A 100M€ covered bond issued on the public Ethereum blockchain resulted from this collaboration, in April 2018.

Mathilde Duczman (UX Innovation & Solution Leader, World of Digits Luxembourg) and Julie Derouwaux (Experience Studio Leader, World of Digits Belgium) then took the stage answering to the following question "How to accelerate innovation with a user centric approach?"​ The two experts notably shared the example of the satisfaction rate of the drivers of hybrid cars and the ways to improve their customer experience. To do so, they used gamification methods. "It took us 3 days to understand the challenge and where to pick up an irritant within the User journey and make it as an opportunity to come up with an idea that would answer to a real user need & to the business strategy," they added. They also explained that "driving innovation is about finding the sweet spot, in a world that is changing fast. We advocate a design thinking and lean startup mindset". The two experts concluded: "it’s about having the confidence to creatively solve problems and realize big ideas, starting human first. We embrace ambiguity and trust the process. And we should teach clients to do this as well".


Digitalize the un-digitalizable

The organizers also had the pleasure to welcome Abdelhay Toudma, CIO, Arendt & Medernach​, who joined the law firm 3,5 years ago and shared his accomplishments with the audience, "trying to be as creative as possible in a world not letting room for creativity". The CIO notably used technology to drive the transformation and was able to prove that IT is no longer just a support function but rather a business product. "Historically, lawyers are behind when it comes to change: they are late and cautious technology adopters. But they know that 39% of jobs in the legal sector will be automated in the next 10 years. In this respect, IT has a major role, not only as a facilitator, but as a business service," he highlighted. Abdelhay Toudma had to start from scratch and used frameworks adapted to this law firm context: he notably pushed mobility, worked on the central implementation of third-party software tools, but also on automation and robotization. "We are also in charge of the in-house development of RegTech tools for our clients, and are investing in LegalTech startups," he commented, before concluding: "our peers are engaged with innovation and we even brought the robot Pepper to our reception".


Fueling the digital transformation at Ahold Delhaize

The event ended with a presentation called "MuleSoft - How Ahold Delhaize uses integration to speed up digital transformation" and given by Lotte Leenen, Accout Executive, and Sahil Madan, Lead Solution Engineer, MuleSoft. The two experts first presented the solutions offered by Mulesoft: "It is a connectivity platform that powers digital transformation for enterprises across industries globally. Companies across industries and geographies are putting digital transformation at the front and center of business to have a chance to thrive in the digital economy". They then discussed the main pillars of their strategy (People – Technology – Approach) and shared a concrete business case, through a collaboration with Ahold Delhaize. "We see initiatives for eCommerce for few brands, Data Security across multi cloud, data centers deployed landscape, standardizing partner onboarding, Modernizing HR, payroll, financial landscape, and introducing new innovation products like tap to go, etc.," they said. Thanks to Mulesoft, the Belgian company is now driving reuse through reusable APIs and integrations, using APIs to unlock data and make it available in a standard fashion, embedding Security by Design, decomplexifying connectivity between on-prem and cloud, and much more.


On October 9th, 2019, ICT and tech experts will meet at the Vauban Event Center for a new editon of the Luxembourg Healthcare Summit. The RegTech Summit will take place on October 17th. Finally, the IT One Gala with its traditional Luxembourg ICT Awards will be organized on December 3rd.


Alexandre Keilmann

Photos: Dominique Gaul

Publié le 26 septembre 2019