“Fascinating and terrifying in equal measure.” This was how Laurent Deloire, managing partner and head of Manufacturing for Southern Europe at DXC Technology, described the digital revolution during the opening of “Digitagile”, an event hosted by DXC and its technology partners. The digital revolution is fascinating, Deloire said, because of the new horizons it opens up, giving organisations and various professions the chance to reinvent themselves. And it’s terrifying, he added, because it offers no alternative: transformation is imperative and anyone ignoring the need to change can disappear, regardless of the sector they are working in.

One example is the Denon brand, a case discussed by Michel Alliel, CTO Southern EMEA at Hitachi Vantara, and Caroline Troller, practice lead and industry partner for Retail at DXC France. Having specialised in high-tech products for audiophiles, Denon had to adapt its business and modify its economic model to accommodate the new streaming platforms. This was essential so it could continue offering the luxury products the brand had been selling since its early days. It’s a curious paradox: A brand may need to transform itself simply to conserve its DNA.

The manufacturing sector is not alone in undergoing such changes. Jean-Paul Schmidt, managing partner for the Public Sector at DXC, talked about the need for real-time public services. Today’s technological advances are making users more and more demanding, whether it’s about getting administrative documents online or finding immediate business indicators for management. “The public sphere will need to show agility if it is to make a success of this transformation,” Schmidt stressed. How? By bringing in new technologies such as chatbots to respond to questions from users around the clock and, of course, using the cloud to enable real-time interactions. Breaking down silos and putting the user centre stage is a major challenge.

This is also a challenge for the banking sector, said Jean François Delorme, partner for Banking at DXC, who pointed to the current “Copernican revolution” in banking: “Banks can no longer afford their former, inward-oriented attitude. The customer must be placed at the centre of the banking universe.” In practical terms, this means offering new services aimed at centralising a customer’s financial information and making this information easier to access, be it revenue, dividends, company information for directors, education savings accounts or real estate assets.

“To accomplish this, the bank must be capable of integrating itself into other ecosystems via APIs and making use of the cloud, artificial intelligence, machine learning and blockchain technologies,” added Philippe Poirot, Microsoft’s head of Strategy, and Offerings, for the financial services industry. In short, a bank needs to open up its ecosystem and become a platform that gathers data, storing it and enhancing its value with data analytics.

The same trend toward optimising data can be seen in insurance, an industry currently undergoing rapid transformation. “Insurance companies know it is no longer enough to provide compensation for the financial consequences of accidents,” said Magali Remondini, associate partner for Insurance at DXC. “Above all, they are now seeking to anticipate and prevent accidents.” Remondini, along with Christophe Lopez-Castel, channel and distribution manager at Citrix France, discussed how the digital revolution in the insurance industry includes having insurers fitting homes with sensors to prevent water damage from leaks or broken pipes, for example, or using software solutions to prevent cyber attacks in a business context.

Businesses need to get ready right now to accommodate these various upheavals, and success depends on their ability to assimilate new technologies. As the name of the conference implies, being able to adapt in a constantly changing environment means being “digitagile”.