Digital Transformation Comes to Life in Avanade Innovation Center
Mining duties done remotely by pinching the air, virtual assistant holograms that recognize your face and that know all about you, cameras that detect when you’re falling asleep while driving, screens that show information about products as you pick them up, and gamified insurance services. Yes, all those products may sound like they come from a futuristic movie or, better off, from Martin Longobucco’s lesson on Disruptive Technologies. However, this is what us, students form BTS Master in Digital Transformation Leadership witnessed while visiting Avanade’s Innovation Center with Jordi Arrufi, who is coordinating all the contents of this Master program.
Avanade was born as a Joint Venture by Accenture and Microsoft about 20 years ago, and they deliver IT Consulting and services focused on Microsoft. I was both amazed and intrigued with their Innovation Center as it seemed more like a playground where makers like Arnau (one of the interns that was showing us around), could play with top technology to build solutions to real companies’ problems. It was funny to see a camera detect your gender, flattering when it calculated you were younger, and creepy when it actually got it right; but, it was in that small room where all the theory of IoT, AI, cameras, and sensors that we have been hearing about in class came to life, only as a small example of what its actually happening in the most innovative companies around the world. What we saw during our visit was just a glimpse of real projects that had either been already implemented or that are on their way to implementation. They are, as well, a demonstration of the 4th industrial revolution that our world is facing today, and the proof that companies must innovate to survive. Additionally, they are a fascinating reminder that humans have the power to use their knowledge and creativity to transform simple tools and to put together different technologies to make work and life more bearable, efficient, and fun. But, as the Peter Parker principle says: “With great power comes great responsibility”, it is in our hands to lead companies to use all these wisely.
I believe that the visit was the perfect way to consolidate my learning, make sense of several concepts and ideas I have been hearing about for the past few months; as it is not only after you see in first-hand the real application of the theory that you understand that with a clear vision to the future, a set purpose, a broad knowledge of the market, strong strategy, creativity skills, and a never-ending sense of innovation, that we will be able to positively lead a true digital transformation.
Written by Roberta Madrazo Ibarra, Master in Digital Transformation Leadership student at Barcelona Technology School