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Action fields of digital transformation with a focus on new work and data driven organisations

22.10.2020

During our Technology Circle Event in autumn 2020 (the second of the Technology Circle program, was conducted online), Prof. Dr. Marc K Peter from the FHNW School of Business introduced participants to the action fields of digital transformation with a focus on new work and data driven organisations.

Valérie Savoy and Mike Tonazzi (Future Work Group), Marc Nass (Actemium), Marco Arnold (Arnold IT System), Cyrille Monnin (Productec) and Sébastien Meunier (Basel Area Business & Innovation) led the first workshop, focusing on the potential and projects around new work and data management.

Conversations in small groups have shown that most participants have already engaged in initiatives and activities around new work and embrace new technology. For example, one of the participants’ company develops and implements apps for IoT (Internet of Things) use cases. This rather young company has no physical offices and therefore, all employees work from home or take advantage of co-working spaces. They use data and data insights to drive business performance and enhance their IoT solutions.

Another participant’s organisation works in the field of predictive maintenance. They develop solutions in order to obtain constant information from the production plants and machines in order to better plan and conduct the maintenance schedules of their infrastructure. Real time data is collected by the sensors, analyzed and presented in dashboards. And finally, another participant who works at the University Haut-Alsace in France explained how they provide consulting services and offer diagnostic tools for industrial organisations.

Despite the different languages of the individual participants from three countries, the discussions were engaging and fruitful.

It became clear that the participating organisations implemented not only techniques and tools to foster new work, but also invest in new technology to develop solutions. While some organisations did not provide home-office to their employees in the past, COVID-19 and the lockdown changed everything. They had to learn to work in the home-office and since then apply a blended working approach.

In the second workshop, following a presentation on new work from Valérie Savoy, participants discussed the challenges and solutions around new work arrangements. The biggest challenge was considered to be the management of the home-office setup. Challenges included the IT infrastructure rollout and the new leadership paradigm. Participants agreed that the aspect of distance leadership is important and should be taught as it is one of the biggest challenges of company management in the future.

The exchange with the keynote speakers, group leaders and workshop participants were extremely interesting and enriching, with many other topics emerging from discussions. Overall, the Technology Circle presented a platform for ideas, best practice sharing and reflection. We would like to further foster the development of a trinational network to make the three regions even stronger.

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