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The Place for Traditional Players in the Digital Economy
25 May 2018
16:30—17:45
KEY CONCLUSIONS
Digitalization becomes an instrument that develops traditional economic sectors

Digitalization is an incentive for economic growth, linear or exponential. <...> Usually when we speak of digitalization, we mean the players of the digital economy: Facebook, Yandex, Google. Traditional players differ from them since they have real physical assets and real physical products; they can be players in the infrastructure, they can represent the state or regions and, most importantly, that they have scale and size, they have a traditional culture — Konstantin Polunin, Partner, Managing Director, The Boston Consulting Group.

Traditional and non-traditional industries should coexist. There should not be an invention for the sake of invention or work for the sake of work. Everything should be headed towards producing a result. <...>To remain competitive in the market, it is necessary to introduce new technologies and keep up with the times — Pavel Sorokin, Deputy Minister of Energy of the Russian Federation.

It's simply not enough to provide just communication services anymore. <...> We have no choice but to go beyond the borders of the traditional business that we are doing and we actually like that prospect. <...> We see a great need to become a partner for big business and for the state in joint digitalization projects. <...> We have an opportunity to scale and apply the results of our own research practically in any kind of business — Anna Serebryanikova, Chief Operating Officer, MegaFon.

Digital companies are interested in interacting with the real sector

We realized that it is impossible to develop without interaction with the physical world. When we launched Yandex. Taxi in 2011, for a long time we did not want to get dirty, did not want to touch actual taxis, just provide aggregation services. But everything has changed dramatically. Today, Yandex. Taxi employs about half a million drivers, we attract hundreds and hundreds of thousands of drivers every year, we have driver training centres — Greg Abovsky, Operating Officer, Yandex.

ISSUES
Unwillingness to change customary business relations patterns

We are yet to learn what it means to be equal partners: we either act as a vendor or as a large infrastructure operator. And why do big players find it difficult to build ecosystems? Because the culture of interaction and relationships must change — Anna Serebryanikova, Chief Operating Officer, MegaFon.

As soon as we try to bring the digitalization processes on lower levels, we encounter significant opposition. Whenever there is change, it's unclear to the people what is it exactly that the bosses came up with and what for. Therefore, at the moment all the big projects are launched from the top — Anna Serebryanikova, Chief Operating Officer, MegaFon.

The shadow side of the digital economy is illustrated by a digital rift in the Japanese economy: for example, the 60–70 years olds do not understand what a blockchain is or how does one use a crypto currency — Takeo Harada, Chief Executive Officer, Institute for International Strategy and Information Analysis, Inc. (IISIA).

The complexity of the transition from catching up to advancing development

We are faced with an impossible task: we need to ensure accelerated development, i.e. we need to develop ahead of the entire country, and to be on par with the most dynamically developing neighbouring states — Vladimir Solodov, Deputy Plenipotentiary Representative of the President of the Russian Federation in the Far Eastern Federal District.

SOLUTIONS
Striving for constant progress

Everyone realized that disruption is not going to happen in our industry. Two key business models that exist since the founding days remain: you either have a raw material advantage, or you have the ability to create new molecules with new properties. <...> Applying digital tools, we improve our management, and our processes and become more competitive — Vasily Nomokonov, CEO, SIBUR.

Digitalization helps those who already had a culture of permanent improvement. In other words, the idea itself of each employee improving the project, which he or she manages, goes along easily with digitalization. But if it is not in the DNA of the company, it's just a waste of money — Vasily Nomokonov, CEO, SIBUR.

Customer-centricity

We are trying to create a close relationship with the customer who consumes our product. <...> It all depends on how we use our customers’ data inside the company. This gives us an indication of whether we can successfully transform or not — Shannon Poulin, Vice President, Director for Implementing New Technologies in Global Markets, Intel Corporation .

Our trusting relationship with Yandex and other clients is based on predictability. We want predictability to be built into our relationship, this is the key to success — Shannon Poulin, Vice President, Director for Implementing New Technologies in Global Markets, Intel Corporation .

Production optimization

We optimize our production capacities in order to reduce the number of operators and decrease personnel in our production. <...> This allowed us to cut costs and produce more items at a lower price — Shannon Poulin, Vice President, Director for Implementing New Technologies in Global Markets, Intel Corporation .

The material was prepared by the Russian news agency TASS