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Sonia Pacheco on the forthcoming DES - Digital Business World Congress 2018

Agnieszka Gibbon (Social Media Portal (SMP)) - 05 April 2018

Sonia Pacheco on DES - Digital Business World Congress 2018 and the digital transformation event coming soon

Nebext logo 150x150Social Media Portal (SMP): What is your name and what do you do there for NEBEXT and the DES - Digital Business World Congress 2018?

Sonia Pacheco (SP): My name is Sonia Pacheco, I’m the congress director at DES – Digital Business World Congress 2018 edition. I´m leading the program, bringing cutting-edge content and extraordinary speakers to the event.

SMP: Briefly, tell us about DES - Digital Business World Congress 2018, what is it and what does the event strive to do?

SP: DES2018, an extraordinary forum for debate to gather inspiration where global technology leaders that are generating digital solutions, technologies and high impact business opportunities make their knowledge available to other leaders in addition to sharing their vision of this digital moment we are in.

They share ideas so that they can guide and motivate them in their journey to their enterprise digitalization. DES is also an excellent and relevant platform for corporate networking and digital business with more than +18,000 visitors.

Attendees throughout the three days of the congress will have the opportunity to acquiring different skills, but also get different approaches through the numerous talks, roundtables, presentations, cases and success experiences of cutting-edge technologies, cultural change and leadership, marketing, different industries where technology is playing a fundamental role as banking, retail, pharma, etc.

In short, a not-to-miss platform where the c-suite political leaders and HR managers will be able to see the progress and development that technological innovations may have or are having in their company or industries.

Photograph of Sonia Pacheco, congress director at DES – Digital Business World Congress 2018SMP: When/where is it to be held and why did you choose this venue?

SP: DES2018 will be held from 22nd to 24th of May 2018 in Madrid. Spain's capital is becoming at a very fast pace a relevant tech-hub of Europe. One of the most exciting missions of DES team is turning Madrid into the global capital of the digital business for a week.

SMP: Who are your target audience and why?

SP: Our focus is the corporate c-suite: Senior Management from medium and large enterprises. This digital revolution is forcing businesses to evolve in a very fast way across all industries. That is putting business leaders under pressure to react appropriately and put digital transformation at the forefront of organisational priorities. This is the reason why DES - Digital Business World Congress has a mixed audience of decision-makers (CEOs, CMOs, CIOs, CFOs, CDOs, CHROs, etc.).

SMP: What do you hope attendees will take away from DES - Digital Business World Congress 2018?

SP: A global vision on the progress and development of technologies, management and its impact in a wide range of key industries, which is required to implement a seamless digital transformation strategy that will drive profitability, and competitiveness in their organizations. Effective leaders in today’s market need to use the technology and data to make smart decisions. We hope that our attendees fulfil their inspiration needs and acquire trends and information takeaways to think about, for them to apply and become successful leaders; committed to the customer, focused on continuous improvement, and capable of inspiring their teams even in the face of massive change.

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SMP: How can stakeholders (advertisers, exhibitors, sponsors etc.,) get involved?

SP: There are multiple ways to get involved. I will encourage those willing to showcase their new products and services to explore our participation models and choose the one that will suit in their strategic goals.

From partner and exhibitor to newcomer, all are a unique opportunity to gain significant brand exposure and promote companies as a thought-leader alongside top-level speakers. We are proud to say we are becoming a global reference.

SMP: Tell us about the keynotes and guest speakers you are looking forward to?

SP: We will bring up together top knowledge from more than 450 international speakers on Leadership, People and Organization, technologies such as Cloud, IoT, Cybersecurity, Blockchain or Artificial Intelligence and relevant C-Levels of top industries like banking, telco, retail, etc.

Some important names that will be sharing and inspiring the audience are Stuart Russell, global AI authority and leader of the World Economic Forum; Aristedes Mahairas, Head of NY Cyber Operations / Cyber Division of the FBI Hanna Niemi-Hugaerts, Head of IoT Forum Virium Helskinky showcasing the city as a success story of SmartCity, Arun Sundararajan, top expert in digital economy and the impact on the business network of the new models of the so-called Platform Economy; Tamara MacCleary, who will focus her contribution on the future of work and how candidates and employers will be Rahaf Harfoush, with a vision of digital anthropologism that addresses the intersections between emerging technologies, innovation and digital culture.

SMP: What are the challenges that you’ve encountered and how are you overcoming them in what you have been doing so far at DES - Digital Business World Congress 2018?

SP: Organizing DES2018 considering that in digital change and volatility is a constant. Technology trends such as AI, cloud, mobility, IoT, big data and analytics, all new government policy shifts, multi-generational workplaces and the changes in work with the coming of automatization are all interesting subjects. How companies are building trust thanks to marketing, interesting things coming together at the same time and connecting all of these dots is sometimes a challenge.

This means there is a lot of work to be done. To stay relevant as the world's largest international forum on digital transformation and deliver growth to stakeholders in this world of fast-paced change, we have done a great research work; we have an excellent team with great knowledge to be capable enough to create a successful program. Being vigilant and having an open mind is very important for planning DES2018.

SMP: What are the high moments of what you have been doing so far?

SP: I have been able to bring together corporate c-level decision-makers of all industries, but also marketers and brand managers, data analysts, data scientists, academia scholars, public sector leaders, top-notch start-ups, innovators, futurists, transhumanism thinkers, hackers and many more.

At the European Digital Mindset Awards, I had the opportunity to know teams and leaders involved in top innovative projects which are currently building and decisively contributing to the digital economy, fantastic experience!

SMP: What do you think is going to be the most interesting aspect regarding digital translation for the next 12 to 18-months and why?

The rise of AI. This technology isn’t new, but it’s grabbed the c-suite’s thinking and their budgets this year like never before. Although still in the making as it hasn’t become a mainstream technology yet, I foresee that AI for many reasons will take off in 2018.

AI will be used to create new business models and improve customer relationships. The best option for short-term success with AI is business intelligence and decision-making. Benefits of AI in enterprise will be marketing automation and advance analytics, as well as talent management, major gains in operational effectiveness, etc. In the other hand, some other disciplines of AI as voice technology or computer vision is starting to disrupt the way will engage with customers.

Our high-level sessions will bring together forward-thinking brands, market leaders, AI evangelists and hot start-ups to explore and debate the development and progress in artificial intelligence.

Another hot topic will be GDPR. The EU's General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) is the result of four years of work by the EU policy-makers to bring data protection legislation into line with new, previously unforeseen ways that data is now used. GPDR will come into force on 25 May, only one day after DES2018 ends.

If EU starts enforcing Internet security regulations with significant penalties, organisations will have to prepare for the upcoming regulatory changes. Even smaller businesses may be more concerned about their ability to cope with such a complex task. During the congress we are going to have several sessions with experts in the field to know the keys of this new regulation.

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SMP: What are your top five predictions for digital translation for the next 12 to 18-months and why?

SP replies with:

In 2018, organizations won’t be able to avoid innovation, they will need to adapt the market trends and customer demands. The c-suite will have to adopt a clear strategy in understanding what digital transformation stands for their organizations. Evolve in our digital age is no longer a choice, but a must.

Cybersecurity. The number of online incidents and attacks is increasing. More sophisticated attacks are taking place. Companies will need to effectively set an intelligence and deterrence strategy to secure their most valuable assets. Companies all kinds will need to invest in threat protection and response, monitoring, data recovery and back up.

Data analytics will continue transforming and improving the way companies communicate with customers or making efficiently their processes, as well as creating new approaches to deliver value to the right ones, at the right times, in the right way.

Blockchain for solving a variety of business challenges
. As the technology progress and consumer trust increases, the demand for blockchain-based services will continue to grow. Forrester predicts blockchain will become a foundational technology for: certificate issuance and authentication or malware and ransomware protection. Security and trust is at the top of the agendas of the C-Suite executives.

5G networks on-the-go. Connectivity and 5G will be key for the development of the our hyperconnected world. This new step will bring us to a new stage and possible into a new wave of innovation.

SMP: What are your top overall five digital translation tips and why?

SP replies with:

Successful transformation requires collaboration and support, with an eye toward customer demands, operational agility, culture, and tech integration.

Implement a holistic adoption strategy. It’s essential to take a holistic view of how these technologies and business changes will affect all areas of the organisation.

Think from the outside-in. Start the thought process from the consumer demands to determine how to drive a consumer-facing strategy. Big data help understand your customers.

Assess current capabilities. Business leaders should work with IT, innovation, digital, marketing and HR to evaluate the current workforce and identify skills gaps. Some employees will need retraining but also organizations should consider hire new talent.

Plan a roadmap. How it will be? Whether new roles need to be created, whether outsourcing is an option, and whether the structure of the organisation should change. For example, CDO (Chief Data Officer) continues to gain traction within organizations.

Make deployment a priority. Digital transformation requires 24/7 performance and the ability to deliver the best to consumers quickly.

SMP: What tips would you give your attendees before they head to DES - Digital Business World Congress 2018?

The key to getting the most value out of DES is to view it as the best chance to learn, experience, meet, compare and buy the most advanced solutions to become a “top of mind” company.

This advice may sound obvious, but it is often an afterthought; determine where you currently are, where you need to go, and if your culture and expertise can help you to address digital challenges. It's important to attend DES2018 with at least a goal in mind and a way to track performance when facing key, the main digital dilemmas.

SMP: Is there anything else we should know, or is there anything that you’d like to share?

SP: This year we will continue with the Digital Business Club initiative (developed along with Ideas4all Innovation), a space for crowdsourcing and co-creation for managers, where debating and sharing ideas about technologies and new business models taking part at DES2018.

We have also launched the DES Academy, where we will offer master classes to attendees to give them the opportunity to develop new skills in the digital environment.

SMP: Best way to contact you and DES - Digital Business World Congress 2018?

SP: Email is my best tool of communication as well as DES LinkedIn or Twitter @DES_Show.

Watch the video summary of DES below.

Now some questions for fun

SMP: What did you have for breakfast / lunch?

SP: I am very humble when talking on food habits, three morning coffees and a salad.

SMP: What’s the last good thing that you did for someone?

I make someone very happy giving this person the opportunity to travel the other side of the world to visit the family for Christmas time.

SMP: If you weren’t working at DES - Digital Business World Congress 2018 what would you be doing?

SP: I would be a poet, actually I have written poetry, love the idea to play and to make the words beat, translate them into feelings and leverage their meaning to the fullest.

SMP: When / where did you go on your last holiday and why?

SP: My last holidays where in California, I wanted to know El Camino Real and all the Spanish Missions along its way, as well of course as to feel the Silicon Valley air.

SMP: What’s the first thing you do when you get into the office of a morning?

Talk to my colleagues and checking if I can be of any help with something in addition to have my third coffee!

SMP: If you had a superpower what would it be and why?

SP: Super memory powers! Would be very happy reading all human knowledge which is now in internet in a matter of seconds and remember all.

Would you like to tell us about your conference? Get in touch.

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