Tech Chats: EY’s Michael Von der Geest on making money from digital innovation


We spoke with Michael Von der Geest from EY
about about how companies can benefit from digital innovation. Michael, thank you so much for joining us.
So digital innovation is something we hear about a lot but I want to know specifically
how do small and medium sized businesses make money from digital innovation? I think there’s a lot of opportunity – it’s
such a vast topic at the moment. But I really section this up into three areas. The first
one is business to consumer – retail-like propositions – frankly I find that that area
is flooded, the second area is areas like Internet of Things, those machine-to-machine
relationships. I think that has an opportunity, but the time horizons for monetising feel
a bit distant for me. What we’re working a lot in and what we’re seeing significant opportunities
is the business-to-business space, to create a consumer-like proposition in those markets. So within that business-to-business space
what opportunities are you specifically seeing companies come across? If I give you an example of that, one thing
I would think about is the work we did with one of our clients – Informa. They’re an events
business that were looking to use digital to transform their customer proposition around
sales, marketing and their product. And what we did is we worked with them and we brought
together an ecosystem of real specialists in and around digital delivery, consumption
models, marketing techniques and we were able to pull that together in what we term an ‘ecosystem’
working with brands like EY that enable us to deliver truly customer-centric digital
transformations, at pace and able to monetise that for clients and for tech companies. What is stopping businesses from engaging
with digital innovation, when there are so many advantages. What are the barriers of
entry there? Again I’d kind of almost say there’s two sides
of this. And I think what we’re seeing is small agile startup-like innovators who are
real digital natives struggle to enter that business enterprise space – they don’t have
the relationships, they don’t understand quite how the mechanics and the politics of selling
work. I think you’ve then got large organisations very well used to helping and supporting clients
in transformations, who maybe don’t really bring that lean, innovation digital ethos
to bare. I think the real opportunity is you’ve got to know what you are and bring the other
partners in. So it sounds like you have two different mindsets
there and if you marry them together and add some digital innovation into the mix you can
actually end up with a real business opportunity there. Absolutely. Michael, thank you so much. Thank you.

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