What a company sees when looking into the Digital Mirror: the opportunities of virtual environments

DEVO Lab, Digital Enterprise Value and Organization


Many application domains hitherto associated with physical environments are rapidly moving toward virtual horizons: cryptocurrency, digital twin, national cybersecurity, metaverse. What about companies? How are they navigating this change? These are the most pertinent topics ever addressed during "The Digital Mirror," Devo Lab's annual event - now in its seventh edition - held at SDA Bocconi's headquarters in Milan. An event structured, as highlighted by Gianluigi Castelli, Director of Devo Lab, "according to a new, unconventional rationale that compares the digital world with the real one in a series of complex situations."

A day dedicated to the developments of the virtual world in different fields, such as medicine, business, defense, but also gaming. The potential benefits for companies are numerous such as more effective digitization, hyperconnection or even process efficiency.

In this scenario, companies play the leading role: both because they provide the means and know-how essential to the development of the necessary technologies, and because they are realizing the levers of competitive advantage that the virtual environment can offer them.

But it is also fair to consider some variables to be mindful of when a company looks at the Digital Mirror. As shown by D. Fox Harrell, Director of the MIT Center for Advanced Virtuality, the transition from the real to the virtual world can be tortuous and hide obstacles that we are often unaware of. First among them is the issue of respecting the privacy of data obtained in the virtual world. A second element that emerged from Dr. Harrell's field research then showed how biases, mainly related to gender and ethnicity, also influence the virtual world in spite of Diversity & Inclusion.

The virtual world is to some extent yet to be explored; it is a rapidly evolving field. Research and training are essential in order to ensure informed evolution, and the Devo Lab is in step with that evolution. In fact, as SDA Bocconi Dean Stefano Caselli says, "Devo Lab synergistically combines research and training. Research means debate and debate means impact. And when there is impact, there is dissemination inside and outside the classroom."

SDA Bocconi School of Management

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