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SDA Bocconi’s annual event DEVO Lab, Digital and Enterprise Value and Organization  took place within the Aula Magna Foyer at Bocconi University. Its focus: “Targeting the Post-Digital Era”.
Back in 1980 the American computer scientist Nicholas Negroponte had started a discussion about this topic, talking about what would happen when the then emerging digital technology would become pervasive and embedded into every aspect of our society. The DEVO Lab, coordinated by Gianluigi Castelli, picked up the topic again and expanded on it, focusing on what companies, as contemporary businesses, should do so as to avoid the “hype trap” on any topic that includes the word “digital” and to steer towards a more sensible model of savvy-adoption.

“Digital” is indeed no longer something that we should look upon with awe and wonder, but rather a whole of technologies that we should take for granted as being part of the world that surrounds us (as the new generations already do).
This was the line of thought that Paolo Scaroni, Deputy Chairman of the financial company Rothschild & Co., followed in his speech, expressing his personal vision of the oil market, its interconnections with technological advances, and the increasingly more relevant role of new technology within the global energy exchange infrastructure to support the gradually increasing foothold of renewable sources.

That presentation was followed by Severino Meregalli, Scientific Director of the DEVO Lab, who concentrated on the Lab’s post-digital manifesto, which hinges on the principle that, for a company, digital value comes from the vision they build upon it. From this point of view the company is not to be defined as “digital”, but rather as “contemporary”: it expresses a series of mindsets and principles such as overcoming dual logic, a complete trust in technological skills, adopting a systems integration logic, and a logic of human resources integration that goes beyond the generational labels.
Luigi Carrarini, Head of Technology Infrastructures and Systems at ANAS and in charge of the Smart Roads project, contributed with his own vision of the future in light of modern technology, bringing together a 2000-year old technology—the road—and a new one—the Internet of Things.

His presentation offered an interesting forward-looking interpretation of the road of the future, and how the concept of traffic circulation itself will radically change. Gianluca Salviotti, SDA Professor of Information Systems and Digital Transformation, expanded upon the prospective of technological analysis, listing DEVO Lab’s main research contributions for this year, focusing in particular on the HIT (High Impact Technologies) Radar, showing the evolution of adoption trends and technological impact from 2016 to 2017, and reiterating the importance that each must be applied to a specific business context to be translated into concrete value. Last but not least, Federico Casalegno and Yihyun Lim, from the MIT Mobile Experience Laboratory, DEVO Lab’s partner on the scouting of new technology. They described the work carried out in their own lab, the innovation principles of design thinking methods, and the new ways to use goods and services, made possible by digital technology.

SDA Bocconi School of Management

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