Posted: 08 Oct. 2020 5 minuti Tempo di lettura

Human-centric innovation for a digital humanism

This is how Italy can find its way to innovation and compete in the world

Since the world was shaken by the arrival of the new coronavirus, innovation has been an unparalleled ally in the management of the pandemic. It has been and will be increasingly important for citizens and businesses, but above all for institutions, which find themselves handling a momentous phase of transformation of society. From the socio-economic to the geo-political scenario, passing through demographic and environmental balances: everything in the current scenario is changing. Technological innovation is one of the critical factors that will determine the future developments of this complex picture. As we have all experienced in these months, the massive digitalisation of communications and services has allowed companies to continue operating even in the most critical moments and has enabled citizens to manage the emergency. This is an unprecedented technological acceleration, which has generated opportunities and challenges: above all, that of being able to put innovation at the service of people’s new needs. This will be key particularly in the post-emergency phase, to go increasingly in the direction of digital humanism, based on a human-centric innovation.

A historic event like a pandemic, in fact, has a big impact on both people as well as businesses, modifying their needs and expectations. In the short term, the effects on consumption have already been evident: the fall in the average income of families, reduced by Covid by about €1,260 per year, combined with fears linked to the persisting of the pandemic, has led to a significant decline in consumption. And despite a real boom in e-commerce – which registered a 55% increase on a yearly basis – and a greater propensity towards the use of technology – with 86% of Italians having used digital channels to stay in contact with family and friends during the lockdown – we cannot say that all consumption has moved online permanently.

The impact on businesses, furthermore, is not limited to the internal market. With the closure of borders and the unsynchronised lockdowns in different parts of the globe, exports have suffered greatly. Not only because the effects of Covid-19 have been transmitted along global supply chains, slowing down industrial production in many sectors, but also because, exactly as happened in Italy, in many countries of the world consumers are much more cautious and fearful. The result: a significant drop in exports, as occurred for example in Italy, which registered a decline of 20% in the first six months of 2020.

In this complicated context, technology has helped people to face the Covid-19 emergency in an extraordinary way, contributing to overcoming the obligation of physical distancing and to reducing the sense of isolation. E-commerce, telemedicine, and smart working are just some of the examples of how innovation has profoundly changed our ability to respond to a dramatic event like a pandemic. These are phenomena that, however, have also made many people rediscover the importance of human contact in all interactions which cannot be ignored in this “new normal”.

It is for this reason that, today more than ever, we must aim for a “human-centric innovation”. An innovation, that is, characterised by hybrid and hyperconverged business models, powered by digital processes able of providing a fluid and personalised experience to the end user. To achieve this goal, it will be necessary to converge innovation processes on a few but fundamental areas of excellence of each country and to adopt a logic of open innovation, leveraging promising start-ups to transfer to businesses and Industry 4.0. In this way, focusing on innovative technological assets, capable of enabling the transformation of companies and of society, and outlining “hybrid” organisational models that also enhance human interactions, we will be able to transform the world around us and make the most of what, already today, is taking shape as the “new normal”.

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Andrea Poggi

Andrea Poggi

Innovation Leader, NSE | C&I Leader, DCM

Andrea è Senior Partner, membro del Comitato Esecutivo per Deloitte Nord e Sud Europa (NSE). E’ Leader dell’Innovazione per il network NSE ed è responsabile del Mercato per l’Europa centro-mediterranea, guidando la practice “Clients & Industries”. Andrea è appassionato dei temi di innovazione, crede nell’approccio multidisciplinare che olisticamente integri asset innovativi e tecnologici con nuovi modelli di business. Ha sviluppato la sua carriera consulenziale principalmente nei settori finanziari ed assicurativi. E' considerato un punto di riferimento dalla business community, regolarmente invitato alle piu’ influenti conferenze istituzionali italiane ed europee. Con un’esperienza manageriale di circa 25 anni sulla catena del valore di grandi multinazionali finanziarie e società di consulenza, è anche il fondatore in Europa Centro-Mediterranea di Monitor, la boutique di consulenza strategica di Deloitte, che ha posizionato nel mercato con una forte connotazione esecutiva. In passato, Andrea è stato top manager in un primario Gruppo assicurativo nonché docente universitario e autore di diversi libri, inclusi testi accademici. Regolarmente intervistato dai principali media, pubblica spesso articoli manageriali sulla stampa e su testate specializzate.