Digital transformation is a challenge which changes our prejudices and obliges us to think out of the box

After last year pilot edition, the conference CIO Agenda was held in Park Inn Hotel Prague on October 4. Almost one hundred participants among CIO, CTO and CEO gathered at this event to be inspired by solutions of digital transformation, efficiency and diversity in work team, search for new talents and motivation. The final panel discussion offered new perspectives on digital transformation from startup and grownup position.

The conference was launched by Petr Beneš, independent consultant, with the field overview: “We are staying at the boarder of the third revolution. Revolutions humankind experienced had one in common – people were moving during them. After neolithic and industrial revolution, we are experiencing digital revolution right now. We move from the material world into the virtual one. This world is characterized by dematerialization, demonetization and democracy. The digital world is deceptive: it is misleading and related with initial mistrust and disruption, it breaks traditional business models."

Ondřej Gálik, Head of Mobile Banking & Customer Engagement, Česká spořitelna, followed with the topic of new challenges for CIO: “We need to liberate from boundaries we created in our minds and be ready to do the global business. New platforms offer personalized services for free. To divide business and technology is not possible these days. Digital transformation is a challenge that changes our prejudices and obliges us to think out of the box.“

Michal Kratochvíl, CEO, BudgetBakers, Investor & Mentor, Startup Yard continued with fintech area: “The advantage of fintech, compared to the banks, is that while the digital transformation will be evolving, fintech will be in advance. Banking sector is a rich multiproduct business that started with the digitalization already 40 years ago. Today banks are one big IT team. Despite of that, they are not prepared for changes. The transformation takes too much time to them. Other companies based on IT services should take lesson from them and avoid this."

How does internet of things change the business models and processes of current companies was presented by Jan John, CEO SimpleCell, the mobile service for internet of things. He introduced possibilities that internet of things enable at the area of monitoring, while using sensors on three examples. One of them was home monitor service for elderly people based on short messages from home. “The network operator connects devices that already exist, using sensor with transmitter, transferring the signal into the data cloud to recipient. All the devices are on operator – customer side."

Michal Košacký, CFO from Škoda Doosan Power spoke about implementation of 4.0 concept into the industry. Škoda Doosan Power produces steam turbines since 1904, and exports them into 70 countries all over the world, company has 1300 emloyees. He describes some of the processes implemented within 4.0 Indrustry like manufacturing execution system, distance monitoring, analysis and visualization of steam turbines in process, online monitoring of oscillating paddles, advantages of tip timing and reverse engineering – 3D turbine scanning and scan of its parts. “The greatest challenges we face while implementing innovations? You shall not be hot-headed while implementing new technologies on market so you do not burn out. We noticed the 3D visualization four years ago; however we were able to implement it about year ago. How to get people to be interested in it? The best way is to establish favorable conditions so they may try it themselves. People from teams present on their own propositions they want to solve and they defend them because it makes sense to them, no director obliges them to do so. The greatest challenge and potential people are."

The second part of the conference was dedicated to the team dynamics in IT, moderated by Markéta Švedová, Managing Director Recruit CZ. She focused on how to build up and maintain efficient and innovative IT team, its quality, diversity and motivation of people.

The reflection towards the digitalization in VAFO Praha from Marketing Director´s point of view brought Martin Šámal. The company produces and distributes pet feed since 1994. Last year the turnover reached 2.2 billion, out of it 70 % came from export. “Every expert of the company may come up with a new solution related to his agenda, then it is his responsibility to implement it. We do not have a middle management. As the company grew I needed a web which would work globally and which will be a marketing instrument. If you introduce new project of digitalization, you need to cooperate all around the team, and you need to rise a fervor."

IT needs towards CEO while implementing new technologies were analyzed by Jiří Polák, Executive Director, CACIO (Czech Association of IT Managers). In his presentation, he mentioned the company culture and identification of IT specialist with it: “You have to be able to sell your project. IT manager must be careful about the way he communicates with his colleagues and superiors. If you want to have IT friendly company, you have to cultivate the conviction that there are still goals to be reached and that you and your team want to be the best ones."

About the growth of IT team Jan Beránek, Founder, CEO, Usertech, spoke. His company helps corporations in the area of innovation, digital transformation and creates new startups. Within four years, the company grew from 5 people to more than 70. He does not afraid of further growth anyway: “There is a lack of people on the market, foreign companies enter our market and hire people, all this generates pressure on increase of salary rates. Moreover, we have to train new employees couple of months so they fulfill our qualification requirements. We aim to cooperate with people who want to learn something. We stress the culture, we use social network, Instagram, we work at attractive environment. And people come to us asking for work. We give the work meaning, we train each other, we organize team buildings. We started to be mediators of the communication within the company. We organize Tech Teas, and we hired an in-house headhunter who works on talent management of every person of the company."

The relationship of IT managers and IT experts while “going digital" described in his dynamic presentation Václav Lavička, Partner, Purpose Fly. “Within new models of company organization the culture will be based on the transparency, prompt reaction and will to try new things. People tend to have greater independence and competences. Digitalization helps to people´s nature, to share information, to bring new innovative skills. It supports the communication and cooperation. Modern teams are not fixed to certain position, there is a shared leadership based on individual´s competence and nature. New teams cultivate the self-organization, people choose their roles naturally."

Monika Malátková, Co-founder a Business & Career Development Director, Czechitas, spoke about women phenomenon in IT. In the Czech Republic, there are only 10 % of women in IT. However, about 80 % of application users are women, 55 % of women buy monthly at e-shops, and 63 % of decisions in purchase are done by women. “Technologies grow fast and bring many new opportunities. Today, companies have to address people they were not interested in before. Diversity increased the cultural values and improves the image of the company. Why there is a lack of women in companies? Because they have not enough information about all the possibilities they have in IT!" Czechitas organize workshops all around the republic and teach women how to do programming.

There were five panelist at the final discussion Digital transformation according startups & grownups, with moderation of Marek Rokoský, Co Founder, FINEMO.CZ: Filip Kopecký, CIO, ZOOT; Martin Pejša, Managing Director, CreativeDock; Vojta Roček, Founder, Stories - Business Intelligence; Ondřej Šňupárek, Chief of IT Development, Air Bank a Václav Kaněra, IST Manager, MOL Česká republika.

Juraj Rakovský, Sales Director, Microsoft, opened the discussion pointing out three main questions: the potential of the technology to change human life, what does digital transformation stand for, and how use the possibilities it offers. “The main thing which will move us further is the fact that the world becomes a platform which will offer artificial intelligence, no matter whether we speak about robots in industry or call centers. Companies will buy these services and they will become the main initiator of IT in the company. Digital transformation means that you fill the gap between what the customer wants and what we, as analog companies, tend to deliver to him. Nowadays, digital technology represents a lifestyle; it is not a question of our kids only."

Following discussion focused on challenges of digital transformation from the point of view of small dynamic companies and established companies on the market. Panelists pointed out who shall be the trigger of the innovation in the company. According to Filip Kopecký, this role clearly belongs to CIO: “The pressure comes from the customer. The IT positions are those which are the closest to technology and so they should push the new trends. CIO shall promote its field and develop technology in general."

The end of the discussion reflected the issue mentioned across former speaker´s presentations which is the comparison of the possibilities to innovate in corporate structure and startup. From Ondřej Šňupárek´s point of view “the advantages of startups are based on its attractiveness at the labor market. People use to have more freedom in startups, they work with new technologies, smart people and pleasant environment. Consequently, startups gain the best people on the market. On the other hand they have limited resources and great responsibility."

Conference was organized by Blue Events in cooperation with expert guarantor Marek Rokoský, and partners Accenture, Microsoft, Purposefly and others.

Media contact:
Lukáš Koutník, Blue Events
phone.: 730 804 077, e-mail:

Contact for further information:
Tereza Ordóñez, e-mail:

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