Planning is the cornerstone of a successful digital transformation journey: global fintech expert Chris Skinner's mantra

March 16, 2023  15:08

Digital transformation is a key driver of success for various businesses and industries today. The first “Doing Digital Forum – Exploring Digital Future” will be held in Yerevan on 5 April to study the current trends and best practices around the digitization process in Armenia and globally, discuss failures and challenges, and outline solutions. The Doing Digital Forum’s founder and organizer is SPRING PR Company, co-organizer - Ameriabank.

Ahead of the forum, initiated a series of interviews with the speakers of the forum. We start the series with the forum's keynote speaker, Chris Skinner.

Mr. Skinner is a global fintech expert, founder of The Finanser consulting firm, and author of several bestselling books on financial technology and banking, including "Digital Bank," "The Future of Banking," and "ValueWeb."

Mr. Skinner, how do you define digital transformation, and why do you think it's crucial for businesses and various industries today?

Digital transformation primarily applies to companies built in the analogue era. Because they have physicality and an analogue core, they cannot operate effectively in the mobile internet age as their business, and their business model was not built to be digital. They, therefore, have to convert their business and business model to have digital at its core. That transformation is not easy as it means the physical operations become perfunctory to the digital operations. It turns the business on its head from physical and analogue to networked and digital. That’s a tough ask, but it is critical because the customers – whether individuals or corporations – are now networked and digital.

What are some of the most significant trends or technologies driving digital transformation now and outlined in the future?

Primarily it is the mobile telephone and tablet network. In order to be relevant on that network you need apps. Apps are the digital branches and stores. You need APIs (Application Program Interfaces). APIs is your infrastructure combining those home made and those of best-of-breed partners. It is your middle office that operates an ecosystem, and links to your back office of data. I call it the apps, APIs and analytics business and it’s detailed in depth in my book Doing Digital.

What advice would you give to entities just embarking on their digital transformation journey?

Plan, plan, plan. Fail to plan and you plan to fail is always my mantra. To do this properly, it is not a project you delegate to a department. It is a fundamental transformation fo the business and the business model. Therefore you need to do it right and the whole executive leadership team needs to understand the changes required which, typically, will take many years to implement. It is not a simple process or a delegated process and, if you want to do it right, you need a person on the leadership team who truly understands what is required to educate, explore and plan the process, and ensure all of the executive team are on board and involved.

What main topics will you discuss in frames of DDF?

The themes that we have discussed already about digital transformation but I will add a little more about how technology and finance can make the world a better place.

What benefits can participants expect to gain from attending the forum?

As far as I know this is the largest and most important event in the region focused exclusively on digital transformation. Therefore, the main benefit is you can come to Yerevan and learn all you need to know, rather than having to fly to Singapore or Las Vegas for other trade shows discussing this area. Add onto this that you have world-leading voices talking and contributing to the conference, and you will leave with all you need to know to start – not to do, but to start – changing your business to be truly digital.


The event’s innovation partner is Visa, investment partner - Apricot Capital.

15+ top speakers from Armenian and international entities, such as Singapore University of Social Sciences, Forbes, Visa, Apricot Capital, Revytech, Hexens, Beta Financial Technologies, ICDT Global, as well as RA Government, SPRING PR Company and Ameriabank, will share their insights on digital business and technology through keynote speeches, panel discussions, and visionary speeches. 

The upcoming event will focus on how digital transformation fosters business growth and innovation. Participants will explore strategies for adopting new technologies, gaining a competitive edge, and best practices for data protection and cyber security risk management. The forum's esteemed speakers and panelists will also delve into the latest trends in cryptocurrencies, the Metaverse, and NFTs, examining their potential benefits and associated risks. 

The event is open to all interested in digital transformation, including business leaders, IT professionals, entrepreneurs, startups, investors, government officials, PR, marketing, and sales executives.

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