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In Defense of the Human Experience in a Digital World | @ThingsExpo #IoT #M2M #API #DigitalTransformation

Wisdom and experience still has a role to play in a digital world

Last week, I was a keynote speaker at the Mobile Edge '16 conference in Lisbon, Portugal.  Following the conference I met individually with many different companies. These companies represented a variety of industries, sizes and digital maturity levels. I was sharing my latest digital strategy report findings, and then answering questions and brainstorming about what the data meant to each of them.

At the hotel, following a long day of meetings, it occurred to me that the biggest value I was bringing to these businesses was the breadth of my experience - the kind of experience that has turned my hair gray.

The report I was sharing was titled,"40-Months of Hyper-Digital Transformation." This report was the result of surveying 2,000 global executives across 18 countries on the current impact of digital technologies on their business, and their expectations for future impact. In this report I wrote a lot about artificial intelligence and software robots. I wrote about how robotic process automation will change the role of processes, employees and managers.

While pondering my day over a hot drink, it occurred to me that the report and the data I shared could have been presented by a junior employee with good communication skills. The value my gray hair brought to the table was the ability to understand the back-story, the history, how today is different, and analyze what needs to be done today to prepare for tomorrow.  It was perspective, experience and wisdom gained from many years of accumulated successes and failures.  It was my human baggage that was so valuable.  It allowed me to listen to many disparate situations and challenges, understand them, and then see a unique path to success for each. It allowed me to see their challenges in abstraction and define steps to follow. I chuckled and sipped my coffee. Just try to do that, I challenged all the bots and artificial intelligence engines I had been writing and speaking about. Just try to do that.

Follow Kevin Benedict on Twitter @krbenedict

More Stories By Kevin Benedict

Kevin Benedict is an opinionated Senior Analyst at Cognizant's Center for the Future of Work, SAP Mentor Alumnus, speaker, writer, and mobile and digital strategies expert. He is a popular keynote speaker, and in the past three years he has shared his insights into mobile and digital strategies with companies in 17 different countries. He has over 30 years of experience working with enterprise applications, and he is a veteran mobile industry executive. He wrote the Forward to SAP Press' bestselling book on enterprise mobility titled Mobilizing Your Enterprise with SAP, and he has written over 3,000 articles.

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