The Cognizant Community Event in Barcelona was the ideal setting for the Transforming While Performing: Designing Experiences, Engineering Outcomes leadership panel.
Even companies with well-established product engineering teams struggle with getting the required talent, building the right products and overcoming rigid organizational structures to inject agility into methods, applications, and infrastructure. In this highly engaging session, representatives from some of the world’s largest companies addressed their digital engineering challenges—how they have overcome them and what they are still struggling with. The session examined the diversity of approaches being used by global brands in three very different sectors: energy, sports and financial services.
Transforming While Performing provided specific lessons for how to most effectively execute a digital transformation that prioritizes the customer, nurtures a culture of innovation and lays the foundation for mutually productive partnerships. Digital engineering is all about “engineering outcomes: setting goals and working back from them to establish how they can be achieved,” said Andres Angelani.
- Rohit Garg, Head of Digital Engineering, UK & Ireland at Cognizant
- Andres Angelani, CEO, Cognizant Softvision
- Paul Kobylanski, General Manager, Shell Engineering
- Paul Jacobs, Global Head of Platform Engineering, ING
- Albert Mundet, Innovation Hub Director, FC Barcelona
First, it was the turn of examining the energy sector. Shell’s digital strategy is “a coherent approach to realize and accelerate value through digital, led by business and supported by a digital center of excellence.” It is underpinned by five design principles:
- Customer user is central
- Data is an asset
- Businesses own digital
- Build in-house capability
- Behave as if you’re the future of the company and set an example
New approaches to problem-solving are emerging. For Shell’s Engineering General Manager, Paul Kobilansky: “material science R&D is founded on data and involves agile practices, product design and software engineering”.
Shell starts with a “problem-solving approach rather than a technology-first approach.” By using this lens, Shell was able to drill 300 wells without human intervention in the drilling process and implement predictive maintenance for rigs and drilling equipment.
Speaking about financial services, Paul Jacobs, Global Head of Platform Engineering at ING, said alignment between IT and business is well advanced. “IT used to be at the back of the line; now IT and business colleagues operate in the same squads, with common purpose to achieve customer outcomes,” he added.
Suppliers also have to align with this approach, so Cognizant, for example, works entirely inside the ING model, including at its facilities in India. “We always used to have handover problems between teams,” Jacobs said. “Now, the right people in the right squads have a common purpose, so the handover problem goes away.”
To give his view on the sports industry, it was the turn of Albert Mundet, Innovation Hub Director for FC Barcelona, a research lab for creating the future of sport and developing new value. “People have had to change mindsets from closed groups, which work on their own projects, to co-development which includes suppliers [in] innovation ecosystems,” he said.
The Main Takeaways
-Digital engineering often works best where project participants start by defining a problem and work backwards to address it.
– A best practice when working in digital engineering is to have cross- disciplinary teams from across the whole business, and then have IT work closely and jointly with them.
Here’s to a Great Year Ahead!
This is just one of many first steps for Cognizant Softvision to share its story of engineering outcomes and designing experiences to the world.