Sponsored by Societe Generale

 Digital is hype!

I am invited to do the opening speech of the upcoming Leasing Life conference that will take place in Barcelona on November 28 on the theme “Embracing technological transformation”. I will talk about how creating digital business, defining the right digital strategy at the right time to add value and enhance clients experience, exploring the potential of new technologies such as AI and automation in our industry. And I will answer questions such as: should everything be digitalized? Are our customers ready for full digital? Is the leasing industry late in digitalization? What is or will be the role of human in the leasing industry of tomorrow?

Technological revolution and emergence of new players disrupting all sectors of the economy have pushed all of us into action, but the European landscape is very fragmented, and the impact of disruption and the speed vary. BtoB digital approach is quite different from consumer business but this is not the only reason why the journey toward digitalization is not homogeneous through countries and industries.

Digital is hype! Everybody talks about it. Everybody seems mobilized and concerned about this topic. There is not a single day without a conference or a tribune about digital. But let’s be pragmatic. We are lessor supporting vendors, manufacturers and SME’s in their activities. We are not geek. Who ever met a geek at Agritechnica?

Digital is an enabler not a finality

This is why, before embracing technology transformation, we need first to clearly identify and rank the objectives of the digitalization: Is it to reduce cost? To better comply with regulation? To increase revenues? To deliver added value to customers? Then, we have to make sure that all the components to support our digital strategy are present (environment, trust, clean data, governance, Business and IT expertise mix) as the investments are huge. Partnership is a path to success and can accelerate implementation, but who are the disruptive leasing FinTech’s today? Last but not least, to embrace technological transformation, we have to face all the challenges: regulation is the first one but there are others. The Digital revolution is a technological and industrial revolution, but also a cultural revolution throughout the whole organizations. Internally, all the employees must be taken on board but also the clients. What is the point of offering digital services if they are not used by clients? Co-construction is essential in digitalization of our industry.

This summer, we have launched the SGEF Digital Factory in Berlin, the tech place in Europe. Before this launch, we organized a hackathon in this same city to see the appetite and the IT expertise we could leverage on. I believe that, in the future, the leasing sector will provide its customers with personalized experience combining the best of digital technology and human expertise. This is what we are working on. We want to do “Tech for Business” not “Tech for Tech”. Let’s talk about it in Barcelona on November 28, 2019.

Jochen Jehmlich
CEO, Societe Generale Equipment Finance (SGEF)

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