Digital Transformation Conference, London: The Good, the Bad and the Ugly

Digital Transformation Conference, London: The Good, the Bad and the Ugly

Throughout the year, the DataArt team participates in various tech industry events. Frequently, we are asked to speak at them, sharing our 21-years of experience in digital transformation programs for clients from finance, retail, healthcare, travel and logistics and beyond.

See also: The Digital Transformation of Hospitality: Who Will Rise to the Top?

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Recently, we had an outing to The Digital Transformation Conference in London, and thought we’d share our thoughts. The conference positions itself as bringing together “leaders spearheading digital initiatives in their organisations to offer insights, education and case studies on what can be a confusing environment”.

The announced agenda promised speakers from such companies like Twitter, Telegraph, The Economist, Lloyds Banking group, Pfizer, Beano, MailOnline, and many others. We were excited.The topics were devoted to building an innovative culture, the art and science of loyalty, transformation trends and risks, challenges and opportunities, etc.

My points, in my capacity as Managing Director at DataArt UK


  • Interesting speakers and (mostly) interesting content
  • Well organised
  • Good attendance and good quality of people
  • Good value for money
  • Nice chatting to various people and reconfirming my belief that digital transformation is somewhat subjective, and everyone has their own unique take on what it actually is!

Not so good

  • Not interactive enough - the many questions from the audience were left unanswered


  • Some of the speakers were shamelessly selling their company. We all understand that this is what it is all about but still…

Andrei Ivtshenko, Business Development (EU/US)


  • Great to learn about how different organizations perceive digital transformation and listen to some interesting case studies.
  • Great speakers from Twitter and The Economist
  • Fascinating presentation from Beano Studios, an interesting concept and very similar to the idea behind Kidburg
  • Good to see how other vendors position themselves as disruptors and what they have to offer to perform a digital transformation
  • Excellent food and drink, and materials!
  • Nice crowd.


  • Vendors trying to sell their companies
  • Not enough big players looking for partners (obviously a biased remark since we are a vendor)

Mila Smischuk, Senior Marketing Manager, Digital Transformation


  • Engaging speakers
  • Emphasis on people-focused technology:

Our favourite takeaways:


Bruce Daisley, VP EMEA,Twitter, stressed the importance of psychological safety in the working environment. Bruce spoke about the benefits of collaboration, and welcoming the input of each and every team member.

Another star speaker, Richard Holden, Deputy Head of Product, The Economist, led us through the way they built and adjusted their digital products. The advice was to solve business problems by solving customers’ problems.


Consumer loyalty continued to be the hot topic. Hayley Cochrane, Head of Digital, MailOnline shared formulas of the art of loyalty in the fight for consumers attention.

Pfizer’s Transformation Director, Smita Robinson,  led us through the firm’s digital transformation journey and how their incubator environment could help test new ideas.

Jemma Waters, Group Transformation, Lloyds Banking Group,  cited tech as a key enabler in change and explained what it meant for a digital bank. Jemma spoke of the impediments and benefits of being online for customers, social inclusion, and productivity.

There was much discussion of the retention of millennials, who require sexy projects with the most innovative technologies.


Best of all, the prize for the funniest and liveliest speech goes to Iain Sawbridge, Chief Marketing and Digital Content officer, Beano Studio on creating funny content capable of winning over the child community. A clear case of  someone who’s nature is reflected in their occupation. For a moment, there, we were all children again.

Whinges notwithstanding, we had a thoroughly good time!

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