Female with glasses looking through a screen of data

How ‘legacy’ companies can embrace—not fear—the dawning digital future

From Oct. 14 to 16, industry leaders in digital transformation will gather at the first-ever Digital Futures Conference at Case Western Reserve University; early bird registration ends Sept. 13

Northeast Ohio is home to hundreds of “legacy” companies; while many have a strong history of capturing value from physical assets—manufacturing goods in factories, for instance—these companies face a future of competing in a largely digital landscape.

To survive, these businesses must rethink and re-tool to contend with new, agile digital-native startups and remain relevant to younger consumers.

Youngjin Yoo
Youngjin Yoo, co-organizer of the 2019 Digital Futures Conference

Enter digital transformation.

As one of the most important challenges—and opportunities—established businesses face in the 21st century, digital transformation done correctly can create new capabilities, processes, infrastructure and company cultures.

From Oct. 14 to 16, the 2019 Digital Futures Conference will gather an array of expertise in digital transformation to the campus of Case Western Reserve University. A partnership with Innovation Research Interchange—a worldwide network of industry leaders driving innovation and growth—this first-of-its-kind summit in Cleveland will provide opportunities to:

  • Create a personalized roadmap for effective digital transformation;
  • Learn specific tools to coordinate multiple digital innovation efforts across organizations of any size;
  • Discover how a digital-first approach can improve recruiting talent, enhance IT infrastructure and data architecture, create and strengthen relationships with suppliers and distribution partners, improve research and development, and produce new customer experiences;
  • Hear how organizational change and digitally focused leadership can determine a company’s ability to succeed.

For more information, including how to register for the event, visit case.edu/digitalfutures. Early bird registration ends Sept. 13.

Conference attendees will learn directly from leaders in legacy companies who have led successful digitalization efforts, including:

Kathy Fish
Kathy Fish
  • Kathy Fish, chief research, development and innovation officer at Procter & Gamble Co.;
  • Paul Kaeley, head of Internet of Things (IoT) services at Siemens North America;
  • Bob Graf, vice president, data science and analytics at Lubrizol Corp.;
  • Sherry Neubert, vice president and chief information officer at Goodyear Tire & Rubber Co.;
  • Sherry Sanger, senior vice president of marketing at Penske Corp. and a Case Western Reserve alum;
  • Jean-François Barthelemy, chief technologist at NASA Langley Research Center; and
  • Anand Swaminathan, a senior partner at McKinsey & Co., and an alum and trustee of Case Western Reserve.

Among the cadre of local companies experiencing positive returns from incorporating disruptive technologies is North Olmsted-based Moen—the top-selling faucet brand in North America.

Anand Swaminathan
Anand Swaminathan, a senior partner at McKinsey & Co., trustee of Case Western Reserve and speaker at the conference

“More than a trillion gallons of water flow through Moen products every year,” said Moisés Noreña, the company’s vice president of innovation. “Moen remains at the center of consumers’ everyday experiences, more than 60 years after our founding. Our digital transformation is playing an important role in making previously invisible things visible, and controlling what was not controllable before.”

Also speaking at the conference is Youngjin Yoo, developer of the “Digital First” strategy framework and founder of the recently-launched xLab at Case Western Reserve.

“As an institution of higher education and research—and a hub for digital innovation in our region—we have a duty to help prepare companies in our region for an economy that is advancing every single day,” said Yoo, the Elizabeth M. and William C. Treuhaft Professor in Entrepreneurship at the university’s Weatherhead School of Management. “Legacy companies can potentially be in a stronger position than they think to capitalize on the next phase of digital innovations—but it will require them to take deliberate and strategic efforts.”  

For more information, contact Daniel Robison at daniel.robison@case.edu.

This article was originally published Aug. 26, 2019.