Photo showing two people shaking hands with connected points laying over top to represent digital concepts
Business network concept. Customer support. Shaking hands.

2021 Virtual Digital Futures Conference to explore major shift to digital transformation

Companies, organizations will learn where they stand in the digital evolution and how to take their technology to the next level

Business and industry, government and nonprofit organizations are embracing a massive digital transformation to better compete and serve their customers. But where do they stand in that evolution and how do they advance to the next level of “digital maturity?”

Case Western Reserve University and the Innovation Research Interchange (IRI) are hosting the 2021 Virtual Digital Futures Conference (DFC) Oct. 11-14, featuring noted corporate keynote speakers to help guide enterprises on how to reach the next level in that evolution.

Companies will learn their next steps in their organization’s digital transformation and how to get there. More importantly, they will learn how they stack up against other companies.

Youngjin Yoo

This year’s conference—the third annual—will introduce “global benchmarking” among traditional firms, said Youngjin Yoo, the Elizabeth M. and William C. Treuhaft Professor in Entrepreneurship and Professor of Information Systems at the Case Western Reserve Weatherhead School of Management and one of the event’s keynote speakers.  

“We are particularly excited that, at this year’s DFC, we are launching a global research program on digital maturity among legacy firms in different industries and regions, forming a global industry-academic research partnership network,” Yoo said. “We are excited to continue the strategic partnership with IRI.”

Organizations are changing their products or services to become more digital, embracing digital to change how they engage with their customers and transforming their infrastructure to change how they work, using advanced digital tools such as artificial intelligence, blockchain and the internet of things, among others.

Anyone who’s shopped online is familiar with the power of highly personalized service based on individual preference and history—a digitally driven approach to enhancing customer service.

Given that evolution, the digital transformation market is expected to reach $3.2 trillion by 2025, according to a recent report from Meticulous Research.

“Digital transformation for traditional firms is no longer an option,” Yoo said, “but a necessity for their survivals and success.”

Each day of the conference will consist of a keynote presentation, followed by workshops tackling different elements of digital transformation. The goal of each workshop is to develop a set of specific items companies can use to assess themselves in the process.

Along with Yoo, scheduled keynote speakers are:

  • Sheri Smithey, vice president of the Global Research and Development Network at Nestle Purina PetCare;
  • Linda Rae, general manager for the Power Generation and Oil and Gas businesses for GE Digital; and 
  • Jill Marlowe, digital transformation officer at NASA.

Get more information and to register.

This article was originally published Sept. 16, 2021.