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THE SECOND WAVE OF DIGITALIZATION: FROM INCREASED PROFITS TO CAPITALIZATION GROWTH

While digital transformation allows some companies only to catch up with customer needs that have changed during the pandemic, others are already moving to a new stage of development and are working to increase labor productivity and capitalization. Speakers talked about what unites the former with the latter at the session "DIGITALIZATION. The Second Wave of Digitalization" at the Open Innovations Forum.

Climate change remains one of the main threats to humanity, so industrial enterprises need to reduce emissions and reduce energy use, said Barbara Frei-Spreiter, Executive Vice President Europe Operations, Schneider Electric. The company helps factories and plants to digitize in this direction, using, in particular, 5G technologies.

"Certain manufacturing processes are being combined into ecosystems with more predictable electricity consumption. In general, we are talking about the transition from the traditional way of managing the company "from project to project" — to a single unified center that allows you to see the overall picture of resource consumption and can measure all of the company's projects on a global scale," said Barbara Frei-Spreiter.

VTB Deputy President Vadim Kulik said that after switching to a remote mode of operation, the bank quickly began to conclude transactions entirely in digital format. The process, which was supposed to take place in a planned and experimental way, has moved into the mainstream format. According to Vadim Kulik, in order to make digitalization faster, the bank is looking for employees who have two specialties at once, one of which is within the IT sphere. The second specialization can be, for example, linguistic: such professionals are needed to develop voice assistants.

One of the main ways to digitize industrial enterprises has become the robotization of production, said Shinichi Tanzawa, President/CEO at FANUC Europe Corporation. The company produces and implements robots that do not work instead of employees, but together with them, making processes more efficient. "Robots can both replace individual chains in the shop or in the "field", and check the quality of work — for example, welding," he said.

Aleksandr Torbakhov, VympelCom CEO, called the transition from physical sim-cards to e-sim one of the points of digitalization of the mobile communications industry — however, there is no legal basis yet for this in Russia. Ekaterina Solntseva, Director of Digitalization at Rosatom, said that the strategy of the state corporation is based on the desire for technological independence: "This is access to the world's best technologies that you manage yourself. We consider the task of gaining access to any underlying technology at the management level, not just the licensor, and building our digital systems on them".

Agnes Ritter, Chief Technical Officer at Severstal, noted that the company had already moved to the next stage of transformation: "In the first wave of digitalization, we worked to increase profits. Neural networks, big data, automation — this is how we increased productivity by 3-5%. The next wave of digitalization is about the growth of the company's capitalization. We look at business models and choose more scalable ones".

Maxim Akimov, Russian Post CEO, said the pandemic made it possible to look at the strategy as a flexible system of benchmarks. The company decided that the client should be at the center of all changes, which means the speed of launching new services and products: "During the pandemic, the client has changed in the most radical way. He stopped feeling the difference between physical and digital realities, and we need to follow the client and his needs.