Specialization Series: why learning how to manage the digital revolution is crucial for your career success in business

As part of our Specialization Series, we're exploring the different specializations in the HEC Paris EMBA and how they are helping individuals to become experts in their chosen field.

By 2030, 50% of the major companies that we know today will have disappeared.

If they want to survive, all organizations throughout the world have to ask themselves a fundamental question – how can they acquire the agility of a start-up in structures with hundreds or even thousands of employees?

The answer is to create and develop a new form of company, which will thrive from strategic planning and utilizing the digital technologies available.

Director of Digital Strategy at Cognizant and HEC Paris EMBA Frédérik Arns joined the Specialization to learn which companies are best leading the digital transformation.

The Manage the Digital Revolution Specialization offered as part of the HEC Paris Executive MBA offers participants, whether coming from a corporate or entrepreneurial background, the opportunity to level up their knowledge on what digital tools are required to do this, and how companies can employ them for more effective and successful business.

Executive MBA participant Frédérik Arns, Director of Digital Strategy at Fortune 500 company Cognizant has a special interest in which companies are best leading the digital transformation due to his work, which is one of the main reasons he chose this Specialization.

“As I’m working already in digital strategy and digital transformation, I was very interested to get another perspective,” said the German-born EMBA participant.

“I knew it would be valuable to discover the possibilities in the digital transformation realm that are outside of consulting and to get a first-hand impression of this field,” Frédérik added.

The digital strategy expert said one of the most valuable aspects of the program had been the exploration of the human factor in a realm that is primarily viewed as only technical.

“The session on ethics was particularly interesting. This focus on the different subjects attached to the human factor in digital transformation has been a confirmation of something I really believe in. The professors in this course said one of the challenges is how digital transformation is only viewed as technical, when the human aspect is actually one of the more interesting parts to it,” said Frederik.

Dr. Laurent Alexandre, founder of Doctissimo, giving his keynote address to the ‘Manage the Digital Revolution’ cohort in Paris.

The deep dive into the digital revolution over one week in Paris saw a number of renowned guest speakers and field experts lead the group through a number of lectures, practical workshops and field trips.

Some of the industry expert guest speakers included Chief Digital Officer at Accor Hotels Maud Bailly; partner at McKinsey Valerio Dilda; CEO & Founder of Meilleurs Agents Sébastien de Lafond; Thales Chief Digital Officer Raphaël de Cormis; partner at Partech Venture Boris Golden; and founder of Doctissimo Dr. Laurent Alexandre who gave “a very interesting and provocative keynote on digital and politics.”

Gabrielle Helu is very interested to learn more about data science as she believes this is “the future of work for all industries.”

Gabrielle Helu, Executive MBA participant and Finance Manager at Group Casino, chose to attend the Manage the Digital Revolution specialization because she believes that data science and technology are the future of work for all industries.

“As a retailer it’s natural to be moving towards this concept. We already apply data science in different fronts of the retail business and I believe that this trend is a paradigm shift for any company who intends enhance costumer experience and engagement, which is why I was interested in the program,” said the Brazilian native who currently resides in Paris.

While Gabrielle said there were a number of great keynote speakers during the week, she said a real stand out was Maud Bailly, Chief Digital Officer at Accor Hotels.

“Maud spoke about her journey in the digital transformation of group Accor, notably in the creation and execution of a digital strategy for a major player in the hospitality industry. It was very interesting to hear her experience on embracing the entire costumer journey to transform a traditional conglomerate of hotels into a competitive digital player. Given all of the challenges that this industry in particular is facing right now, it was interesting to see how Accor relied on digital tools to overcome the difficulties imposed by the pandemic” said Gabrielle.

Senior Finance Associate at Uber Bernardo de Castro Fernandes said he wanted to take the course to “fill in the gaps.”

The Manage the Digital Revolution Specialization attracts individuals from all different industries, including individuals already working for tech companies such as Bernardo de Castro Fernandes, a Senior Finance Associate at Uber.

The Brazilian EMBA participant who resides in Amsterdam said working in the industry has helped him to absorb the course material but said it’s not a compulsory factor for being able to participate.

“Certainly, it helps, but for the people in my cohort coming from other industries it’s really nice for them to gain this perspective on how the digital world is shaping the society we live in,” said Bernardo.

As for Bernardo himself, he said the Specialization was the perfect fit for him as he wants to continue developing his career in the disruptive and innovative industry.

“I love working in the tech industry and see myself staying in this sector. The course has opened my mind about Uber and the sector itself. It’s helping me to fill in the gaps on information I don’t necessarily receive in my current role, but which will be useful in my career.”

To learn more about the learning experience at the HEC Paris Executive MBA visit our website.