Signals from the future. Digital transformation

‘If you can dream it, you can do it’, as that great dreamer Walt Disney used to say. It is a universal maxim which drives us a little further forward every day. Imagining the future increasingly means bringing it to fruition. Thus a connected, resilient and sustainable world is possible.

The Fourth Industrial Revolution

We are currently living through the fourth industrial revolution: digital transformation. This expression was first used in 2011 at the Hannover trade fair, one of Europe’s most important industry and automation fairs. This revolution consists in profound organizational change from the starting point of IT processes and flows and continuing through business models to take fully on board the opportunities offered by new technologies and new media and communication channels.
The new digital technologies have a profound impact on the four overall development directions: use of data, analytics, to draw value from the huge volume of available data, the man-machine interaction and, lastly, the passage from digital to ‘real’, as, for example, in 3D printing and robotics.
It is a true revolution in our ways of thinking, acting and interacting, too.
It is called the Fourth Industrial Revolution because it follows on from the previous three. 

Multiutility digitalisation

Data from Politecnico di Milano’s School of Management Observatory tell us that firms spent 3.2 billion euros on digital investments in 2019, 35% more than the previous year. In 2020 the ICT (Information and Communication Technologies) budget may increase by up to 2.8%.
One of the sectors in which digital’s effect is most radical is utilities where digital innovation is of strategic importance in infrastructure management, for the development of new services and to respond promptly to the needs of end users at all times.
Recent Ipsos and KPMG analyses show that firms investing in digitalisation will be capable of offering goods and services improvements by using new technologies as well as increasing productivity by reducing time frames and costs.
One of the tools fostering process digitalization and business innovation is, for example, the Cloud, which enables the whole IT (Information Technology) patrimony, and thus technological data and information, to be managed more smoothly, increasing firms ability to respond to business demands and rapid changes in the outside world.

What is the cloud?

The cloud is a virtual space within which files, contents and information can be filed away for access at any time and place where an internet connection is available, because they are not stored in a physical location.

How Acea changes with digitalization

What is Acea’s role in an increasingly digitalized and connected world?
In line with the firm’s industrial plan, Acea focuses on innovation as a strategic linchpin for the increasingly smart management of its infrastructure and to make the services it offers people more and more efficient and innovative. One of its projects in this context is its partnership with Google.
“The choice of Google Cloud as technological partner fits into the activities set out in Acea’s 2019-2022 Industrial Plan in which the firm set aside 500 million euros for investments in innovation. In this way the firm is significantly speeding up and strengthening its trajectory, alongside an international technology and digital development leader”, says Stefano Antonio Donnarumma, Acea’s AD. (From October 17 2019 press release)

With this partnership Acea’s intention is to develop solutions capable of speeding up, extending and strengthening its innovation and digitalization trajectory, making it one of the most dynamic players in the technological acceleration panorama. It is an innovation process which has recently sped up in Acea in the last three years.

An application map, or application system, is an indispensable tool for firms enabling the various managerial and operational sectors and spheres of the firm to be integrated. 

The first step was interpreting and promoting the firm’s IT patrimony of available data in order to think about implementing technological tools and components enabling flexible, smart working.
On one hand digital transformation speeds up information transfer, on the other, the new working models increase our autonomy in the management of relations with firms and colleagues.
“From both infrastructural and applicational perspectives Google Cloud allows us to achieve our flexibility and speed goals. The approach to work changes entirely: between colleagues, in the response to market demands and client relations”.
Google Cloud will support the Acea Group via its Advanced Solutions Lab (ASL), a training program which constitutes an opportunity for immersive training in market learning techniques applicable to complex corporate situations. From the starting point of an idea Acea may develop a full-blown prototype with the support of experts from this American colossus.
“We are working on various projects relating to our electrical and water business area. We have set in motion a range of partnerships with startups in an overall Open Innovation logic from the starting point of the assumption that good ideas, the drive to verify new business models, also come from outside the firm and interweave with it”.
Digital transformation is a trajectory which will help us to be more efficient, faster, more flexible and more responsive to people’s needs. Because progress means building a better society.