Bruno Schenk has over 20 years of experience in management across several different industries. Over the years, he has gained skills in a number of areas including business development, change management, transition and transformation, sustainability, business system consulting and organizational agility. Due to his wealth of experience in various global business roles across Asia, Europe and the Americas, he has developed a profound interest and knowledge of how people from different backgrounds and cultures best work together to achieve success within matrix organizations. With the vision “Accelerate Customers”, his aim is to push Atos Switzerland to the next level, creating more value, building more experience and driving digital innovation on the market – empowered by the employees and by Atos’ partners. In his spare time, Bruno is a keen cycling enthusiast and likes to spend time outdoors with his family. He lives with his wife and son in the region of Zurich, Switzerland.
Staying competitive: A long, winding and steep road
The quest for competitiveness in the business world is never ending. Whether you’re a leader or a follower, your position is not assured unless you remain competitive. To give an example, look at the top 10 global companies by revenue in 1985 – go forward 20 years, and only five remain in that list. As of last year, the top 10 now only have one company that was there in 1985 – Walmart – while all the others are new entrants. Many of these new leaders are serving necessities such as service and platform providers or energy and transportation, but even these giant multinationals have experienced tough competition that has forced them to adapt – often rapidly – to stay ahead of the chasing pack.
What can business learn from sports?
There are many analogies between the worlds of sports and business. Both are activities that are tiring yet rewarding. It starts with a vision, a plan, discipline, training and adjustments, if your plan is not working out as anticipated or desired. A team captain or coach and a CEO must make critical decisions that will have a major impact on the result. And, winning the next big deal or a championship seems like the only goal – although victory is not an absolute but rather a relative term in business. Millions of people around the world are addicted to sports and hundreds of thousands are competing against each other at local or global events in order to win.
The race against cybercrime
Living in Switzerland is wonderful: We have some of the cleanest air in Europe, low crime and unemployment and we’re the third happiest country in the world. We may not think of ourselves as the prime target of organized crime – but according to the Network for Investigative Support in the Fight against Cybercrime (NEDIK), 2,000 Swiss businesses could have been the victim of ransomware in 2021 alone.
It’s time to wake up….
You know when the alarm clock goes off in the morning, and you instinctively reach for the snooze button? Well, society has been collectively pressing snooze for too long on the issue of climate change. Many of us have recognized from the beginning of the industrial revolution, when cities started to become engulfed by smog, that fossil fuels are harmful to health. As ecological science progressed over the last century, clearer evidence has emerged. Acid rain, melting ice caps and rising temperatures have resulted in extreme weather – including severe floods and droughts, and these cannot be just coincidences. Individually and collectively, many of us have pressed snooze. Yet, the last decade has seen more action than at any time in history as we now realize that we must awake from our slumber. We must get up and meet the challenge of climate change head on, as individual, family, team or organization.
Got your data, but know what?
Data has been compared to oil as another incredibly valuable commodity. But unlike the finite deposits of oil, data is seemingly limitless. It’s created, compared, transmitted, collected and utilized for billions of activities that happen every second of the day. Buying a latte in a Starbucks will likely generate hundreds of individual data points, many of which will be stored forever somewhere.
Make Your Idea Succeed
It’s a bit like a magician performing in a packed theatre. We know that something wonderful is happening, and behind the scenes there has been a great deal of skill and technical engineering to create the illusion – but it’s still amazing. Yet unlike a stage act, innovation can’t be conjured up on demand. It’s a blend of science, insight, trial and error and even luck that turns a spark of an idea into something tangible that can drive business success.
The dance with the clouds
There was a time, not that long ago, when the question of whether enterprises should move to the cloud was hotly debated. Many surveys found reliability, security, and data sovereignty fears were limiting its adoption. Some experts suggested that the cloud was not ready for „mission critical“ and was only suitable for start-ups. And with this advice, it was the start-ups that embraced the cloud and quickly established themselves as both innovators and leaders. Netflix, Salesforce and tens of thousands of other pioneers proved the cloud to be practical and beneficial – from its usage-based pricing to rapid deployment and the ability to operate at vast scales.
Future skills: It’s a case of give and take!
There has been a narrative for an awfully long time that new technology will make workers obsolete: mechanized tractors replacing workers in the field, textile machines making weavers antiquated and even digital databases doing the jobs of departments full of filing clerks. And in each case, it did. Yet, after each event, the workforce adapted. Today, there are still a few weavers, but at the same time there are also 28 million software developers. They are joined by hundreds of millions of engineers, marketers, designers and other subject matter experts within a whole host of knowledge-sector jobs that have emerged in the wake of innovative technology. The rise of the machines did not end employment – we adapted and evolved as we always do.
The technology opportunity
The advancement of technology is, in my view, one of the most important aspects of our society. From stumbling out of caves to boarding trains, planes and cars – and now autonomous vehicles – transportation is just one of a million examples where technology has helped us excel. Healthcare, education, agriculture and technological advancement in general are the fuels that make us better today than we were in earlier times.
The fear of change
We are living in a fast-changing world – no one could have predicted the shocking, unexpected or bizarre events which have impacted us from late 2019 until spring 2022. We have already faced many personal and business challenges, and due to the accelerated globalization, the changing eco and related business systems, and the fight against global warming all in parallel, things have not been made any easier.
Powerful computing, beyond our imagination
There is a line I love using to highlight technological advancement. It basically says that the modern smartphone has more computing power than the computers used by NASA to send the first astronauts to the moon. We also, as an industry, tend to focus on the power and scale of cloud computing as the pinnacle of technological advancement. And although the capabilities of both smartphones and the cloud have been transformative, the supercomputer is an unsung (and sometimes overlooked) hero working in the background.
You can’t buy loyalty
As we reach the end of the year, you will notice that many of my articles have touched upon customer experience or service. No matter what you call it, giving people what they value, want and need in a way that makes them happy creates loyalty and drives success. In my view, this is the most important thing for any business – whether we’re talking about a wonderful local restaurant, a telecommunications operator or a global consumer brand like McDonald’s, Samsung or Apple.