During this year’s Constellation Research Connected Enterprise event, the fire pits were virtual, but the conversations shared were still very much ablaze with exciting ideas and insights.

For those not yet familiar, in the words of the organizers, Connected Enterprise is “an immersive two-day innovation summit and executive networking summit that features 1:1 interviews with visionary market makers, executive exchanges, fireside chats and immersive experiences” and features “executives and thought-leaders from across the globe.” We at Persistent had several of our own company leaders who were delighted to attend, and also speak on various panels, as well as at one of the keynotes.

During the course of the conference, themes emerged that were connected throughout. This post shines a light on ten of those, very fitting given that this year’s CCE was in fact celebrating its 10th anniversary.

  1. Necessity is the mother of invention, and during this pandemic that mother is COVID-19

Panelists across a wide assortment of topics agreed that the amount of innovation and transformation that has occurred during the months of the COVID-19 pandemic is at an unprecedented rate. This includes both companies that welcomed the changes, as well as organizations who felt forced into them in order to address the current reality.

  1. The digitally savvy still need to level up to address a post-digital world

The post-digital world means not only new organizations and value exchange networks, but also future shifts that are emerging today for a better tomorrow. During the group panel sessions, as well as during our Persistent founder’s keynote, conference attendees learned that the best outcome to aim for will blend the following: better decision making, better stakeholder experience, and facilitation of task-centric, actionable insights.

  1. Fast and smart human decision-making still matters

The tools at our disposal have never been smarter or faster, but enterprises must utilize the power of human decision-making in order to maximize their potential. Many of the panels emphasized the continued importance of not only interpersonal communication, but also intuitive decision-making by company leaders. In other words, we can’t have the tail wag the dog here.

  1. Carrying your digital luggage with you, instead of checking it

Customers want things as fast and hassle-free as possible, along with reliable and correct outcomes, but also, as our Persistent founder and chairman Anand Deshpande relayed during his Constellation keynote session, to “keep their bubble with them.” The contents of that bubble can contain their preferences, their previous experiences, data history, and other pieces of digital information. The new digital normal, if it is to succeed, will seamlessly incorporate all of these. As companies look to drive the next level of CX innovation, they must pair the user experience with the individual, creating a curated, personalized experience rather than an app-centric one.

  1. “Unclouding” judgment and technology

Even the cloud sometimes needs some unclouding! In the group session on the state of the cloud and infinite computing, co-led by Persistent’s CTO, Pandurang Kamat, it became clear that it is a hybrid multi-cloud world and not a one-size-fits-all cloud situation. With all of those choices, there is an opportunity but also potentially some confusion. In addition, conference attendees got a peek into the possible future of cloud; Pandurang put it this way: “The path to infinite computing passes through infinitesimal computing,” in describing how serverless architectures will be a big feature of cloud-ported or cloud-native applications.

  1. FinTech status: “It’s complicated”

During the Constellation panel “FinTech, Crypto, and the Future of Banking”, co-led by our own Chief Strategy Officer, Bipin Sahni, many points emerged, and the complex and evolving nature of this space became apparent. Themes included: FinTech is more Fin than Tech, the changing concept of money and crypto, and how identity and trust figure in to this new ecosystem. Also, not everything is a success story– the panelists had some serious doubts about DeFi, and it seems also that SWIFT might not be living up to its fast-paced name.

  1. Digital double duty: When work and home are the same address

The pandemic has forced many of our homes into doing double duty also as our workplaces, whether those locations are in cities, suburbs, or rural areas. Since many of today’s remote working situations outside of centralized office buildings were not built for digital readiness, this will require adjustments accordingly. Along with the challenges associated with this, are also opportunities that will emerge as we navigate the loss of boundaries between work and home.

  1. Looking to the larger C-Suite: CEOs share decision-making with digital savvy C-suite colleagues

The C-suite roles of those listed in this year’s Constellation #CCE2020 Business Transformation 150 (BT-150 as it is called) Induction Ceremony, include positions such as CIO, CTO, CDO, CPO, in addition to CEO. During the conference, we heard time and again that collaborative decision-making is happening not only within organizations but also at the highest levels– including those in the C-suite who are digitally savvy allows for better solutions to today’s problems and those that will emerge in the future.

  1. ML and AI are no longer “if” questions but instead “when and how” we scale

Machine learning and artificial intelligence are a certain part of the future for businesses and organizations who want to experience meaningful advancement and financial health. ML and AI mean more efficiency, faster response time, fewer errors. With results like those, ML and AI are not going away and it will be up to organizations to facilitate these to be scaled meaningfully and impactfully.

  1. Enterprise inflection point: evolve and do it quickly

Enterprises are in many ways in an unstable place, and yet will need to drive significant change with unprecedented speed and agility. Although what the new normal will look like after the pandemic is still unknown, but what is certain is that today’s enterprises need to take active steps to accelerate digital transformation, and not wait to be disrupted. This requires leadership buy-in and commitment from the highest levels of the company to employee engagement across all levels of the organization.