Perpetual reinvention – NOW, more than ever

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The Global C-suite Study Incumbents Strike Back in which more than 12,854 C-suite executives from 112 countries and across 20 industries have been interviewed shows that the fortitude for perpetual reinvention is required more than ever. Its a matter of seeking and championing change even when the status quo happens to be working quite well. 

There is a fundamental shift in thinking that I’m seeing when talking with clients across the South East Europe region (SEE) on the way how they drive their business and make decisions. Earlier it was more technology being built up and then trying to work ways around it to solve business problems but today things are profoundly different from what have been several years ago. The level of disruption in SEE according to the IBM C-suite study (*) is the highest in Europe; 36% of C-level managers admitted that their enterprise needs to transform urgently, facing rapid changes of their industry.

In SEE, as well as across the all of Europe, transformation is happening in each and every industry including financial services, government, telecommunications, energy and utilities, retail and manufacturing. Industry 4.0 and digital transformation change operational and business models as well as the whole economic landscape to gain simple goals – to better serve their customer and increase their satisfaction level, to take over market share and gain better profitability of their own business. Let us not forget permanent need for decreasing of operational cost and increase of efficiency.

Today, more than ever, enterprises and government institutions and public companies (GOE) are turning to external partners with proven knowledge, experience and skills to help them drive digital transformation within their organizations.

So, what is new? Gotomarket became a priority. It is not good enough to have transformation strategy without understanding how exactly we are going to deliver it and propagate it inside the organization with clear added value, increased return of investment (ROI), decreased TCO (Total Cost of Ownership) and predictable impact on EBITDA (Earnings Before Interest, Taxes, Depreciation and Amortization).

In short, business and technology consultants today must have clear industry knowledge, experience, skills and delivery capacity to provide real business value for enterprises. According to the IBV report (*), in the next 2 to 3 years, 70 % of the SEE region companies will be more focused on the new markets than to maintaining established ones, with clear understanding of customer expectations and expected (required) level of interaction with them.

I also see that enterprises are acquiring companies to expand their business operations, to speed up their market growth and that they are opening up to new players, be it startups, developers of new solutions and applications, but also new stakeholders from their own organizations — to allow innovation  and enable speed of gaining client reference and open new revenue streams. According to the IBM C-suite study (*), already 31% of C-level decision makers in SEE enterprises consider start-ups and smaller companies as the main disruptors in their industries – this percentage is also the highest in Europe.

IBM is the business and technology partner of choice to many companies and organizations in the region from Hungary, Romania, Bulgaria to Croatia, Serbia, Slovenia to Bosnia and Herzegovina, Moldova, Macedonia, Montenegro and Albania. We work with them to design strategy, tactics and solutions specifically tailored to their needs. The majority of C-level executives and decision makers from the organizations we work with, are asking how technology can help them to reinvent their companies and business, by taking transformation journey to agile, cloud, automation and robotization of processes, by leveraging AI in different functions and process segments – but also by outsourcing complete or partial operations to IBM.

Let me share several stories with you:

  • For example, the Tax Administration of the Republic of Croatia and IBM in Croatia have successfully implemented the Value Added Tax (VAT) systems: VAT Information Exchange System (VIES), VAT Refund, VAT on e-services, mini One Stop Shop and Exchange of Forms which enables the Croatian Government to effectively manage cross-border VAT payments with other EU members, cutting administration and increasing efficiency for both VAT traders and Tax officers. The VIES system provides a major improvement in detection of all kind of irregularities and assists in combatting tax fraud. It enables companies to quickly obtain rapid confirmation of the VAT numbers of their trading partners and provides the Croatian tax office with a powerful, on-line tool to monitor and control the flow of VAT payments. By enabling the electronic exchange of supporting documents, the system also reduces the administrative burden on companies by eliminating the majority of paper documents.
  • In Slovenia, ELES became the first European TSO with an innovative Diagnostic and Analytics Centre (DAC). Leveraging IBM solutions, DAC will play an important role also in emergency situations such as natural disasters, when transmission routes and network access start to break down and ELES’ experts seek the fastest solutions to restore the network. The main purpose of DAC is to increase the utilisation of the primary energy capacity; conduct economic and technical analyses of the operation, utilisation and quality of energy capacity, taking into account the costs of each facility over its entire life span; identify and manage risks; and carry out research.
  • Just recently IBM announced leading financial institutions from the SEE region which choose IBM to accelerate transformation. In addition, IBM has designed the world’s first financial services-ready public cloud to address financial institutions’ requirements for regulatory compliance, security and resiliency. This will help financial institutions transact with technology vendors who have met the platform’s requirements. It is the only industry-specific public cloud platform that can provide preventative and compensatory controls for financial services regulatory workloads, multi-architecture support and proactive and automated security, leveraging the industry’s highest levels of encryption certification.

IBM Services, with business and technology consultants across the world, provides unique expertise to help our clients invent, design, build and run business for AI era, creating the modern foundational system that the world relies on.  IBM Services gathers the business, technology and industry experts who are helping customers with workplace transformation, multi-vendor services, security services, and the management of multi-cloud, hybrid cloud environments. In addition, more than 500 businesses around the world have chosen the IBM Garage to help them power their digital reinventions with hybrid cloud and artificial intelligence (AI).

We are ready to participate in clients’ success with our knowledge, experience, delivery capacities and best of a kind solutions, proven methodology and technology.


*Incumbents Strike Back, the IBM Institute for Business Value, February 2018 interviewing more that 12,854 C-suite executives from 112 countries and across 20 industries  (


Territory Service Leader, IBM South East Europe

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