Several hundreds of ICT professionals gathered at the Casino 2000 for the 11th edition of the Gala IT One, which took place on December 5th. Prior to discovering the winners of the 2017 Luxembourg ICT Awards, the participants got the opportunity to learn about the latest trends and challenges of the IT sector in Luxembourg through the conference and round tables organized. Luxembourg's is definitely making IT happen!

The event was officially launched by Kamel Amroune, Managing Director of IT One, who shared the stage with the master of ceremony for the night: Jean-Luc Brach. The CIO of the Year 2016 started: "I think that we all have the duty in our respective positions to make things better, to infuse innovation, to make business and the world in general flow smoothly". He continued: "We also have an absolute duty to step back and consider the scope of our actions and to ensure that we take a holistic view of the impact of our projects".


How digital trends are redefining entire industries

Thomas Musiolik, Managing Director – Technology, at Accenture Luxembourg, then took the stage for a speech entitled "Artificial Intelligence and phygital applied worldwide". The specialist then shared with the audience the key technology trends listed by Accenture and started with the fact that "AI is the new UI". "AI does not aim at creating super humans, but rather at making humans super" he stated. According to Accenture, AI will make things simpler and UI as we know it will disappear. Second trend: Ecosytem powerplays. "Businesses are starting to build their own – new – business models" he explained, highlighting the importance of partnerships. The third trend, "Workforce marketplace", means that hierarchical models with long term functions, roles and responsibilities are now outdated and do not match fast changing markets. "A marketplace would allow to pick individuals and it has several benefits: companies adapt quicker, employees are not bored and it combines speed and agility" he added. "Design for humans" is about reframing the way we use technology and therefore resetting how we collaborate. Thomas Musiolik continued: "Technology is augmented, ubiquitous, partially or fully invisible. It does not only provide us with additional information, additional skills but turns dis-abilities to abilities". Finally, the fifth and last trend is called "The Uncharted". Nowadays, businesses run quicker than policy makers and companies have to make sure they do not harm anymore. "There are two ways to reach it: self-regulation by businesses by limiting the functionality of their tools to avoid its misuse, or a closer collaboration with governments, policy makers, regulators, in order to create rules which protect the customers, but also the enterprise itself" he concluded.

The challenges of the CIOs: from fostering innovation to avoiding cyberattacks

Back on the stage, Jean-Luc Brach welcomed Eric Lippert (CIO, OneLife), Eric Mansuy (CIO, KBL epb), Hocine Berrane (CIO, CALI Europe), Jan Beutler (CIO, University of Luxembourg) and Paul Schonenberg (International Executive and Public/Private sector Board member, AMCHAM Luxembourg) for a round table discussion on IT trends, called "Let's make IT happen". The first topic tackled was the war for talent. According to Paul Schoenenerg companies are currently looking for several things: they want to be safe, be appreciated and want opportunities to make a profit. "Moreover, in the Luxembourg context, they are looking to stay globally competitive and need to have access to human capital. The latter is a big challenge" he added. And even if companies are coming to Luxembourg, most enterprises cannot get the talent they need. If this challenge is not solved, companies will fall behind and leave the country. The AmCham has a suggestion: have an accelerated work permit approval regime to give confidence to employees and employers - they can have the talent they need.

Also on the topic of the war for talent, Hocine Berrane shared with the audience the best practices of Crédit Agricole Assurances: "the recruitment of talents is one of the pillars of the group strategy. We are targeting young graduates but are also promoting internal mobility". The group recently organized the Mobility Days, but also innovation challenges, which brought students, employees and startups around the same table to discuss business challenges and find suitable solutions. "We are also working on finding talent on social media and notably on SnapChat, as young people are looking for authenticity: we are showing them who our employees are, how we work and operate on a daily basis, etc" explained Mr. Berrane. Crédit Agricole Assurances is also currently working with French startup Clustree, a company which combines AI and Big Data. "Ethics is also key since we are dealing with a lot a personal data" concluded the CIO of CALI Europe.

Jan Beutler then explained how the University of Luxembourg, in a very short period of time, has become a reference in Europe when it comes to research. "Yet, we still do not have a magic stick to train 500 IT talents every single year" he added. The Uni has now entered the top 200 universities worldwide and its computer science department is ranking in the Top 80. "We have the correct strategy: we have built a strong reputation through research and are now starting to attract students. We are also in a very fortunate situation compared to other capital cities as we have low study fees, with extremely high ranking. We now need to work on this unique combination to attract as many IT students as possible to fill in the gap in Luxembourg" concluded the CIO of the University of Luxembourg.

The experts also discuss the advent of Artificial Intelligence, Internet of Things and innovation in general. "According to me, there won't be an IoT in insurance in the next years, yet, it will later impact the sector and create many opportunities. It is an excellent mean to create personalized solutions and products" started Eric Lippert who then shared a couple of examples already occurring in the non-life insurance sector. The expert also shared the way OneLife is integrating AI and digital in general to its processes and activities. "It all depends on ethics. At OneLife we don’t think that technology is going to replace humans, but rather that it will help them and create a strong added-value. We will be working soon on creating a virtual assistant to give documented and quick answers to the clients, allowing our employees to focus on other tasks" he added. He concluded by stating that "Digital is all about humans", highlighting the need to train, inform, accept and share.

On the topic of security and risk management, Eric Mansuy explained that with the growing number of cyberattacks, companies need to be ready. "It is a key issue for CIOs and there are several dimensions that need to be addressed: employees, clients, management and the board" he added, before continuing: "We need to train them and give them the tools to understand these threats and avoid cyberattacks". Procedures need to be created and shared, internally or externally with a SOC. Defining roles is therefore crucial. "CIOs and their teams need to master their environment and know what their weaknesses are. An action plan needs to be defined each week. The priority is to motivate and bring people together with the aim of protecting the IT team and reassuring clients. "Cybersecurity is central to development strategies and the board needs to be involved. It is a matter of keeping the business and its activity alive" he concluded.


The traditional networking cocktail followed, gathering 1,000 ICT professionals who exchanged their best practices and further discussed the topics tackled earlier. Then, they participated to the Luxembourg ICT Awards ceremony. To discover who the winners are, click here.


Thanks to all the participants and to all the partners for their support: Accenture, EBRC, Clearstream, Deloitte Luxembourg, POST Luxembourg, IRIS, OXiane Luxembourg, 42 Consulting, Agefi Luxembourg, Entreprises Magazine, Leaders League,, Soluxions, BEAST, Urban BEAST & Fox Beer Luxembourg.


Alexandre Keilmann

Photos: Dominique Gaul

Publié le 05 décembre 2017