Roland Ludwig, CEO of Advanzia Bank, one of the fastest growing banks in Luxembourg, and Vincent Martin, Head of ICT at the institution, attended together the Gartner Symposium 2018 that was held last month in Barcelona. On this occasion, we asked them to share with us their thoughts on what they had learned through the conference.

R.L.: Many topics addressed by Gartner analysts, industry experts and solution providers are quite well aligned with the transformation that we are currently experiencing and are very relevant to us: How do we measure the success of an IT deployment? How do we make sure that we invest in the right technology that is relevant for the future, especially in a relatively small organization like ours? Who are the right suppliers? What are the suppliers’ long-term visions and in which direction is IT in general going?

V.M.: On top of that, I also consider it really valuable that our CEO is here with me, sharing the same interests and receiving the same insights as me, which will help me ensure the communication of information and the right understanding of initiatives that we are about to launch.

R.L.: I also heard during the keynote speech and other sessions that the importance of the IT department is still often underestimated which I find a bit surprising. The IT department at Advanzia is quite large compared to the rest of the organization and we also put a lot of effort into having a senior management team in place that is actually able to drive the transformation. In several sessions, I have heard that many companies still had to build up this awareness within the organization. What is apparently still missing in many organizations is the understanding of the fact that, if you want to drive a transformation that has an impact towards your business, you need to start very often with IT to actually bring it to life at the end. I am convinced that, in order to make sure to successfully drive a transformation, we need to have the proper involvement of all the teams, and specifically IT.

V.M.: Something that is interesting and somehow confirms the directions we have been taking at Advanzia Bank, is the fact that topics that already appeared in last year's programme, like AI and RPA automation, are presented this year as more mature solutions.

R.L.: I think that is a key point. Topics that were considered relevant for the future during previous events are now becoming more concrete. AI is a typical example of a discipline that is becoming more visible and tangible, and that is one of the key aspects of the Symposium for us. Here we hear people talking about specific solutions that can really help us enhance our business model in Europe.

V.M.: Besides those technological topics, there are also many sessions around new leadership models and cultural changes that this new digital world is bringing. Advanzia Bank has a relatively young structure. All the challenges with the so-called millennials are challenges that we are facing more and more. Many people have been with the bank since the beginning but, due to our fast growth, many young people have joined the bank. Expectations, especially in the IT department, are different from what they were 10 years ago. From a leadership standpoint, it is also important sometimes to get a chance to step back from our daily tasks and get those reminders that bring us back down to earth. Indeed, if my team is not successful, I certainly will not be successful neither. My role is also to ensure a proper balance between management expectations and team expectations, and to try to maintain as much as possible their motivation and their engagement by offering them an environment where they can find what they are looking for.        


Interview by Michaël Renotte

Publié le 13 décembre 2018