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CogX 2019 Day One: It's Raining Tech

Rain couldn't ever halt innovation at the first day of CogX

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A damp first day at CogX couldn’t dampen the enthusiasm of visitors anxious to get a glimpse of how technology is shaking up their businesses.

In between talking to some great people, the Artefact team managed to drop in on some of the many great seminars that are part of the annual Kings Cross techfest.

Here are a few of the takeouts we’d like to share.

 

Start-ups are growing up and established businesses are acting like start-ups.

At a great session on banks rising to the challenge of changing customer demand, it was intriguing to hear new player Oaknorth Bank explaining why not all banks are the same. It made sure it had a banking licence before starting its SME lending business – not all fintech companies do, and that can mean there are operating in a less regulated environment.

Meanwhile, HSBC was preaching the value of partnering with others to achieve its ends in business transformation faster. Not what you expect from a 154 year old financial institution.

The future is about collaboration

Whether it’s innovative start-ups working with large established businesses to help them achieve their ends more quickly, or AI doing the heavy lifting in workplaces freeing people to add value with their experience, skills and insight, we’ll all be collaborating a lot more.

Don’t build a faster horse

When it comes to businesses transformation, Henry Ford had it right. The farmers he spoke to didn’t want a car, they wanted a faster horse. It can be hard for legacy businesses to imagine beyond what they already do – they just want to digitise existing processes. Organisations need to think beyond what they are doing now and find people who know what to do with a blank sheet of paper.

It’s not game over for established businesses

They can still innovate and grow. Microsoft and Walmart have both done so in recent years but needed leadership direction change and a new approach. Plenty of other ‘old’ businesses have done it too – Henkel, GSK and TFL all spoke about how they’re innovating by leveraging their experience, knowledge of the consumer, data, and their people.

Nobody knows who will win. And anybody who says that they do, is probably wrong.

 

And one final point. If you’re coming tomorrow, bring an umbrella.

 

Sarah