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Serbian.tech Podcast 5 questions for… Momir Djekic

Podcast 5 questions for… Momir Djekic

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Transcript:

Vladimir:
Welcome to the new episode of Serbian Tech Podcast “5 Questions for…”
Digital transformation or pandemic, is it a need or an inevitability? Don’t forget to follow our social networks and website to ask your next speech, but also to hear my guest’s questions today.

Behind us is the longest quarantine that has lasted throughout the Easter holidays, or the full 84 hours. I hope you have put up with the isolation well, that the whole pandemic will finally calm down and that soon we will be able to function normally, at least with the ability to go out. What long term consequences pandemic will have on all of us, we will see. In terms of digital transformations, I believe that many companies have seen the need to go through, or better said, to enter the digital transformation process even earlier. Because as we know, digital transformation is not something we set and forget, or what we said in Serbian (postavi i zaboravi). So has the pandemic only added to the interest in this field, faster execution of all processes in this field or not, we will check with today’s talk with Mommir Djekic.

Thank you so much for being a guest on our second show. It seems to me that we recorded the first episode yesterday, so I’m glad we continue at a good pace and with fantastic speakers. I would like to ask you to introduce yourself briefly, to say what you do to our listeners, and especially I would like to emphasize some other things that you do, not only digital transformation but everything you can do. So listeners can hear why you are the ideal person to give answers to questions about digital transformation.

Momir:
Thank you, Vladimir.

Hello everyone, my name is Momir Đekić and this year I will turn 36. Which means I was born that fantastic 1984. that has been talked about and written a lot, and here’s one, some of us here live it our whole lives. In addition, to dealing with this digital transformation, which is widely heard but rarely anyone knows what it is about, it is a very confusing word. Actually, I’m in IT for the longest period of my career, I finished ETF, after business school. I have been implementing IT systems for over a decade, let’s just say that my first love would be IT, software, big systems and it was nice, I have to admit. However, having other interests in life, I enthusiastically practiced basketball, after hockey on a parquet called floorball, I was a scout for decades and traveled across both Serbia and the former Yugoslavia. I always, kind of, loved that breadth, and it seems to me that it was only when he entered that world of digital transformation that it allowed me to put it all in my own, all my interests and worldviews, in one context. Since 2007 I’ve been a writer for the “Svet kompjutera”, for last I don’t know how many years, I also write a column and texts for the “Svet kompjutera”, I participated and had my own radio shows, TV shows, even wrote for some completely different magazines which were not my domain at all. In fact, I somehow came to the situation that around 2020, I got the opportunity to merge all my interests, talents, experiences in one thing called digital transformation, and when someone would sometimes ask me what it should represent, well, that is the sum of all fears.

Vladimir:
We should fight with…

Momir:
That’s right.

Vladimir:
Great. Thanks so much for the introduction. I’m pleased to have guests with multiple areas of interest, especially with those who manage to pack all those spheres into one that they are dealing with, and definitely this diversity contributes to personality, and the look at the challenges and brings innovation in approach to solving problems and all.

Okay. Let’s not break through our imaginary 30 minutes of the show. We will start with the first question and by some plan that is the question that received the least votes, and this way we would finish in grand style with the question that received the most votes.
The first question: Is for the successful digital transformation more important management or staff of the company?
It may be better to ask, is there any particular, specific business sectors that are essential for successful digital transformation?

Momir:
Yes, it is a very interesting question and I think the person who is hiding behind this nickname who has asked it, is obviously, either thought about it or may have had his own challenges of this kind. But first, in order for us to be able to determine who is important if such a thing exists, we need to understand what that transformation entailed. If you really think you can only transform your left hand and be okay, I tell you, it’s possible that if you’ve watched sci-fi films especially since the ’80s, there are also dreams of cyborgs, the cyborg can replace one hand and become some superhero who has a cannon in his left hand and uses it only when he needs to. Sounds nice, in science fiction, but in reality, it’s really hard to change one hand and say, here I am, transformed. To begin with, digital transformation is just beginning, it never ends because it is a transformation of business, a transformation of mindset. And if you tell me that it is possible to replace the management mindset and the rest of the company to think the same way, or vice versa, I will tell you that I do not believe in such a thing and cannot imagine an organization, a company where you change your head and the body is still doing the same thing or replace the body and the head is new. So, it is important in both parts of the company. Now, with what I’ve said now, what I think is really important to point out at the moment is that you have to start from the head, what we say fish stinks from the head. You have to get management support for any change of this kind. That’s why we’re talking digital transformation here, not digitalization because digitalization is quite fine to do in just one area of business. For example, you realized that you have a large number of employees and that you spend a lot of time on various plans and development, etc. and you decided to digitize all human resources processes, it is quite fine and it is okay for you to have only the human resources process digitized. However, when you go into digital transformation, we are already thinking, thinking about how we will work tomorrow, dealing with how we will understand the needs of our users tomorrow, and then, you know, it cannot do without each other, but at the beginning, you have to have the support of management. Because if you don’t have the support of management, the next thing will happen very soon, you start working, the first problem will happen and people will return to old habits. It’s the same thing to you if you’ve ever tried to persuade a friend or girlfriend to stop smoking, it didn’t happen in 24 hours, I guarantee it, nor did it happen by you just coming in saying, now we’re going to help you you quit smoking and she said cool, she agreed, she agreed with you, and everything was fine. It wasn’t, she had to believe it, she had to deal with it, she had to invest in it.

Vladimir:

That’s right. You mentioned the great thing about digitalization and digital transformation that, maybe years ago, could be identified, and people are still identifying, they just think to add any digital tool, and we did it, we did the process of digital transformation, which is not really the case, is the whole philosophy and way of thinking and using digital tools and processes, so it is not only digital tools but also entire processes that must follow everything.

Momir:

Absolutely. Take one thing, for example. Most people who will listen to this podcast have once had to go to a municipality or a court. Now imagine the following situation. Someone digitized a process but did not transform the entire solution and then you get a similar thing. You can sign something digitally, but you have to go to a bank branch to do something. Do you understand me, it’s a mix of grannies and frogs. If you’ve started to transform something digitally, then all parts of that system are thinking that way and trying to keep up. When an institution is there, and very often you will find it, now it is a good marketing trick, to say we have transformed ourselves digitally, many use it completely cheekily, you can then literally say to the office means I can, using various digital technologies, finish all I need from your institution, if that is really the case then you have made complete digitization and even then it is not a guarantee that you have actually done the digital transformation. So you just said the right thing we put a sign of equality for too long and if that might have been justified some time ago, now especially the corona, with covid 19 and also the new coronavirus, will never be justified again.

Vladimir:

I hope we have clarified some things. So everyone is important, digitalization is not equal to digital transformation. You cannot first select a tool and adapt all the processes according to the tool, but first, make a plan, and then the easiest thing to do is to choose the tool to use tomorrow.

Momir:

That’s right.

Vladimir:

The second question, which seems to me is great, especially at this time. Do you think there could now be a revolution in telemedicine with regard to contact services and online support of healthcare facilities? I think this one, great for support and everything, but I think telemedicine can do much more than just support.

Momir:

I somehow get the word “revolution” in this question. So we understand, telemedicine is here. It has been here for years, if not decades. The problem is that we’re still thinking that old way. I do not believe that there will be a revolution in telemedicine, I do not believe that even evolution will occur, but I think that telemedicine will finally get a chance to be globally accepted. That’s right. So that’s the situation for you, I’ll give you a very simple example. The ’80s,’ 70s, ’60s,’ 90s, the music was played by having a deal between publishers and those who play music, radio stations, etc. They play it a lot and so it becomes a hit. As something becomes a hit, you play it, and it gets into your ears and you get up in the morning, and that new dance hit rings in your head. I’m sure Vladimir remembers the early ’90s when you couldn’t get away from some of the things simply wherever you went, they let it go.

Vladimir:

With youtube ads it is similar.

Momir:

If you watch YT too much, and I’m sure some of you do, then some commercials pop in your head. And then what happens. Then it simply annoys you and then you have people, even when something is of good quality, it has become a hit, people will not listen to it anymore because they are sick of the way they present it. Now take the completely counter variant, and this is the story of telemedicine, which exists, which is an absolute hit because you can save a lot of time and you can get a doctor’s opinion from the comfort of your own home, he can prescribe you therapy or even more serious things like remote operations that exist. I had the opportunity to see one device that looks like those mid-century computers, looks like half a room, so it looks like a device where some surgery is performed. So it’s all there, it’s all in use, just where we don’t see it. But as this virus came from far away China, we didn’t think about it until he came to Italy, first of all, and then later to us. Also, telemedicine has been around for decades and no one has been considering it until now, because now we have finally realized that it is an incredibly easy thing for us, so yes, something will happen in telemedicine, it will finally get a chance and this may be an opportunity you who actually feel that telemedicine is welcome in your life to ask your doctors to introduce such practices. This will make it easier for you to use health care services, but it may also reduce certain costs that allow us to invest some more important things. Well, then I don’t know, we have to raise money for sick children, in the obscure ways to cope, maybe if we invest smart telemedicine now, it will save money on smart health investments in the long run.

Vladimir:

Great. Good idea. To be honest, I didn’t think of anything like that, but definitely great, great thinking.

Maybe we can expect something like the movie Elysium where everyone has a connected device in their room, where they lie down, scan themselves and the doctor tells them that and that, and maybe even repair them right from that device, right.

Momir:
Here, if I can only make one quick comment, just think of the next thing, when you have a problem, e.g. Let’s forget a pandemic for a moment, if possible at all. You have that situation and you get sick and your temperature lasts for several days and it just doesn’t let up. And now you already suspect, maybe something is more serious, I have to go to the doctor, you are probably in your 30s, you have not had any serious illness and you have thinking it will pass or it will not pass. You go to the doctor. You tell the doctor a minimum number of parameters and the doctor actually analyzes you based on the minimum number of parameters. I think today is a better situation than it was 15 years ago. When Vladimir and I were little, he (the doctor) looked at you 3 times and knew whether to give you an antibiotic or not. Today, thank God you can do a simple blood test and see what your leukocytes are, etc. You have a much better parameterization of your condition, it is yours to decide whether you should use one drug or another drug. And if you are in need of antibiotics, you can get a swab relatively quickly today and get a result, determine the correct antibiotic to not only do a good thing for yourself but not make those super bacteria, because then no one will save us anymore. And now, just take that into account for a moment and think about how well Google knows us, how well Apple knows us, and whether the information that Google and Apple know about us would naturally take off personalization, etc. etc. Could this information be used, our doctor talking to us actually gets a much more accurate history of our condition and can make it much easier to determine, sometimes even without a blood test, what happened to us without saying it is possible today to do a blood test with a handy device, or something similar to what Vladimir mentioned with Elysium, where we will have devices that work for us very quickly.

Vladimir:

That’s right. I think that some great solutions were presented at the recent ImagineIF competition and that many companies, in fact, large corporations, have entered that segment and that it will be inevitable in the coming period. Okay. Great answers, great thinking.

Dušan posted an interesting question, we send greetings to him if it is Dušan, who we think he is since he did not introduce himself by his last name.

So what types of consulting services do you think will be most sought after by companies and corporations in the future, ie in the post corona period?

As a consultant, I believe you may already have some signs, what services will be the most sought after in the area.

Momir:

I think these are actually 2 types of services. One will be in 90% of the case, one will be in 8% of the case, and for that 2 %, I really don’t know what to tell you. For this 90 %, I’m sure there will be consultants to help you manage your finances, liquidity, alternative sources of finance, help you reduce costs, optimize them, etc. Unfortunately, the biggest opponent to innovation has been the managers who for the last 50 years are mainly concerned with cost optimization and then when I do my job and come to the company very often even if I manage to break through the first wall of protection, people who do not want to change their status quo, just don’t wave it, let it be everything as it was, I know it, etc. Then finally there is this manager, most often it is the CFO of the company, the son of the owner, the daughter of the owner, etc., they are in the role of the person who actually signs, reduces the expenses, and I am most of all to actually convince them that a solution is good. And that is why I think because many solutions in Serbia, still affected by the problem of the new coronavirus, I deeply believe that we will have a serious challenge with the liquidity of companies, not in a small number of sectors, not because they are directly attacked by this story, reduced business, reduced revenues, but also because of this effect, the one that is being transferred, so if one part of the business is problematic very soon the other parts of the business will be problematic, we simply live in such an economic world that is hyper-connected. Now, you have a situation where someone is already sick and needs a cure, first, they need that medicine to make his head less painful and his temperature to drop slightly, to make it easier, these are 90%, so these are consultants who will help you to balance your finances, to extend the deadline, to refinance some things, to get assistance package from the state of banks, other organizations and so on. To stand on your legs. They will be your paracetamols, etc. That 10 % is not for everyone, that 10 % is for the brave and the crazy, they are the innovation consultants, they are the consultants who will help you seize the opportunity that is this crisis and, by actually investing in the right field, gain a competitive advantage for the period that comes from behind the crisis. I’m not saying directly, it may not be one month after the crisis, it may be a year, it might be 5 years after the crisis, but the crisis will give one acceleration to the whole story and if you invest on time, you will do it. If you are left with cash, if you are a company that has managed to put money aside, you will probably spend some of that money now on innovation, even perhaps more than in the previous period. So, I’ll probably handle that 10%, so, I know it’s small, but I think it’s a lot. 8% sorry.

Vladimir:

And 2% is miscellaneous.

Momir:

Well, 2% don’t know what it is. You know earlier a lot of money was spent on digital marketing. It’s all been digital marketing, digital marketing, and you know, sometimes it hurts me, it’s all great, digital marketing is a fantastic thing, except when it’s imprecise. So when you say who your audience is, my audience is everyone, there is no digital marketing to help you if your audience is all, well, not everyone is, come on young, so I know, but one is watching Game of Thrones and the other is watching Sin of Her moms, so do you really think you can serve them the same content, I don’t think. Both belong to the category of young people, maybe both live in Čačak and drink good quality home-made juice every morning. I do not know if you know, but in Čačak, there is the most incredible consumption of home-made juice in the whole area of ​​western Serbia. But it did not help them, this one still watches Game of Thrones, and the other watches her mom’s Sin and how to serve them the same thing. So I deeply believe that these 2% will be people who use analytics to help marketers.

Vladimir:

Unless you’re a homemade juice maker.

Momir:

Yes Yes Yes Yes.

Vladimir:

You can hardly fit them, true that. Great. I think it’s good that you looked back on that financial aspect because we talked in the first episode with Vladimir, and where we definitely found that a lot of companies have to have that financial aspect somewhere, a company valuation, and they just know where they are in time and space to tell.

Well, the next question is: In your experience and current situation, what do you think the segments in the business model canvas businesses should first adapt. So, I believe that maybe some segments are not for digital transformation, you will correct me, they are better at it, or maybe some are less suitable some more, so here, what segments should people then adjust.

Momir:

It’s a lot like talking about management and the rest of the company then. So, the business model canvas or any other graphic interpretation or methodological way of presenting the business model is the whole. The fact that it has some parts is only to make it easier to understand and easier to manage. So if you ask me what are the parts to be the easiest changes I will tell you the easiest way to change the way you communicate is that is the marketing part and that is why in the past x years most money has gone into marketing. However, as I said, if you don’t manage it the right way and you don’t fit that whole model into one clear picture where when something happens at one end you see it permeate through the rest of the system, then you’re actually hitting the market with something you are not measuring adequately, so, unfortunately, you have to start from the beginning. The beginning is what in the business model canvas is referred to as Value proposition, so that value assumption, that essence, that core of value that you deliver to customers based on what you know their needs, based on what you have recognized, has been determined by research, you see a competitor doing it successfully so you decide to race with him. I think it’s important to say one thing here. Until a few years ago, people thought that successful products or services, that some people were successful, the essence is very simple, people are really some successful, more successful than others, but your products and services are a short-term success. You know, one product has a lifetime, and when it’s over, it’s over, and companies manage to deliver more of those products that are successful, it’s like talking about sports, so sometimes people write this football or basketball club has a system and has managed to throw out, what we call a football or sports system, it’s actually a business model. So business models are winning, not products and services, and people are behind those business models. Now, the canvas business model is talking about that business model, and I am very glad that we are hearing more and more about actually talking about business models because it is one, it is one sin against business in the last few decades, without since we have known that word since the ’80s when Vladimir and I appeared in this world and probably at some point started looking at some spectrums, amigos, commodore and I don’t even know what video recorders did at that time people were already talking about the business model but it was not the time because it was the time of this, those films, by Michael Douglas in the role of Gordon Geko “The greed is good”, the business said greed is good and everyone started helping Wall Street to do what Wall Street does best. However, as time went on we realized more and more that this model of the economy was no longer sustainable, we realized it definitely in 2008 in the economic crisis, and it seems to me that we are slowly understanding in this crisis that will follow the economic crisis, so after these coronas or maybe depression, I’m not sure and it’s such a pretty awful word, so how not to get scared by the word depression, financial depression. We have all read what happened in the 30s and we know what happened after the 30s in Europe when this crisis and the chaos created a crisis. So you can’t do things stupidly. Unfortunately, we live in a time where many have access to information, unfortunately, and fortunately, you can no longer lie to the user, you understand, if you are a high-priced shop and do nothing special, someone can go to your store while in your store smartphone and see that someone else has lower prices than you. So no more lies, you can no longer deceive people, now you have to, I’m not saying you need to count them, because the courtship, it lasts very short, that’s when the girl likes you and then you write her a song by transcribing from someone, you know, you have to write her songs very differently if you started writing songs, so if you give a discount once, it means that you will take off your pants very quickly. And then there’s no going back, once you land, once you commoditize something, there’s no back, which is why you have to start from the beginning, go back to the beginning like Pera Coyote trying to catch a racing bird every time a poor one starts from scratch, it will never catch it. but he’ll never stop trying and that’s the essence of Pere Coyote. We all need to learn something from the Pere Coyote, as many times as we fall off a cliff, as many times as those companies fool us, and the company that does everything is ACME, we should continue to try and start from value proposition.

Vladimir:

It may be more difficult for traditional companies to give some value proposition in the digital sense of their physical product if you understand me.

Momir:

And it depends on how we look at it. I keep telling people, remember one thing. When you look at Nike commercials which is one of the most popular companies in the world and whose brand it is for the last few years I do not know how many decades among the best 3. And they never say my sole is better than Adidas, they do not give rise to quality of sole, you will never to hear that the story of using the most modern material for their sneakers, no, they talk about the extra mile, the extra mile, and this product is for those who want to go all the way and a little over, for those who live fast, for those who want you yet. So they communicate values ​​to you. So if you have a product, your only communication on the level of product characteristics is a problem, for all your gigahertz, megabytes of this world, man doesn’t understand it, especially since gigahertz doesn’t guarantee anything, and megabytes don’t guarantee anything, and if you say this for the winners, there is no lie there is no deception and you have created a product that gives the chance to be the winner or you are not.

Vladimir:

Great. Perfect. I see this question had quite a hit, so this is great, I hope it doesn’t overshadow the question that got the most votes. Which is: Do you think now is the perfect time for traditional businesses to change their way of doing business, or to digitize certain processes. I think that throughout the whole conversation we have touched on a lot of this issue, which means whether it is only digitalization, whether it is actually a digital transformation, and is it the ideal time. Digital transformation has been around for a long time, and companies are going through a process that is not going to end, but here it is, now is the ideal time to start or speed up the whole flow.

Momir:

I’ll paraphrase one part of a Chinese proverb: The best moment to do it was yesterday, and the second-best moment to do it is today. And again I will borrow another, just from the other end of the world, from the Indians, therefore: We did not inherit this land from our parents, but borrowed it from our children. Therefore, if we enslave our past all our lives and if our present is the slave of our past, we will not be able to move away from it and step into the future. We are the only thing we have today, the present moment, it is the only thing we have. The past that is past is behind us, we should learn from it absolutely, history is the teacher of life, but it should not be that teacher who has a stick and whips us every day, she should be the teacher who understands that it is okay to sin. So the only advice on this topic that I can really always give you is wrong. You know that is the moment where I tell everyone if you ever managed to do anything in life from the first and that you can then escalate, rarely or never. If you succeeded, your honor, I would love to meet you. But you know, I always remember Michael Jordan and his quotes, how many times I don’t know him, he played 300 games where he hit the last shot, their team believed he would score, he missed, but it didn’t make him a loser than forcing him to be even better and to practice even more until he became the man we know he won 6 titles, was never defeated in the finals and every time he was MVP with many titles he was the NBA’s top scorer leagues. So the winners of this world are born in situations like this. We are living in a moment where it is only clear that there is an opportunity. You know, now we are united about some of the special purposes of existence, we now know what is important, we are a little more at home, maybe we cook a little more, maybe we spend a little more time with people who are nice to us, some of them have problems because of that but let’s not talk about it now, it may be a job for psychologists, andragogy, etc. But if you actually love your world and love your life and adore what you do and are at home, now you finally have that opportunity to spend a little more time on what you love more. Suddenly things get clearer, you have a little more time for yourself, you can think about it. And then when after a long wait, as it was this weekend, as Vladimir mentioned, you go for the first walk, so suddenly you do not know all the chakras of your mind and you suddenly realize that you have the best chance. Humans, this is a fantastic time to be alive, precisely because things are more visible than ever. This is a moment to look around and wonder if we are doing the work we are supposed to be doing, given the kind of world that is coming, and the world is coming, which will be an economy with far less touch than it has before. The Scandinavians were waiting for something like this to kill the cash. They have been waiting for about 10 years to kill the cache, this they should have been told: People cache is transmitted by the coronavirus and who knows which virus. Forget about cash, let’s make things contactless, let’s make complete payments to be out of touch. Let’s make everything possible that way. If you are someone in a traditional company and 90% of us are, just ask yourself if what you are doing is giving your customers what they really need, even when they themselves do not know what they need. Does your company give you everything you need as a user, if not, you know what to do.

Vladimir:

Great, this is also a life philosophy, I would say. Start today, whatever it is, whatever you want to do, tomorrow, Monday, next month, next year, just move on. There will be problems, there will be challenges, just get going, because if you don’t start you won’t be able to get anywhere.

Momir:

That’s right.

Vladimir:

Great. Thanks a lot, Momir for the great answers, I would say exhaustive. I hope the listeners enjoy our conversation and we hope to see you in some better times. in person.

Momir:

Absolutely. Laugh people, be happy.

Vladimir:

Cheers.

Momir Djekic on SerbianTech podcast

Momir Djekic

Digital transformation expert and trainer

Momir is a Certified Digital Transformation Expert and Digital Transformation Trainer with over a decade of experience in enterprise software development and business consulting in both the public and private sectors. After Computer Science studies at the School of Electrical Engineering in Serbia and Management studies at IEDC – Bled School of Management in Slovenia, he has successfully worked across industries, including insurance, banking, retail, and manufacturing.

Momir has an ongoing relationship with the media business. He is an author and presenter of various television and radio shows, as well as an associate and columnist for the oldest Serbian computer magazine, Svet kompjutera, where he has been writing since 2007. In addition to loving music, books, and films, Momir enjoys team sports and guitars, in any particular order.

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