The 4 key points of digital innovation

Experience, ecostructure, efficiency and cybersecurity are the four most crucial aspects of digital innovation for the enterprise.

The 4 key points of digital innovation

At Schneider Electric's 2018 Innovation Summit North America, Herve Coureil, chief digital officer for Schneider Electric, discusses with TechRepublic Senior Writer Teena Maddox the four most crucial aspects of digital innovation within the enterprise. The following is an edited transcript of the interview.

Four key themes in digital transformation

Herve Coureil: The digital journey, or the digital transformation, is seen through the lens of four themes at Schneider Electric. The first theme is really about experience, so how can we create a great experience for our customers and our partners, when they interact digitally with us 24/7.

The second big theme of our digital journey is basically EcoStruxure. It's how can we enable digitally our offer through our EcoStruxure architecture, which is open and interoperable . Basically, we want to add analytics, artificial intelligence to all our products so that we basically can offer more value to our customers.

The third theme is basically about operating efficiently, because we realize that if you want to develop digital business, you have to digitize yourself. You have to be efficient because you have to be able to scale that digital business efficiently.

And then the fourth pillar is really about cybersecurity, security, because everything we do, whether it's about experience, whether it's about our own business, own products, or whether it's about how we are scaling internally has to be secure.

That's basically the four themes of our digital journey.

More about Schneider's EcoStruxure platform

Herve Coureil: So, probably two things that are worth exploring a little more. First, it's really EcoStruxure. So, EcoStruxure is our open, interoperable IoT architecture, and that's really the fantastic opportunity for us to affirm more value to our customers, because Internet of Things start with things. We have wonderful connected product. We have also edge control, because you want to be able to act on system close to the action without having any network dependency, without having any latency.

SEE: Digital transformation: A guide for CXOs (Tech Pro Research)

On top of the connected product and edge control, you can really avail yourself of power of cloud, power of analytics, power of AI with that third layer of EcoStrucxure, which is a lot of our advisors offer, that are basically offering to our customer new value proposition around optimization, around zero downtime, around preventative maintenance, where we really take advantage of a cloud, take advantage of amazing power of new analytics capabilities. Offer a single viewpoint, actually, throughout all the assets at an enterprise level. That's a bright new world. That's really how we are not only transforming our existing business, but also offering new values to our customer.

The role of cybersecurity

Herve Coureil: Cybersecurity is at the heart of everything we do. We really want to have two things in mind when it comes to cyber. First, we like to say, and that's a phrase that was coined by the Amazon CTO before everybody else, we like to say that, Everybody in Schneider Electric has to be a security engineer. So there's not a bunch of security experts on one end, and then the rest of the company. It's really at the core of our product creation process and how we basically operate ourselves.

SEE: Information security policy (Tech Pro Research)

Then we also rely on a vast network of partner in order to, of course, work on our own cyber resilience, have our own difference in depth, where we try to basically be efficient not only at detecting threat, but also responding to those threats and working on the recovery from threats. Also, how we are helping our customers to basically digitize their own operations, their operation technology, in a way that's secure.

Cybersecurity is actually a good example on how we are innovating with our ecosystem. We don't try to sort out every single use case by ourselves. That's traditional make and buy, but there's a lot of interesting shades of partnership in the middle. We do rely with a network of partners from large companies such as IBM to smaller companies like Clarity, for instance. All this ecosystem of security partners help us look at cybersecurity. It takes a village, basically, to address to this threat. That's really something we're working out having an extended enterprise in mind, not just relying on what Schneider Electric knows.

Beyond cybersecurity, we also apply that approach of ecosystem, that approach of the extended enterprise, to many other themes such as AI, such as IoT, and a lot of other tenets of our digital transformation.

Also see


Herve Coureil of Schneider Electric.

Image: Teena Maddox/TechRepublic