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Escaping Digital Death Valley: Apigee Conference Recap

Last week, our CEO Sanjay Parthasarathy sat down with Schaad Companies CEO Jenny Banner at Apigee’s Adapt or Die conference. As they talked about “Escaping Digital Death Valley,” one thing became clear: the digital revolution is in full swing and there’s no time to waste in figuring out how to address the new obstacles it’s bound to bring to the enterprise.

While Sanjay drew from his own technical experience at both Microsoft and Indix, Jenny provided a unique “board member’s perspective” when discussing the issues associated with turning digital visions into action. Redefining legacy procedures and implementing new technology at any company is no meager task and is often met with pushback and confusion. Despite their differing backgrounds, both agreed that the source of technical stagnation within most companies is a language barrier. Simply put: it’s easy to ignore what you don’t understand.

To ensure employees’ visions aren’t lost in translation, both Sanjay and Jenny stressed the importance of establishing a common language within organizations to discuss digital transformation – lamenting that the phrase “going digital” is often thrown around the C-suite without a firm grasp of what it actually means. When asked by an audience member what specifically could be done to establish this common language, Sanjay suggested something as simple as an engaging five minute demo showcasing the capabilities of APIs to provide a strong foundation for larger conversations.

What were Sanjay and Jenny’s biggest pieces of advice? Jenny’s: be bold. Revolutionary ideas aren’t limited to the C-suite or boardroom and she encouraged IT-savvy employees to speak up and be persistent. Sanjay let the audience know it’s time to get creative; he advised companies to foster innovation by creating cultures in which employees aren’t afraid to fail.

It was a joy to attend Apigee’s Adapt or Die event in San Francisco, and we look forward to attending more of their events in the future. If you attended, or if you have thoughts on how best to adapt to the digital revolution, we’d love to hear them! Just respond in the comments below.

And here are some photos and a full video of the panel (source: Apigee) for an inside look at the event.

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