PwC’s Aušra Miltenytė on moving towards more impactful innovations

Aušra Miltenytė, Digital Transformation & Innovation Director at PwC Lithuania, shares her insights about the need to constantly update skills to be ready for inevitable change. 

Why did you decide to deepen your knowledge of digital transformation and innovation and what led you to choose the Innovation & Digital Transformation programme at BMI?

For several years, while I was leading PwC’s indirect tax business, digital transformation and innovation was a side gig for me. Now given the opportunity to do it full-time, I wanted to be better prepared for my new line of work. I chose BMI over the competition because of the programme’s contents and to be able to be present and interact live with professors and fellow participants.

Did you have specific challenges that you hoped new knowledge from the IDT programme would help you address? If so, what were they and were you then better able to deal with those challenges?

The main challenge was to get away from incremental innovations, where we had been successful, and start working on more impactful innovations – beyond just process innovations and new digital services. To do that, I needed more knowledge to be able to see the bigger picture from a more strategic point of view. For instance, how do you set up successful innovation activity at a company? What methods should you use to evaluate innovative ideas from the business perspective before you invest a lot, especially when you face a great degree of uncertainty? And so on. The knowledge I gained in the IDT programme provided me with a better understanding and quite a few useful tools that I now use to deal with difficult issues.

Have you been able to use things you learned in the programme in real life? What and how?

Besides sharing knowledge I gained – combined with other sources and experiences, adapted in the course of my own work –, I find myself often going back to the materials from the programme to check my assumptions and decisions for our digital transformation and innovation activities. One of the tools that Prof. Carlos Osorio presented, called “Resume of Your Innovation-Driven Digital Transformation Initiative”, has been very handy several times already for thoroughly evaluating a potential investment in platforms and articulating important findings to senior leadership before investments were made.

Why would you recommend participating in the IDT programme?

In a relatively short period of time, the IDT programme gives you deep foundations regarding innovation and DT strategy. It’s knowledge enriched with expert and peer discussions, experience sharing, relevant case studies, and practical tools to take away. Professors are open to discussing questions and even projects participants are currently working on at their companies. This programme was absolutely worth it and helped a lot to understand what to watch and take care of while working with innovation and DT.

What, in your opinion, is digital transformation in a company all about? What are the key digital transformation processes and goals in your company right now?

To me, digital transformation is an inevitable change that, when done right, brings benefits in so many ways: automated processes, new services, improved customer experience, new business models. In our company, we are currently focusing on taking full advantage of digital platforms in our ecosystem to drive efficiency for ourselves and our clients, to change the traditional ways we collaborate with them, and to get the best out of data and much faster. We are also working on new services, making use of our expertise in finance, accounting and tax and digital tools to deliver solutions. Last but not least, internal process automation is still a big source of advances and will remain so in the future.

What do you think are the most common digital transformation challenges companies currently face?

If I had to guess, I’d say cyber security. And not related to risk but very relevant is the old question of how to actually succeed in DT efforts that can cost a lot and require a significant amount of time to return the expected benefits.

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