Philippe Trouchaud (PwC): “Technology is worthless without use cases”

A few days ago, PwC France and the Maghreb opened the Tech Lab, an immersive and experiential space that allows its clients and employees to use the most advanced technologies such as robotics, artificial intelligence, blockchain, NFTs, Web3, virtual reality or even computer technologies. metaverse.

In addition to harnessing their potential, this is above all an opportunity for PwC to dispel some fears “Employees feel threatened by new technologies”, notes Philippe Trouchaud, Senior Director of Technology and Products at PwC France and the Maghreb. In this context, the Technical Laboratory of the British consultancy and audit specialist with 6,400 employees in France aims to remove the barriers to the application of innovative technologies in companies around specific use cases.

On the occasion of this inauguration Digital He discussed with Philippe Trouchaud the technological trends that will shape the company of the future.

DIGITAL – In 2019, after the Experience Center near the Saint-Lazare station, you are opening a Technical Laboratory on your premises in Neuilly-sur-Seine to better solve the technological issues of your customers. What needs does this new experimental laboratory address?

PHILIPPE TROUCHAUD – Given our customers’ appetite for technology, we must offer a demonstrable experience. The idea is to show use cases and have conversations. You can no longer be satisfied with PowerPoint to explain your vision of everything in the technological world. This requires some humility, because in the case of the metaverse, for example, we can see that the technology is not yet fully mature. Therefore, it is necessary to define the limits of this type of technology.

Technology is worthless without use cases. It’s what we do with it that creates or doesn’t create value. The main challenge is also to train all our employees and manage their fear of technology. Recall that 40% of workers believe that their jobs will disappear due to technology. They should be supported in adopting technology to transform their professions. We cannot afford to leave 40% of the population on the sidelines because they are not trained. Therefore, the challenge is to show technology use cases to our customers and improve the skills of our employees.

Isn’t it difficult to calm the euphoria of some business leaders, who are sometimes too enthusiastic about emerging technologies in the Web3 and the metaverse, not yet at a very advanced stage?

In the particular case of the metaverse, if you take a marketing manager, when you dive into certain experiences with the metaverse, he will have clicks, predict what he can do for his customers. When we see some virtual stores in the Metaverse, they are not perfect, but we can see that it will fundamentally change the customer experience compared to Web 2.0, resulting in increased efficiency.

However, there are limitations and you should be aware of them. The greats of technology are in marketing logic, they harp. Metaverse is not a market of need, you have to create a need. After a while, there is a principle of reality: we are not meant to live in a metaverse. We need to look at what technology can do today and define its limits.

Among companies and emerging technologies, which do you think has the most potential? One that will truly turn the professional world upside down?

The most urgent is artificial intelligence (AI). We will find it in all fields of activity. It’s a technology that’s becoming more and more convenient and much cheaper than it was a few years ago. Moreover, it is easily accessible. You don’t need an army of developers to run an AI engine. We will find a lot of AI, especially in industry.

The second technology that will change things is the metaverse, especially for customer experience, employee experience, maintenance processes… But for the moment, we have problems with computing power and capacity. There are still experiences in the Metaverse where the server is put on your back with a backpack frame. But computing power will increase, we will have 5G networks, technology will be miniaturized… Today, the experience is still painful. You won’t keep your helmet on for two hours.

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