How according to you, will digital transformation strategies, change in 2022?
Digital transformation in 2022 will be better defined and calculated. While the pandemic transformation focused on riding out the storm, the post-pandemic transformation will be about sustained thriving. The CIO today is more aware of a CEO’s ask. Whether it’s operational efficiency, enhanced customer experience, or better innovation, the C-suite is integrated and not siloed. This collaboration will give clarity, making the transformation journey faster, and more effective.
Enterprising CEOs adopted a growth mindset during the pandemic, pushing their goalposts, to be better strategic partners. This mindset will catalyse behavioural and cultural changes, leveraging Digital transformation. This will have a 360-degree stakeholder impact, which not only aid better customer experience but create highly engaged employee experiences as well. And accommodating this digitalization wave will be a learning eco-system facilitating upskilling.
To summarize, there will be more clarity about what we want from the digital transformation across 360 degrees, with emphasis on employee experience, and renewed focus on learning.
What technology trends do you think, we should be on the lookout, for this year?
I believe the stress will be on security, automation, cloud, digital workspaces, AI, and data analytics. The rapid pace of digital transformation in the last 24 months exposed vulnerabilities, highlighting the need for better security and resilience. Organizations will embrace a zero-trust deficit strategy, sanitising every data, device, and network.
Talent mobility is another aspect that will gain traction. Remote working debunked all productivity concerns. People have shown that as long as the virtual workplace offers a seamless, frictionless experience, they will go above and beyond to deliver. Technology is no longer about enabling flexibility but enabling collaboration for better productivity and experience – taking the work where they are and creating an environment, where they can learn and grow.
Cloud will be a C-suite top agenda this year because of its ubiquity. Customer-centric businesses will rely on AI, ML, and data analytics to understand customer behaviour, analyse, predict, and prescribe tailor-made solutions. Even core industries like oil and gas, energy, automobiles, logistics and manufacturing have increased their dependencies on IoT and AI to optimize asset utilization, productivity and improve supply chain processes. Cloud computing will provide the processing strength and data bandwidth for these services. It will enable enterprises to scale rapidly and offer the elasticity needed to cater to dynamic industry needs, with speed and accuracy.
While there is a broad range of technologies that will act as force multipliers, I think it’s important for enterprises to focus on security, the future of work, and cloud computing to outmanoeuvre uncertainty.
Do you think digitalization will continue evolving, with the changing dynamics of the industry due to the pandemic?
Sure. I think digitalization is about having a pulse on customer needs and evolving to meet those changing needs. And we saw this play out during the pandemic where consumption of every type, migrated online. Education, healthcare, banking, and retail – nearly every sector moved its business online and they did it fascinatingly well, without any hassles.
At the workplace, digitalization has enabled remote working facilitating seamless service delivery without any disruption. Clients are now used to improved flexibility and responsiveness, which has set a new benchmark. We are seeing how AI, ML, and Data Analytics when applied intelligently provides outcome-based results.
The advances we are seeing in the supply chain side to reduce inefficiencies, mitigate risks, and improve resilience is an example of evolving digitalization in response to industry. So, definitely digitalization has accelerated efficiencies, industry performances, and will continue to evolve with newer technologies.
What role, do you think, will digital innovation play in the policies and regulations of the Indian government this year and in the future?
Budget 2022 clearly highlighted the government’s focus on technology-led growth. The government announced a Digital University, a National Digital Health Ecosystem, 75 Digital Banking Units, and e-passports. The budget has also shown an aspiration to ensure that all villages have the same accessibility to digital resources as in urban areas, which indicates their commitment and confidence in spreading digital innovation to the remotest corner in the nation.
What are some common missteps while pursuing the digital experience?
Most often, it’s the lack of clarity and ambition. When enterprises view digitalization as each team’s objective rather than holistically as a unified organization’s objective, that’s the first misstep. When you have a common digital ambition, then it’s easier to chalk out a roadmap for digital technology enablement, digital business optimization, and ultimately digital business transformation.
Another common misstep is keeping the journey abstract with no real tangibles. Having goals at each step of the digitalization journey makes the journey impactful and measurable.
Could you explain why AI, predictive analytics, blockchain and machine learning are now being called the future of businesses?
Collectively these emerging technologies offer the following benefits:
- Enhanced user experience – Big data analytics offers personalized customer experiences. It digs deep into purchase history and predicts behavior, by analyzing browsing behavior and point-of-sale transactions. For customer-centric brands, this offers more engaging and effective customer journeys.
- Unlock new revenue streams – AI-infused collaboration and operations can unlock productivity, lower costs, and accelerate go-to-market strategies. When we combine AI with a physical user, we are empowering the human expert with more time to focus on tasks that need creativity, judgment, and empathy. AI automates redundant non-critical tasks. For example, an AI-powered chatbot can cater to customer inquiries by taking customer information while the human agent can spend time, actually solving the issue.
- Powers digital twins – Enterprises are investing, executing, and seeing the outcomes facilitated by digitalization. This maturity has expanded to sectors like manufacturing and energy where digital twins with the help of machine learning will provide real-time insights into assets, operations, and efficiencies. These insights will provide actionable insights to dramatically reduce downtime, improve plant productivity, and predict any roadblocks.
- Risk aversion – Risk management is an essential core competency and a differentiator. Threats can be in any form – financial liabilities, management errors, accidents, operational crisis, natural disasters, or like the pandemic – a healthcare crisis. Big data analytics helps enterprises identify, evaluate, assess, and control the above liabilities that threaten business continuity and affect earnings.
- Security and Privacy – The very nature of blockchain makes it attractive for banking and finance. Blockchain-based services offer digital ledgers that are decentralized but much safer. It also makes data management super-efficient with features that make it attractive for the supply chain industry.
According to Gartner, IT spending in India is forecast to total $101.8 billion in 2022. Across
industries, customer-centric businesses are investing high, in these technologies to create holistic experiences. Not just for customers, but employees as well. With this trend, I see a sustained growth in digitalizing many more aspects, that impact our daily life.