Dataquest recently spoke to Deep Agarwal, Regional Sales Director, India, Zebra Technologies APAC about the digital enterprise 2.0. We tried to understand from him what digital means to the enterprises. Excerpts:
What, according to you, is digital enterprise 2.0?
An organization that integrates technology in its internal and external operations and uses that technology to gain maximum advantage can be termed as a Digital Enterprise. This is not limited to any particular sector. Digital Enterprise can now be seen across industries like Retail, Manufacturing, Transportation and Logistics, and Healthcare. Similarly, the Indian government is adopting digital technologies to ensure better operations across the country, as well as introduce various initiatives like Make in India and Digital India to drive increased adoption of technologies. We see technologies like Cloud, Internet of Things (IoT) and Mobility are the core factors of a Digital Enterprise 2.0. These are three megatrends that Zebra Technologies has capitalized on to deliver visibility solutions that enable organizations to gain actionable insights into their operations.
What are the traits of a digital enterprise 2.0? Do you have global or local examples of Digital 2.0 organizations to share, not necessarily your clients?
A digital enterprise should be able to make smart, informed and real-time decisions. Real-time information is the lifeblood of today’s data-centric world. And with hardware, talking to software, talking to the cloud, only an intelligent enterprise can have unrivalled visibility. Most of Zebra’s customers can be considered Digital 2.0 enterprises because of the way they have integrated new technologies into their operations. One example is the homegrown Blue Dart Express, who have benefited from the use of Zebra’s Enterprise Asset Intelligence solutions – which includes printers, scanners, mobile devices, managed services – to enable the company to gain visibility into their operations so they can deliver better satisfaction to their customers.
What is the market size and the growth rate for digitization market?
According to research firm Gartner Inc, India is expected to spend more than $72 billion on IT services, products and hardware, up from 7.2% from the current year. This makes India one of the world’s fastest growing information technology (IT) markets. This growth is primarily driven by the digitization wave catching up with Indian companies and the increasing number of connected devices that form the Internet of Things (IoT).
What are the key factors driving digitalization?
At present, the case of digital technology adoption in India is strong. With the increasing penetration and explosion of smartphones, tablets and other devices and a booming IT market, there is a huge opportunity for enterprises to leverage the digital information and understand this changing space. You can see data as the new oil – you need to first mine it and then process it to make it useful, and that kind of data is very valuable to organizations. The only way for organizations to increase the visibility of their operations as well as to increase productivity is to digitize. Can you imagine how tedious it would be for the cashier at the supermarket to be keying in product numbers one by one at the checkout counter?
The factors which are bringing in this new phase of digitization are:
Cloud: By using cloud computing services, enterprises get to have a flexible work environment and a real advantage over their competitors. It even increases the collaboration among employees as the cloud-based workflow allows them to make updates in real time and gives them full visibility of their collaborations.
Mobility: Mobilizing staff has become the new key to both operational efficiency and to deliver the kind of customer experience that will create advocates for enterprises and brands. It even leads to cost cutting, and the real-time flow of data around the business optimizes tasks.
IoT: IoT is one technology which has been a hot trend across the country for over a year now. While the concept is not new, but the 2.0 version of IoT for sure has come to disrupt the market. This technology is going to encapsulate the next generation in all facets of life – be it day to day or at an enterprise level.
How can enterprise embark upon the digitization bandwagon?
For enterprises to board on the journey to digitization, it’s very imperative for them to make their business smart and connected. Enterprises should have customer solutions which allow them to see what is happening in their organizations in real-time, and helping them make smarter and faster decisions. Zebra’s “Visibility that’s Visionary” approach aims to push the organizations to take the digital route and grasp the benefits. Through sensor and device connectivity solutions, organizations can connect devices, to software and mobile workers, enabling them to know much more operational visibility.
These could range from simple solutions such as a barcode, to more sophisticated radio frequency identification (RFID) and even Bluetooth beacons.
The next step is to analyze the unprecedented amount of data which will allow them to plan effective short and long-term strategies. Zebra’s MPact locationing service, for example, can analyze the movement of shoppers in a shopping mall and push location-based promotions to customers.
To increase the digitization bandwagon, enterprises should have real-time insights into the critical data being captured by the sensors in the connected devices. And lastly, management and workers at all levels can act on these visibility-driven insights in real-time, anytime and anywhere.
What does digital 2.0 mean for small, mid and large enterprises?
Digitalization has a different kind of impact on different enterprises. Each business takes its own time and speed to go through a technological transformation. The overall focus for each enterprise – be it small, medium or large, is to gain increased operational visibility, enhancing customer experience and augment business models.
In fact, this is an easy step for small and medium enterprises as the business structure is smaller in size. For them, digitalizing the business means using technology to benefit from prevailing resources in new ways. For example, a modest family-run supermarket in a small town can have better control over its inventory and increase productivity with a barcode printer and scanner solution. If you look at medium-sized organizations like a manufacturing plant, they can better track the movement of their products with RFID solutions. Similarly, hospitals can provide better patient care and reduce the possibility of medical mishaps using digital technologies such as mobile devices for accurate patient identification and clinical work.
The managers in these enterprises strategize based on the strength or weakness of the business. Through this, SMEs which were constrained to a particular area will be able to see global opportunities. However, these industries are failing to keep pace with the rise of digitalization. According to Google, out of the total 51 million SMEs in India, less than 5 to 6 percent have an online presence, which is quite unfortunate.
On the other hand, large enterprises are very much aware of the latest technologies and are already implementing them into their operations. According to a recent survey by Accenture, three out of every four C-suite respondents were already aware and checking out on next-generation digital technologies such as the Internet of Things, mobile robots and 3D printing. For large enterprises, digitalization means a comprehensive roadmap through which they gradually transform and build relevant capabilities and culture to become a digital market leader.