New normal

Don’t wait for the new normal, build it!

As we embrace more and more automation, we need the right boosters, the right awareness of risks and the right readiness for the complexity that comes along. Let’s find out more

Everyone is raving a lot about automation and agility, but how do the details work? And would this roadmap change thanks to the pandemic? There is a slow lane and a fast lane – but, are we shifting lanes now? A recent Dataquest webinar on Autonomous Digital Enterprise (ADE) unlocked some new routes. The panel saw experts from BMC put their heads together and translate the thrust that ADE brings in.

Help from the crisis?

Shubhendu

While many countries are ahead of the curve in the network revolution, India is stepping on the curve. All the big technology forces around need a big shift in the enterprise mind-set. But is that happening, argued Shubhendu Parth, Editor, Dataquest and Voice&Data.

Ram Chakravarti

Ram Chakravarti, CTO, BMC Software explained that while strategic priorities vary from enterprise to enterprise, there is a continuous focus on data analytics initiatives, renewed focus on customer experience, and also on de-risking one’s overall cybersecurity risk. “The Covid phase has accelerated resilience, and emphasis on connectivity. Automation continues to manifest as a judicious infusion of AI in specific use-cases. Differentiation will require bold bets in data and analytics for high-value use cases as well as killer customer experiences with conversational AI and DIY customer-service.”

But the post-wave to recovery phase would be quite stark and might necessitate enterprises to carve a careful strategy. What would that be? Parth wondered.

Sunil Kumar Thakur

Looking back at how we faced the earlier waves can help with some insights. “In the second wave, we were past the steep learning curve that was required earlier. There was lesser disruption in the second wave. The return to work was much faster. But some supply chain disruptions had impact on manufacturing operations. We learnt to work from anywhere. This was a big shift for both employee and employer. Reluctance in adopting technology has changed into a mindset of investment in technology.” Pointed out Sunil Thakur, Country Director – India, BMC Software

ADE helps here with roots in industrial 4.0 “The explosive growth of devices, data proliferation and rapidly changing customer preferences are upending how companies operate. We believe in the constancy of change imposed by technology. Black swan events such as the pandemic have created a perfect storm forcing companies to rethink their operational models. Evolving into ADE is akin to Industrial 4.0 on steroids.” Chakravarti explained.

India’s own path

So what is stopping India, even now? Parth put the spotlight on some innate struggles.

Thakur rewinded how Industrial 4.0 was primarily aimed at rebuilding manufacturing and supply chain operations. The primary incentive for those countries was cost-optimisation. But it actually drove efficiencies. Now, it is not just for manufacturing industries. It is now a term for every industry. Cloud providers are making all the latest technologies available to all. In India, automation for long has been viewed as a manpower-reduction enabler. But the pandemic has pushed enterprises to change their view of automation. Now enterprises want to talk a lot about automation.”

As to the complexity and the proliferation of IoT devices, there are many other spill-overs of automation. Will it be a digital infrastructure nightmare? Parth reflected.

Chakravarti dismissed that possibility contending that currently many industries are with the central computing model – characterised by one or more hyper-scalers, virtual private clouds, on-premise clouds, etc. But in the next couple of years, edge computing will complement this model. We need to solve for latency and security then. If we do not address those issues then we would be in a nightmare. We are working on edge computing platforms as a bridge between edge asset portfolio with BMC products known for their scale and resilience.”

Then there is the long tail of SMEs, which is a specific element of the Indian market. Parth asked the experts about their role and relevance in the digital adoption mindset.

Spelling out Agility

Thakur feels that SMEs need to approach their digital transformation in an agile manner. “This is where technology companies have to advise on the right points of entry, and the journey of digital transformation. They should address specific challenges. Digitally-empowered SMEs have twice the revenue projections than others. So SMEs should adopt automation in a strong way as an enabler for getting value out of data and technology. Irrespective of the size of an organisation, data is going to be the biggest asset and ally in the face of adversity also. A strong foundation of automation is necessary in this scenario.”

Cloud technology was also discussed from an Indian perspective. Thakur answered a question of how much impetus would the WFH trend give to Cloud adoption. “There is absolute requirement for effective communication and collaboration. When you have a requirement of this nature, it helps to move into Cloud and scale quickly. There is going to be a significant interest in moving to Cloud.” He averred.

Hybrid multi-cloud as an operating model – this possibility also came up. “Hybrid cloud, for many, will allow enterprises without limitations or reliance on single model or provider. In public cloud, resources are shared. In private cloud, costs are high but the control is high too. So hybrid would help companies to strike a balance.”

deepak

Deepak Bhatia, Product Account Manager – DSOM, BMC Software explained how the company’s Helix strategy fits in the new landscape. “In the past few years, the market has been continuously changing. In the last two to three years India has demonstrated major cloud adoption. Public cloud spending has been considerably increasing in APAC. We are spotting drivers like the platform economy, rising customer expectations for more convenience, customisation and control. Also the future of work which has become agile, augmented, borderless and reconfigurable is driving Cloud adoption. Plus there is intelligence everywhere as AI explodes and pervades.”

He pointed at CIO many pain-points like the cost to support and administer infrastructure, painful upgrades and out of date versions, poor service quality, lack of transparency into IT performance, the difficulty of support, and slow manual processes. “We always look at how our customer’s customer feels and experiences a platform’s impact. So to take away all these problems and focus on speed, customer experience and agility? That’s where SaaS gives benefits of reduced maintenance overhead and costs. There are no more infrastructure management worries and there is more time to focus on business priorities and delivering customer value. SaaS helps to improve scalability, reduce costs, accelerate time to innovation, enhance security and compliance while strengthening agility.”

In these small and big ways, automation and digital renaissance will continue to take a solid shape across Indian enterprises. The word agility has been redefined in the last two years. It’s time to see it set a new language now.

By Pratima Harigunani

 

 

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