Until recently, organizations regarded technology as just an enabler. Today, most organizations realize that it’s a core driver and are trying to figure out how to take advantage of the breakneck pace of technology to serve their customers better, faster. At the center of the changing attitude towards technology is the digital revolution, which is shifting the paradigms across various industries.
The world around us has reached another inflection point with mobility, social media, and wearables hugely affecting the ‘digital landscape.’ And in this new world, going digital is no longer an option but a default. Given this scenario, there is a sense of urgency amongst enterprises to digitally transform themselves.
However, the journey to successful digital transformation is not always a smooth one, thus many organizations struggle to chart a clear digital transformation path.
Rajiv Gupta, Partner and Director & Head Technology Advantage Practice and Shrikant Patil, Project Leader, BCG India put this in context, “The corporations will have to overcome multiple challenges. The issues are particularly thorny in emerging markets, thanks to economics that are often unfavorable, low population densities, low literacy rates, and lack of local digital content.” Sharing their views on the key imperatives for building a successful digital enterprise, Gupta and Patil say, “Leading digital companies test and refine or prototype, products and strategies in close cooperation with customers and at a dizzying pace. For example, Amazon has introduced e-readers, tablets, smartphones, cloud services, delivery services, and online marketplaces—all within the past 10 years. We have found that this test and- refine approach can greatly inform the world of strategy.”
Considering the unique challenges of the digital journey, when enterprises find it difficult to bring about a shift internally, they reach out to technology companies to help them with their digital transformation initiatives.
This is opening huge doors of opportunities for technology vendors.
GEARING UP FOR A DIGITAL TRANSFORMATION WORLD
Leading organizations across sectors are proactively embracing digital transformation to evolve into technology- first businesses and gain a competitive advantage.
Suryaprakash K, SVP and Global Head, Digital, Infosys believes that the driving factors that are pushing companies to adopt digitalization include: Shrinking innovation curves, the need for new technologies, growing power of the customer and customer demand, and greater economic benefits. A good example of this would be payments banks— new entities that will offer financial services primarily enabled through technology (mobile especially). The largest companies from different sectors are partnering or applying for payments bank licenses themselves. This includes the likes of Reliance, Aditya Birla Group, and Bharti Airtel.
“In this time of digital industrial revolution, it is most important to have a sustained strategy to go beyond customer satisfaction. Tomorrow’s business model will be digital led thereby bringing in heightened customer experiences. Mphasis through its ‘digitize and innovate’ mantra, brings together holistic frameworks, technology and resources for highest level of digital outcomes in areas of digital transformation, digital marketing, digital care, intelligent customer experiences and omni-channel customer experience maturity, ” says Graham Clark, VP & Global Head, Customer Experience Management, Mphasis.
Another example demonstrating the true potential of digital is Indian Railways. In the recent budget, a significant amount of money has been allocated for technology to transform various digital functions from ticketing, customer service, new revenue sources (advertising) to internal operations (tracking parcels).
With businesses continuing to embrace digital tools and technologies, vendors are stepping up their digital strategies and services to get a slice of the digital pie.
“As technology extends from being a supporting function to one that is integral to serving your customer, the interest from industries is to invest in ‘business solutions that use technology’, rather than ‘technology solutions that can support business.’ Vendors whose solutions uncover significant business value leveraging technology and can articulate that have a better chance of capturing larger slice of this growth,” says Rajesh Kandaswamy, Research Vice President, Gartner.
OPPORTUNITIES FOR ENTERPRISE BUYERS AND VENDORS
Digital transformation is a continuous process. Over the past few years, the world of technology buying has been getting more mature, resulting in significant standardization leading to a certain degree of commoditization. Digital revolution brings innovation back in the mix. Vendors and enterprise buyers can take leadership and take ideas across to business as a joint effort.
As a CTO, I am thoroughly enjoying the way technology has woven itself into the fabric of society and isinfluencing every aspect of our lives—Puneet Gupta Chief Technology Officer, Brillio
It is important to create a clear, holistic digital strategy that takes into account not just the short-term priorities, but the long-term opportunities as well. The right place to start is by acknowledging the profound impact digital transformation can create for an enterprise and the impact on customer relationship and experience.
“We should keep in mind that digital transformation is a journey, not a destination. Organizations that embrace the digital wave early and effectively will be the ones that will innovate better and connect deeper with customers— by reimaging experiences, making their every touch point a sensory delight. The right technology partner can help an organization get ahead of the technology curve and transform itself from one with market parity into a highly differentiated ‘loved’ brand that customers can’t stop talking about,” opines Puneet Gupta, Chief Technology Officer, Brillio.
With digital transformation, new dimensions will be added for both enterprise buyers and their vendors. “Enterprise buyers will be able to develop new ecosystem along with their vendors which will be more dynamic, more streamlined, and more responsive to their customers’ demand.
Customer is the true king of the digital world.
It has grown absolutely essential to keep the
customer engaged and involved —Suryaprakash K, SVP and Global Head, Digital, Infosys
For example, ‘mobile first’ is one of the trends and the applications are being ported onto mobile devices so that anything and everything that we do can be done anytime and from anywhere,” says Dr Rishi Bhatnagar, Head, Digital Enterprise Services, Tech Mahindra.
Few key factors are working together to impact how businesses use technologies. These include consumer adoption of technology and connectivity that is ubiquitous, reliable, and fast —Rajesh Kandaswamy, Research Vice President, Gartner
In short, digital is a huge opportunity for enterprises and technology partners to elevate a customer’s brand experience— an opportunity one cannot afford to miss. Persistent Systems is one such company that is strategizing to tap the buzzing space. Sharing his company’s strategy, Mritunjay Singh, Executive Director and COO, Persistent Systems says, “We are able to bring innovative ideas and products developed by us and our partners that help enterprises with digital transformation. Thus, we are helping our customers bring speed to their digital transformation initiatives using a combination of products, platforms, and digital services.”
We are able to bring innovative ideas and products developed by us and our partners that help enterprises with digital transformation.
Thus, we are helping our customers bring speed to their digital transformation initiatives—Mritunjay Singh, Executive Director and COO, Persistent Systems
THE EVOLVING DIGITAL LANDSCAPE
While digital currently encompasses SMAC, the next phase of digital will be defined by IA (Internet of Things and Artificial Intelligence), and with this the scope will become much wider. “I am particularly excited by the potential of phenomena like Artificial Intelligence, neural networks, advanced machine learning, and augmented reality. As a CTO, I am thoroughly enjoying the way technology has woven itself into the fabric of society and is influencing every aspect of our lives,” says Puneet Gupta, Chief Technology Officer, Brillio.
We will see a lot of evolution on the network
side. The network will consistently grow and
a larger adoption of SDN will be prominent at the enterprise level —Saurabh Sanghoee
Head of Global Services, Orange Business Services, India
In the future, wearable technology is poised to emerge as an important piece in a company’s digital transformation strategy. Saurabh Sanghoee, Head of Global Services, Orange Business Services, India explains, “If you look at the healthcare space today, watches have started playing a major role in monitoring specific data. They will become more prevalent and omnipresent by the time. Thus, wearable devices are already there and the application will become more and more important.”
More are more companies are increasingly realizing that they can’t turn a blind eye to the digital force. To truly capitalize on the transformation ahead, enterprises must work with the right technology partners to develop a comprehensive digital strategy, keeping the customers at the center.