tech challenges

We have to adopt, adapt and transform to meet new tech challenges

At the Dataquest Leadership Conclave held at New Delhi’s Hyatt Regency on June 8, the inaugural keynote, “Accelerating with next-gen tech”, was delivered by Anshu Prakash, former secretary, Telecom. 

He said that post-Covid-19, this has been a first function. The theme is about next-gen tech, a concept that is not static. It is dynamic! Digital comms becomes a base where all technologies are running. We have to adopt and adapt, and transform ourselves to encash opportunities and meet challenges of new technologies.

How do we do all of that? We need timing and speed! Any new technology has to be seen by the industry in terms of the needs of customers that can be satisfied. A consumer never even realizes his or her need, till told. That is the job of entrepreneurs. The entrepreneurs need to see the opportunity and seize them. This should be encouraged by the society, and the government.

We need to avail the opportunities created by new technologies. The best will always win. One common theme applicable to all technologies is speed. There are things like instant messaging, e-commerce deliveries, etc. Digital is now being enabled by 5G. Technology will only succeed if we have the infrastructure to support the technology.

There are so many stakeholders that have to look at the infrastructure. There is pathetic connectivity in several posh colonies. Mobile companies do not want to lose customers if there is no proper infrastructure. 5G needs capacity and coverage. The political class needs to become an equal stakeholder. 

Once this happens, the basic needs will become part of our democracy. The potential of technology needs to be reaped responsibly. Industry leaders need to have their own code of ethics that should be more than what is provided. The Gati Shakti initiative undertaken by the current government is laudable.

We also need to have dialogue between the government and the industry. They have a permanent relationship. Technology is not something that is available easily. We need to have apps based on technologies, given to consumers at great prices. Government has its role, and so has the industry.

We also need to be ahead of the technology curve, rather than lagging behind. We have been behind in the mobile sector. Security aspects of digital technologies will always be an issue. We need to get around that. There will be privacy debates, as well. We also need to set up norms that are responsible. We should have the capacity to be self-reliant.

The benefits of technologies should also flow to people at affordable prices. Technology should also benefit employment. We also need to invest in R&D. We also need deeper pockets. Health and environment are the areas that can create a lot of problems. As an example, NIMHANS, Bangalore, had started a de-addiction program for mobiles. We are going to become more conscious of the health and environment. We need to see that mitigation is done at the threshold. 

CSR has become critical. CSRs need to focus on fundamental issues. Perception building is critical. Next, telecom reforms are an ongoing process. The industry also has to change. The industry must rise to take care of reforms.

The theme of the conclave was Let’s Transform at Scale with NeXtGen Tech and featured the 29th ICT Business Awards show. 

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