Anant Bhagwati, partner, Bain and Co.
Anant Bhagwati, partner, Bain and Co.

It is important to demystify what is different about digital: Anant Bhagwati

Recent technological innovations have opened up avenues for business transformation like never before, said Anant Bhagwati, partner, Bain and Co.

New Delhi: Recent technological innovations have opened up avenues for business transformation like never before, said Anant Bhagwati, partner, Bain and Co., a global management consulting firm, delivering his keynote address on ‘How digital is enabling the business of tomorrow—today’ at the 2017 edition of Mint’s Enterprise Tech Summit.

“The pace of change has always been increasing. It is a straight line moving up, so this debunks the myth that all the change is happening now. The evolution has been happening in different phases but there’s something different happening now," Bhagwati explained. It is important to demystify what is different so that, as business leaders, we can work on using some of those (differentiators) to implement our business transformations, he added.

According to Bhagwati, there will be around 50 billion connected devices and around 10 billion human beings by 2020—that is, devices will be five times the number of human beings. “The common perception of this is ‘cellphone explosion’, but did you know that 85% of those 50 billion will actually not be smartphones and tablets? They will actually be devices with different form factors," he said.

Bhagwati emphasized the importance of real-time data in order to generate quality output. “Unless you have data, what will you compute? And unless you have the right data, the granular data, you cannot push forward the next level of thinking," he said.

With the Internet of Things (IoT), Artificial Intelligence (AI) and automation, a lot of intelligence will start getting embedded into the machines. Interconnected devices and space modification to store large amounts of data are the major components of technological transformation, he added.

According to Bhagwati, the real value lies in the unstructured data which lies outside the system for supply chain management. “Imagine data coming in from all the four corners and then you actually being able to run analytics on that. It will completely transform the way you solve problems."

“As business leaders, it’s not about whether there is technology there—I can tell you that the technology is there, may not be in your industry—but somewhere in the world that technology has already been created," he said. “While technology is ubiquitous, the connection of technology to solve business problems is highly unique."

He stressed the need to ensure that people in organizations embrace technology more than just focusing on technology solutions to business issues. He suggested that companies take into consideration that there are different generations (older employees, millennials, etc.) when dealing with the data deluge. “The digital generation will put a lot of data out there," he added. This means companies need to be cautious to avoid failures, he said.

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