Empowering businesses of the future1 min read . Updated: 04 Jan 2021, 04:52 PM IST
- The latest episode of Mint CXO Dialogues, ‘Building Resilience that empowers India Inc’, powered by Microsoft, discussed the new-age strategies and technical innovations that will power businesses of the future.
Our workplace has undergone a complete transformation in the last nine months and businesses have strived on the path of innovation and digitalization to improve productivity and build resilience. As we bid adieu to 2020 and embrace the changes that the past year has brought into the very way we work, there are several new elements that are here to stay.
From using a plethora of technological tools like Cloud, AI and analytics to enhance efficiencies and improve customer experience to a shift towards a Gig Economy, innovation holds the key to the future.
The latest episode of Mint CXO Dialogues, a virtual panel discussion powered by Microsoft and Livemint, titled ‘Building Resilience that empowers India Inc’, looks at innovation with respect to the IT sector. Experts discuss strategies for IT modernisation and streamlining business systems and the changing dynamics of consumer behaviour and customer experience and where technological innovations fit into these.
“The architecture has to go into revision. We have the technology now but with over 80-90 per cent of the workforce working from home, every moment we are using a collaboration tool for all sorts of communication and to make people more productive," said Nitin Harne, Senior Director - Platform & Digital Transformation, Tech Mahindra.
There are several trends being witnessed in this altered workplace, where a majority of businesses especially in the IT space functioning efficiently on a platform supported by the right technologies and applications in the remote work space.
“There are major trends in the ‘4C’ areas which will change the way applications are built and consumed. The first is Customer experience, which is undergoing a significant change post Covid, the second is Cyber security as trust will be at the centre of all architecture and designs, the next is Cloud which organisations believe is critical to scaling up to new agility levels and the last one is Collaboration which plays a very important role with remote work," said Sanjeev Ramakrishnan , Vice President - Digital Transformation and Business IT Head, Wipro Limited.
The power of the vast pool of data that is available through multiple sources is being harnessed and used to predict customer behaviour, which has also undergone a sea change in the post-Covid era, to offer the consumer a personalised experience.
“There are several building blocks being used to analyse and predict consumer behaviour. The idea is to capture consumer behaviour coming from different sources and use data science algorithms to predict consumer behaviour and provide superior customer experience," said Jai Ganesh, Senior Vice President & Head , Mphasis NEXT Labs.
In this very sharp change that companies have been forced to adapt to almost overnight, security of data and devices is emerging as one of the central themes.
“The focus is on network security and stability for businesses to function. Hacks have increased by 300 per cent globally in the last 6 months and a majority are taking the cloud route. We need to invest heavily into education, learning and to ensure that you have an absolute knowledge of Cloud before you step into it," said Anuj Joshi, Vice President - Information Technology, Evalue Serve.
Right from using tech to determine who is allowed access to data from a remote desktop to the safety of the device and data itself, security is being built in several layers. Now companies are moving on from there and using analytics at the backend of webcam feeds to see if there is something unusual happening in the background.
“Security has taken the front and centre seat pretty much for everything that happens. Most organisations have decided that 30-40 per cent of people are not going to come back to office. It’s the entire circle of security that we are trying to manage," said Pravin Srinivasan, Director Sales - ITeS Vertical, Microsoft.
The pandemic has created challenges for organisations around improving productivity, which digitalization and tech-backed initiatives are being used to overcome. For some sectors like IT, productivity of the workforce has actually increased.
“People are actually far more productive over the past 9 months since all the other distractions are gone. From a technology standpoint, a few new things will boost productivity in the coming quarters – hyper automation will move from infra to app and security side, crowd sourcing. AI will ensure that we move faster on the automation side than ever before," said Ramakrishnan.
It has also opened up a Pandora box for innovations – things that businesses used to only think about have now become a reality and more and more innovative ideas are coming up and companies need fresh ideas to make things work in these times.
Tools of AI and automation have become the norm to simplify workloads and deliver an overall customer experience.
“A lot of the data which is available is already there. It is in the calendar, teams, calls. So what we are working on with a lot of customers is workplace analytics at the team level to see what they can do better to improve productivity. Analytics and AI are emerging as the main drivers as we take a lot of data, make sense of it and come up with predictive analysis," said Srinivasan.
As business leaders look for way to create resilience for the business and find solutions to overcome operational inefficiencies, the areas of focus for the immediate future is cyber security and meeting the changed demands of the new-age customer.
“Cyber security is one area every single organisation is going to obsess about this coming 6 months and a lot of investments are going to go into it. Most of the attacks are from the weakest link which is the employee and that is where the most care should be taken," said Ganesh.
Since face to face meetings with customers are still far away and the personal touch is what is missing, businesses are finding innovative ways of engaging with them and understanding their needs.
“Cloud is one area of focus. I also see laptops and desktops going away and you emerge into a new area with a workspace on Azure and Cloud. I think the Gig Economy is not far away. We are nearly there," Harne concluded.