Digital Transformation is changing the landscapes of every industry. Various industries and leading companies are adopting digitally-front approaches to stay viable in the market. But as the word, Digital Transformation strategies not just need a holistic approach but right motive and models. We have reached in that era, where transactions, bookings, finding individual’s information or sending letters is only a button ahead. From designers to solution providers and service-front companies bringing the best solution for their customers is no less than a challenge. Hence, in this story, I try to figure out what actually is digital transformation for India and the benefits, why companies should adopt digital strategies and solutions and the solutions these companies are providing to help in their respective customers digital journey. In this multiple-input story, Nitisha from BisInfotech has interacted with Akash Bhat-Chief Executive Officer, Allied Worldwide; Senthil Arumugam, Founder, Caleido Xenia Pvt. Ltd; Vikas Bhonsle, CEO, Crayon Software Experts India, Satish Kumar V, CEO, EverestIMS Technologies; Surendra Singh Senior Director & Country Manager- Forcepoint; Saurabh Saxena, Country Director – India, Micro Focus; Prashanth G J, CEO, TechnoBind to help better understand the true value and potential of Digital Transformation.
Digital Transformation in India
India has found all possible way to become an emblem for the world with its digital front approaches. From last few years, we have seen a lot of developments and news stating digital growth. According to a report, digital transformation in many sectors like manufacturing, education, healthcare, as well as government services and labor markets has the potential to create $10-$150 billion incremental economic value by 2025. India has been an early adopter of Digital technologies despite being a late entrant to the digital party. Prashanth GJ while explaining the value of digital transformation says digital transformation is a very important step for every business in today’s world. It is impossible to avoid technology as it is growing and expanding into every industry. When it comes to Digital Transformation, India is building a powerful edge. Surendra Singh also feels the same; he says that the digital transformation is changing the Indian market in a big way with the adoption of new technology that is driving “Digital India”. Companies in the government as well as enterprise sector have seen acceleration in digital transformation during the COVID pandemic. To maintain business continuity, people started working remotely. Organizations started focusing on new cloud-based technologies to secure their communication and data.
Saurabh Saxena observed that India is witnessing this trend with larger enterprises, which are increasingly operating across multi-cloud environments, where large enterprises plan to increase their multi-cloud spending up from 42% to 49% by 2023. India will become one of the largest digitized countries in the world. With our presence in India, we have focused on encouraging technology and innovation to help enable and empower customers to traverse the digitization journey.
Demonetization was the biggest revolution for digital transformation in India. Akash Bhat explained it and said, demonetization had mixed reactions, it did accelerate India’s journey on digital platforms with many end-users adapting and moving from physical to digital payments. Also, the introduction of Aadhar and e-KYC would have been much slower if not for the acceleration in this area. Street vendors are now on digital platforms and traditional professionals like tour guides can use translating tools to interact with their customers while also accepting digital payments.
Covid 19 and Digital Transformation
Not only India, but all over the world is facing the socio-economic stern of the pandemic. It has not only impacted human’s body but also has made us disturbed. Economy rate is going down day by day and because of that reason our GDP rate has plunged historically. But in this disastrous situation, digitalization is only a hope of living. People are striving to create new opportunities with technology. “Technology has been a job creator when traditional jobs are at risk. Digital platforms have created entirely new skills that have resulted in different jobs. Businesses have now been able to reach out further to markets that were traditionally difficult to penetrate due to cultural differences or simply a lack of infrastructure. Digital technology has enabled more people to work from home, highlighted productive areas, and also helped identify areas that cause a lack of productivity”, says Akash Bhat.
Complementing digital approaches, Senthil Arumugam says, Digital Transformation can also help with mobilizing critical application platforms to handle health & hygiene mandates. Adoption of newer touchless and contactless technology products should be mandatory.
Vikash Bhonsle shares the value of cloud, he says, cloud is helping to democratize the technology adoption in the market. Industry 4.0, or deep technology, can help across the technologies. With cloud, a lot of technologies are easily available and in an easily consumable form, as cloud is the foundation of all technologies. Digitalization is the reason for extensive transformations across several elements of businesses, opening them up to substantial opportunities. Digital Transformation is the way for the industry to go ahead.
Satish Kumar V has served many solutions to numerous customers during this period. Service providers who need their efficacy to be at par all the time have turned to his company time and again. Enterprises that need to perform rapid upgrades with minimal onsite personnel due to increased workload are all turning to the Infraon Suite to help them stay competitive and effective. Remote workers who need to ensure that their enterprises’ IT Infrastructure is up and running at full peak see us as their go-to company. He sees a realignment of businesses as they rearrange their operations and structures to continue doing business in a post COVID era.
Digitalisation has helped us in many ways, we cannot run a business or any work without it. Companies that embraced digital transformation have performed better during the pandemic and expect a faster rebound. Surendra explains, digital transformation is driving change across the world, creating new opportunities to boost business productivity, while cutting the costs of infrastructure and operations. Increasingly distributed organizations are re-architecting their networks and security to move their most valuable data and applications to the cloud, in order to give their users a much richer, faster, and less expensive access than ever before. Enabling remote sites and off-network users to securely connect direct-to-cloud is the new challenge facing enterprises and government agencies.
Before the world was hit by the pandemic, many organizations had already begun undergoing digital transformation projects to various degrees. According to Gartner’s forecast in 2019, IT spending in India was already expected to grow 6.6% to reach $94 billion in 2020, from $88.5 billion in 2019, driven by spending in software. This was led by banking, financial services, media, insurance, and e-commerce sectors.
Saurabh says, the world is changing fundamentally and rapidly, and digital transformation is playing an increasingly important role in how organizations address that change. From demographic shifts to development in technological capabilities, there is an opportunity to digitally deliver services to customers in ways that did not exist before. The pandemic has become an extraordinary catalyst for change. Today, most enterprises, products, and services are on a digital delivery model or require digital reinforcements to remain competitive in the market.
While focusing on the positive side of this pandemic, Prashanth says that the pandemic has led to the starting of a whole new digital era and has broadened the horizon for the virtual sphere. The digital transformation could be a strong lever in organizations’ response to the current crisis and give them an opportunity to re-align their business/operating models to the rapidly changing business landscape. However, digital transformation is not just about upgrading to a new software program, it is about making sure any new adoptions will work for your organization long-term.
Challenges & Future Scope
The sudden growth of technology accelerated by Covid19 led to some businesses going bust as they could not adapt or were not yet ready for this change, shared Akash. He said, there is certainly a need for businesses and governments to adapt. Many traditional businesses are still not digitally equipped. This may lead to them not having access to workers with the right skills and face challenging business environments. Workers who have not started lateral skilling have almost no protection as they do not have the skills or flexibility in current labor markets to adapt. To overcome these challenges, businesses have to adopt technology and upgrade their training programs to equip their workers with relevant skills. Businesses must also consider programs including internships and apprenticeships to train future workers with the relevant sets of skills.
Digital transformation solutions need to become more affordable for essential enterprises. Industries today are racing against time to provide the much-needed acceleration that can beat the demand curve. Cultural adaptation and willingness for adoption of newer technologies also challenge the DX movement. However, our mobile centric world is already rooting for a unidirectional mandate of DX, a point of no return, to stay and define more advanced futuristic paths for humanity, says Senthil.
Satish emphasized the need of digital transformation. He says, if we don’t recognize digital transformation as top-down initiative supported at all layers of the organization, then many enterprises will find themselves trudging a lonely road or being left far behind. Organizations need to rapidly transform their processes and practices to incorporate deep technology driven change within their organizational design. They will have to make significant investments now in specific technology and/or cloud driven products which will bear rich dividends in the future. It will be transform or perish.
Digital transformation is an ongoing process for organisations looking to modify their business processes and supporting IT systems to take advantage of what digital technologies have to offer.
Surendra feels that the implication is that for digital transformation strategies to be effective, they need to be comprehensive and reach out across the supporting infrastructure. More than that, they need to be designed to take full advantage of new, distributed, ways of working as well as the growing dominance of cloud computing and use of other digital technologies. Digital transformation brings re-adjustments in the way an organization uses its applications and data, therefore technologies supporting the same should be adaptive in nature. Security solutions that handhold digital initiatives should be hybrid in nature to cover the transformation smoothly.
2020 has leapfrogged us into a decade of delivery for the promise of technology. Digital transformation is not a new endeavor for business, though prior attempts have often failed to realize its full potential. Per a report by IDC, despite a global pandemic, DX investment is expected to approach $6.8 trillion by 2023, as companies build on existing strategies and investments, becoming digital-at-scale future enterprises. Technological leadership will require sustained digital investments, and rapid business process innovation to thrive in the digital supremacy era. The world is becoming digitally driven. It has never been more critical for us to embrace advanced technologies to empower customers, transform businesses and create newer opportunities, explained Saurabh.
Digital transformation is shaping the businesses globally and across India. It’s a great step to adopt digital transformation as there are many benefits of digital transformation like it transforms customer experience, gives more data-based insights, Greater Collaboration Across Departments and improves agility and innovation, concludes Prashanth.
Expectations from the Government
Government had started a program ‘digital India’ to make India a digitalized country and somehow it is becoming successful. The government wants India to have a digitally empowered society and knowledge economy. Now, a common person is also stress free because they have mobile and in that also it has different kinds of applications which makes our life easier.
Digital India was launched in 2015 and although many steps were taken to accelerate it, the government needs to focus and hasten efforts improving infrastructure for digital transformation. Public offices need to be better equipped to handle digital queries. Many government apps are used symbolically rather than efficiently. The government must bring in lateral skilling for itself and its entire staff. Also, companies must be given sops for being fully digital if the government wants to see acceleration in Digital transformation, says Akash.
We would like to see more digital transformation initiatives that help prop the economy up and deliver broad-based benefits to the public at large. Smart cities, speed of doing business, ease of doing business with supporting infrastructure are what we would look for from the Government of India, shared Satish.
Prashanth has same expectations from the government. He says, we would like to see more digital transformation initiatives that can help to boost the economy. The government should come up with more digital projects in such a way that every sector should get an opportunity to initiate it.
Senthil wants acceleration of Digital India movement for increased automation; remote working becoming a new norm possibility with government subsidies as well, Citizens becoming the center of mobility solutions expanse, more localized indigenous applications and platforms for governance.
Talking about government initiative, Surendra says, the government is working on digital transformation initiatives with a setup that is focused on critical remote infrastructure. The government should also adopt frameworks such as CARTA (Continuous Adaptive Risk and Trust Assessment) or focus on the principle of zero trust with NIST Frameworks 800-207.
Vikas seems satisfied with the government initiative as he says that the Indian government has already kept digitisation in its forefront of all the projects.
In recent years, the Indian government has proven determined to leverage technology for progress. The Indian appetite for innovation coupled with the ability to merge digital with our unique local conditions has led to widespread adoption of technology across strata in the country. The digital backbone of this country continues to develop with the government still at the center of that transformation. Government initiatives such as Digital India, Aadhaar, and GST have played an integral role in laying the foundation for a digital future, mentioned Saurabh.
Year 2019-2020 for Business
Allied Worldwide: During pandemic, Allied Worldwide has provided a lot of flexibility on its contracts to ensure its customers can adapt to the pandemic just like the company is adapting. There was an initial drop in revenue but then it picked up again as customers appreciated its partnership. After that Allied Worldwide being able to build on this and offer further flexible solutions through the remote work offerings.
Caleido Xenia Pvt. Ltd: Caleido off to a good start but thrown off pace for a short while by the onset of COVID-19 which later on turned to be a blessing in disguise for the company. It saw this as an opportunity and picked up pace to further modify and design its new age suite of solutions to include more elements that can offer a safer contactless experience for end users.
EverestIMS Technologies: Since it provide products and solutions that specifically relate to IT Infra, Service Quality, Compliance and Uptime amongst others, it did see a distinctly wider funnel and some significant closures.
TechnoBind: The last FY was very good. TechnoBind grew by an impressive 40% YoY, thanks to the approach it take in engaging with the partners. This year too, while COVID has had its impact the company is still seeing a growth over last FY.
Digital Transformation has played a huge role in our day to day life. We have seen drastic changes in last few years and also expecting to see more transformation in upcoming year. Although, 2019-2020 was not quite well in terms of business, but if we see digital India condition, it showcased tremendous transformation. Covid 19 has accelerated digital transformation and it has proven helpful for IT companies. The companies, which are following digital transformation from 2019 or early 2020 will get profit in upcoming years. Artificial Intelligence is going to be more helpful and advanced in coming time. Either, we talk about health or education, everywhere digitalization is the only source of communication. For India manufacturing sector 2019-20 was tough, but as the government is focusing on “Vocal for Local”, this sector must increase strategic investments in technology to not just recover from the impact of the pandemic, but also become a key driver of the Indian vision of a $5 trillion economy by 2025. As we are in 2021, we are expecting to see some more updation in digitalization.
Allied Worldwide has a great solution in the Agritech space which is a combination of sensors, device management software and data analytics. In addition to recording all relevant data, it enables:
- Report creation in real-time
- Combining KPIs without coding
- Customized drill-down of data
- Easy filters for end-users
We have created a contactless thermal sensor which addresses the need of the hour, staying safe during the pandemic:
- Single IoT based dashboard to track attendance, geolocation, and temperature
- Compliance Management Integration
- Fully automatic
Caleido Xenia – a patent pending Connected Hospitality solution built around ‘vowels of infrastructure’ concept – adopts the very principles of digital transformation in India, to steer hotel enterprises on the path to a more sustainable world cause and yet become profitable through its Cloud based SaaS platforms that assures superior user experience, workforce productivity gains and revenue monetization with incentivized stay for conserving the environment.
EverestIMS is working closely with e-commerce firms who help keep the wheels of the economy rolling, BFSI, government and defence, large enterprises and telecoms amongst others. All its deployments come infused with innovation and dexterity that help its customers, large and small navigate the choppy waters of digital transformation.
Micro Focus has a strategic plan and execution model, highlighting the importance of engaging with customers end-to-end, the key role of SaaS and Subscription models, and delivering key outcomes focused on the needs of the market.
Transformation projects are an ongoing phenomenon. While it had hit a speed bump with the onset of COVID as customers were focusing on the business continuity parts of their business it is slowly seeing the projects starting back as well now in H2.