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Digital Transformation is More Than Just a Technology Shift

Aniruddha Guha Sarkar, Senior Vice President of Engineering, Interra Information Technologies

Ever since its introduction in 2015, there’s hardly anyone who denies information regularly on the big ‘Digital Transformation’ that India boasts about.  The efforts are being made to turn the Digital India a reality in the coming few years. On the other hand, recent advancements in key technologies have enhanced IoT’s capacities and utility within enterprises and supported growth through digital transformation. BIS Infotech’s, Jyoti Gazmer, recently had a dialogue with Interra Information Technologies Aniruddha Guha Sarkar, Senior Vice President of Engineering, Interra Information Technologies & Ranjan Guha, President North America, Interra Information Technologies has brought analysis of the digital transformation in India-what we know so far, how do we measure it and the challenges. Also, it touches majorly on how IoT can be an extended definition to define Digital Transformations.

  1. Digital Transformation has taken over the industry worldwide. How do you think it can retrieve customer engagement experience? 

Aniruddha: Being deeply engaged with customers is of vital importance here, especially in a fast-paced world where consumers face numerous distractions with consumption trends constantly changing. Technology has become an indispensable tool for driving customer engagement.

In the past, business professionals believed customer experience only involved the actual sale. Now, with the shift toward digital transformation, we know that belief does not hold true anymore. Facebook ads, billboards, online product pages, and customer service apps extends past and engages customers across multiple touchpoints in a manner that they prefer. Prospects are learning about your services from friends and co-workers, too. All those interactions have a profound effect on whether an individual will purchase your products. And for the most part, your team controls how a potential customer perceives your brand.

Ranjan: Digital Transformation is more than just a technology shift. It’s about transforming business models and how we engage. Every business requires technology for its growth and sustainability, integration of new technologies in order to deliver key values to their customers. Recently a Forbes article pointed out that the percentage of organizations engaged in DX will reach to 50% by 2020. In terms of customer engagement experience, digital transformation helps identify the customer insights from data stored in several repositories, provide ubiquitous computing, and helps to manage brand reputation through customer engagement beyond the point of sales.

Ranjan guha
Ranjan Guha, President North America, Interra Information Technologies
  1. Now, ‘Truly’ IoT is hitting every sector, while many phrases ‘Digital Transformation synonymous to IoT’. How far do you agree and how do you think IoT can define Digital Transformation?

Aniruddha: IoT act as a key catalyst for a new generation of digital engagement. It acts as a bridge between the physical assets and the IT infrastructure. IoT devices have the potential to establish a deeper, real-time connection between organizations, supply chains, and customers.  IoT provides the ability to harness the power of pull, moving from conventional push based business models that suffer from diminishing returns to scalable pull based business models that for the first time offer the potential to harness increasing returns. 

Ranjan: Digital Transformation and IoT are two buzz phrases these days, not only in IT sector but across all the business verticals as they affect mostly every part of an organization from supply chain to vehicle fleets. Often Digital Transformation and IoT are two terms used interchangeably; they shouldn’t be used as such as Digital Transformation aims holistically at entire business transformation than just a piece of technology change. IoT, on the other hand, like several other DX drivers such as Artificial Intelligence, Deep Learning, Machine Learning, Automation, Robotics and Augmented Reality helps to achieve this transformation. No doubt IoT easily integrates with most of the NextGen technologies and arising as popular enabler for digital transformation. 

  1. India as you can see is making headlines for its efforts to migrate into a digital economy, what challenges and prospects do you foresee with this undeterred evolution? 

Ranjan: Cashless Economy will soon become a reality in India with the help of several initiatives and advancement in technologies. No doubt that digital economy comes with several benefits such as increase in transparency and decentralization of information, which will accelerate economic growth, build more jobs and business opportunities for new India. Recently, many vital steps taken by the Central Government have pushed the digitization to the next level. Initiatives like connecting Aadhaar to all important accounts, opening digital platforms for bidding, digital forms instead of papers, websites and many more digital processes have been responsible for increasing overall GDP of India in this sluggish world economy.

Furthermore, it brings along several obstructions which has slow down the rapidity of Transformation; such as Data Security which is an act to protect data against threats or breaches that leave behind infected data, followed by low speed internet along with need of proper infrastructure to support digitization, and many more down with the lack of digital literacy and adaptability to change are listed roadblocks while migrating into digital economy. 

Aniruddha: The Digital India program comes with one mission: to take nation forward digitally and economically. But there  are  number of hurdles that could possibly reduce the pace at which the Indian government executes the Digital India program or even bring it to a halt such as digital illiteracy, poor infrastructure, low internet speed, lack of coordination among various departments, issues pertaining to taxation etc. These challenges need to be addressed in order to realize the full potential of this program. 

  1. The eruption of digitalization has passively given an emergence to technologies, SMAC, BYOD, BYOA rejigging IT management. How quickly do you think this will revamp the IT corridors and what challenges does it incur in today’s Security-Critical world? 

Aniruddha: New age digital startups with the help of technology like BYOD, BYOA & SMAC have revamped business models completely. The use of BYOD is overlapping employer’s professional and personal usage which paves a major role in hampering the security of the organization. 

Ranjan: Digitization has led to Digital Business, which applies to the unprecedented combination of new technologies to generate revenue and value. Drift of enterprises towards concepts like SMAC, BYOD, and BYOA majorly contributes towards rejigging IT management. These technologies have led to a paradigm shift in the IT industry by supporting start-Ups and new ventures, which has revamped the IT corridors. SMAC, in relation to this shift, is considered today’s trend which has several advantages in retail and E-commerce sector. Furthermore, evolution of concepts such as BYOD and BYOA brings along several roadblocks pertaining to Data Security in today’s critical world by consenting to individually owned device and access.

Carefully implementation of BYOD and BYOA at initial stages of business may prohibit data risk. On the other hand while scaling up business, data security should be given priority over new IT concepts like BYOA and BYOA.

  1. What are the major IT trends you foresee that will shape 2018? 

Aniruddha: The following year we will witness some of the most intriguing dilemmas in the future of technology. This year marked by a series of exponential technological advances—including cloud, artificial intelligence, blockchain, augmented and virtual reality, internet of things, robotics, quantum computing, and more. Individually and collectively, these technologies represent vast potential for the future of business, and are creating the imperative to reinvent and reimagine the way we do business.

Ranjan: Transformation is an ongoing process. The pace with which transformation is taking place, one can say technologies like Big Data, Artificial Intelligence, Machine Learning, Edge Computing, 5G revolution, Block chain, etc. are likely to supplement. But among all I think that AI, Machine learning and Edge computing will be the major contributors towards business growth, shaping 2018. Perhaps, enterprises need to follow up with current technological trends to invest more on correct digital architecture so that they become accustomed to ongoing transformation. 

  1. Interra IT comprises a vast portfolio of services, what key markets and solutions are your main focuses in the Indian market? 

Aniruddha: We provide a valuable and persistent connection with our customers in US, Europe, and India. Our focus is to deliver digital transformation solutions in Indian market through our AWS cloud migration services, portal development and Analytics with QA testing to drive business evolution in critical areas.

Ranjan: Interra Information Technologies is a global software service organization with more than two decades of experience in the IT service domain. Our key focused market remains US, Europe and India.

It delivers innovative business and technology solutions, such as Digital Transformation which includes AWS Cloud Services, Portal/Website Development, Analytics with QA & Testing and many more to from Fortune 1000 companies to new ventures.

  1. There are already existing players who are diligently catering into this space, what keeps Interra IT lead in this competitive league?

Aniruddha: In such a competent pace where all big and small ventures have good presence in the market, we believe in delivering solutions without sacrificing basic quality policies to cater the required agility as per customers’ need. Our all units work as per the defined process in Quality Management System [QMS] with monthly internal and half yearly ISO 9001 audits for such processes. Our niche is defined by solutions delivered to the brands like Mazda, NTT America, VMware and many more to unleash IT innovations. 

Ranjan: Interra IT focusses on recognizing gaps, promoting innovations and entrepreneurial thinking which makes it unique among existing players who are diligently catering into this space. Interra IT has more than 20 years of experience and have worked with brands like Mazda, NTT America, VMWare, and many more. Interra ITs lead the competitive league as it provides agility without sacrificing basic quality of product, use of agile and waterfall methodologies to define process, tailor reports on customer needs and cater small setups to attain transformation. 

  1. Undergoing digital transformation, how critically important does the role of a CIO become and how they are dressing up for this transformation. Any suggestions? 

Aniruddha: The journey towards digital transformation in the enterprise has proven not to be an easy one, with many lacking the information-related skills needed to be successful. To best adapt and lead the charge, CIOs must take on this role. Today’s CIO must be able to advise executives and managers on the latest technology trends that could enhance operational excellence, and provide the C-Suite and the board with the real-time insights and analytics needed to make strategic technology decisions. Their technical ability and agile transformation approach will not only evolve your business models to drive new opportunities but also change supporting teams into business enablers.

Ranjan: The role of CIO is changing; it is about working in partnership with business. They are no longer minions doing the bidding of others but transformers that use technology to lead. In short, they bridge gap between technology and business needs. Furthermore, they are well placed to detect potential opportunities due to their technological understanding. This reminds me of an article which states that CIOs are leading 37% of DX initiatives while teams like IT in an enterprise are finding innovative strategies. Perhaps we can say that CIO’s not only lead enterprise digital transformation but also ensure swift dramatic growth. Moreover, in order to embrace technology, I would suggest CIO should identify opportunities, risks and challenges before competitors seize it based on the ability of an enterprise to experiment and take risks.

  1. The key achievements in the last FY and key strategies Interra IT is versing for the current FY? 

Ranjan: Interra IT has achieved greatly in the last FY in terms of revamping our Digital Transformation offerings, new businesses and many more. We have also restructured teams based on changing market dynamics. Furthermore, Interra IT is versing with certain strategies for the current FY such as change management, and new business offerings related to enhanced version of Digital Transformation. 

Aniruddha: As I look back on our accomplishments over the last year, it is defined by ubiquitous digital transformation model. Our teams were reconstructed to work with New NextGen offerings to deliver solutions and services that are open, affordable & capable to bring new businesses. Our key strategies for this year are to focus on change management and to bring new enhanced version of digital transformation which is capable enough to achieve our new business goals. 

  1. How you term “Evolution of Digitalization” to the context of current Indian market? 

Ranjan: Digitization is an economic driver and it holds importance in developing wealth of India. It has increased the penetration of internet users, rapid technology adoption, and use of high scale technical gadgets such as smart phones, tablets etc. which have reduce inefficiencies, improved response turnaround times and have increased production of the Indian market. Thus in retrospect, invention of many technologies like AI, Machine learning, Cloud, later in 19th century has helped an enterprise to be more alert to varying business values, customize products and respond clients on personal level, most importantly, it streamline and automate all processes so that workers can focus on things that really matter most in business which has a direct impact on Indian market.

Aniruddha: India that has a perfect blend of rich traditional heritage and one of the fastest growing economies with the largest ‘young ‘population; there is an immense opportunity to change the face of the society with technological revolution.  While the country has seen implementation of technological inventions in various fields in several decades after independence, the present Government has acted as a catalyst in not only speeding up the process of digital revolution in the country but also taking an initiative in bridging the digital divide in the country. The past three years have not only witnessed a swift rise in exploration, implementation and utilization of digital technologies but also focused on taking digitization and its benefits to the grass root level and especially to the less privileged sections of the society. 

  1. It seems automation is the new word and is well edifying in 2018, but do you think adoption of ethical considerations will rev-up vertical industries and horizontal technologies.

 Ranjan: Automation applied to any operation has magnified the efficiency and reduced the efforts. There are estimates that automation will reduce 50% of jobs in near future. But if considered ethically they will rev-up vertical industries and horizontal technologies as the overall cost associated with integration will reduce, since only initial cost will be high for a shift from human production line to automation production. Also, if adopted ethically, automation will increase the overall productivity with high quality products, it will alleviate error associated with human interventions thereby serving products with high accuracy which will ultimately rev-up overall business needs associated with any industry and in turn build up job opportunities for maintenance.

 Aniruddha: With the increasing advancement of DL, robotics, technological assistance, and applications of AI, technology has moved beyond society’s ability to control it easily. Mandatory guidance has already been deeply analyzed and rolled out in various aspects of design, and it is further being applied to autonomous and intelligent systems and in cybersecurity. But adoption of ethical considerations will speed up in many vertical industries and horizontal technologies.

  1. What major challenges will Digital Evolution decorate in 2018?

 Ranjan: The greater the challenges, the more glory in overcoming it. Evolution is taking place; new models are developing which either are enhancing or making existing model obsolete. Adaptability to digitization has raised quality of product, reduced the overall response turnaround time, condensed the additional cost, boost dependency on automation which has led to increase in ROI and reduced TCO.

 Aniruddha: There may be a few risk factors that may cause technology trends and forecasts to deviate from the predicted values, but looking from the far future perspective, these elements seem

to set the trend in 2018. There will be a never-ending dependence on software technology.

Software technology envisions a boom in company revenue due to the rise in automation and decline in workforce. Software technologies can be cost-effective, time saving and easier on the implementation perspective.

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