The ongoing evolution of technology means that businesses are in a constant state of change in order to stay apace with the market, say experts at a seminar on digital transformation. Patricia Mascarenhas reports.
Consumers were inherently expecting better choices and seamless service experiences, and technologies such as social media, mobile, analytics and cloud were making it possible for enterprises to deliver rich consumer experiences whilst improving productivity and efficiency, experts declared in unison at a seminar on digital transformation organized by CII in Mumbai yesterday.
The words ‘digital transformation’ were floating considerably around conference tables in recent times. “This is because we live in a world that is more interconnected than ever before,” experts opined. Organisations as well as goods and services were now forcing enterprises to become more skillful and responsive than ever before.
“It is very difficult for a company that operates in different time zones to be in the same room at the same time but the virtual platform sort of allows everyone to plug in at different times yet take an idea and run with it,” explained R Mukundan, MD, Tata Chemicals.
The world was changing and practically everything was being digitalised. “Young employees are all about smart phones and now they ask us why they need to come to the office when they can work from home and be more productive,” Mukundan added. The success of an organisation now depended on its flexible operations— one that adapted as things changed. “Why do you want people to go through the trauma of travelling two hours to work when the work can be perfectly done from home,” explained Ganesh Natarajan, chairman, CII WR Sub-Committee on Knowledge Management and Innovation. Enterprises needed to be flexible in coping with the available time and opportunities, restructure everything and adapt as things changed. “They need to tap talent where talent is and not wait for it to show up at your office,” he added.
Technology had not only changed employee perspective but also that of the customers. Brand loyalty was diminishing and people were all about price-discovery. The new consumer sought transparency and excellent experience. Consumer voice was amplified because of rising consumerism and the various channels of communication. “Businesses also need to ensure that every channel including communication, supply chain, demand management, supply management are digitally augmented,” advised Natarajan.
According to the CII-Deloitte Innovation and Knowledge Management (KM) Survey on Indian manufacturers and retailers, most companies expressed optimism in capabilities of knowledge management (KM) and innovation, and acknowledged the powerful role of disruptive technologies. While some companies were already involved in structured KM and innovation, some others expressed plans to leverage technologies for positive outcomes.
There was bound to be a significant and drastic change in the manufacturing and production sector soon, which worked towards mass customization. “In the next few years there will be about three billion digital consumers and this will impact the enterprises as they have to address this growing community,” said Krishna Ramaswami, senior vice president, Digital Enterprise Services and India Busniess, Zensar Technologies Ltd. “Revolution is based on cyber even if you don’t want to do it, you will have to,” concluded Ramaswami.