The digital tidal wave is not coming. It’s already here!

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Given the dizzying pace of disruption, leaders from end-user industries as well as service provider industries like IT are under tremendous pressure to get it right, was the key message at the recent FICCI Digital Disruption and Transformation Summit.

The FICCI Digital Disruption and Transformation Summit I recently attended also attracted CxOs and technology leaders from a spectrum of industries, including BFSI, manufacturing, automotive, education, media, healthcare, consultancy giants, IT and BPM industries from across India. The agenda of the day was ‘Digital Tsunami – Survive and Thrive’ and the invited speakers discussed on a range of relevant topics including Hyper Automation, Productivity, Artificial Intelligence and Machine Learning, Internet of Things, Cloud Computing, Blockchain, Digital Marketing, and Robotics. It was a great day which witnessed sharing of insights, trends, case studies, and best practices on a range of topics.

Food for Thought from the Summit

  • Digital transformation is a journey, and there’s no silver bullet for digital transformation. No single approach will work for every organization.
  • 35% of the skills necessary to thrive in a job today will be different five years from now—skilling is key to grow and adapt in a rapidly changing world. Some of the newer roles emerging at CxO levels are Chief Digital Officer, Chief Experience Officer, Chief Artificial Intelligence Officer etc. There’s massive scope of work and employment in the digital era, provided people stay invested in upskilling themselves.
  • The jobs that even artificial intelligence can’t replace will be those that require empathy, resilience, and other strong human skills which are hard to teach.
  • With an ageing world population, young India has a demographic advantage relative to the developed countries. This demographic potential offers India and its economy an unprecedented opportunity to be the global supplier of manpower.
  • BFSI and retail sectors are not the only ones implementing digital technologies. These technologies can be leveraged by a variety of sectors in innovative ways. Example: digital information about weather, crop health and sowing strategy mapped to soil conditions and automated data collection from smart farm equipment are already helping modern farmers optimize their harvest yields through tailored rapid decisions and information. Similarly, the public sector is looking at leveraging Big Data and Analytics to analyse patterns in demand for public services and tailor delivery mechanisms accordingly or design new services with improved end-user experiences.
  • India’s share in the global IT sector is growing. The Indian IT industry is likely to grow by 7-9% in the current fiscal. No other industry is growing at this pace. For an industry which is about $150 billion, a growth of 7-9% is significant.
  • Customer experience and engagement are important factors of digital transformation. However, the goal must be an end-to-end transformation of the entire business processes and not just the delivery interface.

It’s no denying that digital transformation is a top priority for the leadership, and businesses across sectors are racing to leverage the SMAC stack (Social, Mobile, Analytics, and Cloud) and other digital technologies to stay relevant and competitive. The shakeout is inevitable.

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