Technological prowess plays a significant role in giving a boost to enterprises on their road to economic recovery. The pandemic has accelerated digital transformation, with organizations increasingly adopting technologies that allow them improved business continuity, data security, ease of operations, and customer experience.
India has achieved a fast recovery, and is well on its way toward achieving its vision of a US$1 trillion digital economy by 2025. According to research published by Gartner, IT investment in India is predicted to reach US$101.8 billion this year. IT expenditures are likely to expand across hardware, software, IT services, and telecommunications. Indian CXOs are prioritizing a modular business and IT architecture over inflexible and monolithic business models.
Besides technology investments, organizations are focusing on managing attrition, upskilling and reskilling existing manpower, and hiring new resources capable of meeting near-term growth forecasts or demands.
Major Trends and Beyond
Some digital transformation trends are helping organizations transition to the new normal and foster business recovery:
• Digital Acceleration
Digital acceleration includes upgrading and integrating legacy enterprise network architecture in terms of bandwidth, security, storage and computing. Most of the cloud computing majors have India-specific cloud infrastructure instances available. This reflects the importance and volume of ongoing digital acceleration on the horizon.
• Smart Factories
Manufacturers are seizing growth opportunities by embracing endto- end digital capabilities, from corporate processes to the production floor. They are setting up smart, connected factories that are more dependable and efficient as well as predictive plant operations for proactive maintenance and reduced downtime.
• Digital Twin
We need a mix of data, process, as well as intelligence to enhance business processes and operational efficiency. Sensors in the digital twin collect real-time data from physical assets. The data can be used for testing new products, quality, realigning supply and demand, and the availability of critical components. It also helps reduce downtime and ensure production efficiency.
• Upskilling and Human resources (HR) Transformation
Companies are future-proofing their workforce from technological change by providing them opportunities to update skills. Human resources (HR) teams have been at the forefront of adopting novel methods to manage remote onboarding and training programs, increasing employee efficiency in the virtual environment, and discovering better ways to support a hybrid workplace. This HR transformation is facilitating a seamless transition of offline and online hybrid work models and making the enterprise more resilient. Going forward, HR will not only manage humans but also machines, intelligence, processes and algorithms.
• Hybrid Work
Hybrid workplaces are the de facto modes of operation with collaboration tools that enable employees to work from anywhere. With the rise of hybrid work models, the coworking business is making a big comeback. Work-life balance has become a pivoting factor to attract and retain employees. Artificial intelligence (AI)- enabled workflows and automation tools help bridge the gap in thinking, communication and ways of working.
• Wave of Great Resignation and Great Migration
Project-based engagement is on the rise. After The Great Resignation, the industry will experience a Great Migration. Approximately 8.6 million people have quit their jobs since March. This is possibly the most significant transformation in the talent market in decades. An increasing number of individuals are also making job transfers and making daring career decisions, resulting in more migrations.
• 5G as a Growth Multiplier
For the last two years, 5G has been laying the groundwork for a completely digitized and linked future. Various industry verticals are gearing up to adopt 5G at scale. According to Ericsson Mobility Report forecasts, 5G subscriptions are expected to reach 4.4 billion globally by the end of 2027. With its high throughput and ultralow latency, 5G can access various high-value domains, such as 3D robotic control, virtual reality monitoring, autonomous fleet management and remote medical control that earlier technologies could not.
• Edge Computing
Edge computing is becoming more prevalent due to the rise of 5G and improved quality of the internet. It is a fast-developing sector that is barely keeping up with demand. It is efficient in storing and processing data as near to the end user as possible. Some popular use cases are deployments in agriculture, supply chain, smart factories, telecom, retail, healthcare and fintech sectors.
• Augmented Reality/Virtual Reality/Mixed Reality
Augmented reality (AR), virtual reality (VR) and mixed reality (MR) bridge the digital and physical worlds. These technologies help to improve consumer satisfaction by providing buyers with a real-time preview of a product, its size, and how it will appear in their homes. AR and VR immerse consumers in a digital environment where they rapidly locate things and try them on before making a purchase. These innovative technologies dramatically alter the customer experience.
• Rise of Robotics
The adoption of robotics will help in overcoming the challenges triggered by the pandemic. AI-enabled robotic systems are more beneficial to healthcare and supply chain sectors, and collaborative robots are useful in automobiles and the agriculture sector. With the deployment of robots, more and the more fulfillment centers and warehouses can operate 24x7 in a seamless manner, delivering efficient customer service. Overall, robotics will play a big role in tackling the near-term talent shortage in the semi-skilled workforce.
Apart from deployments in industrial photography, surveillance for law enforcement, and disaster management, drones can be used in delivering life-saving drugs and vaccines. Drones have emerged as an economical option with better quality for conducting Geographic information system (GIS) surveys for greenfield projects—be they highways, smart cities or other mega structures.
• Quantum Computing
Quantum computing, while still on the horizon, has already made headlines for its innovations in a variety of applications. More IT businesses are attempting to utilize quantum technology, from IBM’s newest quantum computing chip to China’s Zuchongzhi quantum computer, which is a million times more powerful than its nearest competitor. Quantum computing is becoming popular in a variety of fields, including medicine, research, finance, internet-based businesses, transportation, and manufacturing.
The metaverse blends AR, VR, online gaming, nonfungible tokens (NFTs) and blockchain technology to create a digitized replica of the real world. At its core, the metaverse operates like the internet, delivering information and material that we scroll and search for daily. Nevertheless, it has an intriguing feature: U sers may engage in and travel around this digital area. Recently, Facebook renamed itself as Meta to emphasize its focus on bringing the metaverse to the mainstream.
• Technological Progress
From being an enabler just a couple of years ago, digital capabilities have taken center stage in every aspect of a business. We live in an era where professionals are learning new technologies to advance their careers, for instance, finance professionals and doctors are learning coding.
The year 2022 will be remembered not just as the year when hope for a return to normal blossomed again, but also a year when the transformation that we had been talking about took root — be it in relation to work, workers or the workplace.
Biren Parikh has extensive expertise in business process automation, SAP implementation, customer relationship management, robotic process automation, IT strategy and services and policy management.
Chintan Oza is also a mentor, investor, and advisor for many startups across the globe. His areas of expertise include venture capital, angel and seed investing, product validation, technology scale-up, technology transfer, and community building.