‘Transformations are hard and digital ones are harder’
Published on : Friday 02-07-2021
Damodar Sahu, Head of Global Strategic Alliances & GTM, New Age & SaaS Applications, Wipro Limited.
What are the factors that make companies wary about digitalisation in their plants?
Raising the topic of the 4th industrial revolution immediately prompts many questions like: 1. What does Industry 4.0 really mean? 2. What does digitisation entail for plants? 3. How will it impact our value pools? 4. What are the near-term and long-term business opportunities? This myriad of mixed reactions reveal the intense uncertainty associated both with what Industry 4.0 actually is and how companies should respond to the changing industrial environment.
As the world becomes increasingly connected, digitalisation is a key differentiator that will enable companies to remain competitive. Example – Using IIoT data from billions of intelligent devices generating massive volumes of data, digitalisation promises lower costs, improved production quality, flexibility, efficiency, shorter response time to market demands, and also opens up new business opportunities.
How can companies ensure their digital transformation succeeds? What measures do they need to put in place?
Digital transformation is not a product or a solution. It's a continuous process involving new technologies and ways of working to compete successfully through continued innovation. It must encompass Technology, Culture, and Processes. There are many ways to a Successful Digital Transformation: 1. Leadership is most critical in times of change and demonstrating the right mind-set starts at the top, 2. Boldness – Research suggests the following attributes besides being bold, when it comes to transformational efforts, like, Agility, Adaptivity, Data Focus and Tech-driven Talent. We can consider further the below tips on how to ensure that digital transformation succeeds: 1. Obtain stakeholders buy-in at all levels, 2. Take a full inventory of your organisation's tech stack, including technical competencies and gaps, 3. Create a digital road map and vision, 4. Optimise processes and operations, and 5. Evaluate performance routinely.
What are the common mistakes companies make while embracing digital transformation and how can these be avoided?
Transformations are hard and digital ones are harder. The pandemic has underscored the need to accelerate digital transformation. I suggest to avoid few common pitfalls like 1. Lack of strong executive participation, 2. Starting without a clear goal, 3. Failing to include everyone in the company, 4. Being too ambitious with the first delivery, 5. Choosing vendors, not partners, 6. Ignoring customers, 7. Hiring for skill sets rather than strategy, and 8. Failing to adopt a data solution.
The world is now well into the second year of Covid disruption. How has digital transformation helped the industry during this period?
In just a few months' time, the Covid-19 crisis has brought about years of change in the way companies in all sectors and regions do business. According to a new McKinsey Global Survey of executives, the companies have accelerated the digitisation of their customer and supply-chain interactions and of their internal operations by three to four years. And the share of digital or digitally enabled products in their portfolios has accelerated by a shocking seven years. Nearly all respondents say that their companies have stood up at least temporary solutions to meet many of the new demands on them, and much more quickly than they had thought possible before the crisis.
When Covid-19 struck, it forced societal changes around the globe. Governments issued orders that limited large gatherings of people, restricted in-person business operations, and encouraged people to work from home as much as possible. In response, businesses, organisations and schools began to look for ways to continue their operations remotely. They turned to various collaboration platforms and video conferencing capacities to remain engaged with their colleagues, clients, and students while working from home offices.
In the Indian context, despite government initiatives, the digital divide persists which risks leaving large segments of the population outside. How can these issues be addressed?
India has the world's second-largest pool of internet users, about 600 million, comprising more than 12% of all users globally. Yet half its population lacks internet access, and even if they can get online, only 20% of Indians know how to use digital services, according to government data. The major cause of the digital divide is access. Although this is the major contributing factor, there are other factors that contribute, which include the following: cost of technology, access for the disabled, lack of skills, lack of education, lack of information, and lower-performance computers/internet speed. The idea of the digital divide refers to the growing gap between the underprivileged members of society, especially the poor, rural, elderly, and handicapped portion of the population who do not have access to computers or the internet and the wealthy, middle-class, and young Indians living in urban and suburban/village.
To help reduce the digital divide in India is to include teaching computer science and mathematics in schools to increase digital literacy, expanding broadband connectivity to rural villages and increasing funding for already existing programs, such as the Digital India Project.
Damodar Sahu is the Head of Global Strategic Alliances & Go to Market (GTM), New Age & SaaS Applications at Wipro Limited. USA
As a design thinker, Damodar works at the confluence of business and emerging technologies. His digital transformation approach and innovative technology application thought-process is well acclaimed by his presentations as Speaker in numerous technology conferences and global fora, and through his numerous articles and blogs in the print and social media.
Currently, Damodar is responsible for building Wipro's New Age & SaaS Products Alliance and Partnership Program worldwide. Damodar has a proven track record over 23 years and sound academic credentials. He graduated with a Bachelor of Technology degree in Electronics & Telecommunication Engineering. He also has a Master’s in Operations Management from Amity University, MDP on Leadership in the age of Digital Transformation from IIM Calcutta, and a Research Scholar on Computer Science.
World Peace Ambassador – India by World Peace Tracts
Top 50 Global Thought Leaders and Influencers on Emerging Technology (April 2021) – by Thinkers360
Ranked as the #1 Social Seller Globally for Wipro – by LinkedIn
Damodar is also a Philanthropist supporting on Education to the underprivileged students of his village in Odisha, India.
You may refer more on Damodar Sahu @ https://www.linkedin.com/in/damodarsahu