Designing A Sustainable Digital Strategy

by Sandhya Malhotra    Jun 26, 2015

Frost  Sullivan Summit


Digital transformation is not an IT project but a business imperative as businesses are getting increasingly digital and clients are spending more on digital technologies.

This was one of the main inferences of the Frost & Sullivan’s Digital Enterprise Transformation Summit 2015, which was held recently in Delhi. The event aimed at bringing together business leaders, analysts, and experts in an open dialogue, under one roof to discuss and explore the possible opportunities in digital transformation, means to address the challenges and identify the ideal digital strategy.

The summit saw discussions on how SMAC has been forcing the large companies to change their traditional way of IT sytle into new. The Summit also witnessed Frost & Sullivan’s industry thought leaders and expert analysts deliberate on exemplary digital strategies for today’s businesses and the probable course that can be adopted by the decision makers.

The Summit also witnessed Frost & Sullivan’s industry thought leaders and expert analysts deliberate on exemplary digital strategies for today’s businesses and the probable course that can be adopted by the decision makers.

What is forcing digital transformation in enterprises

Vidya S. Nath, Director, Digital Media, Frost & Sullivan, talked about the technology requirements for an enterprise in India and its fast changing quality. She said, “Increasingly, companies are looking at business imperatives to carve their technology and digital strategies and ‘digital transformation’ is resonating among all enterprises. It has been important for all CXOs to look technology adoption in line with the needs of each department and function.”

In his keynote address, Mukul Krishna, Senior Director, Digital Media, Frost & Sullivan, stressed on the importance of a unified approach to digital transformation in enterprises. He elaborated upon trends of device proliferation, content portability in multi-screen environments, customer expectation of seamless experience, content management, data security, metadata, and analytics. “Seamless management of information, business process, and consumer experience will equal workflow nirvana”, he said.

He also talked about technology lifecycle analysis  among the four key verticals like banking, automotive, manufacturing and retail. Digital is not only a bunch of technologies like social, cloud, mobile or Big Data analytics. It is also a business model…because a combination of these technologies is converging in new technologies. Each of these industries will adopt these technologies and not only simplify process but also build new business models.

What’s the Right Digital Strategy 

Aniruddha Paul, CIO, Kotak Mahindra Bank, talked about how the company is going through digital transformation, post it acquired ING Vysya (now Kotak). He presented his perspective on an ideal digital strategy for the enterprise where he spoke on digital strategies within the banking sector.

His provided insights into why companies fail in this process and what they must do to get it right. He conveyed that banks have leveraged omni-channel communication and services, as well mobile banking successfully in the recent past, but in many cases, digital transformation is considered on an ad hoc basis and as another IT project. To succeed, organizations need to “tool themselves digitally right” and analytics can reshape the way banks form their marketing and services strategies by offering targeted and highly personalized customer experiences.

Importance of cloud in the digital strategy

The summit saw a detailed discussion on the cloud and how it is becoming a centerpiece in the digital transformation journey. The panel discussion on ‘Automating Your Digital Workflow on the Cloud’ included Avinash Velhal, Group CIO, Atos International;V Srinivasa Rao, CEO, BT&BT;Atul Ahuja, MD, Softline Group; and Anjani Kumar, CIO, Safexpress Pvt. Ltd.. Moderated by Thejaswi Parameswaran, Industry Manager, ICT Practice, Frost & Sullivan, the panelists discussed the importance of cloud in the digital strategy of organizations and outlined the present scenario of cloud-based operations in India and the challenges.

They concurred thatIndia is still in a nascent stage in cloud adoption and enterprises are moving only their non-critical applications for testing on cloud before migrating completely. Fast deployment and agility are the two most noticeable benefits of cloud adoption and with high data proliferation due to digitization of processes, cloud deployments will help in quick analysis to derive actionable insights.

At the same time, CIOs today are evaluating the option to roll back to legacy infrastructure in case of failures and security breaches in cloud adoption.

In a presentation on cloud as the center of an enterprise, Satish Viswanathan, Vice President - Products, NxtGen, elaborated upon sector specific and technology specific cases using cloud services. In India, cloud adoption is seen more in small and medium enterprises as compared to large enterprises and the usage pattern has moved from data centric to usage centric. The challenges in cloud adoption include application readiness, security, cost/ROI, priorities, culture, enterprise capability, market maturity, etc.

The major drivers for mobility were discussed in the session on creation of an enterprise mobility strategy for a traditional industry, which included business requirements, improved user experience, and improved productivity.

In the Mega Trends and Digital Enterprise Transformation Workshop, Frost & Sullivan’s Joe Fristensky, Senior Partner and Head ICT, Global, presented on the Mega Trends such as growing connectivity, wearables, e-retailing, and smart cities, etc. and guided the audience to brainstorm on how these will have a disruptive impact on their industries and lead to their digital empowerment.

The panel on advanced analytics moderated by Mukul Krishna discussed the various applications of analytics to specific industry domains. The panelists were in agreement that data analytics will create ‘disruption’ in their industries and if implemented effectively, it can provide significant benefits in cutting operational costs, for fraud detection, and for providing highly targeted services to customers.

It was brought forth that analytics will be the key factor in digital transformation, not just to improve business processes, but also to improve customer experience in any industry. The panelists in this session included Dhiraj Ahuja, Program Head – Strategic Initiatives and Vice President – Customer CARE and Business Excellence, Apollo Munich Health Insurance; Dr. Prashant Pradhan, Director - Smarter Planet Business, IBM India and South Asia; Puneet Jetli, CEO, Digital Transformation and Enterprise Solutions Business, Happiest Minds; Dr. Rishi Bhatnagar, Vice President and Head, Digital Services, Tech Mahindra; and Aniruddha Paul.