“We are witnessing an era of compressed transformation,” said Accenture’s Sandeep Dutta

Businesses across sectors are dealing with pressures such as pricing challenges, streamlining of operations and supply chains, adjusting to new and changing consumer demands, and finding new areas for growth at time when revenues are down. Digital transformation is a present continuum and it continues to evolve – from engaging with consumers virtually to manufacturing digitally In an interview with CXOToday, Sandeep Dutta, Managing Director and Lead – Sales, Accenture in India shares insights on the digital transformation journey being undertaken by organizations across industries.


  1. What are the key challenges faced by companies in their digital transformation journey?

Digital transformation is an evolving journey, and it is unique for every industry and organization. While every organization’s journey is linked to its business objectives and goals, some of the key challenges faced by most organizations include – a piecemeal approach, quality of data and level of automation, access to talent and leadership commitment. Digital transformation requires a holistic approach that must include all parts and functions of the organization. The right set of skills in terms of both industry expertise and technical knowledge is critical to not only shape but also implement a digital transformation program. As these programs are driven by return on investments (ROI), it requires the commitment and involvement of top management to succeed. The success is also contingent on an organization’s focus on value generation rather than only used-cases.

It is crucial that businesses approach digital transformation with a clear business goal and work with the right ecosystem partners to maximize its benefits. While most businesses see the value of digital technologies, not getting the desired results, discourages them from further investments. Our research has found that before the pandemic, leaders in technology adoption and innovation were growing at 2x the rate of laggards. In the face of COVID-19, companies have compressed digital transformation and leaders are now growing 5x faster than laggards, further widening the gap.


2. What are the top digital adoption trends across industries?

We are witnessing an era of compressed transformation – with organizations simultaneously transforming multiple parts of their enterprise instead of longer-term step-by-step programs.

Some of the top digital adoption trends include:

  • Data-driven decision making: Business leaders are using data and analytics to spot, respond to and target potential risks ahead and find new growth opportunities. Our Business Futures 2021 report finds that 78% of organizations in India have increased their use of both internal and external sources of real-time data over the past 12 months. However, only 43% reported that people across their organizations are consistently using real-time data in their day-to-day work. While companies are increasingly investing in data and analytics, they also need to consistently use and rely on real-time data for decision making instead of instinct-based decision-making.
  • Reimagining customer experience and focusing on digital commerce: With changing consumer behavior and increase in virtual consumption, we are seeing new types of consumer demands and expectations. This has led to a dramatic rise in digital commerce which is likely to remain or accelerate further. Last year, our survey showed that online purchases by previously infrequent e-commerce users in India had increased by 667% within a year since the pandemic. This is forcing companies to re-evaluate their business model, build relevance to new buyer values and meet the needs of their consumers in the moment.
  • Building future-ready supply chain: Traditionally, supply chains have been seen as driver of efficiencies and scale, however in the past few years, their role has evolved beyond efficiency towards growth. Today, organizations are looking at building customer-centric supply chains that minimize day-to-day risks, and absorb, adapt to, and recover from unforeseen disruptions. For instance, we helped create an autonomous and integrated supply chain for a leading consumer goods company to improve end-to-end visibility across the value chain to meet evolving consumer demands and enable purposeful growth.


3. As someone who has a view into different industries, what would your recommendations be for business leaders to succeed in the post-pandemic economy?

There is no one-size-fits all. Every industry has different hot spots and specific needs which need to be taken into consideration. Broadly, to succeed in the post-pandemic economy, every organization needs to focus on four key areas – end to end organizational transformation, transformation of its talent capabilities, being customer-centric and investing in data and technology. Leaders need to be able to experiment and challenge themselves to try non-conventional business models. An agile business model is key to remain relevant and resilient. Organizations need to constantly follow and understand changing consumer preferences and reimagine their business to meeting evolving needs. Leaders need to significantly increase their investments in data, technology, and talent, and have a time bound programmatic view into transformation with clearly defined outcomes and value.


4. What are the top technology bets to succeed in the post-pandemic economy?

As organizations shift from reacting to the crisis to reinventing themselves, investments and innovation in technology will become key imperative to shape new realities in the future of business. Companies will need to open themselves to more digitally led partnerships, strategic investments and think beyond traditional industry boundaries. They need to become more value-driven and have more outcome-focused criteria including clearly defined timelines.

While every industry has unique requirements, the top three technology bets include:

  • Data and analytics: Data is at the heart of digital transformation. Data and analytics help organizations drive better decision making and anticipate and predict what’s happening around them. It enables them to optimize their supply chains, understand customer purchasing and demand patterns, and improve manufacturing efficiencies.
  • Artificial Intelligence (AI) and Machine Learning (ML): AI and ML when applied in combination with data, analytics, and automation, can help businesses achieve their goals, be it improving customer service or optimizing the supply chain.
  • Cloud: Cloud is one of the most powerful tools for organizations that embark on the digital transformation journey. In fact, our research shows that companies, that re-platform their business on cloud at scale, can substantially outpace their peers. Cloud adoption helps them gain computational flexibility, strategic agility, and access to the world-class technology capabilities of cloud hyperscalers—virtually overnight.


5. What is Accenture’s sales focus in India?

With over three decades of presence in the country, we are committed to both creating value and leading with value. For our business in India, we are working with a set of focused industries where we are mapping C-suite agendas, combining the power of data, digital and Industry X, underpinned by cloud and analytics solutions. We are working with sector leaders in those specific industries, who are disrupting the status quo, irrespective of the size or scale. These companies can be established large organizations, or businesses which are scaling up at pace. Beyond this, our sales focus is constantly evolving to meet client needs and industry trends.



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