Technology enabling transformative businesses

|January 13, 2016 0
Image courtesy of Sira Anamwong at freedigitalphotos

Amit Rambhia

Technology today is faced with multiple opportunities. Within India the change is brought by the change in demographics and recognition of the need of the change by the current government. With reverse brain drain ensuring that best talent is willing to bet big within our ecosystem, the country is around the corner of the next wave of technological advances that will create a new paradigm shift in lifestyles.

What’s changing in the Indian context?

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We all know that our population growth rate will not nose dive for a while. Despite this, an inroad to the interiors has always been limited by the geographical challenges. And the way the government is poised, those inroads look like they are about to kick start.

Secondly, the Make In India concept. The government has done a wonderful task of initiating the Make In India concept and generating awareness about this. It truly captures both – the potential and the opportunity – that lies within the country. Now is a good time to start initiating the firming up of policies and benefits that should accrue to organisations that fall in the purview of this concept, thus taking it a step towards its ultimate conclusion – the translation of a thought into real tangible business and improved societal outputs.

Some of the key considerations sets would involve accounting for the talent pool within the country, and the real time resources available to them in the context of the difference they make to the end customer or to the bigger firms that need ancillary units to support their initiatives to speed up.

And finally, the reverse brain drain that has positively impacted the business scenario within India. More and more youngsters are willing to bet on the country, more and more mature businesses are moving from mere business to help build infrastructure, lifestyle benefits and even work culture re-alignments that will help retain key talent by offering them work-life balance.

However, the most drastic change has happened in the customer expectation life cycle. The speed of technological innovations that have come into the country have created a habit of superlative expectations from consumers and customers.

What does that mean for Indian businesses?

Simply interpreted, it means shorter go-to-market timelines. What could be done in 5 years will now have to be achieved in 3 years. Most customers are no longer willing to wait for long stretches of time as their lives have become dynamic and time constrained. Which means concept to floor timelines, and floor to customer timelines have to be crunched by adding teams working paralelly on different facets…. And even then further pressures on speeding up will be needed to meet the expectations of the customer. And with time crunch, will come the challenge of the right decision.

Data can help

Considering the challenge at hand, organisations will increasingly become dependent on data that will point to the critical decision levers. It will help businesses navigate the way in which businesses function or even the direction in which they move. It will often prove to be the critical difference between the successful product and the not so successful product. It’s what will see the delta of the sales spike happen or not. However, businesses will also increasingly find it challenging to ascertain the data that will point them to the direction they are looking at. Which brings us to the critical difference between Big Data and User Data.

Big Data brings to the surface the spending habits, the time dedication habits of a customer or user as it were. While user data focuses predominantly on data points that map info on the users’ life. For instance how many steps walked to office? However, what vehicle a person uses to travel to office will inevitably fall under big data. Gartner’s famous 3Vs define holistically the meaning of Big Data. The 3Vs stand for Volume, Velocity and Variety.  Unfortunately, a lot of people focus on the Volume aspect only of big data, rendering Big Data analytics ineffective. Big data would focus on predictive modeling by understanding the customer, what his or her motivations are and at what stage, phase or situation in life are they likely to come across your brand in a more adoptive frame of mind. Big data considers this data even in its raw, messy form and structures it to identify what I call the Triple Cs – Critical customer cross points – when the brand and customer cross paths leading to more effective brand adoption.

User data on the other hand, is very detailed information (even large volumes) that may or may not be of consequence when identifying the Triple Cs. It may tell me that my customer likes jogging for half an hour daily and therefore is a potential customer for let’s say a health juice. But it won’t be of any consequence since it won’t be able to predict the potential in sheer number terms.

Truly Transformative Businesses

Considering that big data will enable faster concept to customer timelines, it is but imperative for organisations to stay connected with companies that are capable of tracking big data. It will enable organisations to:

-Successfully steer their decisions in a direction that will help optimally understand their customers

-Pre-plan for shorter concept to customer timeliness

-Adapt to dynamic customer needs

-Appeal to the customer at the right Triple C timeliness thus ensuring a high success rate

-Avoid over cluttering the customer with needless volumes of information thus enabling speedier decisions for the customer too

Truly transformative businesses will have a sharp focus on these aspects and will not just look for software solutions to keep data at hand but also focus on hardware solutions that track the data on time. Truly transformational businesses also understand that connectivity is likely to move to the next level with phones, laptops, ATMs and even wrist watches being in sync with customer life styles enabling ease and convenience beyond current imagination levels.

Enablement for technological infrastructure

With large businesses having such a sharp focus, there is a tremendous need for massive scalability in ancillary units for these businesses. While banks will take virtual cash penetration to the next level in India, the ability for providing both logistical and hardware solutions to keep companies abreast of the growing demand will be a critical consideration factor for India as a country. The advantage that the “Make in India” concept has brought to large organisations and their interest in India will need to be backed by supporting ancillary units to scale equally fast to meet the upcoming large business needs. Developing skills and scalability challenges will need to be addressed simultaneously by the government through a sharp focus on the SME category. The talent, intention and ability is all here now, it’s just about the right impetus here and now.

The author is Founder & CEO, Vardhaman Technology Pvt. Ltd

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