What price will Indian enterprises pay for not boarding the Digital Transformation bus?

|August 14, 2015 0

Pratik Singh

Software is infrastructure. The statement has never been truer. Software and applications are transforming old economies and building new ones across industries–retail, banking, entertainment and communications.

Many of us have experienced this transformation, with new models of businesses, such as e-commerce, ride sharing apps, mobile wallets and streaming TV that we now accept as mainstream. And all of these are on a digital platform.

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Digital transformation is the key:
So what lies underneath this disruption? The answer is digital transformation. This is digital innovation, key to whether the business stays relevant and is able to out-innovate the competition.

What is the cost of not innovating on a digital platform?
That may well run into a billion dollars, as the largest brick-and-mortar retailer realized while getting ready to catch up with the largest e-commerce player in the world.

Digital transformation does not mean having shiny front-end or creating apps over the disparate back-end systems. Business needs to innovate. For that, we need to go back to the data center and see how the software delivery lifecycle can be transformed. How quickly can business move from ideation to production.

Vertical impact:
Digital transformation is the process in which businesses redefine their software delivery lifecycle (SDLC) in order to accelerate delivery and quality.

Few businesses that are early movers in digital transformation are from diverse verticals–a direct to home television provider that wants to bring new products to the market faster, a bank that realizes the customer does not want to wait irrespective of the interface channel, and many more.

Retail:
A recent report by Deloitte talks on the digital influence on retail. By the end of 2015, digital is projected to influence 64 percent of in-store retail sales (US economy sales data). What this means is going beyond simple touch points and channels for shoppers, and actually connecting different channels to provide a seamless connected experience. An omni channel experience.

A by-result is the seamless customer experience for a user across channels and multiple touch points. This transformation is what defines a digitally connected multi-channel company. Or as the retail industry calls it—omni channel.

Finance:
The rise of digital banks is influencing digital transformation in this sector. New bank licenses have been issued and the rollout of payment banks means the new entrants will compete with the existing banks on the back of digital technology.

In this era where customers are used to self-service by interacting with travel portals and e-commerce sites, they expect similar interfaces with banks.

For a lot of banks, the visibility of customer spending patterns can be lost simply because the customer chooses to use mobile wallets. While the transaction and amount volumes may have increased for the bank, what they lose is the ability to offer value in the entire chain.

Manufacturing:
The manufacturing industry has also started examining the disruption and opportunity that could come through digital transformation.

So what is changing?
According to Roland Berger, the primary change is digital maturity, the thought that digital should not be seen only as an optimizer but add to untapped potential through creating new business models.

The same report estimates digital transformation giving the European industry the chance to add Euros 250 billion of extra value per annum across mechanical, logistics, automotive, etc.

Challenges:
Like any change, digital transformation will have both change makers and blockers. A report from Altimeter Group lists the catalysts and inhibitors for any digital transformation initiative.

While silo focused teams would prefer continuing business as usual, it’s imperative for the organization to nurture a culture of collaboration and innovation in order to expand on market opportunities. Having a framework or checklist can also be useful to jump start such initiatives.

The way ahead:
The way forward is to embrace the transformation, take advantage of the disruption and bring products to market faster. This can be done by accelerating the release of software with continuous that allows assembly line of software, moving code from idea to business value faster.

Shortening the SDLC with agile parallel development that allows fewer bugs from escaping into in production is another way. It is important to ring fence the API’s with API management that are exposed by the business to the ecosystem.

And finally, ensuring all is well in the production data center by way of monitoring applications with agile operations.

The author is Senior Consultant, Presales, CA technologies India

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