When Enterprises meet Aliens – ET is DT

|July 22, 2017 0
The Digital Big Bang has happened and we can’t play ostriches with heavy-rusting heads inside that stale sand anymore. DT or Digital Transformation is indeed the Big Switch. You are either here or eh, there.

UDAIPUR, INDIA: It’s a different DNA altogether and the species looks so light years ahead that one can be forgiven for getting scared, skeptical or seized when one first meets it. But for those who had their ears glued to what some seers and adventurers doled out at the HP-CMR deep-dive into Digital Transformation here, there is only way to greet the new breed – a confident handshake with one foot forward and one eye sideways.

Experts at the ‘Big Switch’ business-technology huddle left no doubt today that enterprises not only gaze at the digital-transformation blitzkrieg as the next imperative, but something that will bring a superlative and supernatural power too – when done the right way, at the right nano-second.

It’s not a beast but it’s a different animal altogether so hands-on explorers like Aloke Bajpai, CEO and Co-founder, ixigo have a lot to share when it comes to understanding how digital is not to be feared but embraced.

For instance, when he cited how the organisation made wait-listing mess a good problem to have by whipping up an app that was radical and relevant. It analyses PNR, booking data and other travel data intelligently and allowed the system to generate confirmations at 90 per cent predictive accuracy (now it’s close to 97 per cent) to start with. Interestingly, he stressed on algorithms not being the hard part, but a simple part here wherein the sheer volume of data made the unprecedented possible.

There was another example of empowering users with smart chops on the right timing of booking which was achieved by mining a lot of related data and giving predictions on the best time to buy a ticket.

Bajpai also reeled in examples from the world of Uber (real-time forecasting of demand and supply and clever customer-support that hinges on smart algorithms), Entelo (prediction of employees more likely to switch a job based on social-media activity) and Airbnb (dynamic pricing on availability etc.) to drive home the point that analytics and algorithms have truly moved from hindsight, to insight and now – foresight.

What came out as bewildering and jaw-dropping was the possibility of these AI creatures handling DDOS (MIT’s AI2) problems, Facebook’s Fake News spotting and even B2B sales-cycle being taken over by Bots (did you know they are already writing 40 per cent emails in the US armed with learning from writing templates of salespeople themselves).

Bajpai also argued that enterprises are now thinking as start-ups when it comes to apps that match the agility and mindset of a B2B company; and that the metrics of yesteryears have now segued into those that focus enormously on experience and engagement.

But he did not shrug the feeling that one feels on the actual grounds. The future is scary, he conceded, as he gave examples of Tesla’s thrust on brain-computer interface and listed down gaps on empathy, social perception, judgement of data and emotions and human-touch feel where machines still struggle.

Close on these heels, musings and gleanings from some mind-stirring research pushed the question further under the skin of eager CIOs and CXOs here. When Dr. Kapil Dev Singh, Founder and CEO, Coeus Age took the crowd’s imagination 30,000 feet up he ensured that executives grasp the dilemma and the non-negotiables of the next-generation. “These folks are always on, don’t care when and where they buy, spend on experience when you see them as users. They are also dealing with bugs of new workspaces as employees. No wonder they demand goal clarity, work-life balance, enablement and empathy in an unrelenting way.”

Singh also levitated down to 10,000 feet and 1000 feet subsequently as he talked about operational efficiency and product services being the top priority of organisations (23 per cent) as per a survey done recently. “If in 2015-16 the enterprise operational focus was on customers at a 50 per cent level, it will be 50 per cent in 2017. For IT management, this number changes from 41 per cent to 61 per cent in 2017.”

A viscerally-honest panel towards the conclusion of the day pinned down security as the thing to be ready for in this digital-transformation time-travel that enterprises and organisations from every sector are taking. Jayesh Ranjan, Principal Secretary, Department of IT, State of Telangana analogized cyber-warfare to a bloodless battle and reminded how security is an unfortunate but major part of the new reality that the world is dealing with.

Taking a vein from recent Ransomware attacks, the panel also dwelt upon the role of insider-involvement and how training, awareness, physical device security, protocols etc. can be just the new ammunition to wrestle against this shape-shifting enemy.

As Leo Joseph, Director, Enterprise, HP Inc. India reckoned insightfully, “Security is not just about leaking of data but everything around it. So it can be addressed well with products that are secure in themselves but also from a data and identity point-of-view. We are building solutions that integrate security as a key element. Security is a key concern for today’s organisations navigating digital transformation.”

Turns out that a new species is well on its way and we won’t have to look for UFOs to figure them out. They could be right around the corner as the next app, the next bot, the next leap and the next switch.

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