‘Digital Transformation is going to take the market by storm’
Benoy C S, Director & Business Unit Head – Digital Transformation, South Asia & Middle East, Frost & Sullivan.
While most companies are today talking of Digital Transformation, do all of them have effective strategies in place for implementation?
Well, it is true in both cases – while for some it is fashionable to just talk of Digital Transformation, one can see a lot of action also happening on the ground. This is inevitable from a strategic perspective and every organisation realises it is important to do that and a lot of digital drive is happening, which is a good sign. But I also feel it is an ongoing journey and not a destination that you reach by just doing a couple of things. It depends on what stage of digital adoption an organisation is, and then to take it from there to other areas. It calls for a strategy – a digital road map, which clearly defines where you want to reach and by what processes, to evolve as a digital organisation. So it is not a question if this is happening. Of course it is happening with a lot of initiatives, and not just a hype.
Another recent development is that the importance of Digital Transformation is being understood by everybody in the organisation starting from the board. It is the key theme in boardroom conversations and being discussed in details in terms of how digitally ready they are, what digital innovations can be used, and how to adopt these across the spectrum and percolate down the entire organisation. Having said that, there is a lot that needs to be done, and while it is true many organisations took it lightly so far, the reality is Digital Transformation is going to take the market by storm and those not prepared for it risk being left behind.
What are the impediments in the process of Digital Transformation in the Indian context? Is RoI the key concern?
There are impediments and RoI could be one of them. While every organisation today is on some kind of digital journey in terms of adoption, there are also investments on various initiatives already made and they cannot just abandon that suddenly and make a fresh beginning with a new platform. The legacy situation in which they are, is sometimes an impediment – may be a key impediment – so they must have a step by step activity and cannot simply jump on the digital bandwagon and do everything at a time. So we always start with defining a business objective – the short term and the long term goals. Then from there you have to look at the different digital innovations to adopt to achieve these objectives, and then prioritise to implement those measures which will have high impact. Every organisation has areas that need improvement. So like I mentioned earlier, a road map is a must to start the digital journey.
As one of the main drivers of the economy, is the SME sector ready for this transformation?
In my opinion the entire Digital Transformation thing is favouring the SME sector in a very big way because first of all they do not have very large legacy infrastructure of big companies and hence they can start small. Secondly, with the ‘pay as you use’ model now with cloud and other technologies, the option of scaling up as you grow on the implementation curve is something that helps the SMEs in a big way.
How should the SMEs prepare for Digital Transformation?
As we have seen, SMEs do not have to invest heavily in buying technology which is now available as a service at affordable cost. They do not have to make large Capex investments and buy every technology that is needed for Digital Transformation. Once they begin, scaling up becomes easy as they experience the benefits.
Are privacy and cybersecurity concerns regarding the cloud exaggerated?
Cybersecurity is one of the most important things today and the threat is real. When we talk of digital strategy or Digital Transformation, data is the key to it, so security is a key concern, and has to be part of the design itself. Cybersecurity today is a global concern common across the world in all geographies – a universal challenge. From that perspective there are also a lot of technologies developed to ensure security. But more than technologies, it is how you implement security in the organisation – more about educating the users and stakeholders and how they treat it. It is more fundamental in terms of processes followed and training the users. If these measures are in place then I think we are in a position to avoid or prevent any major threat.
Benoy CS is a senior executive with 18 years of extensive consulting, market research, business development and P&L management experience in knowledge based industry, focused on IT & Telecom sector. Benoy has proven track record in consistently growing top line and bottom line and establishing businesses in new markets.