Digital tablet and modern factory

View from India: Business strategies realigned in challenging times

Image credit: Siemens Financial

Since the onset of the Covid-19 pandemic, business technology has evolved and expanded at an unprecedented rate. Technology will continue to advance, introducing new tools and shifting focus on how businesses operate, while Global Capability Centres have aligned their priorities to make organisations future-ready.

In the present digital era, technology is a core and strategic capability and digital is the new business as usual. “Amazonisation of everything, need for strategic capacity, requirement of new business capability drivers and the rapid transformation in business landscape are making enterprises look at rapidly scaling new capabilities to build a competitive edge,” said KS Viswanathan, VP, Industry Initiatives, NASSCOM. Being the tech and shared services of multinationals in India, Global Capability Centres (GCCs) are emerging hubs for data engineering and data sciences. GCCs are expected to become key enablers of enterprise convergence and mainstream platform for exponential technologies such as AI/ML (artificial intelligence/machine learning), blockchain, IoT (Internet of Things), digital, cloud and data analytics. However, such capabilities are hard to build organically. This could be due to a lack of experienced talent at scale or the absence of organisational DNA.

It is probably a prime moment for organisations to rethink business strategies and incorporate new technology solutions that can help navigate these difficult times and turn them into a competitive advantage. As we look ahead, Metaverse could evolve as a major platform for retail businesses. “Retail companies will be able to create virtual storefronts and use this new space as an avenue for marketing their products. The automobile industry may increasingly leverage softwarisation to enable better experience for mobility, connectivity and safety,” added Viswanathan.

In 2022, companies focused on operational agility more than ever before and took a lead in strategically designing a sustainable hybrid work model. They placed people at the centre, technology at speed and innovation at scale. To prepare for the unexpected and adapt to whatever now and beyond holds, future-ready organisations need to make wise technology investments that secure future growth. Going ahead, AI adoption could skyrocket by the rapid diffusion of models into all kinds of applications. Blockchain, AR/VR (augmented/virtual reality), Web3 and Metaverse technologies are probably set to take the lead. “Technology will continue to play a pivotal role in giving organisations a competitive edge. In the post-pandemic world, every company is a technology company and GCCs have been at the forefront of solving product, engineering, technical and digital challenges for their parent companies,” highlighted Vikram Ahuja, managing director, ANSR, and co-founder, Talent 500. ANSR, a leading provider of end-to-end suite of products and services to enable companies to build global teams, has collaborated with India’s top GCCs to find out their tech priorities. ANSR has recently curated an e-book with predictions from senior GCC leaders, who are driving the innovation agenda for their enterprises.

When we look at the electronics industry, 2022 could be dubbed as a big year for the industry. “From the continued growth of AI, both in end devices and in chip design itself, to the emergence of more ways to design in the cloud, the level of innovation we saw was impressive. And it was necessary, as we experienced how complex semiconductors have become, with engineers striving to meet the progressively challenging task of optimising power, performance and area in chips with as many as trillions of transistors. In addition to systemic and scale complexity, a variety of other challenges were laid bare, from cyclical swings in product demand to a shrinking pool of engineering talent to the growing impact of all this energy consumption on our planet,” explained Shivananda Koteshwar, group director and R&D head, Synopsys India. The accelerated adoption of technologies has sparked a new wave of innovation in the semiconductor industry. In addition, the continued miniaturisation of electronic devices and the growing demand for renewable energy are likely to drive innovation in the sector.

The rollout of 5G is happening at a time when there is a growing demand for faster, high-performance computing devices. This presents a significant opportunity for the semiconductor industry.

The digital transformation of the banking industry cannot be overlooked. Like tech companies, banks also offer cutting-edge digital solutions to enhance the customer experience and trust. “The incorporation of conversational AI-powered chatbots and virtual assistants has been gaining immense traction in the year gone by, and 2023 onwards will witness significant innovations in this area. Intelligent chatbots know when to hand over the chat to a human, and achieving this balance between chatbots and human resources will prove key in improving customer experience,” said Murali Achuta, head of finance, SVB India. For this transformation to be successful, organisations need to look at not just digitising the front-end systems but it’s equally important to get the necessary muscle (back-end processes) to be digitised as well, so that it’s synchronised and can provide for strategic agility in a fast-changing environment. “Customers trust banks with their personal information, and expect the highest level of security and protection. A secure and smooth biometric authentication process will also be a game-changer across all types of banking operations,” observed Achuta.

The growing preference for and access to digital shopping has made it critical for businesses to devise effective omni-channel strategies. Innovation and technical architectural decision that we could see now will be rooted in the objective of building a cohesive and unified omni-channel experience for customers. Few key trends may accelerate innovation in retail from this year onwards. “Firstly, leveraging new-age tech such as the Metaverse and Web3 to give customers a safe, immersive shopping experience and equip them to make the right purchase decisions. For instance, we will see more innovation in spatial commerce that leverages the power of AR/VR, 3D visualisation and space measurement; as we know, the future of retail is immersive and interactive,” explained Ankur Mittal, senior vice president, technology and managing director, Lowe’s India. This may bring brands much closer to the customer right from the idea/inspiration stage through purchase to implementation.

Secondly, the ability to build an integrated, agile and flexible tech stack to solve customer problems could define business growth. Businesses will use technology to optimise expenses and boost outcomes. In similar context, augmenting the readiness of associates who are at the forefront of serving customers, with the right tools and insights will make a significant difference in curating memorable customer journeys. Innovation in personalisation engines, inventory management, space planning, visual analytics, data intelligence, supply chain, in-store and online merchandising strategies, and check-out experiences – everything will continue to evolve to become smarter, intuitive and AI-driven. In a nutshell, an undisrupted year of retail innovation could take us leaps closer to a future with in-store robotics, NFTs (non-fungible tokens) and immersive commerce.

All these trends could impact industries in times to come. Newer technologies could shape the GCCs of the future.

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