Digital to Take Center Stage in 2015

Date:   Thursday , January 08, 2015

Founded in 1984, Dell is a Texas headquartered multinational computer technology company that is engaged in developing, selling, repairing and other services.

Successful companies are ones that keep transforming and re-inventing themselves. Today, an increasingly digital world - replete with smart devices, savvy consumers, pervasive media, and ubiquitous data - is brimming with opportunities for companies and spurring them to adopt digital business models to succeed. Customers are demanding newer channels of engagement, employees want to use technology solutions that can help them be more efficient at the workplace, while companies themselves are feeling the pressure to create efficiencies across enterprise processes to become more agile and support business growth.

And digital transformation is key for success in this new paradigm. Even as digital transformation can mean different things to different companies, at the heart, it is about adopting a digital-first approach to business processes, operating models and engagement points.

By transforming themselves digitally, companies can offer efficient, intuitive and contextual services to employees, customers and partners anytime, anywhere and on any device, while enhancing organizational agility and reducing costs. A digital company can create new revenue models and grow, and without doubt, it can help Indian companies succeed.

In the year to come, Digital is set to change the IT landscape in India a big way. The trend is already underway in several pockets across industries and in 2015 it is going to gain increasing momentum. Companies that adopt this trend successfully today, will become the leaders of tomorrow.

On the Digital Track

Digital technologies can offer innovative and effective ways for companies to succeed across industries. For example, a retail company can use advanced analytics to determine specific product mix and inventory needs for local and regional distribution or use social media channels and data to deliver contextual consumer messages, advertisements and support. Several retail companies are already using social analytics to provide innovative, targeted and contextualized offers on their customers\' preferred engagement channels.

Shoppers today are using the mobile device for multiple purposes: as a map, helping them locate an elusive product at a mall or an aisle in a super market, as a personal shopping assistant, by comparing product pricing and getting product feedback via social channels and even interacting with products via augmented reality that some companies are offering. The above present great opportunities for retailers to grow their customer base and ensure they retain their loyal ones. Mobile solutions are also helping retailers succeed with real time inventory access, improving inventory management and shop floor efficiency.

From one-click ordering, gamification, digital signage, loyalty integration, paring online shopping with in-store personalization and providing a seamless experience to customers, retailers that can adopt digital technologies successfully will see an increase in footfall, both online and in-store. No wonder then, that Forrester expects \"India\'s online retail spending to grow at a compound annual growth rate (CAGR) of more than 50 percent over the next five years\".

Healthcare and insurance companies can develop personalized offerings based on real-time biometrics and health information, and these can be delivered digitally instead of physically. Digital technologies can help healthcare industries improve patient experience, for example, with simple mobile alerts of waiting time. Data analytics can help study and even control epidemics. Cloud and mobile technologies can also help hospital management systems, remote diagnostics and tele-medicine to ensure the right services reach the remotest villages and improve patient outcome. The wearable device is also seeing an upswing with several entrepreneurs investing in this budding segment, which could see a sale of one million units in 2015 in India, helping customers stay fit with smart watches and other fitness monitors.

The banking segment can benefit greatly in the new digital world and is often touted as the biggest beneficiary of digital technologies. This segment is already seeing encouraging signs of growth. Mobile and Internet usage in banking in Asia has increased 35 percent says a recent McKinsey report, while nearly \"20 percent of key product purchases are now completed online in leading banks\".

Banks can increase workforce enablement by using digital tools to enhance sales, support remote access tools by enabling remote deposit capture, digital vaults and mobile wallets. They can enhance customer experience via self-service tools, and enable a single customer view and turn to cloud solutions to help them become agile while reducing costs.

The Indian government too has turned the spotlight on digital technologies with the recently announced Digital India programme. The programme aims to transform India into a digitally empowered society and knowledge economy by leveraging IT as a growth engine of new India. The $17 billion initiative will see technologies such as cloud, mobile and the Internet at the forefront and heart of its ambitious programme.

Steering the right course

Even as companies across industries are adopting digital solutions to boost performance, profitability and customer satisfaction, challenges and questions remain: what are the best approaches? What are the business challenges that need to be addressed first? Which digital technologies or tools are most effective and suitable for my company? What is the real business value of adopting digital?

Each of the digital components - analytics, social media, mobility, cloud and the rise of newer technologies like theInternet of Things (IoT) can benefit customers in multiple ways and Indian companies should consider adopting them to reap the maximum benefit - either in a modular fashion or cohesively, depending on their digital objectives and aims. Companies should also remember that digital transformation has the potential to impact every part of an organization, from back-end operations to customer-facing touch points and seek the trajectory that will lead them to their own vision of success.

Companies looking to adopt digital solutions should start by creating a vision for transformation and a robust roadmap and framework for adoption and seek a digital partner that has the experience as well as industry expertise to help them succeed in their digital journey.