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July - 2015 - issue > In My Opinion
What is your Digital Maturity quotient?
Ashish Mahadwar
Executive VP & GM, Emerging Business Group -Computer Sciences Corporation
Thursday, July 2, 2015
Dave Winer wrote about "Disintermediation" 10 years ago! This profound statement describes the impact of internet and all that we call 'Digital' today in a simplest way. Contours of the digital transformation needed today by the enterprises were not defined 10 years ago but the foundations were surely laid then. The extent of disintermediation however goes beyond aggregation and repackaging - impacting every enterprise and human being today.

Driven by digital consumerism and being pushed to the corners by digitally enabled nimble disruptors, most enterprises are changing the way they think about technology. The astonishing pace of innovation is leading to a race to survival. Cloud, Mobility, Social, Analytics, Big data, IoT, Robotics and sensor technologies have been spoken about for some time now. Digital leaders across industries have been successful in monetizing these technology levers - not independent of each other - but by combining them. Design first thinking and re-imagining core parts of the business, or entire business models, is the call of the day. The barrier to entry in any market is significantly reduced, and the focus is on time to value. Tectonic convergence of these technologies is a key to success for enterprises. This convergence of technologies is disrupting the business environment dramatically and dynamically.

Let us look at the top three disruptive transformation opportunities driven by convergence of technologies.

Digital Automation enabled by Big Data, IoT and Autonomics is changing the way enterprises leveraged their human capital and the ways they manage the business. This is not just in manufacturing or supply chain processes, but in core knowledge based processes where human intervention was hitherto considered essential. This disrupts the very fabric of society but adds new dimensions to the innovation canvas. Automation allows disruptors to completely change the business models and in a matter of days, destroy business barriers painstakingly built over years.

Digital Eco systems are changing the way businesses interact with their customers and with their business partners. Cloud and Mobility enabled platforms, aided by data science driven decision engines, are allowing businesses to interact in real time thereby delivering richer experiences to the customers. For example, retailers today can deliver seamless customer experience by digitally stitching together product customization, shopping, delivery, mobile payment, loyalty management and customer service — probably delivered by multiple partners. Digital eco systems also allow enterprises to be nimble and agile yet build a niche identity — allowing rapid expansion globally. Enablers and providers of such ecosystems are very rapidly expanding their presence.

Digital Products leveraging the ubiquitous and pervasive technologies are changing the way we live our lives. These connected products and services not only leverage M2M/IoT but also rely on underlying fabric of analytics, sensors and cloud. For example, Smartphones today can help you diagnose many diseases with simple attachments and also upload the data to your healthcare provider - significantly simplifying the way you can manage your health. These innovations dependent on digital ecosystems behind the screen are creating a whole new breed of opportunities.
Among a bundle of core technologies enabling these disruptive transformation opportunities, we would pick following as top 3.

Hybrid Clouds are now accepted as new normal allowing enterprises to break computational barriers and build internet scale architectures required to support the digital revolution they are part of. Availability of secure and automated orchestration platforms allowing uniform policy deployment and movement of workloads is enabling this transition.

Software defined architectures are addressing the flexibility and elasticity needs of enterprises today. There is a greater demand for true plug and play and on demand platforms. There is rapid innovation happening in this space, and the next 12-24 months will see rapid dis-intermediation of existing technology provider business models, unless they change quickly.

Data science, Analytics and Data monetization platforms are not new to enterprises. However, enterprises are now building or leveraging internet scale data analysis platforms combined with advanced real time data science applications helping them to predict and manage interactions in this digitally integrated world.

While we looked at the revolutionary technologies, it is important to highlight a couple of associated priorities for the enterprises - to effectively harness the benefits of the transformation opportunities.

Digital Risk Management has become the most critical need of enterprises today. Increasing dependency on digital assets and connected ecosystems makes enterprises more vulnerable than ever forcing them to redefine their risk management strategies. Cyber security needs today go well beyond the traditional IT/network infrastructure.

We are in the middle of this transforming ocean and continued re-imagination of business is the new normal!

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