Monday, April 09, 2018

Digital Transformation in business..

Digital transformation is happening in almost everything and anything we do today.Disruptive technologies are all around us. If we are to survive in a very disruptive world, we need to understand
  • what are the features of the disruptive technologies that are affecting our daily lives, 
  • in what ways are they affecting us, 
  • what are the common features of the disruptions, if any and 
  • how can we manage through these disruptions with minimum of change.

How did we do train booking some years back ? I remember standing in the queue at Madras Central station to book a train ticket for the next day to Bangalore and get a ticket with details written in ink with pen about the bogie and the seat no. It was a pain then, I had sometmes to stand for more than 3 - 4 hours to just book a ticket.

Contrast it with what is happening today. I open the website, give my credentials to log into my account, give my origin and destination stations, with date of travel and class, and lo, the list of 10-15 trains do appear on my screen, right from early morning to late night, with travel time, route, stops, fares and so on. In the comfort of my office or home, i can decide which one to accept and make the payment, again digitally by a credit or debit card and get confirmation by email of my ticket. I never have gone to railway station to book a ticket, even if I am at one of the railway stations, I prefer to do an online booking than stand in queue and do the booking. 

This is a good example of how train ticket reservation has completely transformed from a physical process to a completely digital process, where I do all the actions digitally.

Similarly air travel is one of the areas where all transactions take place digitally, even if i want I cannot get a physical ticket on any route these days.

Some of the other actions I do using digital transactions are

1. topping up our mobile phone
2. logging into our bank website securely and transfer money within accounts or across banks using NEFT transactions.
3. make Direct-To-Home (DTH) TV payments
4. make credit card payments
5. to make a presentation for the class the next day, I just loginto my Google cloud and open the presentation package and prepare the new presentation file using native Google software. (gone are the days of Microsoft and ppts and so on..)
6. If I have to send a notification to the class, earlier we used to put it on the college notice board for all to see. now we just type it to our whatsapp account to the whole class or the class representative and within seconds, it reaches everybody. If we need a permanent record, we type it on the google drive and share the link through Whatsaopp.
7. Car booking through Ola or Uber is done entirel;y hrough the web app over the Internet.
8. Purchase of electronic items, expensive electronic gadgetry at an attractive price, we make the purchase over the net and make the payment online through debit or credit cards, which will be delivered in a day or two.
9. I have an active PayTM and Jiopay online wallet to make payments at Zoomcar or Jio subscriptions
10. Movie going also has become digital as I visit Bookmy show and make my bookings online and just visit the theatre at the required time to watch the movie.
11. Ten years back, I started offering supplements to my classroom teaching through a digital platform called MOODLE (Modular Object oriented dynamic learning environment). This e-learning software is the backbone of my effective classroom delivery helping me in offering quizzes and online assignment submissions too.

The purpose of my listing my digital rendezvous is to make everyone realise , willingly or unwillingly we are all on the digital bandwagon. The earlier we realise this truth and change our actions, interactions and thinking, better for us. Else we will find the going tough and cumbersome.

What are the societal pressures which warrant digital transformation ?

1. a more enlightened approach to plan our working life has made us to think
  • how to do more things in a short time,
  • how to expend least effort
  • doing things easily resulting in
  • least disruptions to existing systems.
2. technological developments
3. highly innovative mindset
4. pressure to effectively use scarce resources to our best advantage
5. how to feed more people and
6. how to sustain our natural resources 

What are the skills needed to effect this digital transformation ?

They are

1. Tech savy approach, to be able to understand the nuances of technology offerings and how to adapt it to modern and changing circumstances
2. an entreprenuerial spirit with readiness to to deliver top-value to the customer
3. an agile structure, ready to transform from a tall heirarchical structure to a flat fast decision making structure
4. collaborative processes to enable different departments and processes to collaborate and innovate by offering new ideas and
5. business acumen to see where maximum value can be delivered and how it can be delivered at the lowest cost

The final takeaway from effecting digital transformation in our life and businesses through either SMAC, ie. social, mobility, Analytics and Cloud to IBIBG (Immersive tech, Bigdata, Internet of Things, Blockchain and Genetic Engineering) is that all these actions open up new ways by which we can bring new innovations in our lives and the society around us, making our lives more enjoyable, healthy and lively.

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