With 2018 a mere two days away, it’s time for organisations to strategise for the latter half of the current fiscal. India will continue to witness a wave of digital business transformation that is generating new prospects for enterprises across every industry. Business leaders in the country are cognizant of the power of technology, making it a boardroom consideration. Every budget has an IT component, every campaign has an IT dimension, and all business decisions have IT at its core.
Beyond smartphones and tablets – we have seen the emergence of pay-as-you-use services on the internet, growing use of social media in life and at work as well as the elevation of the science of analytics as the root of all intelligence. Truly – social, mobile, cloud and big data / analytics have disrupted every business value chain that has ever been set in place.
In this environment, we see four broad trends – which will significantly strengthen in 2018.
Adoption of Digital and Social by Enterprises
Over the last couple of years an increasing number of Enterprises have started using social and digital media platforms to engage with their customers. In order to become a seamless part of their lifestyles, a company- large, small or the start-ups must enable customers to interact with it on their terms; anytime, from anywhere, and from any device. Thus, businesses of all sizes are being challenged by new business models where customers control their own experience—this makes the role of digital and social platforms inevitable.
“Beyond smartphones and tablets – we have seen the emergence of pay-as-you-use services on the internet, growing use of social media in life and at work as well as the elevation of the science of analytics as the root of all intelligence.”
Regional Operations Head for North & East (SME)
Tata Teleservices Ltd.
A report by IDC, suggests that most business leaders in India are generally optimistic about the potential benefits of prioritizing customer engagement, however, there is still more work to be done to fully take advantage of new technology. 66% of these leaders believe that their active participation in the digital economy is essential to their survival. Over half of the firms are already using technology solution and 51% of them believe that their size gives them an advantage over larger competitors.
Adoption of Cloud by SMEs
Growing at 9%, Indian SMEs clearly see their opportunity being here and now1. Large scale adoption of cloud services by SMEs across business verticals is allowing these organisations to become more flexible and agile, more in tune with local customer needs, being able to serve customers more effectively. All of this is being enabled by smart business connectivity & collaboration solutions. Cloud Adoption by Indian SMEs has witnessed an increased CAGR of 20% in the last four years2. The increased momentum of cloud adoption will continue to steadily expand as we step into 2018.
Mobile data content generation and consumption has exponentially increased the scope of cloud needs. Some vital areas where the demand for cloud services by SMEs is high are disaster recovery, remote database management and e-mail hosting. To its credit even the Indian government sees the inherent potential. Powered by its Digital India vision, the Government plans to support the digital transformation of 90% of SMBs in India to accelerate business growth – and eventually enable socio-economic transformation in the country.
New Skill-Set Requirements
Enterprise customers are looking at ways to optimize investments in technology infrastructure and management – while investing into new age applications which are taking the business online and on to social platforms. But for that to succeed, the industry needs people with the skills to enable the company to compete in this new age. The emergence of Chief Digital Officer, Chief Information Officer (CIO), Data Scientist and Chief Security Officer is indicative of the fact that technology solutions such as big data, IoT and mobility are getting bigger and more relevant to businesses, making it imperative for organizations to plan for a robust telecommunications infrastructure to attain business efficiencies.
Scaling of digital businesses will make the remainder of this year and 2018 a defining moment for CIOs. As per Gartner, Inc.’s annual global survey of CIOs, the role is transitioning from delivery executive to business executive, from controlling cost and engineering processes, to driving revenue and exploiting data. While world-class IT delivery management is a given, it will take up less and less of the CIO’s time, who will now concentrate on other areas of the business, such as innovation management and talent development. However, they will continue to face the challenge of data science, cyber security, and talent shortage in software development. 
Work – today – is something you do, not somewhere you go to. According to a new market report published by Transparency Market Research India’s enterprise mobility market is expected to touch US$ 2.3 Billion by 2017 growing from US$ 1.7 billion in 20154. Enterprise mobility is the future of mobile landscape, and in the coming years will be the primary focus of every organization while budgeting their IT investments. The modern workplace is no longer limited to the plywood cubicles in tall steel and concrete buildings. Instead, work can happen from anywhere, irrespective of the employee’s physical location.
Today, Mobility is the priority for around 71% of the enterprises as it is believed to enhance productivity and organizational efficiency by harnessing a global workforce and mobilizing the limited resource of time better as the work happens across time zones simultaneously. Realizing that creative ideas and business opportunities can spring anywhere, anytime, more and more companies are now encouraging their workforce to go mobile. With sophisticated mobile device management solutions for asset/workforce tracking, as well as policies like BYOD (Bring Your Own Device) and telecommuting – work is now an organic part of the employees’ life where they choose their own productivity windows rather than be bound to devote a set period of time each day.
Organisations looking to unlock their full business potential must keep in sync with the upcoming technology trends and must master a wide range of digital technologies which are critical to connecting with customers (and employees) now. Digital disruption is not just a buzzword – it is here to stay, and to bring around radical change in the way companies think and operate. In 2017, we witnessed the transitioning from traditional methods of managing the business to getting cloud-first solutions, accessible over any device anywhere, with real-time analytics of every aspect of the business solidifying and becoming a part of mainstream business. Next year onward enterprises will shift investment toward integrating digital capabilities to reach out to diverse customer ecosystems, flexible sourcing, and information security.