Organisations accelerating their digital transformation processes due to the COVID19 pandemic has also resulted in many of them having to face disruptions. So, how do organisations manage disruptions? What are the best practices to prevent disruptions? These questions were discussed in W.Media’s 2nd edition of “South Asia Awards Summit 2021”.
The session was moderated by Lalit Kalra, Partner, EY. The panelists included Yogesh Kumar, Head of IT & Business Applications & CISO, Tata Advanced Systems Limited, Mahendra Upadhyay, Chief Information Officer, BARC India, Sujoy Sen, Head IT, South Asia, The Linde Group, Alok Khanna, Executive Director – Strategic IS, Indian Oil Corporation Limited and Shashwat Singh, CIO, boAt.
“Disruption itself is a very strong word. It is not that the disruption has been present from the last one and a half years. In the last one to two decades we have seen what technology can do to businesses and it is not only in one business and one vertical. I think across the vertical and organisations if you see, technology has been the catalyst. It is a balancing game where someone’s loss becomes the other person’s gain due to technology.
If we look 15-20 years back, Y2K was a huge problem in the industry across the world. But it also gave the opportunity for becoming agile. “I think from that time the kind of agility and mind-frame that we are seeing in the development and the technical world, I think it is coming from those old days. I will not say that we are now learning anything from COVID19, we had learnt in the last year itself and we have understood how to work during challenging days,” said Mahendra Upadhyay, CIO, BARC India. The biggest challenge has been faced by various industries.
“The best thing for innovation that I have come across and my teams have helped me in some areas is called zero-based costing, we don’t cost anything for any innovation. We do not do any kind of funding. We ask the teams as to how the organisation will benefit from it and what is the biggest risk in adopting the same. If the risk and the cost is not going to negatively impact then I might take that risk.
He further explained that a few new terms are being used amongst the domains and verticals. It is no longer technology at the backside of things as during the COVID19 pandemic. Technology has taken the front seat. “We are talking about how there can be an ease of doing business with technology along with security. Earlier there were paradigms where either you give flexibility and freedom to the user and do not think much about the security. But now you have to give freedom but in a secure environment,” he said.
Businesses have to be adaptive, agile and one has to be disruptive as well. In the current scenario the technology is responsible for creating a culture and communication in an organisation. Earlier, it was the job of the communication and the HR department and now it is the job of a CIO and CTO to see how the culture is adapted in an organisation.
“I think that we are living in a different environment altogether and I’m happy to say that we are fortunate enough to see such disruptions as it is giving us increased opportunities and a broader spectrum to play into. We are no more just the enablers but we are also the innovators in an established organisation,” added Upadhyay.
When we talk about the pre COVID era and now things are totally different. “From an internal IT organisation, it was our role to go to the management and convenience them for digitalisation for which we used to create use cases, business analysis and project it to the management for the adoption of digital technology on the same.
What we are seeing is after COVID19 is the opposite. Now, the business teams are coming forward and saying that we have this particular problem statement. Can you do this? And you would be surprised to know that many times I get emails saying I have a particular problem and can RPA (Robotic Process Automation) solve it. That I see as a change as sometimes there are also suggestions for using RPA,” said Sujoy Sen, Head IT, South Asia, The Linde Group.
Apart from being excited about a particular change there is also an increase in responsibility. When we are giving a digital solution with regard to AI, ML or any other area it is important to ensure that it is resilient in nature, does not create further disruptions and should not cause harm to the business,” pointed out Sen.
The recent outage of Facebook wherein there was no connectivity for over 5 hours is a classic case of even the best organisations having to suffer disruption.
IT professionals should be taking the opportunity to put forward the digital first agenda as it is very important but at the same time one should not forget their basics whether it is a cloud adoption or on-premise, hybrid any model of data centres or connectivity whichever is adopted by an organisation, there should be a proper DR management which is one of the basics are not changing it is still the same but the importance of that with an increase in the dependency on IT is increasing. Which makes it even more important to go back to the basics and make sure that there is a resilient IT service.
“We no longer need to explain the importance of digitalisation to businesses as they are coming forward on their own. At the same time while we are giving the solution, let’s not forget the basics of having our DR, the security system and the readiness of the system all in place,” added Sen.