Lakshmi Shastry, Principal Architect, Technology Advisory & Consulting, Brillio, discusses in this interaction the challenges and solutions of implementing Smart Tech in SMB situations.
How is the demand for smart tech in the SMB segment in India in 2021?
Lakshmi Shastry – According to a recent report, 94.7% of Indian organisations have accelerated their digital transformation programs, while 92.3% have re-inventing their business models to keep themselves relevant in the new hybrid model of working. The pandemic has fast-tracked digital adoption for India, seeing over 80% of the near-term spending driven by COVID-19 resilient digital offerings, as per a NASSCOM report. SMBs are now focusing on their business continuity plans, operational resiliency to meet the rising customer demand, and return on investment (ROI) for sustainable growth.
India being the second-largest software market in Asia-Pacific region, digital transformation becomes an integral part where growth will shape the industry by the demand for cloud-based applications, improve data privacy and increase cybersecurity. Emerging technologies such as Big Data, Internet of Things (IoT), Robotics, Artificial Intelligence, and data analytics help predict consumer behaviour, specifically in retail, manufacturing, and healthcare segments to improve human productivity and efficiency. SMBs currently contributes to 34% of Indian GDP, making this segment an important provider for the country. These trends and shift towards a contactless world and digital transformation will continue to empower the whole SMB segment in the future.
What challenges do you face in this field?
Lakshmi Shastry – As a technologist experienced in providing digital solution strategies, the primary focus is on emerging technologies-based innovation, co-creation, and thought leadership for the customer value chain. It requires the art of looking at contrasting possibilities and approaching unique customer problems with effective and efficient Engineering Solutions wired for the digital future. It entails an important interplay of strategic and technology decisions. The ever-changing market dynamics and technology landscape requires proactive management of uncertainties and adds to the pressure of delivering results in a short period. I am fortunate to be part of the technology accelerated journey that is reshaping the mode of interaction across the world and brings profound challenges and opportunities with a continuous change to the nature of work and skills to perform in the digital age.
How do you meet those challenges?
Being a woman with a passion for technology, the important factor is to navigate, strike a balance, and set boundaries. A 5 steps success model of Indra Nooyi stands the test of time – Competency, Courage and Confidence, Communication, Consistency, Compass provides much needed enthusiasm to work with boundless energy, to step-change the world, and make a difference. Keeping oneself relevant with the fast-moving technology trends is critical to respond, redirect, rebound and ultimately accelerate growth alongside. For any individual, learning is a process and needs time. One needs to anticipate, adapt, and evolve to be a step ahead. New opportunities, tools, techniques, with potential to address problems and handle new challenges helps to elevate solution standards. Being a subject matter expert, solving problems, nurturing the engineering quotient, and storytelling gives me an immense sense of contentment and keeps the excitement on. Be your own advocate, continue to grow, and progress.
What particular smart tech do you see as rising in demand in 2021 for enterprises?
Lakshmi Shastry – Pandemic continues to accelerate the path towards a digital future. Technology applications are creating vast opportunities in the era of the digital enterprise. Emerging technologies are chief change agents that influence rethinking and reimagining the future of everything – responsiveness, customer service, product quality, and business processes, to name a few. The nexus of Cloud, Edge, 5G, AI, IoT, Blockchain, Data, and Analytics enable solutions for emerging use cases such as smart cities, drones, connected and autonomous vehicles, remote healthcare, and smart retail. Digital shifts are opening new opportunities in manufacturing, financial services, consumer products, media, and technology. The rapid adoption of technology is a key factor in protecting and expanding businesses, efficiencies, and speed to market.
Innovations in cloud-native technologies, new computing architectures, next-generation communications, and Zero Trust security, container platforms, serverless and edge computing architectures are enabling breakthroughs across cloud-to-edge integration. The growth of 5G network and expanding internet bandwidth will accelerate the adoption of AR and VR, along with AI & ML becoming the growth drivers. Also, voice is redefining touchless UI, overtaking certain user interactions and experiences.
Automation, with help of AI, Robotics, and IoT will serve as an alternative solution to operate manufacturing, and Blockchain would “unlock the hidden values of legacy digital systems” enabling a greater scheme of transparency, accountability, as well as essential security of information. Smart Contracts enable shared workflows, real-time information flow, and transparency with the ability to extend into a value chain, bridging silos within and between enterprises, reducing risks.
In the new normal, technology will continue to reshape the workplace, create more human experiences, and bolster new business innovations.