Yesterday’s sci-fi flicks and fantasy films like Star Wars depicted the future with robots, virtual realities and self-driven cars. Parallels can be drawn between the glasses that the McFly family donned at the dinner table in Back to the Future II (1989) as a precursor to Google Glass; home automation can be found in Electric Dreams (1984); the swiping and gestures made their first appearance in Minority Report (2002); and self-driving cars were seen as early as 1990 in Total Recall.
More and more of these once-considered “avant-garde” technologies seen only in science fiction movies, are becoming a reality for us today. With that in mind, businesses must be prepared more than ever before, to succeed in this “new normal.” Today’s technology industry is undergoing tectonic shifts due to the convergence of powerful forces like IoT, Robotic Process Automation (RPA) and Artificial Intelligence (AI), that are redefining the world in every possible way.
These changes are so fast and furious that service providers have a hard time keeping pace. Those that manage this convergence will emerge as new leaders. This is certainly a revolution and if leaders of today are hoping to impact organizations of tomorrow, they must adapt strategies, recognize and accept changes and boldly move forward. Companies must disrupt themselves before being disrupted. To witness profit in this massive industry, disruption and newer growth engines are needed.
Technology service providers are fuelling growth and disrupting through digitization, innovation and automation. Service providers can enable digital transformation for their clients, only if they modernize their clients’ business processes, while focusing on agility, innovation and speed. Enterprises, from their end, need to move beyond creating piecemeal applications and deploy enterprise-wide digital solutions. Traditional service providers that have been growing and maintaining robust margins by leveraging a labor arbitrage model will struggle in an era of automation.
There is a way forward
All of these thought processes require a “grow digital” mindset – to move from “optimization” to “transformation” in an agile culture – to reflect the nature of the world we live in.
Recognize that the most important aspect of business agility is to succeed with agile transformation. Agile has jumped the technology shark and it’s now mainstream. The agile manifesto is to move away from traditional organization hierarchical models to smaller, organized teams. Go for deeply entrenched agile practices, don’t just put lipstick on a pig, and go by the Amazon rule —“no bigger than two pizzas can feed.”
Enable a start-up culture: Make sure your company’s culture is bold, disruptive and flexible—one that challenges the status quo. Blending the start-up culture with the big company culture of teams, process and business, is a quick success formula.
Be the thoroughbred horse, not the mythical unicorn: The sound that you heard from the hot air leaking out of the automation bubble is that of the delusional unicorn. Think Differently. Thoroughbred horses will democratize automation by providing power-users the ability to automate as they see fit. This is markedly different from mythical unicorns (larger heritage firms), which are building massive offshore automation factories. A thoroughbred horse characterizing a right-sized, seasoned agile firm with a laser focus on select industry verticals, has no fear of cannibalizing revenues in order to help clients reduce costs and move to a more flexible, consumption-based infrastructure.
Reinvent, re-imagine and transform the future: It is time for all IT service providers to help their customers shrink their IT expenditure and help in their digital transformation journey. The cost savings from IT can be used to accelerate digital initiatives. As per industry predictions, commodity IT will shrink by 30% in the next decade. Firms that help enterprises reduce their spend on IT, such as Application Support and Maintenance (ASM), testing, Infrastructure Management Services (IMS) and business process outsourcing services, will emerge as clear winners.
Maintain a “grow digital” vision: The grow digital vision requires transforming an organization’s culture and brand to address changing business scenarios and dynamic business demands and innovate to meet those changing needs. A grow digital vision means helping your clients change the way they interact with their end customers. User interface will no longer exist, it will be all about user experience. A perfect storm of second-wave virtual personal assistants, voice-driven platforms and conversational interfaces riding on the back of AI is brewing. Those providers that capitalize on this wave will make a smart move in gaining an edge.
True transformations are almost like a renaissance; like re-inventing the wheel backed up by a well-orchestrated strategy and thorough processes.