Digital Disruption: From Analogue to Digital Minds

By Vipul Anand, CIO, Jindal Steel & Power Ltd.
The world is moving from word of mouth to word of mouse. There is a strong wave of ‘Digital Transformation’ in our day to day lives. Over the last decade, the world has seen an unprecedented change in the technology landscape. The exponential growth of technology has meant enhanced productivity, efficiency and profitability. So, the big question today is who will win the minds of tomorrow’s customers- Digital or Analogue? Can we continue having the ‘Personal touch’ while still having the ‘Digital Connect’? Technology has created a hyper connected world with more and more innovations, which has brought us at a crossroad with our digital minds and analogue hearts.  The lines between the digital and the analogue are increasingly blurring, and slowly we are entering into the Digilogue age- the convergence of digital and analogue.

India is witnessing a tremendous digital revolution; the country today has 48 percent of the mobile internet users who are less than 25 years of age. According to industry estimates, by 2020, India’s e-commerce market is likely to be US $100 billion and will have 300 million online consumers. Today, the consumer’s analogue habits have evolved with digitization. Consumers now enter the analogue stores after having digitally window-shopped offerings online. Retailers are increasing, trying to balance the high-touch traditional synergy with that of digital and high-tech. With the speedy upsurge of mobile and smart phones usage, online interventions and consumerisation of IT, potential of digital disruption across industries has also increased. New competitors, avenues, channels, processes and new consumer expectations are shifting the industry paradigm. Now, there is also a major change in how content is accessed by consumers, and how it is monetized by advertisers.  With the advent of ‘apps’ in our lives, digitization is tantamount to digital marketing. Consumers today are savvier and are more demanding on how they want to leverage and interact through technology.

As against the Analogue methods of performing businesses, enterprises have realized the benefits of putting the technologies in place to help derive enhanced business benefits. Enterprise needs to confront digital disruption head-on. They need to respond to digital disruption and innovate to lead the digital transformation. IT teams need to showcase agility and speed to help make their organizations digital companies.  But being a digital organization is not an easy task. Enterprises need to focus and offer value proportions to the digitally ignited minds as well as connect emotionally with its consumers. With competition intensifying, organizations need to embrace change, build strategic alliances and nurture digital workforce.   Customer experience innovation is the next frontier and businesses need to make sustained efforts to improve this. Apple phones or iPhone come without a user manual; they are created in a user-friendly manner to learn as you go along. Similarly, the Apple stores did not get disturbed with the conventional retail experience. Instead they reinvented the entire experience for consumers.   So, businesses need to think and act differently to succeed in this new digital ecosystem. They need to adapt to new securities, cloud and analytic technologies. While emotionally connecting with consumers, organizations also need to work on the trust factor with consumers. They need to protect customer data as one of the most important assets. 

A lot needs to be done to recognize the potential of digitalization and amalgamate digital with analogue equation. Organizations need to embrace change to realize the benefits of digital disruption. They can use it as an imperative to attract and engage customers differently and effectively. Effectively leveraging it will help augment customer experience and drive business value for organizations.  In today’s context, staying connected with internal and external stakeholders is of paramount importance and hence it is pertinent to efficaciously respond to digital disruption. Adopting a new technology is much simpler than its effective utilization. We all need to keep learning, un-learning and re-learning technologies and their effective application to cater our business needs so as to keep our technology expertise in-vogue.

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