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Digital Transformation Journey and Its Challenges

Organisations need to ensure that their customer journeys are secure by design, says Sandeep Dutta, Managing Director and Lead – Growth and Strategic Client Relationships, Accenture in India

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In conversation with Sandeep Dutta, Managing Director and Lead – Growth and Strategic Client Relationships, Accenture in India, BW Businessworld learnt about the challenges involved in taking on the journey of digital transformation. During the course of this insightful interaction, Sandeep also shared Accenture's experience helping Bharat Petroleum implement an industry platform using edge devices.

With digital transformation becoming a trend and necessity, security becomes a major concern. How can we address this while continuing with the digital push?

Consumers are entrusting service providers with increased volumes of data. And if organisations fail to protect this, then the possible damages that it can do to a brand may actually be irreparable. Also, given the current digital volumes, any cyberattack or data privacy breach can have very far-reaching consequences. Therefore, organisations need to ensure that their customer journeys are secure by design - data privacy as part of its core DNA ingrained in their innovation methodology. Most importantly, they should work with a set of business partners and ecosystem players who are also equally equipped to manage this very important business imperative.

Could you tell us about cloud adoption trends across India?

Digital transformation will have to be comprehensive. It will have to coincide with the right kind of data quality, but fundamentally this will have to be underpinned by a very strong robust scalable and more importantly, secure cloud infrastructure, going forward. Our belief is that we may end up in a situation where all technology changes will become cloud-native. Post the pandemic, there has been a massive upsurge in cloud adoption driven by the need for organisations wanting to have computational flexibility and business resilience. The movement of enterprise applications like ERP and CRM from on-premise to cloud has also provided an impetus to this adoption.

Three key factors that need to be called out are: 1) Organisations are using data-driven transformations to create competitive advantage. 2) Deep hyper-personalisation is being used to drive superior customer experience. 3) The ability to scale on demand is based on rapidly changing business and customer demands.

Data-driven reinvention has been the flavour of the season in India. How do you see this continuing in the near future?

We did a study in 2021, which highlighted that 78 per cent of companies in India in the preceding 12 months had better access or greater access to real time or near real time data both from internal and external sources, but only 43 per cent of employees in those organisations were making effective business use of that data. Today we are living in a scenario where the cost of accessing data has gone down. So, we moved from a scenario of having no data to, now, what we call big data. But organisations need to invest heavily to ensure that they convert this big data into smart data i.e., data which can be used to create successful business adjacencies.

A case in point is from Bharat Petroleum. Bharat Petroleum is one of the largest oil companies in India. Couple of years back, we helped the company implement an industry platform using edge devices, where we connected 18,000+ of their fuel retail outlets, 25,000+ trucks in their fleet, 52+ bottling LPG plants. And this platform, effectively helped connect the entire enterprise and was capable of handling a million records per minute. What BPCL effectively did was that they took this big data, converted in it to smart data and used it for solving some effective business problems. And that created a distinct competitive advantage for them in the market. Going forward, hopefully, we'll continue to see the emergence of more of such successful transformation journeys where organisations will be able to put data to effective business usage.

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