2021 will bring the next wave of Hyper-Digitalization
Digital Transformation | 5 min READ
    
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Enterprises must reset their learning goals and adopt agile learning approaches to close the skill gap that will impede post-COVID-19 strategic priorities and help reach business objectives.
Dharmender (DK) Kapoor

CEO & MD

Birlasoft

 
2020 was the year of uncertainties; the global pandemic created disruptions across sectors all over the world. Organisations are using technology to respond to disruption and navigate the immediate challenges and build a more resilient and human-centred economy. A wave of digital transformation across sectors was observed in return, bringing opportunities for some.
The pandemic gave way to a new mantra for the industry i.e. Pivot or Perish, and digital transformation became the necessity for businesses rather than a choice to move beyond old school brick-and-mortar presence online. The move towards a digital business model created increasing pressure on enterprises to adopt newer technologies and move on the path of digitalization to stay competitive and create a connected customer experience for survival.
According to a NASSCOM report, Digital transformation deals have seen a 30% jump, 80% jump in cloud spending, and a 15% increase in customer experience has been witnessed since the pandemic. In 2021, we are going to see a wave of hyper-digitalization, more of a phygital (Physical + Digital) world.
 
This will bring in upgrades in the current business models helping the enterprises grow in terms of breaking boundaries, offering a connected customer experience, automate sales or front-end function, resolve supply chain disruptions etc. In a nutshell, businesses will be seen unleashing new technologies and adopting the new way of business in this coming year. According to a Gartner report, 89% of high-tech CIOs expect the use of digital channels to reach customers will increase, making digital transformation essential for economic recovery in 2021.
Enhancing Digital Ecosystem
The pandemic reinstated a reset mode, making enterprises relook at their existing business models and accelerating their digital-first approach. The IT industry was referred to as an essential service provider during the lockdown as it provided support to many other industries such as BFSI, Healthcare, etc. While many businesses were already on their transformation journey, the pandemic worked as a catalyst for digitalization.
COVID-19 has accelerated the rapid adoption of digital enablement through cloud migration, extreme automation, and mobility, leading to an increase in contactless and always available services. In 2021, enterprises will adapt to new technologies that can help reduce their operation cost, mitigate the risks, and deliver business value that will help them connect their businesses and value chain with the external world. The business playbook will have to be re-written, with Trust, Agility, Talent, and Innovation being the critical pillars for being part of the contactless world.
Hybrid Working Model
We observe trends in the changing working models; ratio of 40 percent workforce working from the office and 60 percent from home is likely, but it is too premature to say as to what would be the new normal. It will emerge iteratively, and one must be ready to adapt to it. While the new OSP guidelines have allowed work from home, but a definitive trend would be working from anywhere. This movement will not only help enterprises survive but also push them to be more global despite all the restrictive and conservative policies being considered by many countries. If the last decade was all about moving infrastructure and applications to the cloud, the next few years would be considering moving people and talent on the cloud. It will not matter where the talent is; they will need to be made productive at their best capacities. Talent on tap is going to be a new reality.
We will witness more satellite offices that will come up because businesses will require people to be spread out. Technology will help virtual teams to work together by sharing the information, plan, and status in real-time.
 
Companies will need to design NextGen working models that will enable every employee despite having a different cultural, personal, and learning background.
Policies clearly defined with roles, will play the dominant role. We will witness an irreversible shift in the future of work, gig workers to part-time workers, talent from smaller towns, making IT hubs de-clustering, and making an opportunity for India to unlock.
IT leaders must focus on people centricity for stakeholders, both internal and external, by providing location-independent services while operating in a resilient delivery model keeping in mind the cybersecurity concerns.
Reskilling and skills of the future
IT industry has always witnessed newer technologies coming up, which raises the need for reskilling to unleash technology's potential. The adoption of new technology is much faster now, than it was earlier, due to the pandemic. Reskilling has always been a top priority to the IT industry to ensure that the workforce is prepared for newer technologies, disruptions, and can support business continuity. In the current situation, while organizations go full length in upskilling and reskilling employees, it is also increasingly becoming a personal responsibility of each individual to be future-ready and keeping themselves relevant.
In 2021, digital skill will be most in demand due to the plethora of opportunities available. Digital technologies like AI & Big Data Analytics, IoT, Cloud Computing, Cyber Security, RPA, Blockchain, AR/VR, 3D Printing, Automation would be in high demand. According to a NASSCOM report, India's demand for Digital Talent jobs is approximately 8x larger than the size of its skilled talent pool.
By 2024, this demand is expected to become 20x the available talent pool. MNCs' increasing investment will amplify the rising demand for talent and widen the demand-supply gap, but companies are undertaking scaled reskilling exercises to close the demand-supply gap. Standardization of job roles and tasks will further speed up reskilling for the ecosystem. Enterprises must reset their learning goals and adopt agile learning approaches to close the skill gap that will impede post-COVID-19 strategic priorities and help reach business objectives.
 
 
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