By Nirlap Vora, Director, Customer Advisory & Customer Success, SAS India
Evolution in any business follows a Darwinian path: those that adapt to meet the changing environment survive and grow, while those that fail to evolve become extinct. But, in business, the survival of the fittest is not predetermined by natural selection or luck. It is by informed decision-making guided by data-driven insight.
The past decade has seen a rapid evolution of the technology landscape. This is across the field of Data Science & Engineering, Customer Data Platforms, Internet of Things, Digital Applications, Cyber Security, and, yes, Cloud.
If there is one area that can be termed more a revolution than an evolution, then Cloud Computing stands out in terms of its adoption, and, its ability to drive value across the organization.
In the last few years, Cloud has clearly emerged as a primary disruptive force for organizations wanting to accelerate insights-based innovation to drive Digital Transformation and maintain that competitive edge.
Cloud has proven to be a core enabler for business agility, business automation & cost optimization. Organizations, regardless of their size are adopting cloud; large-sized behemoths are transitioning in-house dynamic, repetitive and even complex business processes to cloud or shifting secondary disaster-recovery infrastructure to cloud resulting in significant cost-savings, while start-ups are leveraging cloud to overcome entry-barriers either for faster reach to the market or to create a global presence.
Although, organizations in India joined the cloud-adoption bandwagon relatively later than some of their global counterparts, cloud-adoption is dominating CXO boardroom discussions across a range of business sectors be it BFSI, Manufacturing, Retail, Healthcare, and, even across some Government owned entities.
It is fair to say that today in India, it is no longer a case of ‘WHY’ but ‘WHEN’.
Organizations that are re-pivoting from a data-centric philosophy to a decision-centric culture are increasingly looking to put in place “data-to-insights” led initiatives across AI & ML, Customer Intelligence, Fraud Intelligence, and Risk Intelligence
These are often the topmost items on the CXO’s agenda as companies try to augment various personalized customer touchpoints with insights led innovation.
Most companies in India have adopted an iterative approach for cloud transitioning where Data and Analytics is at the forefront for cloud migration. Migrating analytics to the cloud can open the door to powerful capabilities like solving your most intractable problems, making the best decisions possible, and unearthing opportunities you would otherwise miss.
Banks and Financial Services are increasingly moving to Hyper Personalized models of engagement as part of their transformation to Cloud. This includes managing the Customer Engagement across the lifecycle plus business specific use cases around, Credit Decisioning, Customer Behavioral Analysis, Portfolio Management, and, Debt Recovery & Collections.
Insurers are cloudifying AI-driven business processes ranging from Customer Onboarding, Claims & Policy Management, AI led Underwriting, and, Pricing & Reserving.
Manufacturing organizations are looking at bringing AI / ML efficiencies not only in Supply Chain Optimization and Demand Planning but also in the sphere of New Product Forecasting by using techniques like Recommendation Engines and Market Mix Models.
Energy & Utility companies are moving Remote Diagnostics, Fault Detection and Predictive Maintenance use cases to the Cloud
And not to be left behind, in the Public Sector, a few central government agencies have already deployed AI and Analytics on Cloud for managing Customer Grievances & Sentiment Analysis, and, also for increasing transparency in Govt. functioning by using extensive Dashboards and Reporting capabilities.
What is evident is that the initial reservations around Cloud Adoption are increasingly dissipating.
With COVID-19, most organizations have started to re-shape their businesses around the economics of Cloud. As the world embraces the “next normal”, organizations have realized the massive power of Cloud as an infrastructure platform
And this has helped unleash the true value of Data and Analytics across the Enterprise.
As is evident from the range of use cases mentioned above, organizations are leveraging the constant advances in the field of Data Science and Data Engineering, combined with the degree of agility and flexibility of moving applications to cloud to create an API-based consumption ecosystem.
Yes, there are ethical and societal implications of how the Data will be used, how privacy of this data in cloud will be kept sacrosanct.
Governments across the world, including India, have set up working groups and committees to ensure that the norms around personal data are not violated. AI vendors have been pushed to prove interpretability and removal of bias in their algorithms and underlying techniques.
But what is becoming evident is that Data & Analytics will increasingly harness the cloud to drive Digitalization across enterprises.
Abraham Lincoln once famously said, “The most reliable way to predict future is to create it”.
It is opportune of leading Data and Analytics organizations across the world today, to build these standards that establish trust in innovation as part of the acceleration to Digital Transformation.