INTERVIEW OF THE MONTH
INTERVIEW WITH MR. RINKESH SHAH,
Head of Digital Transformation & Marketing Excellence,
Enterprises are at different stages of their digital transformation journey. What kind of competitive advantage can enterprises get with the early adoption of new and emerging technologies?
Digital is an ever-evolving ecosystem, and the ecosystem keeps on getting upgraded every few weeks, every few months, and every few years. Things that have worked in the past might still work for you but might not transform things in the way you would envision. Therefore, the earlier we start and adopt digital, the earlier we can experiment with various options and because of this early adoption, we are better ready for any disruption which might emerge. Enterprises that are at an early adoption stage have typically an entrepreneurial mindset. It is a mindset that has a lot of cushions for any kind of disruption. Having this kind of mindset always helps in keeping the enterprises multiple steps ahead to adjust to the new world. It is very important to start early and experiment and try what is working for you and build an enterprise mindset that can prepare you to face any kind of disruption.
The term digital transformation has different connotations for different enterprises. What is your view of digital transformation? Do you believe the term ‘digital’ itself has evolved in the past few years, and if so, how?
I believe any digital transformation for any enterprise does not really change the tactics for a function. We are essentially getting ready for a world that is technology-led. Therefore ‘digital transformation’ should not have different connotations for different enterprises. Irrespective of the industry an organization is operating in, digital will enable enterprises to be ready for the world which is going to be digital. Life will be much simpler if we think like that because it will make us understand that we are not just trying to change the function to improve efficiency or a KPI, we are trying to change so that we do not become obsolete. People who will join the workforce in the near future will be digital natives. For them, digital-first is the way of life.
Additionally, I do think that the term ‘Digital’has evolved in the past few years because technology has evolved. For example, ten years ago we didn’t even have the bandwidth for a video call but today the technology has changed drastically. The tech advances and the digital journey itself has evolved. You are now seeing a lot of buzz regarding metaverse, that is because people now want to take the experience of socializing to the next level. In that sense, digital has evolved a lot and will continue to evolve.
Have you read or experience any unique ways to incentivize people towards faster adoption of digital solutions within enterprises?
There are several ways to look at digital success. One way to look at it is the adoption of a particular system, the second way is increasing efficiency, the third way is increasing revenue and so on. All of these parameters give us an understanding of the success or failure of the adoption of a digital solution within the enterprise. The primary thing however remains to incentivize people for technology adoption within the enterprise. People will only adopt a technology if it is solving a pain point, enhancing the experience of an individual or it is bringing in efficiencies. The most effective way to incentivize people to adopt a technology, therefore, is to go back to the minimum executable customer insight that you might have and which you think will have the least friction in gaining success.
For example, SAP systems are widely adopted technology today, the minimum viable product for them would have been to look at a single process and digitize it completely. Procurement teams deal with numerous orders so the direction would have been to create a single system across the organizations to raise all the orders, right from request to document generation of purchase orders. Additionally, invoicing, tax calculation, cost-benefit analysis, P&L storage, etc. could all be done in the same system at a later stage. But what one started with was a single minimum viable and executable system. So, to have increased adoption, it is imperative to incentivize people to solve the single minimum problem that they are facing today or enhance their experience.
What does the future of RPA hold with respect to technologies like AI, ML, NLP, Process Analytics, etc? How will these technologies align to meet the needs of business users?
In my industry, i.e., the pharmaceutical industry, I believe various functions including R&D, quality processing, manufacturing, marketing, and clinical data management have adoption of RPA. If I take the example of marketing, I think content marketing will be disrupted because of technologies like RPA, AI, etc. Marketing as a function in let us say 10 years’ time, will no longer be the function solely for producing a lot of content. Content development will be done by these technologies and the marketing team can will play a very minimal role in optimizing that content. I think there is a lot of information which is available online and these technologies will be reading the content and preparing personalized content for the customers and enterprises will be taking subscriptions and ensuring that their customers are getting this personalized content relevant to their products. This is what I think that the future holds and what organizations should be ready for.