C.V. Ramdas General Manager, IT, Bangalore Metro Rail Corporation Limited

Enterprises across sectors are increasingly focusing on new technologies to improve their operational efficiency and service delivery. In the past one year, all organisations, irrespective of their size, industry and focus area, have undergone digital transformation. Tech­nologies such as artificial intelligence (AI), internet of things (IoT) and big data analytics have seen high adoption rates amongst organisations. Interestingly, various state governments have also partnered with technology companies to establish incubation centres to promote the development and adoption of new-age technologies. Going forward, enterprises will have to work on developing skill-sets to leverage these technologies. Also, this will raise data protection and security concerns. Technology experts from leading enterprises discuss the key technology trends and the way forward…

What were the key technology trends that shaped the Indian enterprise space in 2018?

The technology trends were focused on making the digital solutions used in our day-to-day lives more intelligent. This included personalising web-based content/product delivery services, and providing voice-activated devices that enable hands-free interactions for users. With greater emphasis laid on a cashless economy by the Government of India, many digital payment instruments have gained popularity. The Bangalore metro has taken steps to provide facilities for cashless purchase of travel tickets at its ticket counters. Most of the testing, verification and validation processes in software and hardware development have been automated.

What is the current trend in adoption of new-age technologies among Indian enterprises?

Creating smarter environments for the convenience of people has been the general trend, which will continue to grow in the coming years. The year 2018 has mostly been a year of exploration and planning. Techno­logies such as IoT and AI/ML are enablers of such smart environments. Defining and creating use cases for such environments has been a significant activity in industry think tanks. V2X (vehicle-to-anything) com­mu­nication technologies have gained significance during the year with some start-ups finding business prospects in the application domain.

What are the key challenges faced by enterprises while adopting and managing new technologies?

The lack of manpower has been a big challenge for enterprises. People with degrees in the field of data sciences are in great demand. Upgrading technology skills of the mid- and senior-level staff in organisations has also been a challenge. Business planning in the new technology areas is also a challenge. Professionals working on new technologies must be given the freedom to experiment with use cases. The industry is in a state of flux, where slowing down wou­ld be essential before speeding up.

“A number of start-up incubators have been set up across the country by the government. These are also pushing the industry to adopt new technology trends and encouraging people to use various digital payment instruments.” C.V. Ramdas

What is the government’s role in increasing the uptake of new-age technologies?

A number of start-up incubators have been set up across the country by the government. These are also pushing the industry to adopt new technology trends and en­couraging people to use various digital payment instruments (BHIM, Paytm, etc.).

Which technology trends are likely to dominate Indian enterprises in 2019?

India has been a major resource of skilled software professionals for the advanced world. There will be more and more of knowledge dissemination happening in the new technology domains for our ­professionals to upgrade their skills. A number of short-term and long-term courses in the areas of data sciences, IoT, AI/machine learning will be offered over the coming years in India. Mobile, hands-free, voice-operated, and digital commerce services will dominate Indian enterprises.