Prashant Gupta Executive Director, Sharda University

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?

Advanced functions like face and symbol recognition, and study of behaviour patterns have become possible in cities with tools like AI and deep learning. New technologies are being readily deployed in various sectors ranging from urban design to heal­th­­­­care, resulting in the creation of smarter cities. The digital revolution has facilitated collaboration in areas like e-commerce. New-age detection technologies that help measure traffic flow, space allocation and movement across huge cities have been further refined. In addition, robotics can prove to be a promising, and highly ac­curate and productive equivalent of manpower/ human resource in the future.

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

Technologies like IoT, cloud and big data have helped reduce the geographical distances that separate us. Big corporations have invested in the development of such new-age technologies that can take over the workload of human resources. Global marketing chains like Amazon and Wal­mart have incurred huge investments to monitor and cater to the needs of their customers. Looking at the most searched sections and categories on their sites has help­ed them develop algorithms to design personalised advertisement campaigns. The identification of fraudulent activities in banking and financial services has become easier due to predictive analytics technology. Modern governments are using technological tools to address cybersecurity th­rea­ts; undertaking smart policing throu­gh the situational awareness platform; and integrating technologies such as number plate identification and face recognition. Com­pa­­nies such as Goo­gle, Apple and Amazon have spent millions to develop their renowned AI interfaces.

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

Buying a new technology is not enough. It must be integrated with the existing systems and procedures to limit disruption. Besides, the workforce needs to be gi­ven additional training, which is an expensive proposition. Some businesses get cold feet when it comes to training after spending heftily on new technology.

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

Since 2014, the government has taken many initiatives to explore the various te­ch­­no­­logies and their role in uplifting society. One of the best examples is the Smart City Project, which allows experts from various disciplines to work together. Another initiative is Digital India, which involves the laying of optic fibre to connect gram panchayats under BharatNet. The linking of Aadhaar with bank accoun­ts and mobile phones allows the subsidy to directly reach the beneficiaries, bypassing the middlemen and fictitious claimants. Meanwhile, the Make in India programme has given a boost to electronic goods manufacturing in India.

“Buying a new technology is not enough. It must be integrated with the existing systems and procedures to limit disruption. Besides, the workforce needs to be given additional training, which is an expensive proposition.” Prashant Gupta

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

Technological advancements are not going to slow down in the distant future. Busi­ness applications are using the principles of ML and AI with data analytics to determine market and user behaviour patterns. Website developers can apply the same principles to enhance the experience of visitors and improve the rate of conversion. For a proficient customer service support, AI-enabled chatbots will be a new rage in business. Meanwhile, tigh­te­­ning of the new data protection laws should be a key concern, which may en­courage the adoption of cloud among private and government enterprises.