View from India: Economy must connect to a data-driven future

Information based on data and 5G networks can open a new horizon in the digital world. Here are some trends to watch.

The pandemic heralded a new digital age. Companies that weren’t as digitally savvy and preferred manual operations were jolted out of their comfort zone; with little or no choice, they’ve been given a makeover and ‘online’ has become the byword for many of their processes. Next, companies that are already on the right digital path have taken their digital perspective to a new level. Amidst all this, there are more and more of these digital applications in almost every segment of the organization, making them data rich. A data-rich environment can lead to new beginnings; internal teams could develop a data strategy and make sense of the data. It’s an exercise in itself, and chat-bots, voice assistants, and bots are likely to grow out of it. The data could likely help the company assess its customers and scale up production accordingly; from warehousing to distribution, data can help improve operations through real-time monitoring, which can increase revenue streams.

In the time to come (and not so far), it might be common to have machine-equipped sensors plugged into data-driven insights to achieve the desired result. When it comes to e-commerce transactions, customer data moves from point A to point B. In this sense, data could become the fuel of e-commerce. Data from public online services or government portals can be collated to link connections. To illustrate, data can illuminate the unmapped, unbanked and weakest sections of society; these people can be brought into the fold and benefit from voting rights or banking facilities, among other official services. This could become an exercise in attracting more people into the digital economy.

“Returning to the office” is something professionals have been looking forward to. After all, there’s nothing better than face-to-face communication with colleagues, boardroom discussions, and chance encounters that spark an idea or two. Even the very idea of ​​working in glass-fronted offices, whose cubicles overlook manicured lawns, is so refreshing. Add a few doses of banter around the coffee kiosk…it’s nice. Alas, Omicron played spoilsport and blocked such plans. So it remains as before, working from home (WFH) and working remotely. This spurred the rise of a suite of remote work software including video chat apps, cloud storage, project management systems and remote desktop functionality and team management apps, among others.

Employees could be much more wired than before as applications are expected to become larger or more complex. Therefore, home Wi-Fi networks are protected by a virtual private network, data handling protocols are adhered to, and where possible, separate offices on the same system are created to differentiate between personal and business use. while computers are locked when not in place. use. This brings us to data security and data breach, as well as an increased risk of hacking: the focus on cybersecurity and privacy issues has increased. In the same vein, the demand for cybersecurity professionals will increase; this might be an area worth exploring.

Hiring is no longer done in the traditional way. Aspirants used to be interviewed in person but, with the acceptance of the WFH, remotely located professionals have now caught the attention of companies. Additionally, social media platforms like Facebook and LinkedIn have helped professionals express themselves and can be a beacon of hope for new graduates.

The job horizon has broadened to include openings for data scientists, business analysts, and storytellers. Data collected from colleges sheds light on student performance. Along with this, AI algorithms are deployed to hone talent.

When looking at the 5G network, certain aspects come to mind. First, global research firms have ranked India as the world’s fourth largest smartphone market in terms of shipments. Second, Covid-19 has sparked a new labor revolution whereby professionals can operate from anywhere. To put it into perspective, Covid has spurred the widespread use of artificial intelligence, internet of things and augmented/virtual reality in healthcare, education, retail and consulting. ; all of this requires bandwidth, speed and a full-fledged digital ecosystem. 5G, with its low latency and exponential speed, can meet this requirement.

Whether it’s Covid or its variants, what remains unchanged is the need for a cellular communications network that allows individuals and businesses to operate from anywhere and in real time. Serving customers with state-of-the-art digital tools, better rural connectivity and ROI for business-to-consumer customers are other requirements. Naturally, the commercial deployment of 5G in 2022 could be highly anticipated and an opportunity for India to aim to be a hub for 5G and allied technologies. This view is supported by the fact that the country has a robust technology ecosystem, a talent pool and an indigenous technology stack. Together they can be leveraged to build 5G applications and services for India and the world.

Of course, an ecosystem must be built. According to KPMG’s “Connectivity of The Future: 5G The Gamechanger” report, telecommunications service providers (TSPs) will need increased bandwidth for higher data needs to drive revenue growth . It also indicates a greater need to improve the efficiency of data transport to reduce costs. Technology companies or system integrators can increasingly play the role of orchestrator as TSPs partner for 5G solutions by integrating design, integration, certification expertise and implementation.

Device makers are expected to increase their 5G device manufacturing capabilities to cater to the huge 5G handset market that will open up in the country. Finally, thanks to a recent surge in infrastructure spending, providers will create opportunities in the country’s digital landscape: towers, network access and transport fiber, as well as vast edge computing capabilities, will help not only to connect the unconnected, but also to implement various business use cases.

For the 5G ecosystem to thrive, while key technical performance indicators such as capacity, reliability, latency, bandwidth and efficiency are crucial, the importance of collaboration, co-innovation and of consensus are the cornerstones of a solid future development framework.

The 3Vs – or Vernacular, Voice and Video – will become central to natural language processing. Chatbots will go beyond the chat function and take advantage of 3V features for better results in interviews and recruitments, in addition to solving troubleshooting issues; they will rely on the 3Vs to understand language and “speak” to a company’s customers, bringing a step change in the way organizations interact with customers across geographic boundaries. We are increasingly using robots in factories, offices, shopping malls and restaurants, among others. In all likelihood, office assistant robots will emerge. Wherever robots are deployed, care should be taken to differentiate roles and responsibilities between humans and robots.

A confluence of factors such as 3D printing, distributed computing and decision-making in nanotechnology could transform the manufacturing industry. We need to chart a roadmap for the future to keep pace with transformation. Given the availability of digital data, manufacturers can manufacture at scale and deploy products in mega-factories. Perhaps the next thing to consider is manufacturing with multiple layers of analysis built above. From a retail perspective, “feel and touch shopping” is now becoming online shopping for many shoppers.

Chemical and metallurgical engineering graduates tend to opt for computer science jobs because they are lucrative; this trend could be reversed if semiconductor jobs become competitive on the wage front. There could be a lot of openings when it comes to semiconductor jobs. For example, an ecosystem can help fill the gaps in semiconductor services and solutions. Laboratories can provide the required capacity for equipment; technology can translate good ideas into use if there is an ecosystem in place with logistics networks, and manufacturing units can accelerate learning cycles and incubate production capacity to meet supply chain needs .

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