Over the past few years, businesses at all levels have embarked on a journey towards digital transformation. With increased productivity, better efficiency, customer loyalty and profit maximization as the drivers, companies have automated business processes in their quest.
Still, the journey was not easy. While many benefits derive from automation, sometimes digitalization can be difficult due to existing systems and unstructured network architecture. Moreover, digital transformation is not simply an exercise in technology adoption; it requires significant changes in the overall functioning – from the boardroom to the workshop.
To understand and deliberate on the different automation use cases and the challenges that arise in the digital transformation journey, Forbes India Influencers of Change, in partnership with UiPath, hosted a lively discussion featuring business leaders. company from different sectors.
The panelists present in the discussion were Dr Sunil Kulwal, CEO, Indo Gulf Fertilizers (Grasim Industries Ltd), Aditya Birla Group; Joginder Rana, Managing Director and CEO, Baroda Global Shared Services; Dr Yask, RSSI, IOCL; Scott Hunter, Vice President (Client Strategy and Solutions), UiPath and Anil Bhasin, General Manager and Vice President, India and South Asia, UiPath. Gautam Srinivasan of CNBC TV18 moderated the discussion.
At the outset, Dr Sunil Kulwal spoke about the transformative power of digitization in the agricultural sector. As CEO of India’s leading agricultural solutions provider, he engages millions of farmers across the country using the power of technology. The company engages farmers through a customer-centric approach on issues such as soil tests, farmer group meetings and field days.
Explaining the benefits of adopting technology, Dr Sunil Kulwal explained how âdigitization is the future of agricultureâ. He explained how the COVID-19 pandemic has caused widespread disruption and forced companies to reinvent their business processes using technology.
The agricultural sector in India can benefit enormously from effective and interactive communication. Since farmers are well informed and open to change, adopting the technology can significantly contribute to increasing the productivity of the sector.
âDuring the pandemic, we connected virtually to over 1,500 farmers across India at one time. We were able to help them with the crop they were growing through this engagement, such as how to apply nutrients, what precautions, etc. The response was superb, âhe said.
Joginder Rana shed light on the challenges facing the banking industry and how technology and digitalization are helping the industry. Baroda Global Shared Services Ltd (BGSS) is a wholly owned subsidiary of Bank of Baroda. The company is responsible for executing standardized processes and ensuring that high volumes of transactions are carried out in a timely and accurate manner at the bank. He spoke about the need to reconcile and streamline the use of technology for cross-functional collaboration.
âThe Indian banking sector is at the crossroads of digitization. As banks adopt technology, automation helps to evolve according to the needs of the business. Using the example of how, with a well-defined technology plan, Bank of Baroda quickly integrated Vijaya Bank and Dena Bank after the merger and acquisition, Joginder Rana reflected on how automation is helping to increase productivity.
âAlmost 95% of our customer engagements are done digitally. Automation helps to evolve dynamically, âhe said.
Yet the path to digital transformation also poses significant challenges. One of the most important is data management and security. With a massive amount of data being generated and circulating over the network, vulnerabilities have also increased. Dr Yask reflected on the issue of data security and integrity. âIt is indeed a great challenge for security professionals on the one hand to manage and maintain the security infrastructure while respecting cyber-compliance and on the other hand to align with the requirements of the business, with large amounts of data being generated. ” he stated.
He also mentioned that it is not only about securing information, but that as a business leader it is also imperative to ensure optimization and innovation in business processes, especially from the integration of technologies such as IIoT. “What is very important is that we make sense of all the data collected from different touch points. Data management is more about information management,” he added.
Bringing a global perspective to the discussion, Scott Hunter explained how automation can quickly help businesses grow. Taking the example of the banking industry, he explained how technology has enabled banks to optimize processes and reduce cycle time. âTechnology can help make things easier, simpler and more sensible,â he said.
For digital transformation to be successful, it must be driven from the top, says Scott Hunter. âThe business transformation cycle begins at the C level and continues through automation. By deploying best practices and use cases, an organization can assess the value of each use case to the organization, âhe added.
Reflecting on the transformative nature of digitization, Anil Bhasin explained how the integration of technology is also a vital cultural change. âWith the explosion of applications, living in a hybrid world where data resides not only on premises but also in the cloud, automation is a strategic business enabler and not a tactical necessity. Automation is the only lever that connects people, processes, and technology. Automation is meant to reduce complexities, âhe explained.
Ultimately, all participants agreed that while the digital transformation journey is fraught with pitfalls, it is imperative, too. The drivers of this development are numerous, from productivity gains to customer expectations. By using breakthrough technologies such as artificial intelligence, machine learning, and robotic process automation (RPA), businesses can quickly transition and reap the benefits of technology. Automation is the essential springboard of this journey. As one of the panelists put it, âa fully automated business is a digitally transformed businessâ.
Pages titled “Brand Connect” are equivalent to advertisements and are not written and produced by Forbes India journalists.