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Technology's Status: From Backbone to Frontrunner Decision Enabler

Krishan Bhardwaj, Vice-President- Technology, Dr. Agarwal Eye Hospital

New and emerging technology has transformed every industry in recent years especially post covid19 which made organizations adopt technology rapidly. There are many organizations who still imbibe the culture of WFH with the help of technology. In recent years’ world has seen tremendous possibilities through technology window and now there is no looking back. People/organizations are demanding tech solutions for almost every process which is a great sign for tech industry not only in terms of growth but also opens ample opportunities for innovations and automation.

Today, Technology is no longer a supporting service/function and has grown far beyond from merely being a “backbone; It now drives business, decision depends on data analysis done with the help of technology has rapidly changed in recent years from reactive> proactive> predictive> prescriptive and is still evolving. CXO’s have high expectations from tech which is predictive and prescriptive which can contribute to business growth. By saying that, somewhere technology is not merely a “cost center” anymore, Technology is playing a pivotal role in improving and driving business decisions and enhancing the top line of the organizations.

Application design have started using combination of tools- example. AI & ML to improve the overall experience of business-critical applications. End user application need to be SMART enough to understand user behavior (use of system) and help/guide the user to use application in more efficient way. We have witnessed in industry that many application potential is not utilized and land into subscribing multiple “utility” solutions which double up the expense and waste the available functionality in existing application itself. There is definitely “NOW” situation for application developers to use “intelligence” to match the user expectation for “easy to use” and automation of monotonous jobs which are repetitive in nature. Organizations should search or demand for alternative SMART application over a legacy application which might be impacting the overall productivity of the organization.

Advance Analytics and AI continues to be growing in demand as it serves as a powerful tool to improve efficiency and provide a competitive advantage. Organizations are looking for ways to deploy new use cases to help accelerate digital transformation while containing the associated costs.

Various Industries are now adapting AI and ML irrespective of the sector they function in. Retail has been augmented hugely by AI/ML as it has become hugely dependent on them. It has made it possible for the companies to determine the need and the demand for the product before the product is released so that they can avoid potential risks and losses which may occur after the release of the product. Even Hospitality which is known has Peoples industry has adopted AI to give its customer ease of services. From check in process to ordering food or requesting for any service, all can be done through click of a button. This reduces the possibility of human error and enhances guest’s experience. The health care industry has also adopted and integrated AI/ML in their day-to-day operations to ensure proper healthcare is provided to every individual and there are no issues prevalent in managing the patients and their data. Banking and Finance industry has also seemly moved to AI and ML. Chatbots, and AI are disrupting the way conversations happens.

This has greatly led to reduction on the complaint handling time and reduced the workload on the teams at the back-end. The customer can now resolve of the issues and get help through a virtual assistant. With the help of technology, there are many opportunities to remove process inefficiencies and eliminate legacy approaches. Organizations need to find areas of improvement by eliminating repeat issues/ challenges and monotonous work with use of RPA (Robotic Automation), AI (Artificial Intelligence), IOT (Internet of Things) which can impact the customer experience and productivity of internal teams greatly. Most of the companies are more open to adopting to tech for their day-to-day functions. It would not be false to claim that in near future all interactions will be driven through AI and Virtual Assistants.

Not Long back, the concept of the cloud computing to business was just a thought, and today many companies run their business on cloud for better productivity and to control expense. Cloud Computing has removed the need of building, running and managing private data centers. Also this has helped moving expenses from CAPEX to OPEX with more scalability and flexibility with minimum skills to manage IT infrastructure.

Automation, use of AI and ML hence become important to constantly monitor and identify subtle patterns of malicious activity which may go unnoticed by humans

In 2023’24, connectivity (Wi-Fi, Mobility- 5G, Internet (including satellite) is expected to be in demand and to improve the experience- VR, AR, MR, XR & Metaverse have high adoption hopes which will help the customer to visualize the product/service of interest and business to take decisions. The companies in coming years will adopt technologies that make Work from Home more efficient and productive. AI will play a very Vital role in the coming years.

Another area that will be of importance and shall take the centre stage will be cybersecurity. With companies moving to tech-based solutions, cybersecurity would be of upmost importance. There will almost certainly be challenges in implementing security controls, maintaining visibility into security events, and demonstrating compliance with security requirements. Automation, use of AI and ML hence become important to constantly monitor and identify subtle patterns of malicious activity which may go unnoticed by humans.
Personal Data Protection bill is in discussion in India, expected to be cleared soon and data localization might get enforced. Organizations should start working on localization of data with their partners. Maintaining customer data keeping it strictly confidential is going to be sensitive.

The technology department’s role in business eco system has changed and shall continue to evolve. The IT resources will have an important role to play and will have to constantly be learning, unlearning, and relearning (out of necessity if not desire).

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