Converting Uncertainty into Reality ET CIO Annual Conclave 2020
Lately, we are seeing a lot of conversation on the changes around the workplace and how the ‘Future of Work’ will look like. The ET CIO Annual Conclave 2020 presented a platform to get a first-hand experience of what the early adopters of these technologies think. It was a gathering of CIOs from varied industries, who are closely monitoring the impact of disruptive technologies like AI, Blockchain, IoT, Machine Learning, Cloud, Big Data, Data Science, Cyber Security and more.
These pioneers have gathered to strike a conversation on ‘How to stay relevant in this highly VUCA (Volatile, Uncertain, Complex & Ambiguous) world?’ because staying put is not an option.
The event kickstarted with a Keynote address by Air Chief Marshal (Retd) BS
Dhanoa. He shared the experiences from his journey in the IAF and how great leadership is pivotal in developing skills and creating a winning attitude.
After this motivational & inspiring session, the stage was taken by Mr. Sourav Sinha, CIO, Indigo Airlines to share his thoughts on ‘Rise with the Tide in a Digital Economy: Aviation Industry Case Study.’ He pointed out how volatile the market is and cited the magnitude of impact the pandemics like Coronavirus pose for the industry:
Further, He highlighted how Airlines have lagged behind in pursuit of digital sweepstakes and how they can leverage technology to maintain and improve low margin Businesses.
Next up was Mr Ripu Bajwa, Director & General Manager – Data Protection Solutions, Dell EMC India & the theme for his address was ‘The Architects of Innovation.’ Mr Bajwa talked about how the data has increased exponentially across all the strata and the emerging technologies like AI hold the key to retrieve data fast, comply to norms, store it, ensure that it is not exposed.
He emphasized the need for a more decentralized approach to infuse elasticity in the IT architecture and serve the customers’ need. He opined that Multi-cloud and distributed core is the future to power organizations so that they can transform faster than their competitors, ensure workplace modernization, provide modern service delivery & consistent operations.
After these enlightening sessions on the vulnerabilities and the X-factor that technologies bring to the table, it was time for the highly-anticipated – panel discussion on VUCA.
I will quickly cover the highlights from each Panellist in the order they spoke:
- Banking highly affected due to these uncertainties due to the external factors like geopolitical, economic, technological and societal.
- VUCA Makes it ambiguous & doesn’t give a chance to prepare, Examples – Demonetisation, UPI, etc.
- The solution to these challenges is making the banking processes more agile and be always prepared to respond to customers needs more proactively.
- In Healthcare VUCA is not new and they are relatively more prepared
- The conversation around these disruptors have definitely gone more viral in these last few years
- Technology is helping healthcare become mature and deliver on expectations of 24*7*365 to bring down the diagnosis time and be more effective
- In this new world, VUCA has become a constant threat & reality
- Companies are having to endure some pain to deliver on long-term successes
- We are over bombarding ourselves with data and systems without focus
- Companies are unable to segregate, prioritize and identify the failure zones clearly
- CIO will have to understand where the failure patterns are so that they can act FAST
- Gaps within organizations are obstructing them to move ahead. What others are doing in the market is going to be important to navigate the VUCA world
- Understanding the value of data-driven decision making and acting responsibly will help navigate
- These disruptions demand reskilling and empowering the workforce with the changing needs
- CIO has become a more strategic role than it used to be in the past
- These problems are going to increase multi-folds, companies will have to be more agile and have answers to the WHATs and WHYs attached to these incidents
- CIOs will have to be connected to all the internal stakeholders like functions and departments along with keeping a constant watch on might come up
- Organisations will have to keep disrupting themselves by across technology, processes and cultural front
- It is important to fail and learn from it but learn to fail early, fail cheap and learn quickly
- That’s the only panacea because the disruption is the only constant in today’s world
And that was the wrap of the Panel discussion that left us with some invigorating thoughts.
At this point, attendees break for some tea and networking, we had team had a great time interacting with these thought-leaders and discussed the solutions that could help them solve these challenges.
Post break we were joined by a session in ‘IT Leadership in the Digital World’ by Mr Atul Jayawant, Group CIO, Aditya Birla Group.
He talked majorly on two broader aspects of these disruptions:
- There is huge pressure on the world economy, it is slowing down. The balance of power has shifted to the consumer. Companies have to be far more amenable to the changing environment than to changing demands of consumers. B2B is becoming more B2B2C and top it up they are asked to make a social impact. It is creating unsustainable conditions for the business of all sizes.
- Business is all about differentiation today. That’s how some companies are flourishing even in a recession? That is the magic sauce and it needs to be ingrained into our ways of working. Today people are talking a lot about technology without talking about the business impact. The challenge is how to integrate this wide technology stack at our perusal into creating a business impact. It is the key is to succeed in this VUCA world.