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EY India’s Makhija on 5 current trends in digitising enterprises

EY India’s Makhija on 5 current trends in digitising enterprises
A still from Makhija's address at Mint Digital Innovation Summit
21 Sep, 2021

Untethered enterprises, federated intelligence, full stack talent, real time defence, and technology with a conscience are five trends currently in play across Indian enterprises, as per Ernst & Young India’s Digital and Emerging Technology practice Partner Mahesh Makhija.

Makhija shared his thoughts on the five trends and other attributes that has set the line between what is digital and traditional in businesses to blur, on the basis of meetings with over hundreds of companies in the last 18 months that range from big banks setting up captives in India to hosiery manufacturers in Coimbatore.

The comments were made as a special address at Mint Digital Innovation Summit on Tuesday.

As untethered enterprises, Makhija said, companies are unshackling themselves from legacy constraints with regard to customers, supply chains and technology. In elaboration, he said that kiranas and direct-to-consumer (D2C) businesses alike have now embraced digitisation of multiple forms for better control on their supply chain -- order and payment acceptance, WhatsApp Business, link-ups with distributor portals.

On the same point, conglomerates now focus on how to use digital technologies to bring together a common consumer experiences and new data sources that then has them join the “superapp revolution” bandwagon, he said.

“For the first time, companies are really realizing that tech debt can become a very significant issue. And the platform choices which you make today could hamper you in a very short future, or could actually become a massive competitive advantage. So we've really seen this whole conversation of platforms move mainstream,” he added.

For the second trend, Makhija said the age of centralized data management, wherein there is a deluge of digital data in storage that is waiting to be mined for insights, has ended.

He added that enterprises have now entered the age of federation.

"We think we are going to move to a situation where rather than having one single, centralized data warehouse, you are going to have like a virtualization of data across the entire enterprise... if you are even a midsize enterprise today, you very likely to have a ton of on-premise data, you are working with cloud models, you have data there, you have a bunch of SaaS companies you're working with, so there's data sitting over there,” he said.

On the talent front, he said, there is a real war with wages having shot through the roof for key technology skills.

“Now the trend is really moving to focus on the developer experience. How do you onboard developers? How do you make them productive? How do you make them happy to work and learn new skills in your ecosystem?”

For the fourth trend, Makhija said there have been an unprecedented assault on enterprises’ cyber defences as employees move into work-from-home models and employers start to set up significant digital paradigms with old legacy infrastructure.

Key areas in the space include real-time defense upkeep, data sovereignty, the regulators’ watch from a customer data privacy perspective, and zero-trust design architectures enablement across product, services and processes.

For the last trend, Makhija said, Environmental, Social, and Governance (ESG) will be a critical way in which companies will begin to differentiate what they do.

“Technology is a big way in which companies will actually compete on the ESG agenda, whether it is retooling your supply chain, whether it is making sure that you can actually look at how you travel.