Emerging technologies are fast transforming the business-as-usual mindset, throwing up new advantages and challenges every day. To help businesses and managers navigate this environment, the Srini Raju Centre for IT and the Network Economy (SRITNE) hosted a two-day annual workshop on digital transformation at the Hyderabad campus of ISB. Held between October 11-12, this was attended by professionals from diverse industries, as well as the ISB alumni.
The event was kicked off by Dean Rajendra Srivastava, who said that “ data is the new lubricant because it is the analysis of data that keeps governments and businesses going.” Delegates and panellists were welcomed by Deepa Mani, Associate Professor- Information Systems and Executive Director, SRITNE who spoke about the varied dimensions—societal, regulatory and competitive— triggered by the technology-driven changes in today’s business environment.
In his keynote address, Abhay Jere, Chief Innovation Officer (CIO), Union Ministry of Human Resource Development, talked about the Smart India Hackathon that was perhaps the world’s largest open innovation model. It engaged more than 80 lakh students across India to solve 600 problem statements received from 28 union ministries and departments. “To promote innovation and entrepreneurship, you need to ensure that you create a thousand islands working in the space so that they can compete; and there cannot be a better space than our educational institutions,” he observed.
Anand Nandkumar, Associate Professor-Strategy, ISB, presented his study on ‘AI and Future of Work’ which conclude that Artificial Intelligence (AI), the most important General-Purpose Technology (GPT) of our era, can take over more cognitive and non-manual job roles and spawn multiple innovations in various industries.
Abhishek Kathuria, Assistant Professor of Information Systems at ISB, presented his lecture on “Incumbents and Principles for Digital Transformations”. Acknowledging that the world is increasingly becoming digital, he added that incumbents can prepare themselves against over-the-horizon threats by actively recognising the opportunities for digital transformation.
Four panel discussions were held around the following themes:
a. AI and the Future of Work, Products and Services: The panel discussed the pervasive impact of AI and the challenges that are faced in its adaptation, including its impact on the human capital.
b. Designing a Digital Blueprint for the Industrial Economy: This took up the issue of the digital divide and how it impacts the traditional economy. It further discussed issues around competition and the impact of data policies on the market.
c. Regulating the Gig Economy: Views on the shifts from the traditional ways of organising economic activity and their implications on work were exchanged in this panel. The discussion dealt with the impact of the aggregating platforms and the need for the regulation of the gig economy.
d. Leveraging Start-Up Ecosystem to Beat the Competency Trap: Incumbents in the start-up ecosystem could gain much from collaborating with each other. The metrics used in assessing the best partners for collaboration were deliberated on this panel.
Top change-management leaders and economists from Microsoft India, Honeywell Connected Enterprise, Deloitte (Office of the US), UBS, DBS, Competition Commission of India (CCI), Wipro Ltd, and Talent Sprint participated in these panels.
The second day of the workshop started with an engaging Data Visualisation Workshop, conducted by Rasagy Sharma, Principal Designer, Gramener. In the second half, blockchain technology demos were showcased by startups and technology leaders for fields like education, citizen’s service, health service, recruitment solution and banking operation. The session was moderated by Professor Bhagwan Chowdhry, Executive Director, Digital Identity Research Initiative (DIRI), ISB.
The two-day workshop concluded with Jayesh Ranjan, Principal Secretary, IT, Government of Telangana announcing the launch of a Blockchain District in the state. He said that the state government would soon come out with a Blockchain policy and guidelines for the Blockchain District.