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Why digitisation matters

Why digitisation matters

Tech Mahindra MD and CEO on digital transformation in a changing world


Sustainability and profits are not necessarily mutually exclusive.

The past decade has seen sustainability rise in consciousness for both businesses and individuals.

Tech Mahindra managing director and global CEO, CP Gurnani notes that investors poured billions of dollars into environmental, social and governance (ESG) funds in 2020, despite Covid-19 squeezing spending elsewhere.

Secondly, many organisations have developed agile management systems, which go a long way in helping them meet their corporate commitments towards ESG goals, he adds.

Third, substantive changes have entered the mainstream from the broader ecosystem, including supply chains, production and others, Gurnani observes.

The third point validates the point that sustainability is a collaborative effort. “We cannot work in silos; it is about bringing together the overall ecosystem of partnerships, with governments, nonprofits and the companies who are your suppliers all coming together,” says Gurnani.

There’s recent evidence of how various stakeholders can collaborate to solve some of the most pressing challenges facing the world.

In response to Covid-19, governments, the private sector, policymakers, et al, all came together in an unprecedented fashion, the reason we have a vaccine in 10 months. “I think sustainability should have a similar sense of urgency and commitment where we need to work together to create a green economy,” says Gurnani.

Technology and sustainability are deeply interlinked. “Technology is the glue that binds people, processes and corporate transformation goals together,” says Gurnani.

For one, technology can assist in making sure corporate sustainability goals are tracked. Today, only 10 per cent of the materials we produce is recycled or reused, highlighting the environmental crisis facing the world. Blockchain can assist in tracking and tracing the billions of tons of the materials entering our ecosystem, says Gurnani.

“Digital transformation towards a green economy means we create technology solutions to track and manage greenhouse gas emissions across the entire value chain, from sourcing material through manufacturing to final distribution. And technologies such as blockchain can make sure that the brands we use can be traced and product lineage shared with customers so they can make informed purchases,” says Gurnani.

IT spend
Organisations recognise the investment in technology will be key to overcoming the effects of Covid-19. Gartner forecasts a 4-5 per cent growth in IT spending in 2021, despite the overall gloomy economic projections for the broader economy. “The main reason for this positive outlook is because data and AI have become a reality for many businesses. Additionally, the unrelenting growth of cloud and the wave of digitalisation add to the healthy outlook,” says Gurnani.

Covid-19 has emerged as the biggest driver for customers to revaluate the way they do business. “Working from home or in remote places has become the norm. Businesses can leverage their offshore centres across the globe, and they can leverage a larger pool of workers with the help of cloud,” says Srinivas Reddy, vice president and region head at Tech Mahindra.

Reddy says the company is helping customers accelerate their digitalisation efforts Post-Covid. “In healthcare, for instance, our solutions are helping hospitals create telehealth platforms as well as roll out data analytics platforms.”

The healthcare vertical particularly has lagged in the digital transformation race. That has changed with Covid-19. GCC countries have accelerated their testing and vaccination drives but the transparency required to sharing information publicly also could expose personal data to the world. Cybersecurity is thus critical in the healthcare sector.

“In the UAE, we are working with health care providers on securing their data,” says Reddy. “Within the broader business community, enterprises are emphasising digital trust among their own employees and customers, and for governments, their citizens and residents,” he adds.

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