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IT for a New World

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Since April of 2020, the communication platform WebEx developed by Cisco has recorded an average of 25 billion meeting minutes each and every month. India has been the second-highest user outside of the United States, registering an increase of forty percent year-on-year as of March 2021. Does this imply that face-to-face meetings will become a thing of the past? Almost certainly not. On the other hand, the majority of the adjustments brought about by the pandemic in the workplace are here to stay.

This should not come as a surprise. In the past 12–15 months, as businesses have transitioned to a paradigm of distributed remote work, there has been a decade’s worth of growth in the adoption of digital technology. This meant that there was a greater demand placed on Cloud service suppliers. In addition, businesses have begun to implement digital tools in order to improve the effectiveness of their operations. These included robotic process automation (RPA), also known as artificial intelligence (AI), machine learning (ML), and robotic process automation (AI). RPA automates repetitive chores. As digital became more prevalent, the number of cyberattacks also increased, which caused security to become a concern.

As these developments continue to take shape over time, information technology (IT) businesses are developing novel approaches to assist their customers in keeping up with the rapid pace of technological advancement.

On the Ninth Cloud

After the pandemic hit, there was a massive surge in the adoption of Cloud services, which is forcing information technology businesses to implement an integrated cloud-first strategy in order to meet the demands of their customers. IDC, a worldwide market intelligence firm, conducted a survey for the fourth quarter of 2020 that showed sixty percent of Indian organizations had exceeded their cloud budgets for 2020 by five to fifteen percent. They mentioned Covid-19 as the primary justification for their decision.

IT businesses are transforming their business models and hiring specialists in artificial intelligence, machine learning, and analytics in an effort to capitalize on the growing demand for cloud services. They have, for instance, assisted healthcare businesses in running simulations on the cloud for the purpose of formulating and discovering new drugs.

RPA has also emerged as an essential instrument for boosting employee productivity, streamlining processes, and enhancing the quality of both process designs and designs themselves in order to provide superior service to customers. For instance, ICICI Prudential Life Insurance’s virtual assistant, LiGo, uses IBM Watson AI to interact with policyholders, respond to queries, and provide personalized account-specific information. This is accomplished by employing natural language processing (NLP) and recognizing the meaning behind the queries through the use of deep learning techniques.

As a result of the migration of governments, businesses, and startups to the cloud, it is anticipated that India’s expenditure on public cloud will exceed $4 billion in 2021, representing a year-on-year increase of 25%. The recent ‘Cloud Radar 2021’ survey that was carried out by the Infosys Knowledge Institute among businesses from six different regions revealed that successful adoption of cloud computing can assist businesses in generating net earnings that are close to $414 billion. According to the findings of the report, the success of the most successful businesses as measured by their annual profit growth was correlated to the degree to which they utilized the Cloud to expedite product development, locate solutions, extend processing capacity, collaborate, and unlock value from data through the use of AI. Because of this, providers of IT services are encouraging their customers to think of the cloud not as a goal in itself but rather as a springboard for innovation. The revenue increase of Microsoft’s Azure Cloud platform was the primary factor in the company’s expansion during the quarter that ended in March 2021. (server products and Cloud services grew 26 per cent).

According to Rajiv Sodhi, the Chief Operating Officer of Microsoft India, “We are accelerating innovation in order to meet customers where they are.” Updates to security, functionality, and features are made available through the Hyper Converged Infrastructure that is part of Azure Stack. It makes it easier for businesses to install Windows and Linux virtual machines using the tools, procedures, and skill sets they already possess.

Apollo 24|7, the brand-new omni-channel healthcare platform developed by Apollo Hospital, also makes use of Microsoft Azure in order to connect patients with more than 7,000 medical professionals via a user-friendly interface that is accessible via the web and mobile devices. Even Cisco, whose teams worked with several major ITeS, financial services/insurance, and public sector companies in India to enable their workforce to work from home due to the pandemic, was supported by its Cloud-enabled security and technology tools such as Cisco AnyConnect VPN. Cisco’s teams worked with these companies to enable their workforce to work from home because of the pandemic. Anand Patil, Director of Systems Engineering for Cisco in India and SAARC, says that despite the variety of ways in which the pandemic has affected different industries, consumers are looking for technology solutions that are simple to use and simple to pay for. According to him, there is an increase in the demand for cloud-delivered technologies that are easy to use, private, and enterprise-grade.

Spending on digital transformation and adoption of the cloud is highest in mature markets such as the United States, Europe, and Australia, according to IT service companies. The solutions surrounding analytics, business intelligence, artificial intelligence, machine learning, and internet of things are some of the largest sources of revenue for information technology businesses, according to Naveen Mishra, Senior Director Analyst at Gartner. (for most, these account for nearly half their revenues). To cite just one example, Damen Shipyards Group has contracted TCS to construct an Internet of Things platform for its various vessels. It intends to install between 10,000 and 15,000 sensors in vessels so that it can perform predictive maintenance, provide remote servicing, and reduce the amount of gasoline it uses. Wipro, which has its headquarters in Bengaluru, has observed an increase in demand for Cloud, AI/ML, and Internet of Things services from a variety of sectors, including retail, healthcare, ecommerce, manufacturing, and telecommunications. It provides services that can be found in a directory, such as strategy development, planning, design, and cloud implementation.

Automation of Procedures

According to the findings of a recent poll conducted by the multinational software company UiPath among employees in India, workers in that country squander 4.5 hours per week on activities that they believe can be automated. These include activities such as keying in data, writing emails, scheduling phone calls or meetings, and creating datasets. Forty percent of all respondents from around the world stated that their employers had increased their expenditure in automation in the year 2021. According to Subram Natarajan, Chief Technology Officer and Director of Technical Sales for IBM Technology Sales in India and South Asia, “Much of the migration to Cloud in the past 12-18 months has been spurred by adoption of AI and intelligent automation.” In spite of the fact that RPA has been around for some time, its combination with AI has been gaining traction as of late, he notes.

RPA, artificial intelligence, and clever analytics are all being brought together by Wipro. According to the opinions of industry professionals, customers anticipate receiving value-added services such as alerts, promotions, intelligence, and evaluations in order to make decisions more quickly. Wipro clients benefit from increased consumer understanding and service enhancements thanks to the instant feedback provided by automation.

According to Rishu Sharma, Principal Analyst, Cloud & Artificial Intelligence, IDC India, “RPA is important to increase employee productivity, streamline processes, improve process quality and designs, and, as a result, provide enhanced customer experience.”

The use of data as a strategic asset, the automation of processes, and the development of innovative new business models are all goals of companies today. In India, there is a need for more sophisticated automation solutions, according to Mahesh Zurale, Senior Managing Director and Lead of Accenture’s Advanced Technology Centers in India. 60 percent of leaders have increased their investments in robotic process automation and artificial intelligence, according to a recent survey conducted by Accenture with 4,300 executives, he adds. The decision to invest in technology is no longer solely driven by financial considerations. According to Subram, long gone are the days when businesses installed an intelligent automation platform and waited for outcomes for a period of 18 months. “Rather than establishing a platform and then talking about automation,” he says, “today’s companies take a process-centric approach, create an immediate business impact, and move on to the next area of automation.”

As a direct result of the effect that automation and intelligent RPA have had on the type of talent that is required, IT service providers are making massive investments to reskill their workforce. Over 3.7 lakh people at TCS have been trained in new technologies, and 4.5 lakh have been trained in Agile, a TCS-proprietary methodology that permits enterprise-wide agile transformations regardless of location. In addition, more than 2.4 lakh employees at Infosys use Lex, a learning solution that assists companies in accelerating their journey toward talent transformation. This approach prioritizes mobile and the cloud in its architecture. However, according to experts, service providers have, up until now, taken a reactive strategy to the process of re-skilling their workforce. According to Arup Roy, Vice President and Principal Analyst at Gartner, “They anticipate an uptick of automation technologies and work out the impact and do their reskilling.” However, predicting technological trends a long time before they are actually implemented is not an easy undertaking.

The Data and the Safety of It

As technology continues to permeate every aspect of our lives, the frequency and lethality of cyberattacks continue to rise. Recent events in the United States saw Colonial Pipeline being forced to pay a ransom of $4.4 million in order to reclaim control of its information technology systems after being compromised by cybercriminals. Because of the epidemic, businesses all over the world are increasingly concerned about the safety of their data. India is the second most attacked country in the Asia-Pacific region, according to a report by IBM Security that was published earlier this year. India is responsible for seven percent of all cyber assaults that occur in Asia. The majority of these attacks—nearly forty percent—were carried out by ransomware. In the year 2020, the manufacturing and energy businesses were the ones that were targeted the most, coming in second only to the financial and insurance sectors.

Because of this, major businesses are now establishing cybersecurity committees at the board level for the purpose of risk management. According to Rajpreet Kaur, Senior Principal Analyst at Gartner, “In 2020, Gartner’s Board of Directors Survey detailed cybersecurity-related risk to be the second-highest source of risk for enterprises.” [C]ybersecurity-related risk is expected to be the second-highest source of risk for businesses. The primary causes are the financial burden and the erosion of the clients’ confidence. Experts and research companies have issued warnings that the number of assaults will increase across all industries in 2021. It is predicted that cybercrimes will cost the global economy $6 trillion in 2021, which is twice as much as the amount in 2015. This information comes from the annual Cybercrime report published by Cybersecurities Venture.

The significance of maintaining data protection becomes clearer in light of all of this. According to Atul Gupta, Partner, IT Advisory and Cyber Security Leader, KPMG in India, “Newer models of data storage on private Cloud are emerging, which can act as a good measure to deal with cyber threats.” This statement was made by Gupta. The availability of data at all times, ease of access across channels, sufficient controls, protection from cyber threats, and regulatory requirements are the key factors that determine how businesses approach data storage. Cisco is enhancing their cloud-based application security products, such as Cisco Tetration, Stealthwatch Cloud, Duo Beyond, and AppDynamics, according to Anand, who works for Cisco. These enhancements will enable visibility, performance agility, monitoring, real-time reaction, and actionable insights.

Within the past 16 months, there has been a dramatic increase in the global distribution of digital technology, and as a result, the world has been witness to the emergence of a completely new set of rules and behaviors. And that will undoubtedly have an effect on people’s livelihoods all over the world.

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