Redefining Innovation With Design Thinking And Digital

One of the most prestigious business and technology conferences in the IT industry, Oracle OpenWorld 2016, concluded this week at San Francisco with Infosys bagging an unprecedented seven Oracle Excellence Awards. Dr. Vishal Sikka, delivered the keynote address on Being More, Our Transformations in the Time of A.I.

In this post, we bring you updates and snippets of our participation as we chat up our Oracle expert, Indranil Mukherjee — Vice President, and Global Leader of Oracle Practice, Infosys. He also shares his perspective on why organizations need to be ‘Zero Distance to Digital’.

1. You’re attending the annual Oracle OpenWorld 2016 conference in San Francisco. Tell us about how attendees are responding to the “Zero Distance to Digital” initiative.

As we interact with delegates, I find that there is an increasing understanding across industries that ‘digital’ is massively enhancing customer experience, improving overall capability of organizations and changing their competitive landscape completely. Everyone we talk to at the event are at some stage in their digital transformation journeys with many of them being still at the initial stages and are wondering what is the best roadmap to follow which is contextual to their business, industry, for across LOBs, regions and at enterprise level. Infosys sees a role for itself to becoming our client’s partner of choice in their digital journey, in helping them strategize and execute their digital transformation. As we help our clients grapple with these issues, our aim is to transform our clients to being closer to or “Zero Distance” with their customers, partners and internal business users in providing better products, services and overall experience.

Hence in this context, our theme of ‘Zero Distance to Digital’ seems to have found a resonance with many participants at Oracle OpenWorld and we have had some interesting discussions on how organization could leverage digital technologies especially cloud and automation and what this would mean for their business and their customers. Infosys has been applying design thinking (DT) principles along with leveraging Cloud, Big Data, Mobility and Social Media platforms, to co-create/ co-innovate with its clients and enable them to exploit digital technologies so as to be more competitive and differentiated and provide practical and innovative outcomes.

2. One of the hallmarks of the Fourth Industrial Revolution is indeed latency; that is, getting every stakeholder of an industrial process to be closer together in order to improve operations. Zero distance between the factory floor and the C-Suite, for example. How is this aspect of the Fourth Industrial Revolution reflected in the “Zero Distance to Digital” philosophy?

Zero Distance is a unique, down-up approach that enables Infosys to close the psychological, technology and value gap with our customers. Closing these gaps enables us to have a relevant, in-depth interaction with our clients and enables them to enhance efficiency at all levels.

We believe that the success of going digital is as much about using technology to renew existing landscapes as it is about using it to disrupt traditional processes and beliefs especially constrained by decades old culture. We can look at it as a two pronged approach wherein organizations exploit digital capabilities that never existed before, to create new sources of value for its customers and themselves, while on the other hand improve operational flexibility and agility by renewing the enterprise landscape. We’re constantly asking ourselves how we can effectively help our clients to be zero distance with their customers and other stakeholders. That’s an extremely important challenge in any ecosystem.

3. What would you say to those companies that are finding it challenging to cast off traditional mindsets that might have served them well a decade or two ago but are now more hindrance than help? How best for those companies to begin their digital journey?

Being digital is an imperative for most organizations. We are fortunate in that the organizations we work with know that change is coming in unprecedented ways. We see small players quickly becoming competitors, challenging and eating into the market share of large established organizations and becoming market leaders, examples being Airbnb, Alibaba, Uber, Quicken Loans, Rocket Mortgage etc. The products from these companies are built for the ‘Click here’ generation and are true ‘real-time’ businesses. The ubiquitous nature of some of the technologies like mobility, social media, SaaS/PaaS/IaaS etc., are forcing businesses to change and leverage these new channels for growth and differentiation. Inside the organization, these companies have to integrate services so that they are able to offer seamless personalized solutions to customers. It is important for organizations to nimbly make these internal shifts and even create these new operational patterns with their employees. It used to take a significant amount of time to make change in a business/IT landscape before, but with automation, modularity, not touching system of record, micro services and the API economy, the process has become much more agile. On our part, Infosys is helping client’s co-create these flexible information highways.

4. We’ve saved the really fun question for last. Regarding robotics, how will tomorrow’s digital enterprise facilitate collaboration between humans and smart machines? Are you excited to see the advancement of machine learning and its effect on modern organizations?

We’ve seen that singularity is coming. Artificial Intelligence is going to be extremely important and will be a widespread phenomenon going forward. Think about the “Robonaut” designed to travel to Mars. And the robots that are used to welcome and play with kids into hospitals wherein machines can create fun, stress-free environments for sick children.

This week, I’m reminded how Infosys is leveraging bots, machine learning and self-healing mechanisms to drive automation and take repetitive work out of our industrial processes and traditional ways of working, so humans can do more value-added work. That is where most of our investments are for the Oracle Practice, like our RapidStart cloud implementation methodology or SmartSuite automation tool set, integrated Panaya cloud quality solution or our Infosys AI Platform which are driving automation across offerings. It’s all about amplifying human potential and collaborating with smart machines.

Indranil Mukherjee is Vice President and Service Offering Head — Oracle Practice. For more posts, visit InfyTalk

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