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A truly digital workplace is needed for a successful ‘back to office’

September 1, 2021

Rajarshi Purkayastha   

Head, Pre-Sales, Americas, Tata Communications

As India rapidly progresses on its largest vaccination drive, strategising the ‘back to office’ model is the top priority across the C suite. In this piece, Tata Communications’ Rajarshi Purkayastha, Head, Pre-Sales, India and MECAA, discusses why the return to the office won’t be the same as it was before the pandemic, and how businesses can ensure they’re ready to adopt a successful digital workplace.

The biggest lesson that the pandemic has taught us is that digital is the key to sustenance, survival and competency.

So, we know digitisation is the solution for the future of workplaces.

But the real question is which pieces of your value chain needs to be digitised? And where do you currently stand in your digital journey to understand the level of restructuring required?

Enterprises, big or small, were forced to jump on the digital transformation wagon to stay relevant in the industry and to their customer. In the rush to stay ahead and replicate competition, most enterprises ended up adopting digitisation in a haphazard manner.

The pandemic posed as a digital transformation surprise test

Although industries like manufacturing were at the cusp of digitisation in line with the fourth industrial revolution, the pandemic showed the sector the mirror, as it was one of the most badly impacted sectors due to gaps witnessed throughout the supply chain and logistics management.

We identified that the main focus of manufacturing companies was to automate their facilities and increase production, however not enough thought was given to digitise the supply chain while building the digital framework.

“This is a classic example of a digital journey undertaken in isolation without a holistic view to outline an agile foundation.”

On the other hand, with an aim to make the first move in the customer experience battle, large enterprises were on a rampage to add tools and software to their digital architecture. This led to further complicating their journey with the exponential amount of data generated from different services and vendors. The quintessential scenario of ‘too many cooks spoiling the broth’.

Enterprises were unable to unlock the right potential of the data insights, since there was a lack of an integrated platform across multiple functions and vendors. They got so busy in staying ahead, failing to map their investments with the advancement needed in the customer journey.

Medium and Small Enterprises (MSEs) were on the initial stages of digitisation with cost being the decisive factor. With most of them undertaking digitisation on priority amidst the pandemic, there was no clear vision in setting up digital pillars, resulting in weak outcomes. MSEs need to understand that digital collaboration platforms need to be comprehensive, seamless and secured to connect employees, partners across business operations facilitating efficiency and productivity across the value chain.

Shift in consumer behaviour and increasing adoption of next gen technologies

The dynamic shift in consumer behaviour, is no longer a trend but a digital tradition that will not only stay but augment in the future. Brands are putting their best foot forward to understand every miniscule detail and choice of their customers to offer an unimaginable customer experience. The day is not far, where you will walk into a café with a facial recognition program.

As you reach the counter, the customer executive will greet you with your name and know exactly your choice of coffee, preferences, payment option, your usual time of arrival and therefore which suggested add-ons will be of your interest. This is the level of detailing and care the new normal consumer expects from brands. Innovations in the customer journey will soon be the only competitive edge.

MSEs, as the backbone of our country, need to match this scale to be relevant in the game and cater to the new normal digital customer experience. However, they neither have the time nor the money for big consultancy projects.

Tata Communications discovered a huge gap in demand v/s supply in the digital ecosystem

With its end-to-end digital capabilities, Tata Communications is well positioned at the heart of this discussion to build a cohesive digital ecosystem. While we are closely working with organisations enabling them with a hybrid work module, we observed that mid-size companies were facing maximum hurdles to scale their business.

“We recognised that the bigger challenge for MSEs was finding the right partner, advising them every step of the way, identifying the critical business operations that need an immediate digital enhancement, and being affordable at the same time.”

There is a dire necessity for a digital ecosystem enabler especially for this segment, to empower them with a customised digital roadmap. That foremost ensures to digitise the critical aspects of the business, charging in direction to achieve the final goal.

MSEs need a catalyst to strengthen their digital architecture

Tata Communications bridges this gap and is able to play the role to support the mid-market companies to build a truly digital workplace. With its robust capabilities across multiple sectors and geographies, Tata Communications is uniquely positioned to guide MSEs to brick-by-brick, strengthen their digital foundation, ultimately digitising each part of their value chain in a unified manner. This approach allows MSEs to spread their investment throughout the digital journey, without encountering a major burden on their topline.

The first step – To know where you stand in the digital journey

The first step is to understand where we stand in the journey, to thereafter classify the focus areas for accelerating the transition to a truly digital workplace. 

“We realised even though most businesses have their goals in place, they were finding it difficult to connect it back to their business operations.”

To bridge this barrier, we have designed a quick assessment Digital Workplace Readiness Indicator that will generate a live report highlighting an organisations readiness. To give a broad understanding to companies of its positioning, the report will categories each organisation in one of the four categories – Digital Workplace Explorer, Pacesetter, Transformer or Leader.

Digital Workplace Indicator has been created with inputs from subject matter experts to offer a detail report offering both an overall and portfolio specific recommendation. As a digital ecosystem enabler, we are happy to engage with enterprises to ensure they are able to align their priorities and achieve their goals. Over 1500 companies have already taken the survey and have got a deeper understanding and appreciation of their own digital journey. Clearly, what’s transforming is not the technology but the technology itself that is transforming enterprises.

You can take the survey here to position your own organisation on the Digital Workplace Indicator or get in touch with us to know more.