How IT can be Leveraged to Gain the Growth Momentum in Troubled Times?

Posted in Operations & IT Articles, Total Reads: 1344 , Published on 20 January 2013
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A panel of top economic advisors to the prime minister has pencilled in GDP growth of 6.7% for this fiscal year, while the RBI pegs it at 6.5%. Last year the figure was 8.4% for the same. Amidst this situation there is a need for over hauling of existing systems and bringing up new reforms.

 

IT: The Road Ahead

Alvin Tofler of National Academy of USA said in early 70’s, people dominated through violence, today they dominate through capital and tomorrow they will dominate through knowledge.

Product Innovation

Innovation is a major driver of progress which will be playing a key role in economics, business intelligence, strategic planning and technology. We need to have programmes that encourage research and set of support activities for innovation in all dimensions – product, process and design.

Product innovation and techniques like cloud computing will help in running leaner businesses. It will also lower the barrier to entry into business for other players especially start-ups and improve business agility. It allows global organizations to work across time zones and in the remotest of locations.

Role of IT in other sectors:

Venturing into E Governance

In a country like India, E governance has the potential of enabling huge savings in costs through sharing of core and support infrastructure, enabling interoperability through standards, and of presenting a seamless view of Government to citizens.

The National E Governance Plan thrives on this idea and has making all government services available to the citizens of India via electronic media as its aim. It was formulated by the Department of Information Technology in 2010.

It plans to cover Infrastructure requirements, Knowledge exchange across different government agencies, state government, union government and private institutions of India. Initiatives like e-tendering, e-procurement, complaint reddressal, will help a great deal in bringing transparency and speedy delivery of services.

An e-governance programme by Gujarat Food and Drug Control Administration (FDCA) has already caught the eye of UK's medical regulatory body.

The state government's self-licensing software called the Xtended Licensing and Laboratory Note (XLN), developed and adopted by FDCA, has bagged the Prime Minister's Award for Excellence in Public Administration. FDCA regulates sales and manufacturing aspects of drugs, food and cosmetics and issues licenses through this software.

Such models will go a long way in addressing the multiple problems of health, infrastructure development, education and unequal opportunities due to urban rural gap with smart and long term solutions.

There are studies across the world that have shown that development is directly related to the internet usage in that country. The only thing that needs to be done is make more and more population computer literate and increase the internet penetration which rests at a lowly 9% today.

Big Data, Analytics

Companies who want to continue their journey of growth and excellence will need to invest in analysing the current and past data to model their business strategies to align themselves to meet underlying trends in the market.

They can also turn towards predictive analysis which uses a wide range of tools and techniques to predict business scenarios and identify appropriate actions for each and hence this is natural extension of Business Intelligence. It is a continuous process to cultivate decision-making, and one of the main ways it differs from business intelligence is its use of external data. For example, Pepsi Co used social networks to gather customer insights via its DEWmocracy promotions, which has led to the creation of new varieties of its Mountain Dew brand. Since 2008, the company has sold more than 36 million cases of them.

E-governance, if incorporated, will increase transparency, reduce customer- service provider gap and most importantly, corruption. The strength of IT can be leveraged across the gamut of sectors and any development here will manifest itself in all the areas where it functions.

Indian IT sector has been growing with a rapid pace and is set to reach the mark of Rs 918 billion in the ongoing year.  Rapid advancements in technology, growth in competitiveness in Indian IT companies and a good economic growth have been fuelling the IT growth.

Social Media Analytics

According to Malcolm Gladwell, the author for Tipping Point – the characteristics that win us over and keep our loyalty are the personality traits. Social Media platform give these businesses, an opportunity to fine tune their personality traits.
This is a novel way for doing Customer Relationship Management 

With the exponential growth and penetration of the social media among customers, social media analytics has proved to be important tool for customer relationship management. It uses internet platform as the platform for measuring interactive marketing by integrating, analyzing and enabling organizations to act on the insights gained by expanding their reach, increasing retention, and ultimately, driving more revenue. There is need to understand the medium and the uniqueness of the channel and use it to devise the metric to calibrate the performance of the strategy adopted by the firm in question.

E- Commerce Industry in India

Advancements in technology have made computer networks an integral part of the business economy. In India, number of internet users has crossed 121 million. Although it has an internet penetration of 9% which is quite low as compared to that of countries like China and US. Still, by sheers numbers it accounts for the third largest online population in the world.  Likewise, the number of people using online portal for shopping has grown to a whopping 14 million. These developments have laid the foundation of an E-Commerce revolution in India and have particularly revolutionized the retail sector in India because of overall reduction in cost of intermediation, exponential increase in customer choices and lower prices of products.

Despite this huge growth witnessed in recent years, the revolution is in nascent phase as only 10-15% of the internet users use the online platform for shopping.  Ecommerce in India which was earlier dominated by Travel sector has now diversified into variety of sectors like  Job Search , Financial Services , Automobiles , Real Estate  and has reached  Tier I and Tier II towns, not just metropolitan cities.

Opportunities

Globally the annual growth rate of e-commerce is estimated to be 28%. In India the annual growth rate is projected to be 51%. On one hand, this has brought in scores of opportunities for companies including many start-ups who want to venture into e-commerce and huge value proposition to customers on the other.A recent research done shows that by 2016, the e-commerce industry in India will be more than five times the current size.

Emergence of Facilitators

Internet Banking has emerged as a powerful tool that facilitates e-transactions. Also the exponential rise in number of credit card and debit card holders has propelled rise of e-commerce.

But there are challenges-

Payment gateway error rates are high (>25% of transactions fail at the gateway). Also RBI has made it really hard for anyone to use virtual mediums of payments (credit/debit cards, cash transfers etc).

“There are several roadblocks in providing financial services in Ecommerce. For instance, security risks in case of e-payments which prevents banks from tying up with common payment gateways, system integration and database synchronization and complying with frequently changing regulatory requirements. These further affect the customer experience. There is a need for better technology in this area to retain the customer.

The Road Ahead

IT has a long way to go in India.There is need for businesses to mould their business strategy as per the product under consideration.

The successful business practices which have proved to be growth drivers for IT implementation across domains across the world need to be replicated.

Companies should aim at providing a core set of values which guarantees good customer experience.

This article has been authored by NamitaTeotia & Kanika Handa from NITIE.


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