LET’S face it, we are seeing an onslaught of digital technologies in our daily lives. Businesses with a global footprint are adopting data-driven decision-making models, while customers are communicating via mobile and social media platforms. A question arises: Are Indian businesses aware of the need to transit into this ‘digital world’? More importantly, are they ready for this digital transformation?
A recent study undertaken by Microsoft Asia gives us some interesting insights into the readiness of businesses from the region, including that of Indian enterprises, for the digital economy. The Asia Data Culture Study 2016 reveals that 88% of business leaders in Asia agree that it is important for their businesses to be data-driven for agility. However, 57% believe they do not have a full digital strategy in place. In comparison, 68% in India believe they have a full digital strategy in place today.
The Microsoft study is a combination of qualitative and quantitative primary research involving 940 senior business leaders from medium and large companies from 13 countries, on the state of data culture within their organisations today. The study polled 940 C-suite executives who were surveyed on their organisations’ digital and data strategy, and readiness for the digital economy.
Specific to India, 90% of respondents feel data culture should be driven top down with a formalised role in the leadership team to drive successful adoption of data strategy. Most business leaders felt that the data culture should be led by the CIO, chief digital officer, and chief data officer.
The study ranks data visualisation, Internet of Things (IoT), cloud data storage, predictive data analytics and real-time analytics as the top five data capabilities that businesses will require in the next 12 to 18 months. When it comes to leveraging IoT, Indian business decision makers are more focused on smart research and development (R&D), followed by security management and safety monitoring as their top priorities.
According to the study, building infrastructure for data agility is a key imperative for Indian businesses. An overwhelming 89% in India agreed that they need to drive an agile data-driven business. However, they think their capabilities in infrastructure are inadequate (compared to 88% in Asia). Also, 62% in India said that their data is accessible across mobile devices today. Interestingly, 72% of respondents in India use data to predict future trends.
The Microsoft study points out that data governance plan, data security policies and collaboration are the priorities of Indian businesses. Here, 89% of the respondents felt that data driven collaboration across the organisation needs to be enabled (compared to 87% in Asia). Indian businesses also want to create an analytical workforce. As per the study, 77% respondents agreed on the importance of having a data-savvy workforce (compared to 84% in Asia), while 74% in India (Asia average is 42%) felt they have employees with the relevant skills to combine data to help identify business outcomes.
Without doubt, the confluence of cloud, mobility and data is changing the way companies do business with their customers. This is resulting in new demands that make it necessary for every business to transform to a digital and data-driven business. As Microsoft CEO Satya Nadella says, “With the right tools, insights can come from anyone, anywhere, at any time. When that happens, organisations develop what we describe as a data culture.”