Our world is being transformed by data

Jun 24 2013, 02:36 IST
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SummaryBig data is no longer confined to the realm of technology.

Big data is no longer confined to the realm of technology. Today it is rising to the top of the business agenda, given that the analysis of big data can help solve long-standing business challenges and transform processes, enterprises, entire industries and even society itself, says Jeby Cherian, vice-president & managing partner, Global Business Services, IBM India & South Asia. He tells Sudhir Chowdhary that there’s a very strong and consequential change taking place as a result of the huge surge in the use of social networks and mobile devices. This has given customers unprecedented access to information about the products and services they buy, and great flexibility in the way they interact with each other. Excerpts:

What kind of shifts the business leaders in India are witnessing?

Our view is that there’s a very strong and consequential change taking place as a result of the huge surge in the use of social networks and mobile devices. This is not only changing how companies and their customers interact, it is thoroughly changing what customers value and expect from companies. One example is this notion of immediacy. People are turning to their smartphones, tablets, and online communities for instant satisfaction—finding discounts and recommendations, based on their current location—all available to them at the instant they decide to buy.

The good news is forward thinking leaders across the globe, including India, are realising that they need to continuously transform the customer experience to be relevant and competitive— from the perception of innovation and value, to the quality of the interaction, to the economics of delivery. The proliferation of mobile and smart devices and rapid growth of social networks gives customers unprecedented access to information about the products and services they buy, and great flexibility in the way they interact with each other.

These same technologies enable enterprises to engage in new ways with customers and employees; governments build new relationships with citizens; and students and educational institutions interact with greater efficiency, convenience, and impact. Accordingly, we will help reshape their ‘front office’ —the business functions and processes, such as sales, marketing, and customer service, that connect, transact, and engage with customers.

How can the Indian firms harness big data to gain competitive edge?

Our world is being transformed by data. It’s unprecedented, and it is the defining business event of our business lifetimes. As a consequence, every industry,

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