Nandan M. Nilekani, Co-founder and Chairman of Infosys made a wide-ranging keynote address at Infosys Europe Leader Forum in London. Addressing the event from Bangalore from India, Nilekani highlighted several issues and challenges enterprises must rise to meet.
According to Nilekani, “Society has seen a dramatic increase in digital acceleration as businesses move to the cloud. Organisations have started using AI and companies no longer need generalised applications. As a result, long-standing legacy systems are being modernised. We are seeing the challenge of cyber security, as every company is under pressure to keep costs down. Furthermore, we are witnessing the rise of open source, and other development and trends all happening at the same time.”
Nilekani suggests leading digital companies will be required to get applications ready for transformation at an accelerated pace. He noted that increasingly individuals work online, order food and clothes online and even find relationships online.
As businesses support digital transformation, they must also rise to the challenge of sustainably. “We are a couple of weeks away from the very important Cop26 climate summit in Glasgow. As the world grapples with this issue, it is evident that climate change is here for real. Business has to take dramatic steps, otherwise, we will not be able to keep the world in the same way. Companies undertaking digital transformation must ensure, it’s done in a sustainable manner.”
Businesses to embrace sustainability
Nilekani suggests businesses must go Carbon neutral and net-zero, and create entire product lines that support a circular economy. Businesses must look at use cases and make them smarter, creating digital twins for everything companies undertake. Businesses need to complete energy transition and towards renewable energy such as green hydrogen.
Some analysts estimate that currently, technology and digital spending accounts for 5% of the world’s GDP. In the next decade, this is estimated to increase to 10% of GDP. As a result, every aspect of our life is only going to increase in its intensity. At the same time, this digital intensity is going to increase the whole issue of talent. Nilekani believes there will be intense competition for talent across the world. As people who can help companies grow to this future are going to be in short supply,
Nilekani predicts every company will have to make dramatic changes to the nature of work. They will have to encourage diversity and collaboration. Enterprises will have to plan for less hierarchical structures, and more importantly, learn how to effectively manage hybrid workforces. The companies of tomorrow will provide flexibility to employees, how often people can work from home. This will become a differentiator for companies.
Supply chain transformation
The Infosys chairman also touched on the current supply chain problems being faced in many part of the world. He believes supply chains are being impacted by geopolitics and increasing tension between China and the US and the west. He suggests businesses are rebalancing their supply chains, away from just-in-time to just-in-case. Businesses are exploring alternatives and fallbacks for their supply chain. There is the possibility that the whole world’s supply chain will be restructured in the coming years. In the past, businesses went to parts of the world to supply oil and gas that powered industries. In the future, they may go to places like the Congo or Chile for lithium. Organisations will need these raw materials for the new economy.
Enterprise Times: What this means for business
The Infosys event provided useful insights on how the digital experience has accelerated during the pandemic. Acceleration, inclusion and transformation: were the key three themes of the event. Particularly as enterprises emerge from the pandemic. Staying relevant and resilient necessitates a focus on digital infrastructure, skills and innovation. This will be needed to enable a strong foundation for the future. Infosys Chairman, Nandan Nilekani believes now is the time for organisations to renew their vision and empower people and communities. He firmly aligns corporate responsibility to the issue of sustainability, which threatens to jeopardise the planet’s existence. Hopefully, other organisations will be able to take a leaf out of his book.