In an interview with CIO AXIS, Biswajit Mohapatra, Partner and Executive Director, IBM India, discusses key lessons learnt in 2020 and what to focus on in 2021. Biswajit is a thought leader in multi-cloud transformation with more than 24 years of experience in strategy consulting, technology innovation and complex delivery management.
How would you describe enterprise-wide digital transformation strategies these days? What are your proposals to accelerate the digital transformation being undertaken by them on a large scale?
Enterprises are embracing digital transformation journey in an accelerated pace and scale in the new world order. The new business paradigm is shaping around business model reinvention, actionable insights, responsive operations and orchestrated ecosystem. I see this as an opportunity to build digital foundation on resilient infrastructure powered by secured open hybrid multi-cloud architecture. Now is the time to leverage cloud-based platforms augmented with Data Analytics, AI/ML, Blockchain, IoT, Automation and other exponential technologies. Culture of agility, Strategic envisioning to support remote distributed work, Redesigning target operating model for a virtual workforce and Protecting against new cybersecurity risks should be key priorities for digital acceleration.
To transition from surviving to thriving, I recommend Enterprises to shift focus from cost containment to investment management. Enterprises also need to ensure their people are as adaptable and resilient as their technologies. Digital transformation can only realize its potential if it is centred around people. Cultivating inspirational leadership, skills and culture to reimagine workforce capabilities will deliver right success.
Can you please share some of the unique lessons learned from Covid-19?
My key lessons learnt for enterprises to emerge stronger in post pandemic normal are
• Re-embed change as a fundamental cultural principle
• Prepare for increased competitiveness developing personalized services and experience
• Recreate elastic business models that transition from fixed to variable
• Systematically exploit potential of hybrid cloud modernization to optimize value
• Institutionalize AI enabled intelligent workflows and automation for decision making
• Enable remote access to everything, pervasive protection is the new security paradigm
• Business Continuity Planning to be an essential strategic capability
• Build contactless delivery model based on scalable infrastructure, resilient platforms and virtual collaboration
• Employee empowerment and engagement are key to success
What technologies and trends will your organization be focusing in 2021?
The advent of digital revolution has radically accelerated the convergence of exponential technologies. Hybrid Multicloud Transformation is the reality now. The emergence of Intelligent workflows is enabling enterprises to move beyond routine process automation to AI/ML powered automation. Quantum Computing will help enterprises to solve real world problems and turn them into business opportunities. AI and Quantum will increasingly combine with high performance computers as a platform to create models and predict unknowns. 5G and Edge Computing will bring computation and data storage closer to where data is created facilitating better data control and faster insights. The rise of customer data platforms will continue faster than ever before. Confidential computing will move to mainstream.
Innovation and adoption of AI/ML, Data Analytics, Quantum, High Performance Computers and secure hybrid cloud platform will be my key technology priorities in coming days.
How will the cybersecurity sector look in a post-COVID-19 world? What do you expect to be different when it comes to cybersecurity and hiring in a post-COVID-19 world?
The rapid shift to digital ways of working has opened new loopholes for cybersecurity exploitation. Today patching your system is as integral part of your life as washing your hands. Adoption of AI and Cloud based security services, Telemetry analytics for attack surface management and attack vector modeling to recreate breaches and Threat intelligence for threat detection and response will strengthen the cybersecurity posture. There will be increased focus on Zero-Trust security, Secure Access Service Edge (SASE),Data Loss Prevention (DLP), Security orchestration, automation and response (SOAR) and Cloud Public Key Infrastructure (PKI), Governance, Risk and Compliance (GRC) capabilities.
As enterprises continue to automate their security architecture, there will be increased demand for cybersecurity practitioners with Hybrid cloud, AI/ML, Data Analytics, Technology Integration and DevSecOps skills. Right focus on experience, expertise and execution and exploration will improve employability. It’s time to explore exciting ways of learning towards a multidimensional cybersecurity practitioner.