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Anand Parameswaran

SVP and Global Business Head


2 Ratings

DIGITAL TRANSFORMATION OF BUSINESSES The risk of failure is lower than the risk of inaction

Jan 19, 2022

… says Anand Parameswaran, SVP and Global Business Head, Cyient, in this interview with Juili Eklahare. He explains how digital will be a more significant disruptor than the Internet, why it is important to keep business goals at the centre of transformation and the secret to create a sustainable advantage in any disruption. Excerpts…

You play a key role in driving Cyient's transformation from a service to a solutions provider. Can you tell us about this transition?

Customers are looking for partners not just to solve their problems (service providers) but to help them identify & prioritise the right problems and solve them (solution providers). This is where Cyient comes in. Our engineers and technicians work on the shop floor and remote service areas. This enables us to take a business-first approach to digital transformation. We can help our customers with the ‘what’ and the 'why’ before engaging with them with the ‘how’.

How are you decoding digital transformation to drive growth and enhance solutions? Do you have any collaborations for the same?

Technologies are constantly evolving, and so are the use cases – we believe that digital will be a more significant disruptor than the Internet, and delivering superior value will need an ecosystem approach. We partner with dozens of companies from hyper-scalers & device makers to software OEMs, niche companies and start-ups. But for us, the end goal takes priority. We always start with the business problem we are trying to solve and then decide which technologies, platforms, what architecture is best suited to solve that problem.

Cyient won top honours at NASSCOM Engineering and Innovation Excellence Awards 2021. This has certainly strengthened the company's position as a leading global provider of innovative engineering, digital and operations management solutions. How do you plan on sustaining this position?

We continue to invest in the emerging technologies ourselves and through our partners. Under the IntelliCyient umbrella, we have identified six solutions areas, nine technology studios and a number of partnerships that we are proactively investing in and creating reference architectures, proof of value, as well as readily-deployable solutions. Plus, we are collaborating with thought leaders across multiple industries, academia and other like-minded entities. We will continue and accelerate our investments for the next four to six years as the technology and the thought process around business value streams are still evolving in this space.

Executives across the globe realise that innovation is the key to reshaping their industry and creating new markets. Yet, only one in ten organisations realise meaningful value from their innovation programmes. Why is it so? How can the value from innovation be realised to the fullest?

Our guiding principle for digital is that the risk of failure is significantly lower than the risk of inaction – it is critical for every company to commit itself to being digital and get started on its transformation initiatives. Suppose a company waits for the technologies to evolve and the dust to settle down, then it is likely to find that it is not in control of its destiny anymore and will spend an enormous amount of money playing catch-up just to sustain its position in the industry.

At the same time, it is important to keep business goals at the centre of transformation. A question like, “how do I leverage AI/ML for my company?” will not lead to the best outcomes, but the worst outcome is in store for those who take a this-too-shall-pass approach.

If one looks at trade magazines from the late 90s or early 2000s, one will find similar survey metrics on “investment in internet technologies have not yielded any meaningful results”. Investments in new technologies have a snowball effect. Companies that waited for the Internet to evolve and mature either don’t exist today or have lost their pre-eminent position in their industries. Leaders have to choose which risk they are willing to take – the risk of inaction or the risk of a few early failures.

How do you enable long-term sustainable value generation through your company?

By starting with the ‘what’ and the ‘why’ first. Knowing the critical value-creating processes, breaking them down and putting them back together fundamentally differently with digital technologies is the secret to creating a sustainable advantage in any disruption.

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