iot and cloud indias road towards digital transformation

In 2017, use of digital transformation technologies like IoT, cloud and AI, by companies across industry verticals contributed around 4% of India’s GDP

India is not far behind in its transformative journey when it comes to a digital future. As the world goes digital, rapid adoption of technology has become the sign of a developing nation. India’s technological growth opportunities are being driven by increasing disposable income and affordable and faster internet connectivity. Thanks to which, Indians are taking to the web in a big way,crossing 500 million Internet users in 2018.

With advanced technology, a nation like India can eye economic development, superior education and training, and provide business and employment opportunities. Interestingly, 4% of India’s GDP in 2017 was accredited to the direct use of digital technologies such as mobility, cloud, Internet of Things (IoT), and artificial intelligence (AI). This has accelerated digital transformation in companies across all sectors strengthening current business models, creating new offerings, services, and products, and enhancing work structures and human resource development and safety.

Government’s support to industries for a digital economy

The Indian government has also highlighted its vision to transform India into a digitally enabled society and knowledge economy. Following the ‘Digital India’ programme, the Prime Minister shared his opinion on how the foundations of “New India” will be laid on greater advancements in futuristic digital technologies such as Internet of Things and cloud computing, among others.

This government push has accelerated digital transformation in companies across all sectors with companies moving their operations on the cloud- changing the length and breadth of the Indian digital landscape.  Industries are expected to fast adopt tech automation, data analytics, and smart machines, to improving productivity and efficiency levels.

Coupled with the constant push for enterprises to expand abroad and remain competitive, it is an undeniable fact that there will be an increase in IT applications on the cloud, and across geographical regions. Cloud computing provides easy access to data- anytime and anywhere. A single intuitive interface allows incorporating communication and collaboration into a company’s processes in real time. This privilege has given birth to new ways of collaborative workspaces- simplifying work, optimizing efficiency, and in turn improving an organization’s productivity.

The quickening use of cloud computing industries has laid out the platform for the application of other next generation technologies such as Internet of Things (IoT), which is poisedto reach $15 billion by 2020, accounting for 5% of the global market. The prospects of IoT to help remotely control and access technology and increase the seamless interface between devices, has fast-paced its adoption. IoT is expected to touch all industries including energy, telecom, healthcare, retail, transportation, manufacturing among others, in India and will have several other use cases based on the country’s geography, demographics, and cultural set-up.

For example, the use of both cloud technology and IoT has enabled the government to kick-start India’s smart city projects that offer a connected environment- ensuring better safety, convenience, economic growth, and energy efficiency. This technology will also be embedded into the city to deliver improved urban services like public transport, healthcare, intelligent buildings and green energy.

As we drive ahead from Industry 3, Industry 4.0 takes this digital transformation a step way ahead of the curve, perfectly epitomizing a hyper-connected environment extending far beyond mere factory walls and production lines; one that hinges heavily on the power of automation, IoT, and cyber-physical systems to communicate and coordinate, all via cloud-computing – across industries internally, cross-organizationally, and even across industries.

However, due to the increasing scale of Industry 4.0 fueling the merger of the once divided worlds, IoT and Cloud in turn needs to step up its game by becoming more secure, connected, and automated, to remain relevant, attuned to the needs of every individual, and ensuring unparalleled user experience.

To accelerate its stand for industry 4.0, the government has launched an IoT-focused Centre of Excellence in Bengaluru along with NASSCOM. Planned government projects such as smart cities (e.g. Amaravati in Andhra Pradesh – India’s first greenfield smart city project), smart grids, and smart transportation are also expected to be major revenue-generating sources for IoT solution providers in the future.

India’s demographics: fuel to the engine

India has among the highest numbers of young people who will be entering the workforce over the next two decades. These young, technology-savvy workers are familiar with the digital world and are far more likely to adopt digital public services.

This is further creating a motivational push (i) to upgrade existing employees’ digital skills for using emerging technologies and (ii) in organizations to upskill their workforces. This will result in reclassification and rebalancing of work and further contribute to government’s ‘Skill India’ initiative.

Innovation at forefront

Quick adoption of new technologies and smart applications has become prevalent to procure, create, distribute, and transport information. IT and business leaders across small and large enterprises inspired by the government’s’ ‘Digital India’ vision are making consistent efforts to drive new strategic models to envision efficient business operations. It has become a major source of competitive edge-providing increased productivity, cost reduction, and revenue from various new products and services, paving way for higher profit margins.

On road to making India a digitally empowered economy, we need to adapt to the transition phase from Industry 3.0 to 4.0 by specializing in the provision of the necessary tools and smart-platforms to enable businesses of all sizes to gain easy and affordable access to cloud optimization.

Though the government is playing its part in rolling out various initiatives like Digital India, Make in India, Skill India, Smart Cities, etc., one of the key areas for creating an incubatory environment for emerging technology is right IoT policy planning. We require to position ourselves as a global leader in IoT space by bringing together private and academic players. Public and private sectors need to work together in collaboration to facilitate the free flow of good practices and novel innovations- both incremental and revolutionary.

India is moving into the future at an unprecedented rate, and the route it is taking to get there is digital.


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