There is a common consensus shaping up the world over- that while we battle the COVID-19 crisis, businesses that are geared up for a more digital future will be the winners at the end. The pandemic has emphasized the vital role of technology and innovation for supporting remote working, scaling digital channels, and measuring productivity. Companies have digitized overnight to keep operations going while minimizing the risk to employees by adapting to new ways of working and new technologies to aid them. And there is more change to come.
In an exclusive interaction with People Matters, Sanjay Srivastava, Chief Digital Officer, Genpact shares how COVID-19 has accelerated the consumption of cloud-based services and is fundamentally changing the way we do business.
COVID-19 seems to be accelerating digital transformation in the workplace across industries. How are businesses fast-tracking their digital agenda amid this crisis?
Disruption creates new opportunities for growth and businesses across the world should look to, and plan early for, that growth as we rebound out of this crisis. We are already seeing trends which encompass the below:
The move to the cloud
We’re seeing that businesses are accelerating their digital transformation. Prior to COVID-19, many were on a five-year roadmap to digitize their operations. Now, most want to become fully digital within just two years. In fact, there has been an accelerated consumption of cloud-based services and solutions and we are seeing a 10x faster business acceleration to the cloud.
The COVID-19 pandemic is fundamentally changing the way we do business.
Predictive analytics will drive an optimized reality. Customers expect the companies they engage with to anticipate their needs and behaviors. This is only possible utilizing predictive insights and analytics. Predictive insights improve resilience and will transform operations. Using accurate prediction models will allow businesses to shift from a reactionary detect-and-respond paradigm to a proactive foresee-and-prevent model that also enables businesses to react seamlessly to the unpredictable. The ability to predict with precision and at scale will change business models – and, once again, redefine consumer expectations.
Human-centered design of process and collaboration experience
Businesses need to create employee experiences, rather than just using technology - the best and most updated technology does not necessarily equate to providing the best experience to your workforce. A deliberate and strategic vision aligned with user needs should be the defining factor when harnessing technology.
“In the new world, digital customer experience will need to reinvent these old ways of engaging with customers and transacting business.”
And this redesign will require reimagining entire customer journeys, building new digital capability, intelligently automating much of lower value tasks, and improving the customer experience digitally.
How are you preparing for a post-COVID business? What investments are the most necessary to create the technology environment that will allow your company to thrive in the next normal?
We continually evolve our business to help our clients meet the ever-changing market demands. We have invested in digital technologies to help clients reimagine their end-to-end operations. Genpact Cora- our digital business platform is one of the examples that help enterprises accelerate and govern digital transformation at scale. The platform, which leverages a best-in-class partner ecosystem and our domain expertise, now has hundreds of customers, with millions of users processing billions of transactions.
The design principle behind Genpact Cora was to curate a set of automation, analytics and AI technologies that most global enterprises need for their digital transformation and deliver them through a modular, integrated and governed digital business platform – so that enterprises can future-proof their investments and make the most out of their legacy platforms. We also developed Cora Pretrained AI Accelerators that help companies increase the time to value of their AI projects to drive greater business impact across the enterprise.
A lot of employees must be working remotely. What are your biggest challenges with respect to dealing with this new style of working and what technologies are you employing to solve them?
Our focus is and will always be on the health and safety of our employees, clients, and the communities in which we operate. While we have moved our operations to a remote set up, we understand the importance of employee engagement. By finding ways to empower employees, and not just cope with remote work, Genpact is moving beyond just virtual collaboration to ignite long-term virtual community building. Businesses must treat employees as customers – Businesses will need to devote similar effort, investment, and focus to the internal initiatives as they do to the external, to improve the overall employee experience. Doing so raises retention, enhances efficiency, and strengthens the bottom line.
• We’ve launched an internal engagement program ‘Adapt and Rise’, to highlight positive sentiment, generate a sense of pride and community for the work we do at Genpact, and celebrate our culture, while also providing links to useful material that helps employees work from home or provide fun ways to keep up with remote teams. We also provide access to resources that help with parenting tips and mental well-being.
• Capturing employee sentiment has never been more crucial, to ensure our workforce is supported, we are using real-time feedback and employee sentiment to shape our engagement strategies. We use AI chatbot to reach out to employees to capture their immediate concerns and needs so we can support them better.
• We’re seeing our leaders hold a pivotal role to continue to foster a culture of curiosity, learning, and nimbleness, which we believe will help prepare organizations and individuals for the future. Furthermore, our leaders have been key in continuing to challenge our own assumptions and drive agility in ways of thinking, and through an innate sense of humbleness, they have been able to learn, unlearn and relearn to adapt our business to this rapidly changing world.
• We believe our leaders are the company-wide anchors to normalcy and can help to ease concerns and rally teams behind shared goals. To this, we have increased our leadership engagement with employees more than ever. From regular CEO Townhalls, weekly video messages from our CEO, functional and operating leader connects weekly, to frequent internal communications to all employees across all mediums (our intranet, SMS, screensavers, mobile apps, emails).
Do you see a new tech infrastructure in the making for your organization after COVID-19?
As you look back over the last few months, the speed and agility with which we have transitioned to a new virtual work-from-home model for all of our services can be attributed to our early adoption of virtual collaboration and communication tools to deliver global solutions. Over many years, our culture of running the company with a globally distributed leadership team made the transition easier for us to embrace.
As you know Genpact has had a long history of making work location agnostic and this has served us and our clients well in now critical business imperatives – closing books remotely, delivering transformational outcomes independent of client and team locations.
What do you think are the security implications of the post COVID world because data will no longer be confined to corporate offices?
Security concerns in the post COVID world are significant and rightfully remain top of mind for most CXOs. The best approaches around this revolve around three key design principles:
• Build security into the core, which is to say that security isn’t something that you add to the end of a technology build process. It must be designed in from the start.
• In addition, no matter how good the security foundation for security is, in the end, it comes down to the human in the loop. Continuous awareness and training cycles is a must
• Finally, security is a job that’s never done. It always is made better, and corporations must invest in and continually evolve their security measures because the world around us is ever-changing. Think of security as a journey, not a destination.