What does digital transformation look like in 2022?
Business Leader spoke to Chaitanya Rajebahadur, Executive Vice President and Head of Europe for Zensar Technologies, one of the fastest-growing Indian companies in the UK, who gave us an insight into what digital transformation will look like in 2022.
How long have you worked at Zensar Technologies and what changes have you seen in the digitalisation of businesses from when you started to today?
I’ve been at Zensar for seven years; it’s been a brilliant journey for me personally and the business in Europe. Talent is everywhere in today’s modern businesses, and the acceleration of digital change has meant that I’ve got to work with so many people from within our own businesses and beyond, especially in our clients’ organisations.
In these seven years, businesses have started taking digital to the next level across their whole organisation, not just their frontend customer experiences.
Another movement I’ve seen is the importance of human experience coming to the fore across digital initiatives, taking centre stage. Of course, business needs must be considered, that’s a given, but customers and employees and what they say and how they behave can shed light on all manner of problems to be solved.
What trends are you currently seeing within the European technology services and consultancy market?
Many consultancies are working to digitise their clients’ businesses while also changing the way they operate in the process. Often, the work sparks their own internal need to accelerate digital change. This sets them up to do great work in the right way.
There’s a lot more talk of human, customer, and user experience and this has become part of many technology houses and consultancies’ vocabulary. In parallel, we’re seeing big platform partners with impressive technology stacks and consumable APIs (Application Programming Interfaces) bridging the gap between human experience enterprise scale. People are also using joined-up customer data to power smart decisions across businesses, complimented by customer and employee insight captured on the ground.
Our customers have also come to expect insight, strategy, design and engineering as a package, or at the very least, want to know that capability is available and ready to be drawn upon as and when required. In some ways, this has levelled the playing field between consultancy and technology and it’s a lot more about the capabilities these companies have and a lot less about who they are.
Size is becoming increasingly less critical too when picking a partner. It’s a lot more about capability and mindset, matching the client’s ambition than anything else.
There’s also the elevated need for talent, which everyone is encountering. Businesses are having to get smarter with how they attract and nurture talent. An interesting dimension is reskilling and supporting grassroots organisations to create a more diverse talent pool.
What effect has Covid-19 had on the way customers do business?
Our customers all worked hard to enable things like digital self-service, particularly those with physical premises or those who relied on other physical interactions to do business. This meant a plethora of minimal viable products and proof of concepts went live using smart technology.
This was precisely what was required at the moment, but there needs to be a moment of reflection. Is the exhibited behaviour at the peak of the pandemic still applicable? Were the technology choices made the right ones? Are these pieces of a digital estate easily maintainable and scalable long term?
In the same way, people are fatigued from lockdowns and restrictions, and so is the supply chain. Logistics are under pressure and compounded by many factors from Covid to Brexit. Therefore, we’re beginning to see people rethinking supply chains, offering alternative fulfilment models, and utilising hyperlocal providers and suppliers better.
How is digital transformation looking in 2022?
Demand is very high, and the talent war continues to heat up. At the same time, businesses are changing their mindsets from doing digital to being digital. The mantra of being digital is promoting wholesale change organisation-wide by harnessing digital tools and technology rather than applying them in silos. This is promoting joined-up thinking at the highest possible level. CMOs, CTOs, and alike are coming together to address more significant problems more holistically.
With that said, it’s important to remember that there’s no quick fix or silver bullet. Digital transformation is a marathon, not a sprint, and more iterative digital change with regular releases is required instead of significant events or moments. This will provide more insights that serve as feedback on the product, service, or solution roadmaps.
Has Brexit affected the attractiveness of the UK as a place to conduct business for Indian companies?
No, not at all. India and the UK share a strong relationship. Both governments are making extra efforts to support each other now and in the future. The UK will continue to be a fertile and attractive place to do business with exceptional brands. Moreover, our acquisition of Foolproof on the day Brexit happened shows our immense faith in the market.
Zensar has acquired several brands, including Foolproof. Are you on the hunt for further acquisitions in 2022?
We are always open to augmenting and improving our capabilities to execute more extensive and better work for our clients. Nothing is immediately on the horizon but supporting experience and scaling advanced engineering is very much front of mind across our business.