Probably once or twice in a career spanning a few decades comes along a phenomenon that is so exciting and so powerful, that you are left in awe of its impact. One feels so lucky to simply be a part of it. I am very excited that we are right at the beginning of one such phenomenon – something we, at TCS, call Digital Reimagination. It has the power to completely change industries, and leave them with clear winners, losers, and potentially new players whom we haven’t even seen before. TCS is a customer centric company. Nothing matters to us more than the success of our clients and we are determined to see them emerge as winners in the evolving Digital Consumer Economy.
Our plan is to leverage what we call the ‘Digital Five Forces’ – Mobility, Big Data, Social Media, Cloud, Artificial Intelligence (AI) and Robotics – to help our customers change the rules of the game and emerge winners in the process.
Having seen the growth of the digital mobile industry from its early days, witnessing the launch of the iPhone by Steve Jobs late in 2007, was exciting for me. That really changed the world of mobility. Charged up by the potential of the transformed mobile in the real world, I founded a startup company Brightfon in Silicon Valley in 2008 with the vision of bringing interactivity to the in-store shopping experience. Twitter was in its early stages. Big Data startup, Cloudera, had just been established. Amazon cloud services, EC2, were becoming popular with startups since it gave us the power that well established big companies have, with unlimited ‘pay as you go’ computing power. Looking back, it is interesting how premature a stage we were at, when it came to truly harnessing the combined power of these technologies.
When I used to evangelize the use of Twitter on mobile devices from within retail stores to get real time customer feedback, clients used to ask ‘What is Twitter?’. Those few of us who used Hadoop in Silicon Valley never used the term ‘Big Data’ in those days. For us, it was simply a way to harness massive computing power to solve computing problems rapidly so that we could change the rules of the game. For example, using it to leverage retail point of sale data to drive tactical marketing decisions instead of using past data to drive future marketing decisions. But, by and large, the digital forces were being used independent of each other and that’s what continued for the next few years.
In the last two years or so, we started advocating to clients that the true power of the Digital Five Forces was in combining them to gain competitive advantage in their markets. This concept received tremendous positive response from our clients. Many of them seemed to want to go past the value boundary barrier they were finding themselves behind, and were looking for solutions. Many of our clients were seeing the impact of Digital Natives entering their target segments and wanted to figure out how to attract them. There seemed to be latent thirst in the market for breaking away from the pack and what we proposed seemed to have broad appeal.
We decided to call this ‘Digital Reimagination™', combining ‘Digital’ with the word ‘Reimagine’, which our CEO, N Chandrasekaran, often uses, considering that the Digital Five Forces were helping do just that – reimagining industries for our clients. Working with our industry units, we are creating exciting variations of the core concept for various industries. As a consumer and as a B2B customer, I can only say that if all that is being created is implemented, the world will indeed be a very different place. It is that impactful and game changing!
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About the Author
Dr. Satya Ramaswamy is a Vice President and the global head of the Digital Enterprise Unit in Tata Consultancy Services. He leads the worldwide organization within Tata Consultancy Services that helps customers with Digital Reimagination™- reimagining business models, products and services, customer segments, channels, business processes and workplaces by leveraging the Digital Five Forces: Mobility, Big Data, Social Media, Cloud, as well as Artificial Intelligence and Robotics. Dr. Ramaswamy’s over 20 years of experience in digital technologies spans engineering, product management, strategy consulting and global organizational leadership. He has launched two successful startup companies in the mobile application and Big Data spaces and has six granted US patents to his credit with another 14 patent applications pending. Based out of the TCS Silicon Valley Customer Collaboration Center in Santa Clara, California, Dr. Ramaswamy has a Ph.D in Distributed Computing from the Indian Institute of Technology, Chennai and an MBA in Marketing and Analytical Consulting from the Kellogg School of Management, Chicago.