When COVID-19 struck early last year, Infosys was able to make its 2.4 lakh employees spread across 40 countries work from home in days. This feat was possible because the software major has been working towards becoming as nimble as a startup, according to a new book.
The book titled Live Enterprise captures the learnings of the IT services company from its journey in the past three years.
Authored by Infosys Knowledge Institute head Jeff Kavanaugh and CTO for its strategic technology group Rafee Tarafdar, the book contains lessons learned from the COVID-19 pandemic, Infosys' response for its customers and over 2.4 lakh employees, plus the work of its Foundations in multiple countries around the world.
Infosys chairman Nandan Nilekani, launching the book, said Live Enterprise is an idea of how firms will be run in the future. “A lot of it has come out of our own experience at Infosys. In the last three years, Infosys has been on a major drive to reinvent and make itself more agile. We have taken this experience to over 1,000 clients around the world and this combined knowledge has all been distilled in this book, which is a guidepost on anyone looking at a digital journey," said Nilekani, the architect of the Aadhaar Unique ID programme.
At the launch, Nilekani revealed details about how Infosys tackled the pandemic. " While we had digital infrastructure for remote working, this was designed for 10 percent of our employees, who were working from home. So, it was simply a question of scaling from 10 percent to 100 percent in a matter of days," he said.
Frequently Asked Questions
A vaccine works by mimicking a natural infection. A vaccine not only induces immune response to protect people from any future COVID-19 infection, but also helps quickly build herd immunity to put an end to the pandemic. Herd immunity occurs when a sufficient percentage of a population becomes immune to a disease, making the spread of disease from person to person unlikely. The good news is that SARS-CoV-2 virus has been fairly stable, which increases the viability of a vaccine.
There are broadly four types of vaccine — one, a vaccine based on the whole virus (this could be either inactivated, or an attenuated [weakened] virus vaccine); two, a non-replicating viral vector vaccine that uses a benign virus as vector that carries the antigen of SARS-CoV; three, nucleic-acid vaccines that have genetic material like DNA and RNA of antigens like spike protein given to a person, helping human cells decode genetic material and produce the vaccine; and four, protein subunit vaccine wherein the recombinant proteins of SARS-COV-2 along with an adjuvant (booster) is given as a vaccine.
Vaccine development is a long, complex process. Unlike drugs that are given to people with a diseased, vaccines are given to healthy people and also vulnerable sections such as children, pregnant women and the elderly. So rigorous tests are compulsory. History says that the fastest time it took to develop a vaccine is five years, but it usually takes double or sometimes triple that time.
Tarafdar said the authors wanted to share as many learnings and best practices as possible. "While the vision can be big, you can start small and rapidly innovate and experiment from it. You need to think of the platform rather than features and functions. The book will work as a map that tells you how technology is evolving and how to leverage it", he said.
ALSO READ: Double-digit revenue growth trend may continue for some time, says Infosys CEO Salil Parekh
Kavanaugh said, "The book talks about what is an operating model- how is this supposed to translate to strategy, converting big ideas to execution."
Infosys, which has been growing at a faster clip compared to rivals such as TCS and Wipro in the last few quarters, is confident about growing revenues in double-digits in the fiscal year 2022.
No plans to put cash into bitcoins at this stage: Infosys CEO Salil Parekh
The IT industry, overall, has benefited from an accelerated shift to digital and migration to cloud. Nasscom recently estimated that the Indian technology sector will grow 2.3 percent to $194 billion for the year ending March 2021, up from $190 billion last year.