The following article is an initiative of Dell Technologies and is intended to create awareness among readers
Digital transformation is upon us. What may have seemed like science fiction to even the CIOs of leading corporates a decade ago, is now a living reality. Technologies, such as AI, IoT, 5G and the like, are shaping the future of economies, businesses and lives across the world. With its vision to drive human progress and its commitment to inclusion and transforming lives, Dell Technologies explored the evolving technology landscape and how the C-suite, particularly CIOs and CEOs, can lead and leverage it to build a future that is better than today, through an event ‘Connected CIO’ in Mumbai, under the broader banner themed ‘Real Transformation’ at the Dell Technologies Forum.
Bringing together industry experts and Dell Technologies’ leaders, the event initiated a conversation on the opportunities that the new digital world would create for organizations that embrace digital transformation. In keeping with the theme, it also brought out how the role of the modern CIO is changing from managing processes and data to crafting of strategies to enhance the productivity, speed and the agility of the business.
Alok Ohrie, President and Managing Director, Dell Technologies India, kicked-off the event, setting the tone for the sessions that followed by outlining the kind of metamorphosis that digital transformation would bring about. At a macro-economic level, he pointed to the role of technology in emerging trends such as autonomous commerce, anticipatory production, leap-frogging economies, amongst others. At the work level, he highlighted the changing nature of commerce and customer connect and how this would call for completely new skill-sets, including AI fluency, and other paradigm shifts towards inclusive talent, empowered workers and enhanced man-machine equations. Showcasing a video on how technological innovation would shape the future, he left the audience with some powerful thoughts on the future of connected living.
This was followed by an engaging display of how digital transformation has already overtaken the animation and VFX industry, by Biren Ghose, Country Head, Technicolor India. He illustrated the impact of a technology revolution by giving the audience a behind-the-scenes peek at block-buster movies and captivating advertising films that demonstrated how the future of the industry would pivot around imagery and simulation.
Next, the audience was treated to an animated key note by Patricia Florissi, VP & Global Sales CTO, Dell Technologies. She explained the relevance of various technologies – AI and Machine Learning, IoT, the cloud (public, private and the edge), augmented, virtual and mixed reality, etc., in various fields of work – from sugar cane farming to self-driven vehicles - for all sizes of companies. After going into the details of how these technologies are evolving and tracing how the apparent benefits were stacking up, she concluded by summing up, “Digital transformation is the ability to rewrite the future with the help of technology.”
Both the keynotes were visionary, in terms of the future of human progress and the transformational role of technology in it. The panel discussions that followed looked at various facets of ‘challenges’ and dilemmas in that journey to the future.
The first in a series of four panel discussions was themed ‘The Tech Minded and Disruptive CIO’. The panelists, which hailed from various industries – including pharmaceuticals, infrastructure, BFSI, hardware and software producers – shared their perspectives on the role of technology in driving transformation – particularly around the area of cutting-edge use cases, as well as how data generated from the use of technology helps drive better business outcomes.
‘The Shapeshifter CIO’ was the theme for the next panel discussion. Once again, the panel had an eclectic representation of CIOs from various companies and industries who shared the highlights of their digital transformation journeys and the learnings that emerged. They deliberated on how CIOs can take their role above and beyond IT, making inroads into areas like business growth, innovation, risk management, collaboration, partnerships and integration to future proof their enterprises.
The next panel, titled ‘Women in Technology’, comprising representatives from media, insurance, IT, etc. discussed the importance of building a diverse workforce in the technology industry; the gaps and challenges in building it and the role of skilling/re-skilling in addressing the gap. Recognizing how women have been facilitators of change, more needed to be done to encourage them to come back to their professions after career breaks. The panelists shared their experiences and offered solutions that involved changing mindsets in the workplace and in society too.
The final group was the CEO Power Panel. They debated on the theme ‘Digital Transformation - Empowering Businesses and Driving Change’. It comprised leaders from different industries in the public and private sector, who discussed the role & expectations of the new Connected CIO in the age of linking the business, customer experience and technology.
The event concluded with the celebrity Master of Ceremonies, Mandira Bedi, in a freewheeling conversation with the legendary cricketer, Kapil Dev. The Haryana Hurricane, as he is reverently referred to, shared his experiences on the field and of handling a team, enabling the audience to enjoy a stroll down memory lane, while gleaning valuable lessons on transformation and change that are universal.
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