R-Jio Impact: Three reasons why CIOs should care…

As India becomes more digital, businesses have to serve it in a different manner. The time to start changing is now. Over to the CIOs

As expected, Mukesh Ambani has created a huge splash with his Reliance Jio announcements.  The free voice and INR 50/GB data has caught the imagination of an entire nation.


The company has also done the right noises linking it with Digital India.. In all its communications, Reliance has been highlighting ‘digital’ and ‘data’, not telecom or connectivity.


If successful, this huge disruptive act by Jio, could catalyze digitalization of India far more than all the government initiatives and plans have done so far. While essential services like government services, banking, education and healthcare would see disruptive changes, do not forget the consumption of content and entertainment. Lest you forget, this country, with an average income of less than USD 4 a day, is the largest producer and consumer of cinema in the world. While for the lower strata, it will be a new life, advanced users are looking forward to a more immersive digital life—from basic offerings like television over Internet to smoother online meetings


The initial discussion, as always, has been around the impact it will have on Airtel and Vodafone. That hardly matters in the long run. These are all great companies. They will find their way to compete. The user will be the winner.


A digital India will have to be served in a fundamentally different manner. How will it impact the businesses? Why should CIOs even be concerned?


Here are three reasons why we think it should impact you as a CIO and what you can do today…


1.     The connectivity cost: The cost dynamics of data pipes—the basic building blocks of a digital enterprise—will change drastically. That may change some equations too. For example, the mix of mobile, leased, own pipes, hosting may have very different equation now. However, keep your finger crossed as Jio, in its initial presentation, has not detailed out what it has in store for enterprise users.

a.     Action Point: Time to plan for re-evaluation for build vs buy; what channel to use for what connectivity.

b.     Nature of impact: One time, immediate, short-term


2.     Explosion of digital universe: Depending on what business you do, the people who can engage with you digitally will suddenly be many times more. They need to be served there, whether they want products, support, information…whatever. That means you cannot postpone your digital transformation journey because things are ambiguous. Act or lose.

a.     Action Point: Fast track some of the digital projects.

b.     Nature of impact: Long time, fundamental


3.     More efficient business processes. If you are dependent on large ecosystem of partners, suppliers, retailers, distributors, contractors etc…and your processes are still not digitally optimized because many of the members of this community today are not digital, be ready for the change. As you move towards end-to-end automation, the processes become far more efficient.

a.     Action Point: Start looking for such processes to fully automate and optimize the process

b.     Nature of impact: significant, medium term


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