One of the definite proofs that the pandemic has impacted enterprise IT drastically is that it is redefining the functions that were the first ones to be transformed by technology
Till a few months back, ‘disruption’ was essentially a biztech jargon that everyone used liberally, to talk about even some small changes in a business process.
And then…we got to taste what real disruption is like. First, it was a battle. Now, it is a full-fledged war. Not just against COVID-19. But against our assumptions, our understandings, our beliefs, our inertia.
One of the definite proofs that the pandemic has impacted enterprise IT drastically is that it is redefining the functions that were the first ones to be transformed by technology.
One, of course, which all of us would relate to is: individual productivity and collaboration. Even those businesses that were quite used to some people working remotely are discovering newer challenges. For example, the support team too works from home. A person works from another geography where he/she is stuck. Hardware is not available in time.
The second, less discussed in public domain, is, supply chain. The pandemic has tested global supply chains thoroughly. While we have passed with an average score—that itself is not a mean achievement—some of the widely-held beliefs have been thrown out of the window. In many cases, local supply chains, with significant manual processes have performed better than more automated supply chains. The efficiency that technology was delivering at a certain scale was lacking when the scale got drastically reduced during the lockdowns.
Call it rationalization or realization, but this has had positive side too.
Many of the small digital gaps that existed are being closed on a war-footing. While the more volatile marketing, customer service and risk management had seen better applications of emerging technologies like Artificial Intelligence, the ‘stable’ supply chain had little tryst with these technologies. Now, organizations are experimenting with some of these technologies.
Now, supply chain is a becoming a competitive differentiator again. That is what our cover story focuses on, this time. We refrain from making forecasts but show some of the changes that ‘could’ happen.
Platform Guru Sangeet Paul Choudary has done an analysis of Amazon’s supply chain and how it is well-suited to tackle the new challenges. It is a very good case study of application of newer technologies.
We still don’t know for how much more time the current situation will continue. Maybe, we will use this as an opportunity as well.