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Ashok Pai

Senior Vice President and Global Head, Cognitive Business Operations, TCS

In the first part of this article, The Six Design Tenets of Future-Ready Operations, we outlined several key elements that can help operations prepare a new path forward, including the need to eliminate silos, the importance of an agile mindset and the need to maintain the momentum of digital transformation. In this second instalment we look at additional elements:

  • The rising importance of security by design
  • Emerging workplace and skillsets factors
  • Technology and cultural shifts required for successful ecosystem partnerships

Embrace secure by design

The 2021 World Economic Forum's Global Risk Report confirms that cybersecurity failure is one of the top 10 global risks by likelihood, and IT Infrastructure breakdown is one of the top 10 global risks by impact. Secure by design IT operations build on the principles of zero trust security architecture and strong security controls enforcement at every stage of system and data life cycles. A layered security architecture helps align business strategy, regulatory compliance needs and cybersecurity standards.

Case study: A large Europe-based financial services organization needed to fulfil GDPR data privacy regulations and data protection requirements. The company fulfilled the data privacy requirements during development operations and reduced internal risks as part of the larger regulatory compliance initiatives. The digital deployment helped reduce overall provisioning time by 70%, and delivered advanced cyber threat intelligence, analytics, orchestration and automation.

Prioritize competitive workspaces and skill sets

With the onset of the pandemic, enterprises rapidly shifted their focus to virtual environments. At the same time, traditional skillsets are evolving as digital technologies scale within enterprises.

  • Anytime, anywhere workspaces. A borderless, secure operating model encompasses a wide range of digital technology, operating models and human functions, including talent management, employee engagement, HR and governance mechanisms.
  • Talent cloud.  Highly distributed, location-independent work models have given rise to the talent cloud – a concept that pairs talent needs with workers based anywhere in the world to maximize business opportunities.
  • Shifting skillsets. Business context has become invaluable, leading to a dramatic need for cross-functional techno-ops skill. In addition, newer aspects of soft skills such as emotional intelligence – paired with adaptability, flexibility, mindfulness, a can-do mindset, and a commitment to lifelong learning – will enable organizations to keep pace with the lightning-fast pace of technology disruptions.

Drive ecosystem partnerships

Evolving consumer expectations reflect a need for an end-to-end services provider. As boundaries disappear and businesses converge, operations must connect ecosystem partners across boundaries to provide seamless, end-to-end services.

This requirement may well prove more of a mind shift challenge than a technological one. Competitors often have the critical resources needed to achieve an integrated, end-to-end experience. This requires a level of collaboration not all organizations will want to embrace. As the 2021 TCS Global Leadership Study reports, just over half (51%) of those surveyed report collaborating with competitors. This reluctance will likely change as the benefits become more evident. Already the ‘Leaders’ (as identified in the study) are overwhelmingly more willing to collaborate with competitors than their counterparts (80% versus 23%).

Case study: A leading telecom player successfully integrated an ecosystem of operations partners at the back end to manage multiple onboarding aspects, from fiber layout design to service installation to field service engineers to provide a delightful onboarding experience.

Shifts in customer behavior, workplaces and supply chains give enterprise operations a unique opportunity to reimagine the future and better— and more digital—ways of working. The key elements outlined in these articles identify proven, practical next steps from leading companies who are already embracing and leveraging disruption to their advantage.

About the author

Ashok Pai
Ashok is Vice President & Global Head of Cognitive Business Operations at TCS. He helps organizations leverage digital technologies to reimagine their business models, products, processes, and services. He specializes in helping enterprises make major cost and operational improvements through digital transformation initiatives. Prior to this role, he headed TCS’ Business Process Services team and was responsible for more than 100 customers in North America, Asia Pacific, and other regions. He joined TCS more than 25 years ago, right after earning his Master’s degree from the Indian Institute of Technology (IIT) in Mumbai.
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