Digital transformation will contribute 60 pc to India's GDP by 2021: Microsoft


Microsoft says emerging technologies are disrupting age-old business models in India. In 2017, four percent of our GDP was derived from digital products and services created with new tech. It will only grow. 

Digital transformation is the buzzword across industries today as companies step up adoption of emerging technologies such as cloud, artificial intelligence (AI), deep learning, Big Data, Internet of Things (IoT), and more. Microsoft estimates that digital transformation would contribute $154 billion to India’s GDP by 2021 and add a percentage point to the growth.

In a study titled Unlocking the Economic Impact of Digital Transformation in Asia Pacific conducted in association with IDC, Microsoft found that four percent of India’s GDP in 2017 was derived from digital products and services created with emerging technologies. India, along with other APAC economies, is witnessing a rapid adoption of these new technologies that are “disrupting” traditional business models.

About 90 percent of Indian corporations are in the middle of digital transformation exercises. It is bringing about an increase in productivity, customer advocacy, cost optimisation, revenue streams, and even profit margins in these businesses. CEOs and CXOs expect to see more than 40 percent improvements in these key areas by 2020, states the study.

Anant Maheshwari, President, Microsoft India, said:

“India is clearly on the digital transformation fast track. Within the next four years, it is estimated that nearly 60 percent of India’s GDP will have a strong connection to the digital transformation trends. Organisations are increasingly deploying emerging technologies such as artificial intelligence, and that will accelerate digital transformation-led growth even further.”

While all organisations have recognised the importance of digital transformation, only seven percent of them can be categorised as “leaders” who are on top of every trend. These are organisations that have full or progressing digital transformation strategies, with 33 percent of their revenues derived from digital products and services.

Daniel-Zoe Jimenez, Research Director Digital Transformation Practice Lead, IDC Asia/Pacific, said:

“To remain competitive, organisations must establish new metrics, realign organisation structures, and re-architect their technology platform.”

There is a distinct difference in which ‘Leaders’ and ‘Followers’ are approaching digital transformation. While Leaders are more focused on creating a culture of agility and innovation to rise above competition, Followers concentrate on improving organisational productivity and profitability.

Microsoft states that companies need to focus on capitalising their own data in order to gain new market insights, create new digital products and services, and monetise the data securely to be able to reap the full benefits of digital transformation.

Many corporations have identified the need to ramp up their data capabilities through the use of advanced analytics that can help them develop actionable insights. Domestic pharma giant Apollo Hospitals is one such enterprise.

Sangita Reddy, Joint Managing Director, Apollo Hospitals, said:

“We recognised the potential of technologies like artificial intelligence, machine learning and data analytics in providing high quality preventive healthcare services, very early on. With data being generated at an exponential proportion, technology is helping us derive insights to predict and suggest preventive steps with utmost accuracy.”

To keep up with the times, organisations have to re-skill and up-skill talent. Microsoft reckons that every workforce has to be equipped with “future-ready skills sets such as complex problem solving, critical thinking and creativity. Furthermore, organisations need to hire key digital talent and a create a “flexible work-source model where they tap into a skills-based marketplace.”