Is it time to baseline the new normal?

Published: March 4, 2021

The innovation series that Virtusa hosted last year firmed up my belief that innovation is the only differentiator and digital transformation creates experiences that count. Clients, partners, and analysts from diverse sectors came together on a common platform to share their digital transformation experience and exchange insights on how it can be leveraged across industries.

Innovation matters more in times of crisis

According to a recent study, 81% of digitally mature businesses cite innovation as the key pillar for their success. The pandemic has accelerated the need for meaningful innovation, the importance of being an early change adopter, and the value of organisational agility and resilience more than ever before. In my interactions with clients, I have observed that innovation is the most talked about, aspired, and core objective for all CXOs, irrespective of the industry they operate in.

Redefining competition in banking, healthcare, and telco

Today, competition is no longer confined to the boundaries of a particular industry. To remain successful, one has to foresee changes that can happen and plan to create opportunities swiftly and effectively.

For a bank, the perceived competition is how it can roll out new services quickly, manage regulatory compliance effectively, use AI to prevent fraud losses, leverage wearable technology to make payments, and provide IoT-connected solutions for a better experience.

In healthcare and life sciences, the perceived competition is on how to leverage technologies like AI, predictive modeling, digital sensors, cloud, blockchain, and advanced analytics to improve patient experience, accelerate drug discovery, and clinical trials in highly regulated environments.

In telco, the focus is on offering new services/products, bundling of services, discovering new ways to acquire and retain customers, integrating horizontal and vertical services/solutions (chat, payTV, on-the-go plan, telematics, and insurance ), and investing in discovering new revenue stream opportunities.

These are interesting times where the same technology, be it cloud, AI, RPA, or blockchain, is being adopted across different companies and sectors in different and unique ways. The digital ecosphere collaboration and cross-industry adoption of trends is truly at its peak.

Highlights from the panel discussion

The recent panel discussion we hosted on the theme, ‘A New Normal – Accelerating Innovation In The Digital World,’ provided a holistic cross-industry view of the ‘new normal’ in today’s business scenario. Panelists from diverse backgrounds participated in the discussion:

Gard Little, Vice President, IDC
Nitin Bhargava, CIO, Mashreq
Stephan Erne, CDO, Handelsbanken
Gabor Mero, CIO, Hungary National Bank
Furhan Ahmed, Research Director, Astra Zeneca
Pedro Gracia Navarro, Head of Digital Engineering, Vodafone
Simon Taylor, Co-Founder and Head of Ventures, 11 FS

Key takeaways for the audience

The discussion provided meaningful insights on the innovative forces that are disrupting the role, structure, and traditional business models for the organisations, markets, and the societies in which we operate and how technology is accelerating this change. It also helped me understand the role and importance of ecosystem partners in the success of any innovation or growth agenda.

Evolution of innovation

It is overwhelming to understand how the meaning of innovation changes with time, the fading boundaries and convergence of trends and technology across industries, and the critical success factors that define the best innovation programs.

Innovation does not mean the same thing to everyone. Perspectives, priorities, and desired outcomes can define your perception of innovation. How quickly you adopt best practices defines the pace of innovation. It has different shades and multiple facets that can be unleashed with the right technology. However, one thing remains constant - innovation does not culminate at the final destination of your journey; it merely marks the beginning of a new one.

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