Digital India - Are we ready?
Information Technology has transformed the way business is executed. New innovative Business models have emerged, business processes have been optimized, information is easily accessible to end consumers, and employee can connect to corporate network remotely. India too has witnessed significant change across industry segments. Many services have become online giving huge benefits to citizens. Govt. departments are eliminating paper work and digitizing end to end work flow. The new wave 'Digital India' is expected to facelift Urban and Rural regions by increasing the IT penetration.
As we get ready for digital India, we also need to review our Infrastructure readiness. In India, out of 1,224 million people, ~856 million people live in rural areas. By 2018, number of internet users in rural areas will touch 210 million & overall internet user base is expected to be over 500 million. Mobile Internet users are likely to constitute between 70 per cent and 80 per cent of the total online population by 2018. We need to provide Infrastructure in rural areas to gain benefit of digital India. India has the slowest Internet in Asia. High speed broadband connections (>=4MBPS) are only 6.9% of all internet connections. One of the key reasons for eCommerce bubble burst in year 2000 was lack of infrastructure to handle huge demands generated from online channels as demand grew multifold from online channels and infrastructure could not scale up at the same pace. Slowly, organizations focused on improving Supply Chain Management, Warehouse Management, Logistics Setup and this led to success of eCommerce in coming years.
Today's world is moving to mCommerce. Many retailers are moving online services from desktop channel to mobile channel. Myntra (online fashion retailer) moved to mobile only channel. Consumers expect similar look & feel, experience across multiple channels - bricks & mortar store, online channel (mobile, desktop). REI provides Omni-channel experience to consumers across multiple channels. Consumers expect a lot more flexibility to purchase products from one channel and have facility to return through another channel. Today's consumers have multiple options to get the services online and they want to manage transactions while on move using smartphones and tablets. Consumers do not hesitate in switching to new service provider if they don't get high performing secure application fulfilling their expectations. A Mobile application creates the impression in first few minutes. Hence, application providers need to provide best-in-class User experience. Mobile money solution was provided to unbanked people in rural areas for cashless secure transactions using mobile phones. Organizations analyze user segment, device type, device platforms before launching new application. Retailers track consumer behavior and deliver promotional offers/coupons time to time, segment wise and based on physical location of consumer. Sears & Kmart are providing location based mobile coupons to consumers. Organizations have also started taking benefit of mobile apps for productivity improvement of their employees. Field force automation enables company representatives to get real time access to product information, inventory, discount details, etc. from their smart phones/tablet devices. They can now place the order online while visiting the customer, offer discount, cutting the cycle time for product delivery and delighting customers.
India has already embarked on a journey to digitize consumer services, bringing mobile applications in various government departments. Hospital services like online registration, payment of fees and appointment, online diagnostic reports, enquiring availability of blood online can make huge difference for society. Tracking legal records, property details, education online are few other examples which would benefit citizens. As we move monetary transactions to Internet, it's imperative to ensure security of these transactions & data privacy of the consumers. Security needs to be enabled at both Infrastructure (hardware) and application (software) levels to provide foolproof solution to consumers. BYOD has further increased the RISK of data privacy, loss of Business data, and access to corporate network. Hence, organizations need to deploy policy-enforced controls to secure mobile access for BYOD users and protect Business data both at rest and in-flight. Income Tax return, Passport services are few examples of online services being offered under eGovernance.
Digital India aims to provide better governance model, bring transparency, bring rural India at par with Urban India (digitize rural India), improve digital Infrastructure through 9 pillars (Broadband Highways, Universal Access to phones, Public Internet Access program, eGovernance, eKranti, Information for All, Electronics Manufacturing, IT for jobs, Early Harvest Programs). Digital India initiative can transform India and would be successful if Infrastructure providers, Service providers, Applications providers, government departments join hand and ensure online channels/mobile applications reach most part of rural areas. Since, large number of people in rural areas may not have Smart phones, these applications should also work on basic phones.
Infosys Mobility practice has extensive experience in providing better User experience, Digitization of processes, Mobile applications on various device platforms, Omni-channel experience, etc. Over the past few years, practice has developed deep skills on latest technologies and also co-created various solutions with clients, partners which has given an edge to our clients over their competitors. SATHI mobile application was developed to improve process of recruitment, skill based job allocation for government offices. With strong foundation, Infosys Digital practice would be a key contributor in defining Digital journey for the clients.