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Thursday, December 27, 2012

Are we really in a Digital Age?

Most of us use either a blackberry or other android phones,we talk heavy tech and love to buy gadgets with the latest specs.But do we really use all the Apps that we download?Use the extra memory/RAM or bits that our gadgets have built into them?


Speaking for myself - NO.Almost 80% of the applications used as a sales pitch by the guy in the corner store who sold me that stuff never got used.Maybe it gave me a good feeling to have a phone or laptop with more features than Mr Jones,but did I use them all?

Sadly No.

Most CFOs,CEOs,senior executives that I speak with can hardly operate more than the basics and most simply do not have the time to learn.

There is an inherent contradiction in India.Most companies still have not harnessed all the power and information that the new digital age has brought on our doorstep.Offcourse there is my friend Basil D'souza sitting in Bengaluru tinkering with data for Hindusthan Lever on which part of the country buys which specific shampoo etc

But clearly that is a miniscule audience other than the IT cos that use 'data mining' or develop applications for the Fortune 500

Yet the average Indian CEO is loth to spend on esoteric programs that might lead to a better understanding of consumer behaviour or in prioritising leads or even the use of social media in marketing.They simply cannot see beyond the spend on maintaining networks!


A time comes when in addition to a CEO and CFO we will necessarily need a CDO(Chief Data Officer) to handle the streams of data information flowing through systems on a daily basis relating to clients,vendors,distributors etc

I know of CEOs who recieve 5000 emails as a matter of daily routine.Who separates the wheat from the chaff?How can their attention span encompass such volume of data or help them to decide the merits of each piece of information?

That has been my fundamental reason for being bullish on the Indian IT scenario where the high number of consultants who today do outsourcing for global companies will turn their attention inward and bring the much needed efficiency to various stages of production or sales.The cost savings in terms of manhours and doing the right sale to the right segment will mean a direct addition to the bottomline of diverse balancesheets.

We underutilize the data at our command and it will take a few years before Indian companies start clamouring to have their data analysized on a 'conveyor belt' basis.Till then the Sales Manager is totally dependent on the feedback derived from his team,how close to fact that feedback is,depends on the absolute judgment of the asset on the ground.

Something to think about in the new Year!