Challenges are apparent in every industry and businesses are always looking for new solutions to counter them, and as a result, solutions and service providers are coming up with easily accessible innovations, raising the question, are we rushing towards the age of tech-on-demand?
It is important to remember that tech-on-demand may hold a different meaning for different industries and it is interesting to understand this distinction. Weighing in on the matter, Mohit Kapoor, Group Chief Technology Officer, Mahindra Group spoke about what it means strategically for his firm.
“The Mahindra Group is into various businesses – automobiles, passenger & commercial, electric vehicle, etc. and all these businesses, if you look at it from a classic sense till a couple of years ago, were quite branch-dealer-shopfront oriented and in the last 18-20 months, many things have reinvented themselves and many times, I joke and say, our digital journey is driven by the customer actually, not us. The speed of digitization is what the customer is asking for and that’s why tech-on-demand has become very important,” Kapoor said.
He emphasized the evolution of the On-demand services over the past years, especially after the pandemic citing the ‘power of the cloud’ and the presence of a lot more services that have made it faster and easier to render.
“Couple of years ago, maybe 5 years ago, it would have taken many months of coding & re-coding and testing & integration to get to some level of acceptable user experience to drive this journey. So, the on-demand is really the present, it’s not the future, and its irreversible change, I don’t think it’s going to go back,” he added.
While this has been the experience of an omnichannel organization, the experience of an entirely digital organization like UpGrad is not far off. “So, right from guidance to knowledge to transition to a new job, all of this is completely online, right from taking examinations, tests, sending reports, assignments, getting into discussion forums, all of that is online. So, tech-on-demand for us at UpGrad is constantly pushing the envelope and saying ‘Hey we need more,” Rohit Dhar, President, Product, UpGrad said on what the on-demand means to his organization.
To further explain his point, he gave an example of how their customers require a short format of content instead of the long format that the organization provides, or they require one-on-one counseling rather than group sessions and the constantly evolving tech-on-demand is how it has been made possible.
“That’s what tech-on-demand is, you’re constantly evolving. From a 500,000 monthly user base to a 3.8 million monthly active user base is a huge number that we’ve jumped in, primarily by listening to customers and ensuring that we’re able to give customers the services,” he added. “So, that’s what, I think, tech-on-demand is, on a broad level, with a lot of functions helping us, right from data science to product management to engineering to data engineering, all of them are culminating together to ensure that this is delivered on-demand.”
Also sharing their experiences is boAt, the consumer electronics brand, that has seen immense success in the past few years, stating, “We are almost at an inflection point because of the speed at which we’ve grown, we are now sprinting towards setting up a tech-powered landscape first to provide a stable and sustainable growth platform for us and then eventually to be able to drive growth for us powered by technology-led insights,” Shaswat Singh, Chief Information Officer, boAt.
According to Singh, the important considerations for the firm during this time are TCO and a time-to-market. “So, tech-on-demand and with the compute being available so easily, freely and in such amazing power, it enables a company like us to hit the ground running from day one and for someone like me to not bother about where would I set-up a data center, so that one bit has helped us significantly speed up the speed with which we want to adopt the technology. Scalability obviously plays a very important factor,” Singh said.
He also pointed out that tech-on-demand allows them enormous amounts of flexibility, with a fast-growing organization such as theirs, which is building a data lake and has an unpredictable database to speak for.