India is uniquely positioned to be the foundry for digital innovation: Shailendra Saxena, EY GDS

We are using a combination of RPA, AI/ML and other technologies to augment the workforce and enhance the user experience on each service we offer.

Industries across the board, including the hardware/manufacturing and services industries, are embracing automation and analytics big time. Earlier, the automation focused on transactional improvements where process steps were automated to save time, effort and costs. But, now, the focus has shifted to driving transformation, eliminating the menial work etc, said Shailendra Saxena, Service Delivery & Transformation Leader, EY GDS Enablement Services.

AIM caught up with Shailendra Saxena to get his expert insights on current and future trends in automation, digital and analytics.

AIM: What are the current and future trends in automation, digital and analytics?

AIM Daily XO

Join our editors every weekday evening as they steer you through the most significant news of the day, introduce you to fresh perspectives, and provide unexpected moments of joy
Your newsletter subscriptions are subject to AIM Privacy Policy and Terms and Conditions.

Shailendra Saxena: The emerging tools from the digital space and the power to collect and analyse data add newer possibilities to reimagine processes and businesses completely.

These new tools are Artificial Intelligence (AI) and Machine Learning (ML). Today, machines and software are programmed to learn and act intelligently, leveraging previous data. However, only a fraction of all data is being captured today. Leveraging this data, a new generation of smart devices are coming up that are connected to the internet, constantly gathering and transmitting data, and interacting with each other. Big data, coupled with highly advanced analytics, can identify insights that can help eliminate effort at source by changing processes or customer behaviour.

Download our Mobile App

AIM: How EY GDS leverages the new-age tech?

Shailendra Saxena: At EY GDS, we have pivoted from our 5-year-old automation journey towards creating digital products and services. We have brought our Automation, Analytics and Technology teams together to collaborate and drive a mindset and cultural change from “doing digital” to “being digital”.

Today we are using a combination of RPA, AI/ML and other technologies to augment the workforce and enhance the user experience on each service we offer. Today’s biggest differentiator is data, how data is captured, stored, cleansed, and intelligently analysed. We have created a Talent Data lake that is helping us run multiple interventions to help us with descriptive, predictive, and prescriptive analytics solutions. Amongst the most successful solutions have been a Retention Lab concept that is helping us identify possible attrition causes and what we can do to address issues that we are identifying. We are also working at mass personalisation efforts for our employees and attempting to use concepts like the Internet of Things, Digital Twins, and technologies like Blockchain to reimagine our talent processes and opportunities for transformational changes to improve quality and user experience and reduce cycle time and costs.

AIM: How can these emerging trends help different sectors?

Shailendra Saxena: All sectors and businesses are being transformed by digital & analytics, which are visible to us as consumers. For example, we have seen innovation in the healthcare space where developing and rolling out of Covid19 vaccines was done in a very short window. Exciting new inventions are coming up in the sustainability space with new products in the renewable and green energy space. Financial services companies have been driving multiple innovations, including digital payments. The entertainment industry has transformed with OTT platforms and their recommendation engines. Covid induced remote working and remote education have fast-tracked multiple new work innovations from anywhere and virtual meetings space.

AIM: Where does India stand in adopting new trends in automation, digital and analytics?

Shailendra Saxena: India has a great ecosystem of startups tinkering with new technologies and new business ideas to develop new services, products, and solutions. Leadership is essential in this space. India is blessed to have leaders who understand that they need to be ambidextrous – i.e., adept at exploiting current resources for ongoing activities and creating bandwidth and culture of exploring new innovative ideas. For example, most organisations today are organising hackathons where they encourage their employees, external hackers, and student communities to compete to solve real-life business problems.

I believe that India is very uniquely positioned to be the foundry for digital innovation. Global In-house centres are transforming themselves into the innovation hub and analytics powerhouses for their parent organisation. Excellent talent is available, and leaders in India have a vision and passion for taking the lead in the effective use and application of these Digital technologies. EY GDS is also on a similar transformation path and has succeeded in this journey. We have been organising quarterly hackathons that have helped us tap into new technologies and solutions and identify and hire new talent.

AIM: What needs to be done to make best use of emerging technologies?

Shailendra Saxena: Organisations need to take bold decisions in using new technologies as they mature and not limit our imagination of scope.

The first challenge in this journey is to have a vision regarding what an organisation wants to do and how. A company or a leader who articulates a clear vision to their team must focus on creating a culture of innovation, with an automation first mindset, encouraging the exploration of alternate business models and creating patents, IP and digital assets.

Hiring and investing in a team with expertise in these new technologies is essential. Many of these skills are not in our educational curricula. Few individuals are passionate about learning new skills, constantly reading about them and their use cases, experimenting and upskilling. Leaders should cultivate a knack for identifying and investing in such individuals and broadly nudge and guide the larger teams towards upskilling. Interestingly, many of these complex technologies now have a low code or no-code approach to problem-solving, which truly make these easy to acquire and improve on.

Generating new ideas or use cases is the next challenge. A leader must push their teams to become idea machines. No idea should be considered a bad idea. Business and domain specialists close to the processes are best suited to know the pain points and the root causes of issues that ail their process. Leaders should create systems and processes that reward and celebrate submitted ideas, replicated ideas, and completed ideas. Failure should be celebrated even more than success, as better lessons are learnt when one fails. The entire culture of the organisation should focus on celebrating transformation successes.

Sign up for The Deep Learning Podcast

by Vijayalakshmi Anandan

The Deep Learning Curve is a technology-based podcast hosted by Vijayalakshmi Anandan - Video Presenter and Podcaster at Analytics India Magazine. This podcast is the narrator's journey of curiosity and discovery in the world of technology.

Poornima Nataraj
Poornima Nataraj has worked in the mainstream media as a journalist for 12 years, she is always eager to learn anything new and evolving. Witnessing a revolution in the world of Analytics, she thinks she is in the right place at the right time.

Our Upcoming Events

27-28th Apr, 2023 I Bangalore
Data Engineering Summit (DES) 2023

23 Jun, 2023 | Bangalore
MachineCon India 2023

21 Jul, 2023 | New York
MachineCon USA 2023

3 Ways to Join our Community

Telegram group

Discover special offers, top stories, upcoming events, and more.

Discord Server

Stay Connected with a larger ecosystem of data science and ML Professionals

Subscribe to our Daily newsletter

Get our daily awesome stories & videos in your inbox