Expert Lecture Series: “New Aspects of IT Industry”- Ms. Archana Newaskar, Director-IT, IQVIA

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On 3rd March, 2018, Ms. Archana Newaskar, Director-IT, IQVIA, engaged the students of TAPMI in an invigorating discussion on the scope and opportunities in the IT sector. She initiated the discussion by saying that the global IT industry is predominantly present in regions like United States of America and Asia Pacific followed by UK and other geographies of the world. “There is in fact”, she said “a global growth of 5% year on year in IT”. The crucial part of IT is managing workforce, working under senior management and being able to get the task done in time. Networking, experimenting, planning and transparency helps us in getting work done quickly and effectively. One of the key focus areas of coming year would be Cloud, Blockchain, Internet of Things, Automation, Artificial Intelligence, etc.

Talking about automation she explained that some of the highly susceptible areas of workforce replacement are domains of data processing and predictive analysis. Jobs like managing others and unpredictable physical work are difficult to be automated and therefore are less threatened by automation. Some barriers however, which automation faces infrastructure needs, organization size, technical feasibility, scarcity of skill, cost of workers, social acceptance and overall value proposition.

India is the leader in providing Offshore Business Services followed closely by China. Reasons for India being the leader are that we are demographically perfect to position our technical excellence and we make better geographical partners to international firms compared to other nearby countries. Various digital initiatives have been taken by the government like universal mobile phone connectivity, automation of delivery of government services, free wi-fi services in large cities, digital lockers and setting up fiber-optic network across the nation.

Talking about hiring in IT industry, the fueling of growth is majorly due to lack of skilled and competent workforce. Firms like people who are trained in soft skills, have an experience in emerging areas like IoT, AI, etc. and those who are competitive and energetic to bridge their skill gaps. Critical soft skills like teamwork, communication, integrity, conflict resolution, negotiation, leadership, adaptability and communication are very important in the IT industry.

Ending on a note that the IT industry provides bread and butter to a huge population she discussed the opportunities available in it such as those of an Analyst, Research Associate, Content Writer, HR Professional, Finance Professional, Project Manager, Consultant, Marketing & Sales Executive, Business Development Expert, etc. and mentioned how it provides exciting roles for management graduates.

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“The importance of learning Computer Programming by MBA graduates” – Dr. Angshuman Ghosh, Lead Data Scientist – Target India

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On 17th Feb 2018, The Lead Data Scientist in Target India, Dr. Angshuman Ghosh delivered a guest lecture on Data Science in our campus. He began his address with a brief introduction about himself, his current company Target India and his experiences in his previous employers such as Spice Mobility Ltd and Star Network. He then went on to describe Data Science and its salient features. He said that data is of paramount importance in data analytics as without data there can be no analytics.

To underline the importance of data Dr. Ghosh took the example of his own company Target which has around 2000 stores. He said that the company is sitting on a goldmine of data consisting of demographic information, geospatial data and purchase preferences of all customers. Currently Data Analytics has a wide range of applications in Supply Chain, Demand forecasting, Marketing, Merchandising and so on. He spoke about the importance of VR and how it can be implemented with the help of Data Science. He also said that TV channel rating agencies such as BARC generate TV rating information by extrapolating data from a sample of 15000-20000 audience.

Dr. Ghosh said that Statistics, Mathematics and Probability are the backbone of Data Science. He explained us the concept of regression and the various assumptions we consider before regression. Computer Programming is required to make regression models scalable. He spoke about the importance of learning multiple programming languages by students who are aspiring for a career in Analytics. But as a beginner he asked the students to learn Python as it is the future of programming languages according to him. He also enlightened us about neural networks and how they work in Data Analytics.

On data security, Dr. Ghosh spoke about the safe guards which are in place to protect the privacy of the data. Target integrated all their coupons using data science such that any customer can walk into any floor and redeem their coupons using a mobile app. He took examples of Ola, Uber, Swiggy etc to emphasize on the rapid rise of businesses which have a very high reliance on Data Analytics. He ended his lecture by answering a few interesting questions from the audience. Overall it was a stimulating discussion on Data Science and the students immensely benefited from it.

Jigyasa 2018: “Data Visualization and Analytics”: Ms. Nisha Sullia, Senior Project Manager, Gramener

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On 14th January, Ms. Sullia engaged the students of TAPMI in an invigorating discussion on Analytics. Emphasizing on how colors, representation and shapes play an important role in organizing data, she said understanding how to extract information and reading data is as important as collecting it.

“It is imperative to spend time with data to come to a conclusion and derive information”, she said, “The main visualization challenge is in deciding what we want to extract from the available structured or unstructured data. Florence Nightingale used Data visualize to depict the number of deaths during wars. We can also similarly extract many details out of data once we know what we are looking for and then decipher it correctly”.

She talked about Audience, Data and Author as the three components of designing data visualization. Analysis, Info-graphics and Data Art help in interacting between these components. We start by methods to Expose Data and Show Data. These are low effort techniques to know what is our data and what is happening with it. After this we move to Explore Data and Explain Data which require more efforts because we try to analyze the impact and relationship inside the data. We try to decipher why is the phenomenon happening.

Ms. Sullia shared various data sets and cases which left the students awed at the huge application of Data Analytics and Visualization in today’s world. Be it the class X mark of students or the variance of number of births on various calendar days Data Visualization and Analytics finds its way into all domains.

She moved on to talk about Advanced Analytics. This can be descriptive (analyzing portfolio performance of stores, partners and product mix), diagnostic (energy utility to study losses and gains), predictive (employee churn ratio of banks), and prescriptive (using heuristics to analyze data).

The two approaches to decision making Business-Driven approach or Data-Driven approach. The organization is based on business requirement which in turn involves factors like regions, types of market. Ms. Sullia concluded the interesting session by emphasizing the importance of data in today’s world and how the representation and stories that are formulated around that data are equally necessary.

Jigyasa 2018: Guest Lecture – “Industrial IoT and Analytics” by Mr. Manu Singh, Process Consultant, Infosys Technologies Ltd

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On 14th Jan 2018, Mr. Manu Singh gave a talk on the topic ‘Industrial IoT and Analytics’, as part of the inaugural edition of Jigyasa 2018 – The Annual IT and Analytics Conclave of TAPMI. The session started with Mr. Singh asking the audience a question – “How old is data science?”. Mr. Singh stated that data mining is in practice even prior to the time of humans. Anything which is of value to human being, he counts it. Mr. Singh then presented the audience with the timeline of Industrial Revolution. We’ve had, so far, three industrial revolutions and the fourth one will be about Cyber-Physical Systems.  Mr. Singh said that the 1st revolution had humans talking and machine listening, the 2nd one had humans and machines talking, the 3rd one had machines talking while humans listening and the 4th one will have machine-machine interaction without any human intervention.

Mr. Singh went on to explain what Internet of Things (IoT) and Industrial Internet of Things (IIoT) are and gave a brief comparison between the two. According to Mr. Singh, IIoT has been around for the past 15 years. But it will take another 15 years for it to reach its full potential. Since IIoT mainly involves server-server interfacing, the chances of human error are very less. The major drivers for IIoT are Cloud Computing, Big Data analysis, Standardisation of IPV6 and Intelligent Machines. Mr. Singh also demonstrated the various advantages of IIoT which includes but not limited to efficiency, new economic value and quality of life. He also showed the audience a blue print of how a smart city will look like with the implementation of Internet of Everything (IoE), which basically means ‘connecting the unconnected’.

During the second half of his talk, Mr. Singh explained that there are mainly three market segments for IoT, namely consumer, commercial and industrial and the major solution areas of IoT range from manufacturing plants to oil and gas and heavy machinery. He also talked about the building blocks that makes up an IoT system. Mr. Singh also provided examples to show the application of IIoT in manufacturing, oil and gas, cloud computing and health care, to name a few.

Mr. Singh concluded his talk by stating that creating value from IoT requires both organizational and technical alignment. The issues in organisational field like vision, preparedness and execution and in the Technical field like data quality & completeness, heterogeneity of data sources and technology architecture will have implications for data science approaches and their effectiveness and the following outcomes are non-trivial. These impacts include longer time to realisation of value, model accuracy issues and limited applicability of results, to name a few.

Overall, it was a very informative and interactive session. Mr. Singh encouraged the students to ask questions and he made sure that none of their queries went unanswered.

CXO Leadership Series, 2017- Governance and Culture: Making digital transformation successful- Mr. Aashish Chandorkar, Country Head, Capgemini Consulting

Aashish-5In another informative session of the CXO Leadership series on 24 October 2017, Mr. Aashish Chadorkar discussed with the students, how digitalization has affected every industry in the recent years. Today, every company is in the process of Digital transformation, but sometimes very large and well-established companies find it a little difficult to adapt. He then talked about the two pillars of Digital Transformation, i.e., Governance and Culture, that can make the transformation easier and smoother.

Mr. Chandorkar talked about different aspects of Governance and Culture that a company should work on to make this transformation successful. He gave examples of companies like GE, VOLVO, Starbucks, Nestle, Walmart etc. who have digitalized some of their operations and been very successful. It takes time for a company to transform digitally, especially if it is a large company and the employees of the older generation take more time adjusting with this transformation. So, this transformation is a long and continuous process.

He also talked about the different hurdles to digital transformation and innovation and how they can be overcome by setting clear visions, investing in digital skills, making cultural changes in the organizations and empowering employees. A company where employees bring in digital innovation generally tend to be more successful than those where the company tries to drive the innovation.

He quoted “Cultural Transformation is not a one-time exercise but a constantly evolving process!”. He then answered the queries of students before ending the session. The session was very interactive and the students understood the importance of being updated with latest digital trends in the corporate world.

“Current Trends in IT Industry”- Mr Sumeet Minocha, Integrated Services Leader, India BU, Wipro Limited

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On 25th September, in an interactive and insightful session with students, Mr Sumeet Minocha talked about the new trends that are shaping the IT industry today. Technologies like Machine learning, Artificial intelligence are completely reshaping the business landscape.  Adding to this, a concept like SMAC, the synergy of Social, Mobility, Analytics and Cloud is driving business innovation and helping organizations improve their operations and target customers more effectively. Today every company is coming up with its own digital strategy. Digital is fundamentally shifting the competitive landscape in many industries and sectors. Companies now need to take critical decisions on how to address digitization. The concept of Digital is all about removing redundancy so that when a company applies SMAC, it is able to achieve the most optimised process. He also spoke about the situation when an organisation struggles from a linear growth stack. In this situation, a company needs to focus on non-linear growth and this is where IT companies are focusing and turning their attention to.

Further, Mr Sumeet spoke about the differences between an IT service company and a product company. Unlike an IT service company, a product company focuses just on the innovation of a product that it deals with, and tries to anticipate the future of the same. However, with the passage of time the space between the IT product and IT Service Company is collapsing. Also, gaining momentum in the IT industry is the concept of Solution Architect which is a combination of both Functional and Technical requirements. Therefore, technology is helping organizations to reach to an unlimited audience by increasing the penetration and reach. Social media has turned out to be a mandate for all organisations today. It is the most important area of focus and has become instrumental for businesses in shaping the consumer decisions. The usability of social media has grown exponentially, providing businesses with an immense scope for increasing customer engagement. Another impact of technology is that gradually every routine job that had a step by step fixed procedure is being entirely replaced by automation and in future, only those jobs which require strategic decision-making will require human intervention.

Towards the end of the lecture, he advised students who have an IT background to connect their experience to the big picture. Only then can the students justify the validity of their experience. Students should also ensure that they join a company which provides them with both operational and strategic experience. In this era of internet, there is an information overload around us. Therefore, he advised students to have a learning attitude and to constantly evaluate whether what they know is just information or has been interpreted to knowledge and wisdom.

 

Consulting – A practitioner’s perspective – Mr. Mohan Kancharla

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Mr. Mohan Kancharla, started his lecture with consultant’s dilemma about what customers want.  He described consultant as a professional who provides advice in a particular domain or area of expertise. Consulting is advisory service aimed at leading transformation and creation of value for customers in the context of their business environment. In consulting, needs of Client, Consultant and Customer should be understood and maintained. The consulting process is a three-legged stool, must always be in balance. Consulting is challenging the assumptions. He advised “You will always be suspect, if you have all the answers, you will always be powerful by having the right questions. The bottom line of consulting is having no answer unquestioned”.

He talked about consulting space which has Level of organisation maturity, individual competency as X axis and complexity of consulting offering engagement execution as Y axis. He then mapped types of consulting like IT consulting, Operation consulting, Functional Consulting, Strategy Consulting and Business Consulting in this space.

He differentiated consulting firms like McKinsey, BCG as strategy consulting, Deloitte, KPMG, PWC, IBM, E&Y, Accenture as business consulting and TCS, CTS, Infosys as Technology consulting. He also described consulting as a cyclic process with the steps of understanding context, asses current state, define target state, analyse gap, evaluate solution option and finally recommendation and report.

He talked about different consulting segments. IT Strategy Consulting is defining the road map for IT, that is aligned to business elaborating upon the direction for the organisation, architecture, infrastructure. IT Architectural Consulting is defining the business architecture and deriving the application, information and technology architecture that are modular as well as coupled.IT Portfolio Consulting is the rationalisation of application, consolidation of infrastructure and optimisation of investments targeted towards operation excellence. IT Process Consulting is providing direction for the process to achieve IT service improvement and business objectives.IT Governance Consulting is defining the governance structure mechanisms processes and measures that would best enable IT to support the business. IT Infrastructure Consulting is optimising the utilisation infrastructure ecosystem, compromising of data-centre, service management plus investments. IT Outsourcing Consulting is evaluating the right selection of a model or location or vendor for outsourcing. IT Transformation Consulting is enabling the enterprise to realise its vision through implementation of strategic direction provided for consulting segment.

He concluded his lecture describing different consulting competencies, consulting skills, consulting sales, consulting proposals, consulting teams, consulting delivery, consulting presentation, consulting report, consulting measures and consulting career.