A purpose-driven approach to digital transformation

Enterprises worldwide can use TCS’s three-horizon strategy to digitally transform business operations with cloud platforms like Microsoft Azure

Siddhartha Gupta
By Siddhartha Gupta on 01 November 2021
A purpose-driven approach to digital transformation

The pandemic has made us introspect. It has compelled many of us to discover new abilities within ourselves and define new paths for our futures. We have learnt to look at things differently. Enterprises had the same epiphanies, as they faced a complete business shutdown. In a letter to employees of Microsoft, Satya Nadella wrote: “It is in times of great disruption and uncertainty that our ability to stay grounded in our sense of purpose and remain true to our identity is of the utmost importance.” It was a time for companies to rediscover themselves and channel unused abilities to accomplish their broader goals. This is the core of a purpose-driven enterprise.

The most important aspect of a purpose-driven approach is the ability to envision a ­multi-horizon journey using the cloud, which will achieve a complete transformation of the enterprise. Three key elements – which form our ‘three-horizon strategy’ – are: building the digital core, innovating business models, and transforming and growing around purpose-led ecosystems.

Many organisations crafted their purpose statements around servicing the ecosystem to help face the disarray. The most successful ones were those that were agile, intelligent and working in the cloud. This is where we see our customers, TCS and Microsoft Azure coming together and gaining success. Early adopters of Azure are leading the way in being agile and purpose-driven enterprises.

A three-horizon journey is achieved through a multi-faceted cloud transformation and application and data modernisation programme that is designed to build an enterprise’s digital core, innovate its business model, and transform it into a purpose-led ecosystem.

The fundamental ingredient of a successful path to Azure or any other public cloud is a robust cloud strategy which addresses: the ability and intention to use the cloud as a unifying digital fabric that can transform each aspect of an enterprise, the business innovation needed to fully embrace the cloud and its digital capabilities, and striking the balance between rapidly moving to cloud and taking the time to innovate.

Over the last few years many enterprises have started these initiatives and we now have a robust set of successes and best practices to learn from.

Walgreens Boots Alliance has begun a three-horizon cloud journey focusing on IT transformation and workplace modernisation. At the second stage – innovating business models – the business planned to transform its retail operations, and with the third, it intended to implement a new vision for the future of healthcare. This strategy was implemented into Walgreen’s cloud roadmap and early successes are already visible. It is now able to create many new customer journeys using a wide range of cloud services.

Another example of this three-horizon approach is from the National Railway Company of Belgium (SNCB). Faced with the prospect of the Belgian government opening up railways for private players, the organisation decided to charter a new digital journey for itself. They realised that new railway players may bring in better customer experiences, so now was the time for them to transform into a digitally powered transportation provider. SNCB adopted Azure with TCS and Microsoft and created an innovation board to reimagine business innovation. It kept its systems focused on customers and employees at the core of its innovation and designed new apps for passengers and drivers. By implementing these technologies and partnerships, SNBC was able to better inform its passengers and reduce paper use. Going forward, the organisation hopes to use artificial intelligence to further improve on its three-horizon initiatives. 

As we look forward to the ebbing pandemic, a purpose-led set of large enterprises ready to focus beyond economics will be extremely refreshing for the future. For enterprises seeking to transform themselves using the power of the cloud, now is the time to design their three-horizon journey.

Siddhartha Gupta is global head of application modernisation on Azure for Tata Consultancy Services’ Microsoft Business Unit

Find out more at: www.tcs.com/company-overview/driving-purpose-led-growth

This article was originally published in the Autumn 2021 issue of Technology Record. To get future issues delivered directly to your inbox, sign up for a free subscription.

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