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Systems Continuum

The world of Systems is evolving at a very rapid pace. In today’s world, where computers have become as ubiquitous as televisions, Information Technology plays a critical role in an organization. Today’s business does not accommodate a trade-off between scale and flexibility but demands synergies from both. Systems Continuum explores different aspects of Information Technology and Information Systems in business by initiating and conducting discussions on cutting-edge topics. It provides a forum for the exchange of ideas on the latest developments in the field of Systems and IT. Each Systems Continuum consists of a series of events centered on a particular theme. Eminent speakers from industry and students of management converge for a day-long event where myriad aspect across sectors are explored by initiating discussions on issues at the forefront of the industry leaders.

Systems Continuum 2016

The Systems Continuum 2016 organized on 20th August, 2016 with a theme which is necessary to understand how technological innovation is going to transform the way we live, work and communicate. The Systems Continuum 2016 saw a series of lectures centered on the theme:

“Future trends in IT - Challenges, Implications and Roadmap”

The world of Systems and IT has undergone a dramatic transition from being a utility provider to an enabler of business model transformation over the years. The rate of change is accelerating fast and traditional models of IT infrastructure in organizations will have to adapt to these changes to stay alive. They will have to be reinvented to reboot the global economy with a stronger focus on sustainability. The advancements in the field of cloud, artificial intelligence, big data, SMAC, IoT and other upcoming technologies are redefining the way IT operates.


The following speakers delivered lectures at the Systems Continuum 2016:

Ø  Mr. Rajat Nigam - Group Chief Technology Officer at Network18 Media & Investments Ltd.

Ø  Mr. Ashwin Jaiswal - Head - IT Business Consulting at Reliance Communications

Ø  Mr. Raju Wadalkar - Head of Innovation at Tech Mahindra

Ø  Mr. Lalit Singla - Director, IT at Optum Global Solution of UnitedHealth Group

Ø  Mr. Sumit Rajwade - Vice President of Technology at India Limited

Ø  Dr. Divakar Kamath - Head of Communications Sector (Telecom, Media& Entertainment, Energy & Utilities) India/South Asia at IBM India Private Limited

Subthemes for Systems Continuum 2016

Indicated below are the suggestive and non-restrictive sub-themes for the seminar:

1.   The Rise of Artificial Intelligence and Its Integration with Big Data

With the increase in storage capacity, computing power, accessible software, shared knowledge and technology advances over the past 60 years, we've witnessed the rise of Artificial Intelligence into smart applications called Personal Assistants. How soon until we make another leap into the world of Artificial General Intelligence, where machines can learn and interact in real time and pass the Turning test? How soon will machines work side by side with humans to solve complex problems, reduce costs and make the world a better place? True artificial intelligence could be integrated into mainstream society sooner than we think.


Big data is a big business, but trawling through hundreds of gigabytes of often unstructured information can be a lengthy and resource-sapping process. Rather than relying on data analysts to come up with patterns and predictions based on samples taken from vast reams of diverse data, AI can crunch an entire set of big data and use algorithms to come up with accurate and tailored results.

The rise of the truly intelligent machines may be some way off, but there's no doubt smart machines and systems are going to play an ever-increasing role in the way enterprises function.

2.   Applications of Virtual and Augmented Reality in driving new businesses

While Augmented Reality (AR) and Virtual Reality (VR) technology used to conjure up images of sci-fi films, these days the trend is visible in everyday life. Marketers are using the technology more and more: Jaguar Land Rover’s Virtual Experience allowed customers to engage and interact with an almost life-size high resolution of any Jaguar or Land Rover vehicle. Users can take a 360 degree interior and exterior view, even opening doors and starting the ignition.

There are various tech trends to expect with regards to AR, as various industries are expected to adopt the technology in their mobile way of processing in the office. Below are some of the future trends to expect in AR and VR:

•        Availability of budget-friendly VR handsets

•        Marketing solutions using AR

•        More retailers using augmented reality for online shopping

•        For virtual vacations and test driving

•        Increase in AR applications for mobile devices

•        VR will be a built-in feature on mobile devices

3.   Digitalization and the digital business are catalysts for driving better customer experience

“Digital business” has become the mantra of many top companies as they seek competitive advantage in a world of fast moving technological change. Technology is essential to the customer experience, especially as the expectations of consumers and corporate customers continue to rise.

Many companies are creating a single view of their customers, complemented by seamless multi-channel sales and support capabilities. Together, these allow a customer to do business on their preferred channel (or channels), while enabling companies to take advantage of every customer interaction.

Also, companies are increasing the value of their customer interactions. By going beyond traditional broadcast venues and one-way websites to use social media and Web 2.0 tools to connect and engage with customers, companies are gaining increased insights into wants and behaviours. In turn, they are using this information to increase share of wallet and average customer revenues. It also improves the reach and effectiveness of word-of-mouth advertising and effectively creates a new sales channel using their customers

4.   The increased use of Computing Machines in Decision Making is extending into the realm of financial choices with increasing consistency

The emergence of Digital Business has sparked a shift in the relationship between man and machine. Because the machines are now more connected than ever before, they have an increased ability to supplement human jobs and to reduce the cost of operations. This has extended into the realm of financial choices with increasing consistency. This makes one begin to think about how many of the economic decisions we make will be supported by, then automated through, digital technologies.

Consider the following examples of applications that are being developed and deployed:

•        Automated financial advisors and planners that assist users in making financial decisions.

•        Digital and wealth management advisory services

•        Smart wallets that monitor and learn users’ habits and needs and alert and coach Users

•        Insurance underwriting AI systems

•        Data-driven AI applications for lending decisions

•        Applications, embedded in end-user devices, personal robots, and financial institution servers that are capable of analyzing massive volumes of information, providing customized financial advice, calculations and forecasts

•        Automated agents that assist the user in determining insurance needs

•        Trusted financial social networks that allow the user to find other users who are willing to pool their money, and to share in investments

5.   Importance of Security and Privacy in businesses driven by Cloud Technologies

With more organizations using Cloud computing and associated cloud providers for data operations, proper security in these and other potentially vulnerable areas have become a priority for organizations contracting with a cloud computing provider.

Cloud customers may risk losing data by having them locked into proprietary formats and may lose control over their data since the tools for monitoring who is using them or who can view them are not always provided to the customers. Data loss is, therefore, a potentially real risk in some specific deployments.

Cloud computing security processes should address the security controls the cloud provider will incorporate to maintain the customer's data security, privacy and compliance with necessary regulations. The processes will also likely include a business continuity and data backup plan in the case of a cloud security breach.

6.   Digital payment ecosystem and businesses driven by IT

The stage of connectivity is driving digital payments transformation – the migration of cash payments and plastic card payments to payments made over digital channels, either from dematerialized cards held on digital wallets or in the cloud, or from new digital payment mechanisms.

•        Cash and card payments total about three trillion transactions a year globally

•        Transactions worth US$13 trillion in aggregate is a huge opportunity

•        Banks in India spend a total of 21,000 crore INR in currency operations costs annually

•        Large unorganised sectors, black money, persistent exclusion of millions from formal financial services, loss of revenue on account of evasion of taxes and poor transmission of monetary policy

As digital ecosystems grow, both consumers and merchants are demanding payment mechanisms relevant to the way they interact within them.

7.   Implication of Internet of things (IoT) in future businesses

The concept of connecting any device with an on and off switch to the Internet (and/or to each other).

What it offers?

•        It will allow companies to make smarter products

•        Enable smarter business operations and smarter decisions

•        Change in business model

The big question: Is it a blessing?

8.   Impact of Make in India on Indian IT/Telecom industries

Devised to transform India into a global design and manufacturing hub, Make in India was a timely response to a critical situation: by 2013, the much-hyped emerging markets bubble had burst, and India’s growth rate had fallen to its lowest level in a decade.

•        According to a NASSCOM projection, IT exports will grow 12-14 percent to reach $110-112 billion and the domestic market by 15-17 percent to touch $55-57 billion by March 31, 2016. Currency volatility, however, impacted the operating margins of exporting firms, including the global software majors.

•        On the software services front, IT bellwethers Tata Consultancy Services (TCS), Cognizant, Infosys, Wipro and HCL were able to grow their revenue by 5-10 percent year-on-year despite the global technology spend declining in 2015

•        Start-ups and Digital India dominated IT industry landscape

•        Software services and exports to post 12-14 percent growth

•        Geeks develop new applications for internet users & verticals

•        NASSCOM to incubate 10,000 starts-ups by 2020

•        Karnataka declares start-up policy, sets up two warehouses

•        Digital India to benefit traditional and new-age companies

•        IT bellwethers spur export growth despite cuts in tech spend

9.   The increasing importance of Sustainable Growth in shaping today’s IT Industry

One fundamental question that plagues countless small businesses: How to grow and keep the business going?

Maybe you're not gaining enough customer traction, or maybe you've hit a wall and sales are flat. In any case, the plan just doesn't seem to be working, at least not as you hoped it would.

While companies develop and execute comprehensive sustainability strategies with a range of stakeholders and business partners across their ecosystem and even across industries, the success of sustainability-driven revenue growth strategies ultimately depends on how well a company serves the needs of end markets and specific customers. Sustainable growth is among the biggest challenges any business leader faces, but it isn't a new problem. It is no longer a practice done for legal or charitable reasons, it's a growth strategy.

What does it take to achieve Sustainable Growth? How often does one need to revisit his strategy, depending upon how hot and volatile your market is?

10.Open source: An opportunity or threat to software industry

Open source is undeniably one of the hot topics in tech discussions. Ever since Linus Torvalds started to create a new free operating system kernel, Linux, back in 1991 as a personal project, open source has not only been a development methodology but more importantly also a cultural phenomenon. Linux showed the world at large that a new way of working where co-creation, volunteerism, meritocracy and other such non-traditional approaches can produce something powerful. Examples of open source products include Open Office, Mozilla Firefox, Wikipedia, the GNU/Linux operating system and Android. It has contributed amazing tools like to the world. But does it pose a threat to traditional software vendors and proprietary systems?

Open source is generally free and continually evolving in real time as developers add to it and modify it, which means it can be of better quality and more secure and less prone to bugs than proprietary systems. There may also be less support available. Although having an open system means that there are many people identifying bugs and fixing them, it also means that malicious users can potentially view it and exploit any vulnerabilities.

Open source being a threat or opportunity to the software industry is a debatable topic. Small and medium industries can benefit from the use of open source but cannot get the security and trust of doing business with proprietary software vendor. Is it possible for Open Source to someday win everything in IT infrastructure or are the proprietary companies here to stay?

11.Is healthcare sector poised to embrace cloud computing?

Cloud services are becoming more widespread with each passing day and many industries are benefitting from the immense resources and scope that cloud services provides. Cloud-based services are steadily becoming more widely adopted by healthcare organizations. According to a survey by HiMSS in 2014, 83 percent of IT healthcare executives said that they’re currently using cloud services for things such as hosting clinical and human resources (HR) applications, and for backup and disaster recovery. Additionally, the market for cloud computing in healthcare is expected to reach $9.48 billion by 2020.

In India, technology will be a game changer in the manner in which healthcare services will be delivered. Cost-effective cloud-based solutions are expected to drive increased adoption of hospital management information systems (HMIS) and electronic medical records (EMRs). The various benefits that can be derived, such as easy accessibility irrespective of geographical location, fewer errors, and fast response in times of emergencies, patient convenience, among others, will drive increased adoption.

The question that remains is how fast the healthcare industry can ride the wave of these technological advancements and cloud services. There are immense benefits of the use of Cloud in healthcare but can the industry leaders adapt to the fast changes? Privacy and security of patient data will always remain a concern for the industry.

12.Cyber security strategies to address rapidly evolving business needs and threats

Cyber security is about protecting your computer-based equipment and information from unintended or unauthorized access, change, theft or destruction.

The understanding of the need for cybersecurity with businesses of all sizes and in all industries, is becoming increasingly evident. All anyone needs to do is listen to the news or attend a business conference or a corporate training and it becomes clear that leaders in the business world are concerned about threats to the security of their data and operational systems.

The different types of cyber-crimes and the top 20 cybercrime prone countries are shown below.

Because of the increase of cybercrimes year on year the amount of monetary damage is also increasing which is shown below.

13.Beyond pure-play hardware and software: towards embedded systems

If we look around, we will find ourselves to be surrounded by computing systems. Every year millions of computing systems are built destined for desktop computers (Personal Computers, workstations, mainframes and servers) but surprisingly, billions of computing systems are built every year embedded within larger electronic devices and still goes unnoticed. Any device running on electric power either already has computing system or will soon have computing system embedded in it.

As interest in the Internet of Things and mobile devices continues to grow, companies are recognizing the value of embedded systems to collect data and control machinery. From software in cars and trucks to mobile medical devices and home appliances like refrigerators and even toothbrushes, embedded applications are permeating our world. But before they hit the market, someone needs to manage these embedded application development projects. The main challenges in embedded systems design are to build predictable systems, and that to build robust systems. With an enterprise application, you're primarily worried about functionality and a little bit about performance. With an embedded application, you're interested in real-time performance, where if the device doesn't meet a particular time requirement, it breaks.

14.Mobility as the focal point of the channel strategy for banks

Mobility is transforming every aspect of the financial services enterprise. It's safe to say mobile is no longer an emerging channel. Almost every bank has a basic mobile offering, and many offer services such as mobile RDC and bill pay.

But the mobile world is constantly evolving, as are consumer expectations. As people become more comfortable conducting their lives on a mobile device, they expect their bank's services and offerings will continue to meet those expectations. But it's not just about rolling out new mobile services; mobile affects the ways employees at all levels do their job, and presents challenges for IT departments who need to secure sensitive company data on personal devices.

Mobile also is disrupting financial services by creating opportunities for non-traditional competitors. Below are the statistics of the customers who use mobile for the banking operations.

15.Harnessing the Power of Social Media and Web Analytics for business growth

Measuring the impact of social media on your bottom line is one of the most pressing challenges that marketers have when they first dive into their data. Without clear social media goals and KPIs, analysts find themselves spending hours in front of the screen scratching their heads and asking “where do I start?

On today’s crowded Web, the winners are the people who create the most value for both the customer and the business over time. And value happens not when people buy your product but when they use it and love it. Not when they upload a video, but when someone else watches it.

The traffic from social media is has been surpassing the other traffic in the recent years.

Social analytics helps in predicting current and future market demand for your product and, as a result, assists with reliable financial forecasting. While enabling fact-based decision-making about marketing campaigns, sales forecasts and pricing, social analytics gives you the information to make real-time adjustments to strategies as required.