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The recent India Achievers’ Award 2022 winner advises on how to go about successful DigiOps in today’s business.

Digital operations is a term that has been around in business environments for a while now. According to Gartner, it is “the process center of your digital transformation, providing the orchestration of systems and other resources. It incorporates mechanisms for sensing and responding, while potentially supporting dynamic learning and optimization. It is the beginning of a business discipline for increasing organizational agility. It encompasses a holistic set of methods and enabling technologies associated with how the firm delivers value via a digital platform in real-time.”

Read more: Digital transformation: Staying relevant in a digital era

As organisations catch up to digital transformation, whether through IT modernisation, cloud adoption, or new digital business models, the business sector in India is not just changing but evolving.

The global digital transformation spending is expected to touch US$3.4 trillion in 2026 with a five-year CAGR of 16.3%, according to the International Data Corporation (IDC) Worldwide Digital Transformation Spending Guide. India’s digital economy alone is expected to surpass US$1 trillion as early as 2025, according to MeitY.

Despite this prediction, more than 80% of such transformations fail, and many do not create the value that they originally started with.

So, then despite this hype, why aren’t all companies benefiting equally from digital transformation? And why is Digital Operations (DigiOps) suddenly in the limelight?

The Tech Panda spoke to Sanjib Sahoo, the Executive Vice President and Global Chief Digital Officer of Ingram Micro, who was recently honoured with the prestigious India Achievers’ Award 2022 for exceptional digital leadership. He says DigiOps is key to successful digital transformation.

Sanjib Sahoo

The need is to create a digital operating model that can go hand in hand with digital technology, so that companies can create and capture value at the moment of need.

“The major reason for failure of digital transformation in most companies is that the concept of innovation first, adoption second does not work anymore,” he says. “It has to be continuous.”

“You are building this shiny technology, but shiny technology is pointless if it does not deliver the value. I feel the concept of DigiOps, where you rally around a vision and combine the operating people with the tech people together to constantly drive value. This is the key. And that’s been my learning,” he explains.

“The need is to create a digital operating model that can go hand in hand with digital technology, so that companies can create and capture value at the moment of need. And this is an ongoing process,” he adds.

Going digital isn’t all roses and sunshine though. Questions like, ‘How is it helping your revenue growth? How exactly is helping you getting an OI expansion? How is it differentiating a customer experience?’ often arise.

High cloud costs often catch companies off guard. And the cost of cloud has been going up.

“Bigger organizations always focus on the 40% chance of failure versus the 60% chance of success, but you have to understand that you have to take some bets, and innovation is incremental. I always say Apple did not invent the phone. All Apple did was make a better phone,” replies Sahoo.

His advice to such businesses is in four points, the first being spirit.


“We have to get the organization to understand the value of digital transformation and focus on what happens to the customer, the experience. Technology for the sake of technology will not work. So understand the business objective for it. That’s when you get everybody rallied together around the spirit.”


The second point, Sahoo says, is the planning, so that companies perform while transforming.

“You need to really perform while you transform. It’s a balance between value creation and value capture. You cannot just hold and transform by moving to cloud while not running your business. You have to plan it in a way that you match them together and form a plan that has value creation.”


Then comes technology architecture.

“You cannot move all legacy into cloud. You have to plan it. Define mission critical, non-mission critical. Do we need a data cloud architecture? Do we need API microservices to encapsulate our data layer or our legacy with the experience layer? That has to be planned. To create such value, to create such customer experience, do I need to move my legacy into cloud so I can pivot to the customer?”


And once the planning is done, number four is the governance.

“There is always temptation to do many such shiny projects. But you have to focus on the ones that really drive the bottom line in terms of operating income, in terms of revenue, and prioritize them.”

“Success is not about moving 500 apps to cloud. Success is to start with the customer. Arriving at, ‘We actually pivoted to a different business model.’ And results such as, ‘We grew organically by 10%. Our ETA (estimated time arrival) improved by say 20%, and that was given by technology.’ That’s where the missing link is,” Sahoo advises.

Read more: What is driving the XaaS economy in India?

Today, product or service delivery must be in sync with the times, and the times are undeniably digital. When a business becomes agile at delivering value services in real time via a digital platform, DigiOps are indeed in practice.


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