In an exclusive interaction with QNA, Srividya Kannan, Founder, Director – Avaali Solutions Pvt Ltd. gives an insight into the functioning of his company, the journey of digitalization, how to manage information security, and much more.
What kind of projects does your company deal in?
Srividya Kannan: Avaali is a consulting and technology services company that works with large enterprises to significantly accelerate their cycle time to process with emerging technologies. We’ve enabled over 120+ large enterprises across Asia, The Middle East and Africa to bring down the cost, improve process cycle time and bring in strong governance with digital technologies.
What kind of positive and negative changes have you seen in the journey of digitalisation?
Srividya Kannan: There are lots of opportunities that digitalisation has brought about. We’ve enabled enterprises to bring down costs by an order of 30-40% via digitalisation. We’ve enabled them to significantly accelerate cycle time to process by an order of 40% and provide better stakeholder experiences. Skills in emerging technologies are a challenge. With Avaali Academy, we do provide a lot of training on some of the skills. We support enterprises to set up COE’s so that they create an internal talent pool who can help them scale in certain automation solutions like Robotic Process Automation. Digitalisation is going to lead to a shift in the kind of jobs that people will do. For enterprises, it will be important to manage this change in terms of reskilling people and getting them excited about this change.
How can the cost be controlled in an IT business?
Srividya Kannan: Depending on whether the business entails product build or is a services business, major elements of costs would include people, infrastructure and cost of innovation. In order to stay competitive, it is important to keep track of spends such as to optimize profit per person and returns on capital employed. At every stage, it is required to evaluate how the various activities are being conducted, could be templated for future use versus customizations. Repetitive activities could be templated too. This may not be possible for something like innovation for example. So, it is important to invest wisely depending on what customers will eventually pay a premium for and where they would like to bring down costs and therefore the IT business margin. Collections need adequate focus and attention. Keeping an eye on timely collections is imperative to run a profitable business.
What is the key method to manage information security?
Srividya Kannan: Information Security is a vast subject. The fact remains that once when something is converted into computer code using any device, there is no universal authority that certifies its status as secure. It always carries a risk of being corrupted or used in unauthorised ways, despite taking several precautions. The scale of information security problems is only set to rise with a myriad of connected devices. From a lightbulb to a factory, everything is going the connected way. Laws enforcing information security should be made very stringent and with much thought – for instance, any device having network connectivity should have mandatory updates or should have a predefined lifetime. The liabilities on information security flaws should be made more stringent with penalties. While making decisions for technology adoption, CISO’s and CTO’s must enforce vendor guidelines very clearly. This must be a “top-down priority” and cannot be a “bottom-up” discipline. Risk assessment discipline including risk mitigation decisions must be taken very seriously and not just for tick marking processes as complete. Enterprises must build a strong information security culture and continuously reinforce its importance with training.