With the launch of the Digital India programme in 2015, the government of India has set forth its vision to transform India into a digitally empowered society. The government aims to empower every Indian denizen and enable businesses to transact easily and efficiently. Lately, citizens of the nation united to cope up with the aftermath of the demonetisation measure. The citizens compensated for the scarcity of cash by switching over to digital wallets and myriad of payment platforms to make payments against purchases.
The bigger question in the picture is what is the broader implementation of Digital India? Is it digitalisation, automation or both?
Digitalisation and Digitisation
Digitalisation is often confused with digitisation. Be it digitisation or digitalisation, the dependency unquestionably lies on technology for enhancing and adding value to a product or service, but the major difference lies in scale. Digitisation is the process of converting something from analog into a digital form, whereas digitalisation involves the application of digital technologies in a way that it transforms individuals, society, and industries.
Automation is the technique of operating or controlling a process by highly automatic means, as by electronic devices, reducing human intervention to a minimum. Automation improves organisational processes, enhances efficiency, improves the productivity of users, reduces operational costs and minimises human errors by a significant margin.
Automation and the striking connection with Digital India
The government of India does not see Digital India has a standalone programme to suffice a sole purpose. It perceives Digital India as a platform for transforming businesses, society, governance, and the country. Enlisted below are the three broad visions, which if attained, can revolutionise the life of citizens:
- Infrastructure as a utility
- On-demand governance and services
- Digital empowerment of citizens
Fulfilment of these visions will certainly lay a concrete platform and allow for information and services to be accessed anytime, anywhere, without unnecessary delays. In consideration to Digital India, the government of India hopes that Indian businesses will be well-positioned to identify opportunities, make investments in advance and reap dividends, when demand materialises.
Automation – laying concrete pillars of development
With ‘Digital India’ and ‘Make in India’ laying the foundation for India’s transformation into manufacturing, digital and innovation hub, there are a few challenges, which have to be addressed. One of the highly talked about arguments is in regards to unemployment. For instance, there was a huge hue and cry in the 1970s, when banks introduced ATMs. It was anticipated that it will result in loss of jobs, however the number of bank tellers proliferated ever since.
It won’t be wrong to say that automation is poised to generate employment and innovative endeavours for millennials. These newly generated jobs are specialised and better paying, leading to several benefits for workers and a higher standard of living. With Make in India, investors are lining up to commence business in Indian market and are capitalising in manufacturing and R&D facilities on a macro scale.
The road ahead
As we head towards 2020, there will be a steady shift to the next paradigm of digitalisation. Everything that has been digitalised will be primed for automation. The demand for faster processing speed and power, and the requirement to process huge volumes of data will grow exponentially. In the hyper-connected world of users and with the advent of smartphones, tablets, smart devices and the Internet of Things (IOT), it will be convenient for more aspects of our life and the world to be surveyed via software, built for that very purpose.
In India, there will be massive broadband connectivity across the rural areas. The resultant economic upsurge will add another crore of jobs to the economy. It is now beyond question that digitalisation will improve productivity; enhance user experience and open gateways to new opportunities for growth and innovation. In the Indian context, with Digital India driving digitalisation across the country in infrastructure, business and civil society, automation will be the next step.
Bansal is AVP and Head – Government COE, Newgen Software Technologies Limited.