IoT, AI and blockchain will change every aspect of enterprises and our lives: Oracle


The current health crisis has snowballed into a world economic crisis, where every old business norm has been challenged. In such times, we cannot fall back on old ways of doing our business. Today, three technologies –

Internet of Things(IoT), Artificial Intelligence (AI), and blockchain are poised to change every aspect of enterprises and our lives. Now more than ever, organisations realise the pertinent need for a robust digital foundation for their businesses as their future plans have been disrupted.

“To achieve that level of business sophistication holistically it is imperative that there is a seamless flow of data across all the functions of an enterprise. That requires connected data that is secure and one that is driven by connected intelligence,” Guruprasad Gaonkar, JAPAC SaaS Leader for ERP & Digital Supply Chain, Oracle told Moneycontrol in an interview:

How is India reacting to emerging technologies as compared to other Asia Pacific (APAC) regions?

India is one of the world’s fastest-digitizing countries on the consumer side. However, there has been an uneven adoption of digital technology when it comes to businesses, and there is a clear gap between digital leaders and other firms. Today, three transformational technologies—IoT (Internet of Things), AI (Artificial Intelligence), and blockchain—are poised to change every aspect of an enterprise. We see three clear trends on the back of our phenomenal growth in the region & particularly in India.

First, SaaS (Software-as-Service) is fast becoming the foundation for the core digital sectors such as unicorns & digital Start-ups, ITeS & BPO, electronics manufacturing, and digital communication services. These sectors are inherently digital and are required to constantly subscribe to emerging tech innovations.

Second, other sectors are required to embed insights into their decision making rigorously. These sectors are logistics, hospitality, higher education, healthcare, and financial services. These sectors are increasingly required to stay up to date with compliance & regulatory changes. Third are discrete manufacturing, retail consumer products sector, and markets for jobs and skills, both of which are ripe for digital applications that can boost efficiency, transparency & precision to an entirely new level.

The Indian government has done much to encourage Cloud & SaaS adoption progress, from clarifying regulations to improving infrastructure & connectivity. The current uneven state digitisation of Indian businesses is both an opportunity and a challenge.


    1. How do you see technologies like AI and machine learning transforming the finance function from a support function to a strategic one?
      To understand the impact of emerging technologies on finance and operations, Oracle and ESG published a Competitive Edge Report based on a global survey of 700 finance and operations managers and executives across 13 countries. The research found that emerging technologies have passed the adoption tipping point. Now they are exceeding expectations and creating a significant competitive advantage for organizations. Organizations using the most emerging technologies such as AI & ML have grown their annual revenues 58% faster than organizations not investing in these technologies.
      Three key findings from the report include – First, 85% of respondents believe AI and Machine learning are “catalysts for change” for the finance organization to transform from reporting on “what” is happening in the business to “why” things are happening. Second, 83% of CFO respondents agree that AI will rethink age-old business processes and strategies, including financial close, will be completely automated. And Third, 74 percent of respondents agree intelligent automation will be critical to keep pace with rapidly shifting regulations.


    1. Automation is becoming a necessity for large scale organisations. How does cloud-based ERP helps its customers leverage these technologies to their maximum benefits?
      Clearly, emerging technologies are impacting business outcomes and especially in unprecedented times. But legacy ERP approaches can stand in the way of reaping real benefits. Highly customized, maintained on-premises or hosted on Cloud Infrastructure ERP is siloed, and often requires multi-year deployments to get things right.  They simply lack the agility, speed, interoperability, and simplicity that is required to tap into the business benefits of technologies such as AI and IoT. For this reason, an increasing number of organizations are turning to ERP SaaS consumption models to more easily “turn on” subscription models for Office of Finance, Operations, and Digital Supply Chain. In fact, the earlier mentioned report reveals that a whopping 91% of all the respondents said that they consider SaaS as a key enabler of emerging technology adoption.


  1. Your company says that getting on the ERP cloud will be the last upgrade that a company would need. Can you please explain a bit more?

    The key point introduced by Larry Ellison, Oracle CTO and Chairman of the Board is that when organizations move business applications to a SaaS architecture, it removes costly and complex software updates. In contrast to cloud-hosted applications, which require reimplementation with each update, SaaS applications are constantly being updated with new features that customers can instantly opt-in on. This makes new innovative features like AI, digital assistants and blockchain easily accessible to enable customers to outpace change and reduces risk by enabling customers to align with ever-evolving regulatory and compliance requirements. Cloud ERP delivered via SaaS gives organizations agility and insight to face whatever comes around the corner.

    Do you believe that technology can help organizations to resolve business problems holistically? Can you support your answer with a case study?
    To achieve that level of business sophistication in a holistic manner it is imperative that there is a seamless flow of data across all the functions of an enterprise. That requires connected data that is secure and one that is driven by connected intelligence. Connected data means all business functions are operating as one, eliminating siloed operations. For example, excess liquidity in finance triggering early payment discounting in procurements function, another example being productivity improvement measures in human resources coming by operating expense guidelines from finance. More connected lines of business results in better business decision making that drives growth and resource optimisation.  A SaaS delivery model that is built on emerging technologies drives extreme automation and intelligence that eliminates redundancy. As market dynamics shift, the business agility enabled by a suite of SaaS business applications with a shared data model will become increasingly valuable.

    How technology can support businesses during market disruptions to carry on business continuity?Major disruptions are bound to cause some fundamental shifts. While operating under high levels of uncertainty, organisations need to adapt to any change in the business environment swiftly. For example, SRL Diagnostics, one of India’s largest private testing labs, is using Oracle Service Cloud to manage a high volume of queries from their patients coming through the website, mobile app, and calls to the customer service centre. As a result, patients can now receive results from the lab within 24 hours via various digital channels like email, etc.

  2. Save the children, the largest operating child rights humanitarian non-profit organisation in India, is working round-the-clock to make sure that these times get a little easy for underprivileged sections of the society. They are not just giving curated kits to the children, they are also giving a source of livelihood to adolescent girls in states like Orissa, Kerala, Telangana, etc. The NPO is using Oracle Enterprise Resource Planning (ERP) Cloud and Oracle Human Capital Management (HCM) Cloud to enable a seamless flow of supplies, resources, funds, and other procurements and make sure that there is no disruption in the relief work.

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