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The pathway to become a live enterprise

As organizations look to navigate a fast-changing environment, and adopt practices to become more agile, Infosys’ Nandan Nilekani, Jeff Kavanaugh, and Rafee Tarafdar share their insights and thoughts from the book, The Live Enterprise, on how large corporate organizations can embrace a startup like culture

Highlights

  • As everything is becoming digital, and changes that were taking years happened in a matter of weeks during the pandemic, every company has to become a digital enterprise. – says Nandan Nilekani
  • Successful companies are the ones that sense reason and respond in an agile manner, and as a result, evolve quickly. – says Jeff Kavanaugh
  • Business can design for evolvability, rather than focusing on feature functions, so that they create a platform that essentially enables them to drive more innovations in future. – says Rafee Tarafdar

A live enterprise is one that keeps changing with the changing environment. And as organizations across the world seek ways to adapt, there is a realization that it is more important than ever for them to consider new approaches, practices and processes to move forward.

This is especially true at a time when the global environment has disrupted operations in a big way.

Gleaning from their experiences and learnings Jeff Kavanaugh, Global Head of the Infosys Knowledge Institute, and Rafee Tarafdar, Chief Technology Officer of the Strategic Technology Group at Infosys, shared their insights in their book “The Live Enterprise,” elaborating on how leaders and organizations need to be agile, in order to consistently evolve, and become a live enterprise.

“Every company in the world needs to be a live enterprise. And that requires a dramatic reinvention of its own digital infrastructure to become live,” says Nandan M. Nilekani

Also sharing his thoughts, Nandan M. Nilekani, Co-founder of Infosys, says that every company in the world needs to be a live enterprise.

“That requires a dramatic reinvention of its own digital infrastructure to become live,” he says, adding that the principles of live enterprise – sentience, quick stimuli, and being able to respond to new situations - are important elements of a life enterprise.

As everything is becoming digital, changes that earlier used to take several years have happened in a matter of weeks during the pandemic. As a result, says Nilekani, that every organization has to become a digital enterprise.

“That is where the principles of live enterprise are, very strategic,” he says.

Kavanaugh too believes that successful companies are the ones that sense reason and respond in an agile manner, and as a result, evolve quickly.

Tarafdar agrees.

“Successful companies sense reason and respond in a very agile way. More importantly, they evolve quickly,” says Jeff Kavanaugh

He views that business can design for evolvability, rather than focusing on feature functions, so that they create a platform that essentially enables them to drive more innovations in future.

“Then the sentience essentially helps them respond to the changing business stimuli, changing customer expectations, changing norms, like the one COVID-19 that we had to deal with,” he says.

Kavanaugh notes that the live enterprise model allows solid agile principles to be practiced at scale, even in a large company, without sacrificing the structure and scale needed to be successful.

Nilekani highlights that for Infosys to be able to help and advice its clients, it has been important that the organization itself becomes agile.

“And so, we took on a major journey of reinventing every part of Infosys,” he says talking about a range of efforts on the learning front, collaboration platform, cloud approach, among other things.

“A lot of these routine decisions that doesn't require a higher order thinking or human involvement are done autonomously, so that humans can focus on more important tasks and activities,” says Rafee Tarafdar.

“Everything has been reimagined and reinvented over the last three years, and this reinvention of Infosys has given us the confidence that we now know what to talk to our clients about,” he says.

Tarafdar suggests that it is important for organizations that autonomous decisions become a part of routine decision making where higher order thinking or human involvement is not required, so that humans can focus on more important tasks and activities.

“Anyone can adapt live enterprise principles,” says Kavanaugh, adding that it’s important to stay connected, observe, be informed, and finally make decisions based on the observations.

“And do it boldly,” he emphasizes.

These principles of Live Enterprise, concludes Nilekani, apply to every company in the world.

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