/Public sector modernisation, public-private partnership with use of tech key for post-Covid recovery: Satya Nadella

Public sector modernisation, public-private partnership with use of tech key for post-Covid recovery: Satya Nadella

Public-private partnership and the modernisation of the public sector through the use of technology will be crucial to recovery post the Coronavirus pandemic, said Microsoft chief executive officer Satya Nadella.

He added that it will also be essential for the “catch-up” growth in the next 10 years which is very much possible. Nadella was speaking on Saturday at the 93rd Annual General Meeting of the industry body FICCI organised virtually.

“Some of the work that’s happening in India, whether it is the ID system or the banking APIs or the payment API, it’s pretty enlightening,” he said.

Nadella added that India is being seen as a case study of some real profound change being driven across both private and the public sector.

“So job number one is to make sure that our public sector is being supported in their modernization and then the public-private partnership is really helping adopt all of the changes, and bring about more ubiquity to that change. I think that that’s going to be very important.”

Nadella said this will be key for developing economies to be able to recover from the pandemic and also for catch up growth. “I think it’s absolutely possible in the next 10 years, catch up growth is possible when both the public institutions and the private sector, both in tandem are able to move at it, and move rapidly.”

Hyderabad born Nadella whose father is a former civil servant in India said that given his family background he thinks a lot about the role of the public sector. He also said that he has been thinking of what are the necessary conditions to be able to deal with the current complexity. “Hopefully 2021, spring or summer the pandemic is behind us. How do we approach it and what exactly are the actions we need to take…”

He said that a much bigger opportunity exists in 2020 to create technology so that every organization out there in India and elsewhere can create their own technology. “It’s not about celebrating our own tech. It’s about tools for other people to be able to create more tech and that gives a real direction to what we are trying to get done.”

The pandemic has also brought to the fore the role that technology has played in tiding over the constraints and allowed even mission-critical businesses, be it financial services or healthcare to function.

“This has been the time where digital tech is being adopted at scale… There’s not going to be a single boardroom, where they’re not going to talk about digital technology as something that is nice to have rather it’s going to be core, not just for their future transformation, but for their business continuity so that’s perhaps the biggest structural change that I see.”

Talking about the role of artificial intelligence, Nivruti Rai Country Head, Intel India & Vice President, DPG, Intel Technology India said India is using AI-based technologies to the level that we had never seen before. “We saw a 45% increase in the usage and adoption of AI, and it is way higher than economies such as the US, UK and Japan.”

She added that for us to make full use of the potential and capability of AI and virtual reality, we need to focus on data access and invest in creating the compute infrastructure. “India is a data-rich country, each one of us has a data factory. And we have national-level platforms like UPI and GST and a rapidly growing digital customer base.”

India also has 6 million software developers, and the rate at which the number of developers is growing is unparalleled. “Now what we need to do is use these developers to focus on AI-based human-centric solutions,” said Rai.

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