Welcome to Tata Consultancy Services’ rolling coverage of the 2019 TCS Innovation Forum

Closing Remarks

As the TCS 2019 Innovation Forum comes to a close, K. Ananth Krishnan, EVP and CTO, Tata Consultancy Services, thanks the “wonderful audience, participants and conversationalists” at this year’s event.

The future is in safe hands, if I may say so,” he says.

[Tuesday, 30th April, 17:50]

The next generation of digital innovators

“It is an estimated that there is a 40,000 shortfall annually of STEM qualified people coming into the UK economy alone. That should be a cause of worry for us because without those skills, we as businesses will not succeed.”

The TCS/First News Digital Innovators competition aims to spark young people’s interest and excitement around technology.

One of the judges was astronaut Tim Peake, who says the judging panel loved every single one of the ideas.

[Tuesday, 30th April, 17:40]

Managing Risk in a world of Unknown Unknowns

AI increases your cyber risk as well as your reward. Manage your risk carefully, concludes the fourth breakout session of the day.


[Tuesday, 30th April, 17:29]

Data centricity is everyone’s business

Breakout session three – Data and Platform Driven Industry Value Chains – explored data and platforms.


[Tuesday, 30th April, 17:23]

Agile Business for Digital Living Systems

The afternoon’s second breakout session – Agile Business for Digital Living – focused on how to adapt business, leadership and strategy in a way that embraces technological change.

One of the most important takeaways from the session was that design and agility play an important role here.

[Tuesday, 30th April, 17:14]

The Imitation Game: Age of Smart Machines

The priorities for business and IT should be aligned. Change management is hugely important as companies undergo their digital transformation journeys. AI and ethics will play an increasingly critical role in business decisions.

These were just some of the conclusions reached during the afternoon’s first breakout session – The Imitation Game: Age of Smart Machines

[Tuesday, 30th April, 17:04]

A woman on a mission to teach us all to code

To date, Decoded has taught half a million people to code. At the TCS Innovation Forum @KathrynParsons asks what government and big business can do to be part of the education revolution.

In addition, no one need be left behind.

You are never too old, you are never too young, you are never the wrong gender, you have never studied the wrong subject. Trust me, this is for everyone.

[Tuesday, 30th April, 16:35]

Digital innovation

We’ll also hear from Nicky Cox about the TCS & First News Digital Innovators competition.


[Tuesday, 30th April, 16:18]

The future is written in code

Coming up, a session on The Education Revolution by @KathrynParsons, Co-Founder and CEO, Decoded, on how we all need to learn, re-skill and up-skill to meet the needs of Business 4.0.

[Tuesday, 30th April, 16:10]

Insights from the breakout sessions


[Tuesday, 30th April, 15:50]

The role of data management

At the Data and Platform Driven Industry Value Chains breakout session, a panel discussed the importance of the senior data officer role within their organizations.

It is an evolving role, agreed the panel. Some organisations have a very well-defined function, while others have a centre of excellence type model.

Businesses are certainly beginning to understand the crucial need of having a data officer.

[Tuesday, 30th April, 15:35]

New innovation opportunities 

The TCS Co-Innovation Network (COIN™) is a critical component of enabling our clients’ Business 4.0 transformation.

The Network brings together experts across the research, academic, start-up and the corporate world to create a 360-degree view of the innovation landscape.


[Tuesday, 30th April, 14:55]

Leveraging insights


TCS Innovation Forum delegates reassembled after lunch in one of the four breakout sessions, exploring presentations and discussions from clients, start-ups and industry experts in the following themes:

  1. The Imitation Game: Age of Smart Machines – to provide an executive toolkit and create an enterprise-level AI deployment strategy
  2. Agile Business for Digital Living Systems – to build a culture of rapid innovation, shortened product cycles and a motivated workforce
  3. Data and Platform Driven Industry Value Chains – tackles challenges that arise from handling data
  4. Managing Risk in a world of Unknown Unknowns – examines how to move to a cognitive, intelligent and automated security operation

[Tuesday, 30th April, 14:10]

Solving real-world problems

Next, the TCS Innovation and Research teams outlined some of the projects they are working on which aim to solve real-world problems using cutting-edge AI. 

Projects like the Digital Twin, a virtual simulator board representation of a complex real system, which can be put into a variety of scenarios to enrich or interpret the system.

And how algorithms are unlocking the secrets of the human microbiome.

As well as monitoring systems which help provide care to senior citizens who live alone.

TCS are working to make sensors that are highly sensitive, affordable and zero power,” says Dr. Tapas Chakravarty, Principal Scientist, Corporate Research and Innovation, Tata Consultancy Services.

Read more here: The secret sauce of innovation.

Working smarter

We heard from innovators at TCS Pace™ about their work including technology that can screen out 95% of the distracting noise from a conference call.

TCS Pace™ taps into TCS Research, Innovation, and Co-innovation to drive digital transformation.


[Tuesday, 30th April, 12:30]

Machine first can transform healthcare

National health systems are facing unprecedented challenges. An ageing population, increased demand and a shortage of health workers are all contributing to give healthcare a headache.

But Martin Curley, eHealth CEO, Digital Director and CIO, Health Service Executive, says that there are lots of opportunities, starting with a machine first philosophy.

I really like the TCS mantra in terms of machine first.

We are at a unique point in time. In the past, a single piece of technology would show up, like the internal combustion engine. Right now, we have multiple digital technologies, disruptive technologies, all developing at the same time.

The good news for the healthcare industry is that we have a host of disruptive technologies that can be harnessed.

[Tuesday, 30th April, 12:10]

Merging technologies

Digital technology has driven the transformation of the mining industry for the last few years, says Gavin Wood, CIO, Newcrest Mining Limited. The key is to merge technology teams.

I believe the differentiation between information technology and digital technology and operational technology is false. We treat them all as one set of technologies.

At Newcrest, we are organised in a way where digital technology reports into me and my teams at site merge with the process and control teams.

This means that we have one strategy, one vision and we are able to focus on delivery and outcome.


[Tuesday, 30th April, 11:54]

The importance of ecosystems

Ann Davies, CIO, Zurich Corporate Center and Zurich Group Applications, says that ecosystems and looking at holistic solutions are key to overcoming the challenges facing the insurance industry.

We can’t do this on our own, so we are looking at a number of partners and key areas to help support that.

The other thing in the IT space we are looking at is crowdsourcing and I was very sceptical about this, the thought that thousands of people around the world might be able to help me with application development. I was really impressed, both of the quality and the speed.

You do have to have requirements while looking at crowdsourcing, but some of the results were really impressive.

[Tuesday, 30th April, 11:42]

Changing customer expectations

In this new digital world, customer expectations are changing, explains Michael Lewis, CEO, E.ON. But those expectations aren’t always the same.

The interesting thing is, the customer base is really valuing the convenience of digital apps but the more traditional customers want to talk to somebody.

We are going to live in a parallel world with multiple databases and customer expectations.


[Tuesday, 30th April, 11:22]


Latest innovations

The Innovation Forum delegates used their coffee break as an opportunity to network and view cutting-edge technologies at the Tata Consultancy Services’ Innovation showcase.

[Tuesday, 30th April, 11:15]

Bridging the gap

Technological change is happening at an exponential pace, but business productivity is growing at a gentler pace. It’s this gap that the Business 4.0 framework aims to change.

Krishnan Ramanujam, President, Service Lines, and Suresh Muthuswami, President, BFSI Platforms andTata Consultancy Services, took to the stage to explain how TCS has been helping companies like Prudential and Nest simplify their operations and leverage digital technology to grow their businesses.

[Tuesday, 30th April, 11:02]

AI and society


From designing personalized classes for schoolchildren, analyzing data to help combat deforestation, facial recognition which tracks down victims of trafficking, and helping blind people “see”, the promise of AI in society is huge, says Jonnie Penn, Rausing, Williamson and Lipton Trust Doctoral Scholar, University of Cambridge.

However, much like the invention of the ship brought the shipwreck, we will face challenges in its implementation. Chief among these is ensuring the quality and integrity of data, bad actors using AI to cause harm and “alien knowledge” – when we don’t understand how the AI works.

We’re all in this together and trust is essential.

Creating the role of Chief Ethics Officer, democratizing data or the emergence of data unions are just some of the future possibilities to deal with this.

We have to not only think about what we will do with AI, but what we will not do with it.

It’s not just about how AI will change society, but how society will change AI.

[Tuesday, 30th April, 10:32]

Finding the right digital skills is the biggest challenge for businesses today


The biggest challenge to companies successfully implementing their digital transformation is finding the right skills, says Felicity Burch.

UK business is at a tipping point – demand already outstrips supply and it is set to skyrocket. 67% of businesses are already reporting unfilled digital skills today.

The good news is, 93% of businesses are taking action.

Broadening strategy

Firms need to broaden their strategy to address their digital skills needs, says Felicity. They need to think about five key things:

1. Digital vision – think about what you want to achieve

2. Consider a company-wide skills program

3. Shop internally – engage your people in what their future careers could look like

4. Collaborate externally – use your supply chain, customers and training providers

5. Inspire and engage – the young people of today is the workforce of tomorrow


[Tuesday, 30th April, 10:10]

Key themes of the day

Shankar Narayanan, VP and Country Head, UK&I, Tata Consultancy Services outlines the key elements of digital transformation in the Business 4.0 world during his opening remarks at the TCS Innovation Forum.

Agile has now moved beyond software development into the mainstream, he says, and businesses increasingly recognize the need to leverage their wider ecosystem. There is a recognized blurring of industry boundaries, and innovation and transformation is now being sponsored from the top.

K. Ananth Krishnan, EVP and CTO, Tata Consultancy Services, outlines the key role that TCS Research and Innovation has in powering business transformation thanks to the insights their work gives them:

“Our biggest asset is that we work with over 1,000 of the world’s most innovative companies across industry,” he says.

AI is going to be pervasive, he adds.

AI is automating large parts of our enterprise landscape, augmenting human capacity and tackling problems.”


[Tuesday, 30th April, 09:42]

Reinventing business

In this digital age, if businesses don’t reinvent themselves, they risk having a short life span. Here we take a look at why machines that learn will be key to reinventing business https://digitaldirections.com/why-machines-that-learn-will-be-key-to-reinventing-business/ #TCSInnovation

[Tuesday, 30th April, 08:55]

Some of the conversations taking place today at the TCS Innovation Forum include: @felicityburch who will shortly be talking about how the UK can ensure we have the right skills for the new economy; Michael Lewis, @EON_SE_en, who will be discussing what tools we have to adapt in the Business 4.0 era and Leonie Woodward, @LAndGProperties, who will explore how we can introduce robots and smart machines seamlessly into our workplaces #TCSInnovation

[Tuesday, 30th April, 08:43]

Hello and welcome to our live coverage of TCS Innovation Forum 2019. The theme of the forum this year is ‘Agile. Machine First. Innovation’ as we showcase how global companies across industries are adopting a Business 4.0 framework.

Also on the agenda is an introduction to TCS Pace TM, Tata Consultancy Services’ new brand to harness research and innovation to drive digital transformation.


Stay tuned to hear about how data is key in creating personalized customer experiences, the role of AI in the workforce, and what the latest digital solutions are on show at the forum.

Follow @TCS_UKI on Twitter to join the conversation.