Milind Kargaonkar, Head, IT, India and SAARC, Godrej Consumer Products

For smooth integration of the various stages of the production value chain, manufacturing enterprises are adopting new IT solutions like industrial internet of things (IIoT) to extract information from the plant floor and along the supply chain, and turn it into actionable insights. Meanwhile, social media, mobile, cloud and analytics (SMAC) technologies are helping industries gain real-time insight into market trends and customer preferences. Going forward, the role of robotics, 3D printing and augmented reality in manufacturing operations is expected to increase significantly. Leading enterprises talk about the key IT trends in manufacturing and their own IT initiatives…

How have IT solutions helped manufacturing enterprises enhance business operations?

There has been a significant shift in how manufacturing enterprises view telecom and IT, from a back-office role to more of a business partner. This has happenned largely due to the advent of “digital” and “mobility” technologies, which has changed the way consumers perceive a product or services associated with it.

What are the technology trends in the manufacturing space? How has been the adoption of new technologies like IoT, M2M and the cloud?

Cloud, digital business, mobility and internet of things (IoT) are the key technology trends being witnessed by the manufacturing industry. Most companies had initially adopted the cloud for email services as well as their web portal but are now slowly moving their core IT infrastructure also onto the cloud. Typically, the non-production set-up is first moved to the cloud before moving critical production-related IT systems in order to minimise the impact. Meanwhile, the digital business trend has strongly influenced the areas of sales and marketing. Small steps are being taken on the IoT front as well but the technology and its ecosystem are still evolving.

“The advent of digital and mobility technologies has changed the way consumers perceive a product or the services associated with it.” Milind Korgaonkar

What are some of the IT initiatives taken by your organisation in the past few years? What are the company’s plans going forward?

We have taken some innovative IT initiatives in analytics, IoT and mobility. We plan to increase our focus on these to gain business advantage moving forward.

What are the key challenges in the deployment of IT and telecom solutions?

Telecom connectivity has changed drastically over the past few years but there are still gaps, which lead to poor connectivity. Hence, even today, the deployment of a centralised IT system that maintains consistent quality is a challenge. But, I expect this will change in the near future.