Senior IT Executive, West Bengal Power Development Corporation Limited

Information and communication technology (ICT) infrastructure has become critical for organisations in the government and utilities sector to achieve operational efficiencies. While technologies like enterprise resource management (ERP) and customer relationship management (CRM) are central to the ICT strategies of these organisations, there is now a growing interest in leveraging solutions like cloud technology and internet of things (IoT) to optimise operations. Senior IT officials in the government and utilities space talk about the current level of technology adoption in their organisations, emerging technology trends, the challenges faced in implementing technologies and the plans for upgrading their ICT infrastructure….

What are the key telecom and IT solutions deployed by your organisation?

Earlier, West Bengal Power Develop­ment Corporation Limited’s (WBPDCL) adoption of IT solutions was low. We only used IBM’s package solutions for catering to our IT needs. However, with the evolution of technology, our IT requirements have changed. In order to meet these requirements, we are now implementing SAP solutions. It will take two or three months to implement these and another year or two for employees to get acquainted with these systems. We want to use these SAP solutions in a better way in the future. We will be able to comment on the business performance and efficiency of these solutions only once they are fully implemented.

What are some of the challenges faced by your organisation with respect to managing IT and telecom infrastructure? 

The major challenge faced by our organisation is that there are multiple layers of truth in the information that comes into the systems. This is because there are multiple systems through which different levels of truth come. These need to be integrated into a single version. In contrast to this, in a single integrated system, only one version of truth comes in. Therefore, we are implementing SAP solutions in our systems so that only a single version of truth flows into these systems.

What is the current level of adoption of CRM, ERP, enterprise mobility and cloud solutions in your organisation?

At present, we are making a move towards ERP solutions. Since WBPDCL is a government-owned organisation, the entire product is given to a government distribution agency. We do not require CRM solutions because our usage pattern is such that it caters to government distribution agencies. The adoption of cloud-based solutions by the organisation would require a lot of tendering. Further, if we adopt cloud solutions, shifting from one place to another would be very difficult. Therefore, we prefer in-house computing and do not want to adopt cloud-based solutions as of now.

What are your views regarding the digital tran­s­­formation of organisations?

The country is witnessing a digital transformation in every industry. As far as government organisations are concerned, a lot of them have their own websites. Through these websites, they are communicating with each other. Government organisations publish information on their websites so that their customers, the general public, can access it. We are at the beginner’s stage in terms of technology adoption. For us as an organisation, digital transformation represents a move towards ERP solutions. SAP opens up an opportunity for our organisation to integrate with other government organisations. However, this opportunity can be tapped only if both the distribution companies use SAP solutions. All the parties related to us use the same platform and we have integrated our systems with some of them using SAP solutions.

What are the key upcoming technology trends?

A number of new technologies are coming up. Technologies change rapidly and a lot of innovation comes in. However, only a few of these technologies fulfil the mana­ge­­ment’s objectives. To this end, the management of any organisation needs to understand its expectations first and then choose the right technologies to adopt.

“We are at the beginner’s stage in terms of technology adoption. For us as an organisation, digital transformation represents a move towards ERP solutions.” Senior IT Executive