The manufacturing sector has seen an increased uptake of ICT solutions in the past couple of years. New age technologies such as AI, IoT, blockchain, data analytics and cloud are being adopted by manufacturing enterprises to improve business efficiency and streamline operations. However, their deployment entails challenges. Moreover, with the emergence of Industry 4.0, there is a need for companies to take a relook at their existing business models and strategies. Vishad Rahangdale, Chief Information Officer, Electrotherm (India) Limited, talks about the emerging ICT trends, the evolving technology landscape, challenges and the future outlook…
What are the key ICT trends that are shaping the manufacturing sector?
The trends are promising and ICT adoption is on an upward trajectory. However, consistency remains an issue, primarily due to short-term business hiccups.
What ICT solutions are deployed by your organisation? How are these helping in enhancing business performance and efficiency?
Managing business expectations is challenging. Greater impetus is needed to keep pace with the very volatile market demand, in terms of service delivery, faster turnaround and low costs. Recently, we revamped our data centre and computing infrastructure, and undertook many other performance optimisation activities. We also deployed issue handling tools in order to improve service delivery.
What are your views on the adoption of emerging technologies such as AI, IoT and cloud in the manufacturing industry? What is your company’s future roadmap with regard to these?
At Electrotherm, we are very aggressively working on our IT roadmap 2020 to make our capital goods business Industry 4.0 compliant, and are undertaking a pilot project in this regard. We are working on multiple parallel tracks as a part of that. The development of a bedrock platform is in process and should get completed by December 2019. We introduced AR/VR in some functions in September 2019. Our products are already IoT enabled. Consolidation on a single platform will start by mid-January 2020. SAP BI/BO and BPC implementation is under way for taking care of our advanced analytics requirement. Extensive work is going on on the UX front. A SAP FIORI app development project is also in progress. The entire gamut of solutions will be delivered by March 2020.
What are the challenges faced in managing the existing IT/telecom infrastructure and deploying new technologies?
Changing dynamics on the cybersecurity front keep IT teams on their toes. Threats keep cropping up every other day. I feel telecom service providers need to take stringent steps at their end to implement solutions for entry-level threats and intrusions. While many steps are being taken at the data centre and end-user levels, one cannot be assured that every threat has been taken care of.
How do you see business models transforming with the emergence of Industry 4.0?
Product delivery models are changing very rapidly. The change has been internalised and we have taken a strategic call to transform our business model by 2022. Our transformation roadmap is in place, as mentioned earlier. Work on the pilot project is already going on. These initiatives will give us an edge over the competition and help us to be ahead of the time in our domain.