CIO Wall

Rajat Subhra Datta

VP - IT - Ramkrishna Forgings Ltd.

CIO Perspectives

Digital Disruptions not only threaten the very core of an organization’s business but also present an opportunity to innovate and excel. How are you responding to the new changes and applying digital transformation strategy in your organization?

Digital Transformation is indispensable to all businesses to cope up with new business models and ideas, changing expectations of business, changing compliance norms, longer period data retention norms etc. Empowered customers are clearly demanding more from the business.

Customers today often have more data and resources available to them than the business trying to sell them. Business and innovations need to be customer centric which fulfils their demand and expectations. New innovations are being led by customers and partners, demanding the business become more digital to improve organizational speed and decision making, enhance operational agility to create distinguished products.

Digital Transformation is neither new nor a buzzword for Ramkrishna Forgings Limited (henceforth will be called as RKFL). Digital Transformation strategy had been introduced in the organization some six years back, thanks to the visionary leadership and insights of RKFL top management who sought a new level of competitive advantage in doing business through better control and transform decision making from gut-level to data-driven while focusing on core competency. Senior leadership in RKFL understood the power of Digital Technology. Adoption of Digital Transformation was systematic, inclusive and all pervasive. RKFL brought in this disruption in the organisation by recruiting a talent pool of IT in one go. The radical effort and investment to create a strong platform for digital transformation, itself created a disruption in culture, processes, skills, org structures and connections inside the company. Most important part was the Digital Transformation strategy was directed from MD’s office. RKFL envisaged the role of CIO as “Chief inclusion officer” who can promote an open and innovative culture and work as a “change agent” in leading a digital journey and transforming the business culture. Inclusion as well as forging a strategic and deep relationship with all the C’s helped in understanding the need and drive the business value and finally delivering it.

In its journey to becoming a digitally maturing organisation and to gain competitive advantage out of it; RKFL had created a strong platform for Digital Transformation by having right Digital Assets and the Talent Pool in place, first to protect their own operations from disruptions. This gives them an ability to adapt quickly to change and deliver. To tackle the digital skill gap and the talent challenge a culture had been made in place to develop the talent that reduces the risk of losing.

The appropriate and systematic Digital Transformation Strategy has helped the organization in smooth and seamless integration while building up new production facilities and acquisitions. A culture beneficial to Digital Transformation has become an attribute to the organization. The strategy is accomplished by adopting a collaboration solution which accelerate decision making, processes, proposals and rank ideas.

The main focus of RKFL Digital Transformation strategy evolves around the words “Modernise and Simplify with Zero tolerance to Cyber-attacks and intellectual data leakage” till the end user level. RKFL is on its way of re-assessing its Cyber-security and working towards next generation security solutions which will be capable of detecting and protect the continuously evolving advanced and new threats of ransomware, malware and sophisticated cyber-attacks etc. up to the end user level. Security awareness is being infused in process design, to enable large scale adoption by users and increase their trust in order to truly gain from digital Transformation and Convergence.

Collaboration and co-invention provides a channel through which customers, suppliers, partners and companies can maximize values from the business. RKFL’s decision to implement SAP PLM with customer collaboration along with SAP document management system had provided a great competitive advantage in the area of Digital Transformation w.r.t collaborative innovation, tracking engineering change management, document tracking and data retention.

In its transformational journey from Digital Natives to Digital Maturing, RKFL had decided SAP ECC migration to SAP HANA S4/HANA to get clear advantage in speed of data processing, big data and Analytics. RKFL is now leveraging sensor data in both technically and commercially viable ways for integration with SAP HANA for better and faster data driven decision making capability. RKFL is already in the cloud service with all its office automation applications. It has its own internal/private cloud catering to all the user need inside the organisation.

In this world of “mobile” no organisation can rise to a state of maturing Digital Transformation without using the power of mobile applications. RKFL is in the process of building models, providing utility to customer (both external and internal) via website and web applications and also via mobile applications based on SAP FIORI.

Organisation’s Digital Transformation strategy depends upon the fundamentals and supported by collaborative culture that are open to taking risks. RKFL targets improvement in innovation (like simulation, machine optimisation, tool optimisation, efficiency optimisation, manpower optimisation, 3D Scanning, extensive use of Digital Twin etc.), decision making and ultimately transforming how business works.

In its onward journey to digital disruption RKFL will extensively depend on Advanced Analytics and Artificial Intelligence which will provide new abilities to draw insights from large amount of data. RKFL is already using next level interfaces, advanced robotics, and additive manufacturing it its way to digital disruption. This unleashes seamless flow of data across the value chain that link every phase of product life cycle, from design, sourcing, testing, and production to distribution, point of sale and use. RKFL already in its way to use social media, mobile applications, digital sensors and other technologies to build close connections to end customers and monitor how they using their products. With the help of digital technologies, we hope to achieve more accurate demand forecast, improved customer assistance and greater employee feedback.