CIO Wall

Saradindu Paul

Sr. VP & Group CIO - Electrosteel Castings Ltd.

CIO Perspectives

Enabling the New Digital Normal - Connected and Secure

There is some discussion happening in our organisation around automation in some areas of manufacturing but all this is dependent on strong links. Connectivity is so strong these days that most businesses are able to move ahead despite these trying times. There are still a lot of opportunities that have to be explored like AI, ML, IoT and Industrial IoT. Connectivity has helped us progress rapidly, like, organising discussions and finalising decisions through virtual meetings. Things are actually happening faster and people are able to join from anywhere. Connectivity is really the key player here and is helping these things happen efficiently.

Demands of the Digital Era - IS Your Network Ready for the Next Normal?

The pandemic situation has helped us to become more self-actualised. We knew we had to take certain steps as part of digital transformation. We have come to realise that digital transformation is the future and will help us accelerate business performance, it was at a very slow pace. Industry 4.0 was happening at a snail’s pace. But the last 15 months have pushed us a lot to keep the business going. IT-enabling to enhance communication systems has happened in all industries including ours. We have taken some initiatives that have shown results despite many challenges. Since we are a manufacturing company, the processes are such that they need to be attended physically. That is when we thought about implementing automation of processes at various places. Gradually ideas started coming in and some of the ideas were implemented and those have helped us a lot. Beside that we had to see how to consider strengthening the network and reinforce security. In 2021 we have also had to continuously innovate to support the business and keep it running. Online inspection process had to be started for overseas customers instead of their physical visits. That meant having a video call and various manufacturing processes are being done. The customers witness the entire process and ask for certain data after which they give clearance. We implemented certain RPA at various places converting the repetitive work of people through these solutions, reducing workforce requirement. RPA solutions also help to handle a lot of documentation. Such kind of innovations and solutions are helping us meet customer demands.

Fueling Enterprise Transformation: How to solve Real Time Problems with Hybrid Cloud?

Digital transformation gives you a chance to go for an inclusive transformation. It is not only for business but for everything needed to make a business run successfully. Going forward, penetration of digital practice in business is becoming complex and we need to make it simple. I am from the manufacturing sector. I have been in the steel industry for almost 20 years. Today I see that with the introduction of digital transformations, we can bring the lead up and consolidate it from multiple desparate sources in a structured manner. The data is getting coupled with ERP, which is structured data, ultimately converting to meaningful data that is helping the organisation run business in a more competitive way. Cloud helps you focus on areas which need priority. Next is analytics, which means accumulating data from different sources, consolidating it and turning out the important information in a meaningful manner. Hybrid cloud will be useful for solutioning in case of unstructured data sources.

Digital marketing is also a part of digital transformation. If you operate at international level and you are on a marketing platform, you must be present on all social media where you show your achievements, certificates and products to attract the attention of your potential customers.

How Hybrid IT continues to fuel Digital Transformation

Speed, stability and agility differ from industry to industry. Embracing more IT solutions will help accelerate business. For that, capacity building is important. In India, we are not matured enough to embrace public cloud fully. So, hybrid is a safer model. However, we face link or power outage in steel plants. That affects production.

Cloud Strategy - What it means for your business in the short term as well as long term?

Today’s IT strategy can’t be thought without ‘Cloud’ with clarity in the horizon in any enterprise. India Inc. is into the mission of digitization whereas cloud is the key enabler. Therefore enterprises have to embrace it to join this journey for national inclusive growth. Unless done it would lag behind in the race.

At Electrosteel group next fiscal has been planned to make a paradigm shift in ICT practice. As a part of the strategy it has been decided to shift Data centres to Cloud in hybrid mode. Also gradual adoption of cloud based application services in SAS mode like SFDC, Vendor Portal, Employee engagement portal have been started in group companies. Taking SAP to cloud is under strong consideration. SAP landscape migration to cloud for one company is already under progress. Other two are expected to be taken up in the coming fiscal.

Taking significant cost advantage into consideration, Electrosteel has already taken convinced decision to embrace cloud, converting CAPEX to OPEX with strong alert in mind about strengthening secured WAN access readiness in the ecosystem. Implementation of necessary measures have already been initiated at group level involving various ISPs and security partners.

We, at Electrosteel strongly believe that business digitization for coming days can make an organisation far reaching to its every associates in the form of customer, vendor or employees. Cloud only can shape it expeditiously for tomorrow.