CIO Wall

Jayanta Bhowmik

Sr. VP - IT & CIO - Usha Martin Ltd.

CIO Perspectives

What is your IT vision in terms of cloud adoption? Is it Private Cloud or Public Cloud? What are the advantages / disadvantages of each?

The SAP Suite on Hana was deployed in Usha Martin in 2016 into on Premise platform, we have a plan and an exercise is already underway to build the DR on cloud. Hence we have a roadmap in hand for cloud adoption this year. The choice in this case is Public cloud, due to certified and tested tools and processes being available on offer. For mail and other applications, the adoption process is underway in sync with business priorities.

The advantage Public cloud offers are readymade tools, processes and industry level standards available almost in plug & play mode, hence the cost, time and efforts would be less and manageable for an ‘on demand’ and ‘pay as you use’ model, which is more flexible for switching on/off and scaling up/down dynamically based on business needs. On the Con’s side, you would not be able to replicate your data centre infrastructure, foundation platforms and standards into public cloud, and have to adapt to the standard offerings. That way it’s less customisable but more economical.

On the other hand, you can build and customize your private cloud more in line with your on premise platform, but the management and compliance overhead is more on the customer rather than the vendor. The system would not be part of the proven and certified eco system and would not benefit from the latest tools and processes as would be made available to the public cloud customers. The only advantage here is the flexibility to customise the platform to our need and preference but the more responsibility and onus lies on the user organization on managed services, governance, controls and compliance. Arguably, the data security is considered to be high in the case of private cloud. Private cloud would always be costlier, also the in house effort and team strength requirements are higher in this case.

However more than the cost, driver for the choice would be the business need and compatibility towards operations which would determine the right choice.

What is your IT strategy for driving business agility and scale?

With more and more consumerization of technology and commoditization of IT services, CIO roles are also transforming from being technology leaders to becoming business enablers, and we must directly contribute to business growth through innovation. We have recently taken a big leap in migrating the business ERP from legacy BaaN platforms to a centralized SAP Hana instance for businesses across the group that has helped integrate and consolidate processes across and within business units with seamless availability and flow of information and process optimization. Nowadays businesses need to be highly agile in the competitive market dynamics with smart moves from strategy to execution in no time. IT systems and processes having to fuel and enrich this capability, we have strategically decided to move our non-core services like email, web site & application hostings as well as SAP DR into cloud option that offers higher agility to scale in no time on business demand. We have integrated machine / shop floor automation through SAP MII to reach one of the critical digital milestone in manufacturing. We are also planning to leverage mobility through SAP Afaria and Fiori for enabling business teams access SAP on the fly beyond the limits of offices anywhere and anytime. The upcoming plan of rolling out analytics is expected to augment better and faster decision making with seamless management information dashboard and analytics at the group level.

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?

We are moving into SAP Hana from the old, decentralised BaaN as our business platform. This would be a journey of transformation not only for this technology shift, but more so for a move towards an uniform business process for all plants and organisation units. The automation has gone down to the extent of interfacing with shop floor equipments, PLCs and meters for machine-level integration in order to restrict manual entries and reducing probability of human errors. This has led to much higher data quality, reliable analytics and predictive planning. As next steps, we are also planning to integrate mobility and knowledge management system for adding high availability and improved security of data anytime and from anywhere .