IT as an Enterprise Multiplier

Ashok Cherian, CIO, Emami Agrotech | Friday, 06 October 2017, 08:58 IST

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We all took E-Mail by surprise when it came up decades before and interestingly, I remember folks taking print out of the E-Mail and sending it by courier and also faxing it !! This, to me, was the crude start to productivity getting driven through IT. As any other change, it was looked at with a lot of suspicion and uncertainty. Slowly and steadily it gained ground and thanks to the multiple peer revolutions like the mobility and internet getting stronger, enterprises started to accept that IT is a key productivity multiplier.Today, collaboration across locations, teams, and all external stakeholders is a must have capability for organisational agility and there is no other platform other than IT which can make it a reality. Technology today has matured and new generation workforce eats, drinks and lives the IT productivity tools. Even the senior folks have been forced to join the bandwagon. I have myself set up productivity platforms enabling corporates to seamlessly collaborate and the feedback from the users has been encouraging and everyone recognizes the role of IT in productivity augmentation.

Agility, controls or governance, all of them depend on the maturity and robustness of the business processes. Today this differentiates enterprises and the process excellence has gained acceptance. Enterprises need platforms to deploy the business processes and integrate the organisation and there are no other alternatives to IT platforms to do the job. Best practices and approaches get bundled with the IT platforms making them much quicker to deploy and the advent of cloud is making it accessible to the SMB segment as well. Digital Transformation goes hand in hand and this momentum is leveraged by the smarter organisations to achieve process excellence goals. The biggest roadblock to this is ‘Change Management’ and the inherent marketplace pressures are making more organisations to agree for these changes and create more open and transparent organisations.

Reaching new levels of Customer Engagement

Mobility and connectivity revolution powered by IT were the next most significant items which impacted the enterprise business model. Making people do more in less time and even more precisely and compressively was powered by mobility. It has removed boundaries of locations and timelines, integrating processes with people on the move. Things which were never attempted by enterprises earlier due to the enormity of the task have been made possible, thanks to the Analytics Platforms unleashed by IT. Enterprises can now use IT Analytical tools to measure their own health and quickly identify the weak points to take concrete decisions. With the advent of predictive analytics, game is further changed to reach new levels of customer engagement. Social media is yet another IT-driven powertrain and never before enterprises have got deeply connected with the customers and the complete ecosystem, thanks to the social media itself and its integration with enterprise level IT systems.

Traditionally, IT was associated with a cost saving or cost reduction agenda. But things have changed and now it is also getting recognised as means for revenue multiplication and even creating unique and smarter business models.Totally new channels get enabled with IT adoption and new and smarter products are getting designed and positioned using IT platforms. With best in class and agile process enabled through IT platforms, enterprises are creating differentiation for them and the less smarter ones who fall behind in IT adoption always suffer. Scale is extremely important to enterprises and the ability to scale up and down fast with least resistance and constraints holds the key. This can only be done with IT enablement in an integrated manner. Robotics and artificial intelligence are no longer part of fiction or high tech industries. The mass usage is starting, again powered by IT platforms and the costs and complexity is reducing day by day. This is bound to usher in a new revolution in the enterprise world, taking efficiencies further to the next level.

Worries on security and the major system failures are increasing.We all accept that there is no system which is 100 percent safe. There are also larger questions on the impact of IT intrusion on the personal time which is no longer private. There are also big IT giants trying to make solutions and platforms with vested business interests not willing for open collaboration. While there are many existing and emerging challenges, the future still looks extremely bright for IT to continue to be the most powerful Enterprise Multiplier. We all are a part of the Enterprise IT community and must use our influence to make IT to be used for collective growth, not just for the Enterprises but for the society at large.

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