Avoid Unnecessary Tech Implementations

Date:   Wednesday , February 27, 2013

$3.5 billion worth Welspun Group is a conglomerate headquartered in Mumbai and has registered a CAGR of 30 percent over the last decade. The BSE listed group of companies has its presence in the business verticals of Pipes, Plates & Coils, Home Textiles, Steel, Infrastructure and Energy respectively.

Companies are at a certain level in adoption of technology. In the current industrial scenario the degrees of technological adoption in an organization are structurally organized into primitive, moderate and advanced. Mostly the basics of technology are presumed to be covered in the moderate organizations as a medium level of adoption is sufficient for proper functioning of an organization. There are a few necessary requirements for any company. The elemental needs of computerization are in the form of LAN, WAN , data centre connectivity, virtualization, video conferencing mobility and a few more.

However, with respect to uniformity in technological applications, the law of integration in mid sized organizations is poor. Most of the companies are striving for concatenation of the processes related to (for example) a new life cycle management, supply chain and the customer relationship management with the suppliers and clients. In any model of technology adoption, the basic challenge faced is in the usage of technology. Proper investments also play a very prominent role with the same.

Within Wellspun, a keen analysis of the IT systems planning showed that there were too many details to focus on. The technological adoption within the conglomerate’s own manpower would have taken around seven years to finish. Hence an outsourcing IT company was hired to help in this endeavor. Many hardware devices needed to be refreshed and licensing issues needed to be solved, hence there was a clear intention to raise the bar of this technology with respect to hardware upgrades and licensing issues.

The Mantra - Run, Grow and Transform

The formula for raising the technological bar can be deciphered into three simple steps to-run, grow and transform. The run forms the operational entity encompassing the execution of daily processes; the growth encompasses the additional requirements that the team has to handle with regards to the additional requirements in technology. The third entity is to transform, i.e. to showcase that it is not advisable to stick to one business plan for a long time. To transform means it is important to constantly innovate. Businesses must be managed in a whole different and efficient methodology at least once in 24 months.
The businesses are also categorized into the criteria of "run grow and transform" for greater efficiency. In the transformed situation in business there is an emphasis at creation of shared services, common processes for mergers and acquisitions, managing all group level projects and providing sustainability at its relatable areas.

To allow the processes to function at a similar level, industry segments of Welspun was analyzed and the head counting processes of the accounts table, receivable and profitability services were combined at the backend to allow all the processes to function at a similar level, irrespective of the industry segment. In the area of Human Resource, communizing the methods of recruitment, training and career planning, zero rationalization, were the processes made common across the group. These were the implementations that helped Welspun in proper functionality of the managerial and business procedures.

Cloud, BYOD and Social Media have a lot to offer

The cloud is a widely used entity today, but there are certain limitations to cloud computing that needs to be understood by the entire industrial community. More specifically the customer understanding of the cloud and the customer needs in cloud computing needs to be understood differently as they are antithetic from each other. A technology implementation that is over estimated in the industry today is BYOD as it is an unnecessary strategy in most of the cases. In the case of BYOD, a specific understanding and clear separation between want and need is required. The implementation and the commercialization aspects of the same also need to be carefully assayed. This can enable an increase in the value of BYOD and conclusively lead to an augmentation in the productivity of the company.

A typical example of an unnecessary change can be the case of the move from Windows to a Mac operating system. The big question to be addressed is the necessity to move to an alternate OS and the additional value provided to the organization. The third important consideration is the improvement in performance. Virtualization is an area that needs to be extensively focused in the development point of view. Hence technology has to be useful to the enterprises for the benefits. The technology connectivity should always exist between vendors and employees.

There is a high possibility of engagement in social media as a majority of the individuals who are on social networking sites are in the age group of 21 - 35 years. But the processes to extract and manipulate social media to help connect with customers and important vendors are still in the infancy and need to be developed. Hence BYOD and social media are a few of the many areas that can be scrutinized for the development of better solutions that can eventually add value to an organization. (As told to Vignesh A)