Covid will be the biggest disruption, catalyse adoption of digitalisation
Published by : Industrial Automation
Deepak Pareek, CEO and Founder, Digi Agri Technologies.
After a decade of Industry 4.0 what is the extent of digital transformation in the manufacturing space in India?
Industry 4.0 or the Fourth Industrial Revolution is the digital transformation of manufacturing and related value creation processes. It is a vision that evolved from an initiative to make the German manufacturing industry more competitive to current globally adopted term. To contextualise Industry 4.0 in Indian context we need to understand the four pillars it is based on. First, the increased automation with aim to make processes more efficient and less hazardous; second, the convergence of physical and digital world empowered by Internet of Things (IoT); third, a shift from homogeneous central industrial control system to one where smart products define the production steps enabling better personalisation and customisation of products; and fourth, closed-loop data models to enable real-time decision making.
India has done well in some areas while has lagged tremendously in other. As the incentive to reduce labour is not as critical as in developed world, automation is very limited with only 30-40% companies embarking on near fully automated setups. Further, the challenge and cost of Internet of Things and its lack of efficacy in partially automated manufacturing lines has led to only 15-20% of businesses deploying the same. While majority of Indian companies are still catching up to become more productive, there is relatively less focus on customised products hence still we don’t have smart product focused manufacturing. Lastly, while close to 80% of manufacturing is taking data driven decisions but silos of process and lack of data engineering application is slowing down the process substantially. In summary, even after a decade since Industry 4.0 was talked about, most of the Indian companies are at level 3-4 on scale of 10 in regards to Digital Transformation.
How should an enterprise begin the process? Is there an ideal roadmap to follow for companies beginning their digital transformation journey?
According to me digital transformation is a continuous journey with nine key aspects to consider as below.
1. Design with the user
2. Understand the ecosystem
3. Design for scale
4. Build for sustainability
5. Be data driven
6. Use open data, open standards, open source, open innovation
7. Reuse and improve
8. Address privacy & security, and
9. Be collaborative.
What is the role for various stakeholders in the organisation in this endeavour?
In order to achieve success in any Digital Transformation (DT) project, the starting point is the buy in of the top management who are the most important stakeholder of the process. Until and unless the business leaders do not have clearly defined expectation matrix, the project will never succeed. Next is the human resource department, which needs to sanitise all involved and impacted directly to understand importance of the DT project and clearly communicate to remove any apprehensions. Change management is critical for success. Last but not the least, all the functional heads must work together to create a clear outline of the flow of information and enable feedback loop.
In general, what are the key challenges to overcome in the process?
While there are many challenges to digital transformation adoption, critical among them are:
1. Ambiguity in the end goal.
2. Lack of multi-function benchmarking matrix.
3. Change management and reluctance to adapt and adopt.
4. Rigidity and silos of process and data.
5. Lack of resources as the activity of digital transformation is seen as ancillary not he central activity.
Will the current scenario act as a catalyst, or rather the companies use this opportunity? The biggest disruption, catalysing adoption of digitalisation in manufacturing, will be the Covid crisis. As organisations face challenges of broken supply chains, intermittent availability of labour, variable demand and need to pivot business model to survive digital transformation is not just good to have add-on but is existential requirement for most companies. Only those who adopt digital transformation will have lungs big enough to survive the current unprecedented scenario.
#July 2020 Magazine Cover Story
Digital Transformation – The Next Wave The Covid-19 pandemic has achieved what CEOs and CTOs failed to do – struck a blow for Digital Transformation like nothing else did The only constant in life is change, wrote Heraclitus of Ephesus (circa 500 BCE), who famously asserted that Life is Flux, and to resist change is to resist the essence of existence. Yet, most people spend a better part of their lives resisting change. The concept of digital transformation dates back to the time PCs became mainstream and digitisation began, paving the way for digitalisation and then, transformation. To read the full cover story Please click here