This crisis will definitely accelerate push for automation and digitalisation
Published by : Industrial Automation
Sujata Tilak, Founder and Managing Director, Ascent Intellimation.
Has the present Corona Virus strain caught the world unaware and unprepared?
It has definitely caught the world unprepared. Countries were aware of it since December 2019 or even before, but nobody grasped the extent of impact it will have on the world in coming months.
What are the implications for business in the near, medium and long term?
Businesses world over are severely impacted. Work From Home is the new normal, but this is not possible in many industries and they are suffering the most! In short term this is going to create huge impact on revenue, cash flow and more importantly, employee morale. In medium and long term, businesses will have to learn new ways of functioning. They have to look at digital more than ever now and have a robust strategy around it. Business continuity has to be a focus area.
How can governments be better prepared to handle such pandemics in future?
Governments have to increase spread and quality of healthcare infrastructure and personnel. Disaster management procedures and teams should be in place and their preparedness ensured regularly.
High accuracy thermal scanners are available but are not used possible due to high costs. Would they be more effective?
Now that businesses are getting used to the Work From Home culture, will this signal a paradigm shift?
WFH is suitable for some types of businesses and yes, such businesses will follow it to some extent. But man is a social animal and we all like contact with others. Also some businesses like manufacturing cannot adopt WFH due to obvious reasons.
Some analysts have suggested this crisis will boost automation and make a case for Lights Out manufacturing. Your comments?
This crisis will definitely accelerate push for automation and digitalisation. Manufacturers will have to think out of the box, innovate and overhaul their way of working. Automation, IIoT and Industry 4.0 will play a big part in this process.
What are the lessons from this crisis?
This pandemic has taught us few crucial life lessons. First and the most important lesson is that nature is supreme and man cannot control it. Mankind must understand and respect this and live harmoniously with nature and other living things created by the nature. Everyone has to pay attention to being healthy and taking holistic approach to it so that your immune system is strong. This approach was intrinsically woven in our traditional way of life which we are unfortunately giving up for so called modern living!
Another area that should be looked at seriously is dense concentration of population in cities. Covid-19 has hit the large cities hardest. In future smaller, more manageable, self-reliant and sustainable towns will fare much better in any crisis than mega cities.
A successful entrepreneur and technologist, Sujata Tilak is a thought leader in Industrial IoT and convergence of Industrial Automation and Information Technology. She is founder and Managing Director of Ascent Intellimation. She has ably led Ascent as a leading provider of Industrial IoT solutions. Ascent has developed an IIoT platform PlantConnect which is deployed in areas like environmental monitoring, smart manufacturing, reliability engineering etc. Sujata’s focus is to help organisations recognise and embrace diverse ways in which manufacturing data can be beneficially used by various stake holders. The views expressed are personal.