VS Parthasarathy, Group CIO, Group CFO, President (Group Finance and M&A), Mahindra & Mahindra
We live in a dynamic age and in this VUCA world all the plans we make necessarily pass through ICE test (ICE stands for innovation and adaptability, climate change, and experiential commerce). The pace of change of technology is so high that it is like treading on ICE. Unless the ground is frozen, it will be difficult to walk - one miscalculated step and you could be in grave trouble. Similarly, while strategizing for technology investment, one needs to make sure that the core technologies are in place.
An organization needs to stay in perfect harmony with the changing environment if it wants to stay ahead of competitors. Indeed. technology plays a major role in the way we do business as well as one of the key decision makers in the new businesses we foray into. Primarily the focus areas have been:
IoT. Capture data from everything and everything is connected
Big data and analytics. Dashboard view of the data which is large in volume, velocity, and variety
Mobility. Duniya meri mutthi mein, sab kaam hota chutki mein - everything at fingertips
Cloud. Gives things, which you do not have, which you cannot afford, and at a scale you cannot create alone
Connected enterprise. Unified collaboration across supplier-OEM-dealers-customers and all stakeholders
We have been working on a private cloud since the time cloud was little known. Our Group companies were enabled on our private cloud at our own data center to the extent they wanted to be. Our strategy was to have a private cloud for core applications and that has worked. It is important for a strategic function like ours to be proactively forward-thinking and this game plan has worked out to the benefit of the entire Group. Going forward, we would be expanding the data center capabilities for in-memory computing to leverage analytics, mobility, and banking on the high-speed connectivity. Since futuristic plans are always nebulous, and constantly evolving, it is difficult to specify exact plans for the coming year. However, one of our many plans is to ensure that the infrastructure for all our technological endeavors would be healthier-leaner-faster-smarter and securely connected.
Another focus area is big data and analytics. Loads of data are getting generated every second, at shop floors, in social media. It provides a good opportunity to understand customer perception better, and bridge the gap between service provider and end user. We need to make ourselves ready to use these enormous data to our benefit. With right set of analytical tools, big data will deliver richer insights for the business to grow.
Technologies like IoT, cloud, and analytics are helping us create a connected world where information and data sharing has become very easy. However, this is a double-edged sword which comes with the risk of disclosing information which might be of a sensitive nature. To secure ourselves against any potential threat, we need to focus on various security aspects like cloud security, end-point security and the like. It is important for us to empower businesses with the best of technology for smarter and more efficacious decision making. The future will be about engendering and co-creating with businesses. There is a wave of technology change coming; if you are not riding the wave of change, you will find yourself beneath it.