ARC’s 17th India Forum Articulates Strategies for Digital Transformation – Part 2

By Sharada Prahladrao

ARC Report Abstract


The second day of ARC’s India Forum for the process and discrete industries Driving Digital Transformation in Industry and Cities, continued with the same momentum and keenness to understand new technologies generated on the first day.

The age of questioning and doubting the digital imperative is over; it’s no longer about if and when – it’s about “have to, but how?” Collaboration at all levels (information technology (IT), operational technology (OT), engineering technology (ET), and other services is the norm to achieve real-time integrated operations.  Some companies already have a strategy for digital transformation, along with a realizable roadmap.  The presentations on the second day of the Forum made it clear that new approaches are disrupting established business models and, to remain competitive, companies are adopting these new strategies and processes.  The presentations and lively Q&A sessions reiterated that:

  • Digitalization improves efficiency, flexibility, and streamlines business processes
  • Digital transformation has altered the global industrial  landscape dramatically

The Digital Transformation Imperative

Keynote Address:

The morning began with a keynote by G. Ganapathiraman, Vice President and General Manager, ARC Advisory Group, India.  After giving a brief overview of the company he spoke about how new technologies Digital Transformation Six%20Dimensions%20of%20Digital%20Transformation.JPGare reinventing every aspect of every industrial sector.  His presentation was in two parts: planning and managing digital transformation; and 21st century, digital software. He spoke about technology, innovation, and disruption giving the example of the mobile phone -  which began as a communication tool and has evolved into a computer that fits in your pocket! 

He highlighted the impact of disruptive technologies such as cloud, artificial intelligence, and robotics on the industrial landscape.  Although it’s hard  to see the future, it sure is coming fast, he said.  He also explained the six dimensions that need to be  transformed and optimized as part of the digital imperative for every industrial organization.

In the second part of his presentation, Mr. Raman elaborated on how “software is  eating the world,” and how it is powering the Industrial IoT revolution.  He further spoke about the evolution of IT systems; the functionality gaps, and transitioning to the new software to create a digitally integrated enterprise.

Data Strategy for India

“The world’s most valuable  resource is data, not oil,” said Achyuta Ghosh, Head of Research, NASSCOM, India’s IT-BPM industry association. The strategic imperative for the association’s 2,700 members include:

  • Nurture India’s innovation capacity
  • Build tech capability and ecosystem
  • Develop new opportunities for business growth

India requires a comprehensive data strategy, said Mr. Ghosh because data is more than just a commodity – it creates value and drives wealth creation. In this context, he  cited a few examples of countries that already have a data strategy in place and the inherent benefits accrued: transparency and accountability; new business opportunities and innovation; data privacy;  enhanced national security; etc.  Further, he spoke about India’s strengths, opportunities, weaknesses, and threats in a data-driven world.  The country requires an end-to-end strategy that will strengthen its competitiveness across the entire value chain.

Cybersecurity and Network Transparency

The baton was passed on to Vivek Roy, Head – Industrial Communication & Identification, Process Automation,  Digital Industries, Siemens. He explained how digitalization has changed everything and enables growth across industries, globally.  Industry 4.0 has caused changes in areas from:

  • Manual operations to fully automated remote operations
  • Isolated silos of information to full production transparency
  • Manual warehouse management to automated guided vehicles

To remain successful, organizations need to consider three key elements: availability and application performance, transparency, and security, opined Mr. Roy.  Digitalization results in closer connection between the IT and OT domains; but there are underlying differences between the two, he said.  Further, he spoke about addressing the critical requirements of industrial networks: high availability, robustness, security, flexibility, determinism, etc.  He discussed standards and structures, and Siemens SINEC NMS tool, which supports maximum transparency for the customer’s industrial network. 

Digital Twin Solution for Process Industries

Next, Amit Shrivastava, Director, Business Development- Digital Twin Solutions, Bentley Systems spoke about PlantSight, the company’s digital twin solution.  Tracing the history, he said that in the 1990s manufacturing processes began to be automated; at the turn of the century there was talk about integrating automation and engineering; and today, it is all about digitalization and creating a digital twin of the entire value chain.  Echoing Siemens beliefs, Mr. Shrivastava emphasized that digitalization changes everything.  He went on to discuss the numerous benefits of a digital twin: visualize, check status, continuously monitor, analyze, predict, and optimize asset  performance.  The end results include improved efficiency, reduced cost, and increased revenue.  According to Mr. Shrivastava, PlantSight does all this by capturing, transforming, and visualizing from a single portal.  A detailed explanation followed about the solutions’ efficacy for data  aggregation, importing information from other domains, etc.  And if there’s no available data, PlantSight can help the customer create a 3D reality mesh from 2D images, “train the software” to detect and check for similar instances, visualize the components, and aggregate into the digital twin.  He substantiated all these aspects with case studies. 

Digital Transformation for Industry and Cities

Challenges in Digital Transformation

Challenges in digital transformation for process industries in India was the topic presented by Vivek Gupta, Assistant Vice President and Head (Instrument), DCM Shriram, a large industrial conglomerate in India. He spoke about the transition from the pre-internet ways of communicating to the Internet of Things and explained the “VUCA” world. The acronym has two coexisting expanded forms:

  • Vision, understanding, clarity, agility
  • Volatile, uncertain, complex, ambiguous

Mr. Gupta showed how many activities and transactions can occur in a minute on the Internet.  He said that the Industrial IoT captures manufacturing data and translates it into actionable information to ultimately improve performance.  In a process industry, Industrial IoT helps in predictive analytics, condition-based maintenance, and real-time equipment optimization.  However, challenges such as lack of uniform security standards, scalability challenges, lack of  seamless interoperability etc. impede the growth and adoption of Industrial IoT.  To overcome these issues, IT/OT integration is needed; and companies must understand the power of interconnectivity that these new technologies offer.

Big Data in Public Governance

Next, Retd. Lt. Col. L Shri Harsha, Deputy Program Director and Construction Manager, Visakhapatnam Smart City Project provided an overview of Smart Cities and the factors that make them smart: transport, spatial arrangement, water supply, sewage and sanitation, health care, education, etc.  The governance demands of a city like Visakhapatnam are numerous and so are the challenges; making it essential to leverage Big Data.  Suggested measures to adopt in other smart city projects:

  • Build an effective ecosystem
  • Get rid of silos and integrate at all levels
  • Be reactive-corrective-proactive
  • Learn and teach
  • Innovate and improvise

Smart Manufacturing

Taking the concept of “smart” further, Arun Yadav, Manager and MES Solution Lead, Pulp and Fiber Business, Grasim Industries, Aditya Birla Group, spoke about the implementation of a smart manufacturing solution; a greenfield smart factory; and digitalization across different functions.  After a brief company overview, he highlighted the basic business needs.  These cover the gamut from real-time monitoring to single system access of plant processes and asset-related data.  The approach is to connect-collect-analyze, said Mr.  Yadav.  He explained how IT/OT integration is done at the plant site.  Further, he  spoke about the benefits of the smart solution implementation at the plant and how it has created connected factories.  The company’s “connected factories” solution was developed in-house and provides connectivity and visibility across all Grasim’s pulp and fiber factories.

Expanding on the smart factory design and implementation, Mr.  Yadav said the components are: planning and scheduling, execution, analytics, and prediction.  All these help create a product genealogy, which in turn support track and trace.  He demonstrated how digitalization has been used in both warehouse management and in-plant automation.

ARC Advisory Group clients can view the complete report at ARC Client Portal   

If you would like to buy this report or obtain information about how to become a client, please Contact Us    

Keywords: ARC India Forum, Digital Transformation, End Users, Manufacturing, IT/OT/ET, ARC Advisory Group.

Engage with ARC Advisory Group