After months of preparation, checking the itinerary, getting speaker resumes and presentations we get set for our annual India forum. Most of the presentations at ARC’s 16th India forum were on the digital transformation journey. Although the behind-the-scenes work process is the same, there is that niggling anxiety about a zillion things that range from a speaker’s flight being delayed to the mike/laser pointer not working properly. Once the delegates begin to trickle in and the sessions begin smoothly, the team heaves a collective sigh of relief. Those at the registration desk constantly check the number of attendees who come in against earlier confirmations.
Presentations on the Digital Transformation Journey at ARC’s 16th India Forum
This time ARC Advisory Group's 16th India Forum for the process and discrete industries, titled Digitizing and Securing Industry, Infrastructure, and Cities from July 5-6, 2018, Bangalore, India attracted over 250 delegates. Last year the core theme was digital transformation; this year we moved to the next level of how digitization can help industries, infrastructure and cities grow in a secure, collaborative environment. That digitization is an imperative to succeed in a competitive world is a given; but the transition must be well strategized and charted. The transition aspect of digitization was discussed through extensive networking among delegates, end users, and solution providers. Business pressures are driving manufacturers to implement new technologies and processes and become real-time integrated enterprises. No longer can organizations operate in silos; collaboration at all levels is the norm. Some companies already have a strategy for digital transformation, along with a realizable roadmap. This digital transformation will be widespread with far reaching impact as it integrates information technology (IT), operational technology (OT), engineering technology (ET), and other services.
Session Topics and Interviews
The session topics covered industry and infrastructure moving towards digitization; automation trends, cybersecurity; smart technologies and smart cities; and several end user experiences. On both days there were lively and thought provoking question and answer sessions with the speakers. This time a new feature was introduced and it was a good learning experience for me. I conducted interviews with two of our suppliers: AVEVA and Bentley Systems. The AVEVA Group interview focused on the completion of its merger with the industrial software business of Schneider Electric on March 1, 2018. This merger combines the power of two leading software companies to accelerate how capital-intensive industries achieve digital transformation across the entire value chain in an end-to-end manner. The Bentley Systems’ interview was about the company’s connected data environment approach – the key differentiators, user success stories, collaborations, and clients in India.
What was Different?
A marked difference in this year’s supplier presentations was that it was not like a sales pitch – after giving a brief, overall view of the company, the speakers spoke about collaborative efforts and platforms to help companies progress to the next level of digitization. In turn, end user speakers highlighted partnerships and implementing new technologies that have helped them in their respective digital transformation journeys. It was all about growth through collaboration across geographies – between technologies, people, processes, and best practices.
After the two-day forum began the analysis of what we had done well, what could have been done better etc. After every forum I always think “This was the best one so far.” Next year, as we grow from strength to strength and expand our skillsets, perhaps it will be even better.