Collaboration between intelligent people and machines is a reality, thanks to Data and analytic technologies within easy reach. Better applications will bring all around development- better opportunities, more jobs and a much better economic growth.
G. Ganapathiraman, Country Manager, ARC Advisory Group, India
- Industrie 4.0 is on its way. Do you think the Indian industrial structure is ready for it?
India’s industrial structure is ready for Industrie 4.0, which will transform industrial enterprises with collaboration among intelligent equipment and people. This revolution is taking place due to the convergence of automated industrial systems with the power of advanced computing, analytics, low-cost sensing and new levels of connectivity permitted by the internet. Companies employ software to collect, contextualize, visualize, and analyze data to gain new insights. Armed with new insights, organizations can anticipate changes and drive better business results.
The deeper interlocking of the digital world with the world of machines holds the potential to transform India’s industrial landscape. These innovations promise to bring greater speed and efficiency to industries as diverse as aviation, power generation, oil and gas, railways, and health care delivery. It holds the promise of stronger economic growth, better jobs, and raising living standards.
- IIoT is an imperative; and Indian industry needs to adopt it come what may. What advantages do you think it will provide to a country in digital transition?
Like you said, adoption of IIoT is no longer a choice; it is an imperative in a connected world. The Industrial Internet of Things (IIoT) with advanced analytics, offers new opportunities to improve the reliability of industrial assets, enabling owner/operators to progress toward no unplanned downtime, which many consider to be the ultimate objective for maintenance and operations.
The advantages are multidimensional and have a ripple effect. For example, when a best practice is adopted it can improve productivity, reduce time-to-market, and reduce costs. The Industrial IoT promises improved performance of manufacturers’ service operations through remote connectivity as well as incremental connectivity-based revenue streams that represent entire new opportunities. Clearly, the value proposition for the IIoT opportunity extends beyond simple connectivity into the ability to build new products and services and achieve competitive differentiation.
- What sectors do you see gaining the most from the widespread adoption of digitization and IIoT?
IIoT is changing the way industries work. All industrial sectors understand the benefits of IIoT/digitalization; the difference is only in the pace of adoption. Manufacturing, transportation, and utilities top the list of industries investing the most in the Internet of Things. But others, such as healthcare and consumer electronics are catching up. For companies beginning their IIoT journey, operations or engineering departments must strive to work more closely with IT departments. This will enable more cohesiveness in the use of technology across a given enterprise, as opposed to having islands of usage where people don't communicate and leverage best practices.
- How will IIoT support the government’s digital initiative?
India has been moving towards becoming a digital economy. The IIoT supports the government’s initiative by helping to automate, save costs and optimize processes. It provides a holistic view and strategy, whereby there is a shift towards goals of innovation, better customer-centric service offerings, leveraging new sources of data-driven revenues, building ecosystems of value and ecosystem-wide digital transformation. As mentioned, the Industrial Internet of Things enables industries to rethink business models. IIoT applications invigorate and improve national and pan-national economic development, including energy, healthcare, agriculture, transportation, manufacturing and education. Making these key economic pillars more efficient, safe, and productive would likely spur GDP gains.
- Analytics and Big Data will be the backbone of all transformation of the Indian industry. Do you see any challenges in proper implementation of these technologies for industry in India?
The challenges in proper implementation of these technologies in India are many, but in my opinion these are the ones that need to be tackled first:
- Lack of standardization
- Lack of skilled workers
- Significant upfront investment
- Data integrity
- Are we ready with security solutions of such massive scale?
I would say that we are not absolutely ready, but are gearing up for the challenges. As global connectivity increases there is a constant combat to ward off cyber risk. With the IIoT come specific security challenges, such as the integration of IT and OT and a need to redesign security architectures. With the IIoT, sensors collect, communicate, analyze, and act on information, offering new ways for technology, media and telecommunications businesses to create value in terms of revenue or providing a more efficient experience for consumers. But this data is like a double-edged sword – as it creates new opportunities for all that information to be compromised. Not only is more data being shared through the IIoT, among many more participants, but more sensitive data is being shared. As a result, the risks are exponentially greater.
- In your opinion, do you think the government is providing enough support in terms of regulations to ensure the most efficient and beneficial adoption of these technologies for digitization?
Yes, I think the business landscape has improved after the government’s recent incentives for a Digital India. The vision of Digital India is to transform India into a digitally empowered society and knowledge economy and is focused on three key vision areas: digital infrastructure; e-governance; and digital empowerment. Various measures such as demonetisation and the Aadhar card are laudable initiatives in this direction. A recent discussion on the topic revealed that regulations pertaining to industry should be structured in such a manner that it helps to overcome bureaucratic tangles and enables ease of doing business.
- One of our expert commentators had opined that India has adopted more automation, and is leading the pack globally in these transformative technologies, instead of playing catch up like earlier. What’s your opinion?
Yes, I agree with this point of view. Earlier, we were laggards mainly because we did not have easy access to information and new technologies. But, in today’s collaborative and barrier-free world we are all on a level playing field. Technologies that are available in USA can be deployed in other parts of the world almost simultaneously. Global companies have established manufacturing hubs in India; this in turn has improved skillsets and provided employment. India’s start-ups have launched potentially transformative technological solutions in pilot projects. All this goes to prove that India has the necessary DNA, what is needed now is a strategic roadmap to scale up and become a global superpower.
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