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Cloud Migration In Manufacturing Industry

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Sujith Vasudevan, Assistant Editor

It’s really the cloud times. The organizations, even in the industries like manufacturing, have fathomed the paramount importance of starting their cloud journey while stepping into the future. According to a research by Marketswatch.com, the global cloud migration services market is predicted to hit $9.98 billion by 2023, growing at a CAGR of 21.50 percent. It’s a great omen that the Indian subcontinent is on the same track. An IDC survey had recently divulged that accounting to the spread of Covid-19, 64 percent of the organizations in India are expected to start their cloud journey sooner than later, increasing demand for cloud computing. Indian automobile manufacturer T V SundramIyengar & Sons Pvt Ltd (TVS) in recent times has been exemplary in the way it has adapted to this new cloud wave. In the aftermath, TVS has reported a 6 percent revenue growth in the second quarter of the year. During an exclusive interview with me, the man who spearheaded this transformation, Manjunath Prasad, TVS’ Head of IT Infrastructure, talks further about the dramatic push for digital transformation in the manufacturing industry.

Manjunath currently manages the infrastructure operations and projects for multiple business units of TVS (and TASL), which is spread across 200+ outlets across the country. He boasts more than 25 years of experience in the IT industry, spanning across diverse industry verticals like Banking and Pharma.

Cloud computing never fails to amuse us. As a technology leader with diverse experience, how do you perceive the changes in the technology landscape for the industries that were forced to adopt cloud in the recent times?
Prior to the pandemic, most of the organizations across the industry verticals were really skeptical about migrating to cloud. Despite the IT professionals & leaders striving to enforce it, the organizations, especially in the sectors like manufacturing, were quite apprehensive about taking data out of their organizations, trusting a remote source, and setting their process up on cloud. But the post-covid scenario has propelled them to dramatically deviate from this line of thought and migrate to the cloud.

The digital push has been almost 300 percent across the industries. If swift digital transformations previously were confined within the industries like IT and banking, today, organizations regardless of industry verticals are

undergoing digital transformation at a much higher pace. When it comes to the manufacturing industry, such a dramatic digital push is something that we have never heard of. But it’s happening.

How do you think the organizations should react to this dire need without hitting the panic button?
I believe that rather than going into panic mode, organizations should realize the inevitability of cloud, grab this opportunity to recognize their requirements, adopt a requirement-centric cloud solution, and eventually undergo end-to-end digital transformation. Then again, if you don’t get the transformation right, there is a chance for backfire as well. But most of the organizations are getting it right, thanks to the specialist services providers in the industry. When it comes to TVS, whatever digital push we had planned to execute for the next three years has been completed in the last three months.

What have been the IT endeavors of TVS amidst the on-going pandemic?
At TVS, we have undergone a complete digital transformation by shutting down our in-house data center and moving all our assets to the cloud. That’s a giant leap for such a large manufacturing concern. It previously took a huge team to manage the data center and its operations and now we have reduced that number considerably by having a thin team to look after the cloud infrastructure, saving a huge chunk of operational cost in the process.

One of the major advantages that we have been experiencing is the anytime-anywhere accessibility. On the other hand, previously when I had my inhouse data center, if I had to build a solution for a new marketing/business requirement, it used to take a staggering delay of minimum two-to-three months. Our back-lift of cloud computing reduces this delay to a matter few days. Our new product rollouts happen faster than ever before, resulting in greater productivity.

What were the steps adopted to get the migration right the first time? What would be your suggestion to other aspirant organizations?
We started small and moved forward with a well-defined plan. I believe that in order to get it right the first time, organizations need to start small, so that it doesn’t burn your hand. You should be able to analyze and comprehend thoroughly what is the kind of model that fits your company. One-size-fits-all approach doesn’t really work here. They need to understand the requirements in each step to move forward and plan bigger transformations rather than doing it in one shot.

It’s also imperative for organizations to optimize the potential of cloud solutions by integrating them with other technologies and connected infrastructures. What would be your suggestions to optimize the potential of cloud?
Be it any organization, merely migrating from an inhouse data center infrastructure to a cloud infrastructure won’t probably create the impact that they are hoping for. If they are really looking forward to a digital transformation, they need to plan for the future, and specifically, plan to adopt other connected technologies. In the manufacturing industry, organizations could plan to leverage the advantage of everything from Robotic Process Automation & IoT to Smart manufacturing and Smart Warehousing in order to further optimize their digital transformation in the near future. On the other hand, the manufacturing industry is also in a prime position to leverage futuristic technologies like AI, ML, Big Data and Predictive Analytics, especially in the departments like procurement & sales. It’s also important to note that cloud migration is inevitable in terms of having such an advanced future.

With 5G around the corner, there is an increasing demand for Edge Computing as well. Where do you think this connected computing technologies are headed? How do you see the future in that regard?
Going forward, nobody can escape the revolutionary trend of cloud computing. Future of the cloud is always going to be about a hybrid environment. On the other hand, 5G rollout is going to be a big boon to the cloud services ecosystem and additionally to steadily-democratizing concepts like edge computing. Then again, it depends on how fast the 5G infrastructure can be deployed in the country.

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Cloud Migration In Manufacturing Industry