With two decades of IT experience behind him, veteran CIO Priyabrata Sarangi is spearheading digital transformation with a Big Bang approach and is bullish about his technology plans in 2018, banking on the support of a key technology partner such as CtrlS Datacenters is helping him to transform his IT strategy pro-actively to meet organization’s business objective.
What have been some of the highlights of your journey enabling IT transformations for different organizations?
Ironically, my education and initial innings of my career was as a metallurgist at Powemex Steel Division of GKW Limited. So after a year and a half with the organizations, the management realized the need to have a basic ERP in place. With my understanding and involvement in the process of Metallurgy, I designed a COBOL and Foxpro based module for the organization. That is when I understood the capability of IT and decided to make the transition and started my IT journey.
As a professional, I have always respected business requirements and priorities which demand delving deep into business processes to create better solutions. In 1995, I converted my first manual process to an automated process, and also built networking capabilities and a small ERP application for inventory management, application management and logistics. My next move was to Star Wire India Limited where I was equally responsible for high speed steel development and IT. I delivered ready capabilities for transformation of their entire supply chain, particularly production planning, material quality management and salary distribution, which enabled visibility, sales growth and better data management. After that, I joined Mahindra Group Company – Mahindra Ugine where my responsibilities included improving the time to costing and technical evaluation across their diverse metallurgical manufacturing which earlier had been both difficult and time consuming manually. I changed these processes with SAP implementation (which was all in bits and modules) delivering evaluation within an hour. My tenure with Mahindra Ugine saw a lot of transformation on the procurement, sales and production side as well.
“As a professional, I have always respected business requirements and priorities which demand delving deep into business processes to create better solutions. Technology partners have played a key role through my journey by helping me innovate. In fact, CtrlS has helped me align IT with my company’s strategic business goals”
Later, I joined Jindal steel and Power ltd in the year 2003 and the 13 years of journey with Jindal steel and Jindal Info solutions ltd made my IT journey more progressive, strategic and future driven helping me embrace newer and innovative technologies to bring in transformation – it entailed setting up IT center of excellence (CoE) in a remote area like Raigarh, Chhattisgarh, transforming all decentralized operations to a centralize approach by managing all the landscape of India & Oversees from Raigarh. Implementation of SAP, Non SAP, MES, ITS mobility, Analytics with robust IT infrastructure made big IT transformation in entire vertical and reflected in reduction of turnaround time of operation, logistics, material handling, improve in OTIF, growth in sales, reduction in defect and faster decision making.
There were several other major transformations during my time with Jindal including robust and interactive communication platform replacing VC, real time CCTV integration creating visibility from any corner of the world and changing from a conventional approach to a systems based approach enabling big savings in terms of resources.
Joined Exide Industries in the year 2016 where I steered the implementation of SAP HANA, Hybris and Successfactor.
Tell us about your technology partnership with CtrlS Datacenters?
My technology partnership with CtrlS Datacenters started when I joined as the CIO at Exide Industries in 2016. Here, my job was to enable Exide to make the big leap in terms of IT Transformations. Through evaluation of their current business and future demands, I decided that it was time to move from their on-premise systems to the Cloud. In the research phase, I visited a number of Datacenters across the country, ranging from Tier 1 to Tier 4 and decided on CtrlS Datacenters. One of the main reasons why I narrowed down on them was that their infrastructure and services had been evaluated and certified by SAP for their HEC environment. SAP is an organization well known when it comes to their discipline and stringent parameters when it comes to streamlining processes. Then when I visited their Datacenter in Hyderabad, I observed that every system had an emergency fall back system, something which was extremely pleasing for the eyes of a CIO. Also, in my discourses with peers who were their customers, I found CtrlS Datacenters to be a very customer-centric organization and their added value like IT security landscape, where a quarterly audit runs their security environment through White Hat hacking and similar tests and is streamlined with their PMP and ITL platforms. That is when I decided to put not just my SAP but non SAP systems as well on their Datacenters.
Now IoT and AI is the emerging technology in most of the organization to speed up organization’s growth. Growing data, communications with different interfaces and expanding security layer have become fundamental challenges. Sustaining all this on the on-premise infrastructure is impossible because you don’t know how much resource is required, when security breach will happen and whether servers are capable or not. CtrlS is one of the best and reliable platforms to use as Infrastructure as a Service.
What are your plans for 2018? What is your expectation from CtrlS as a technology partner for these projects?
In 2018, I plan to explore more on IoT, AI and Blockchain to reduce turnaround time, interactive analytics and transform in supply chain management.
Currently, CtrlS have the basic platform and strong competency on Cloud. I expect them to help organizations by providing a robust platform for IoT and AI solutions. Their infrastructure and other capabilities like security are future ready. What is needed is the right support and implementation for emerging technologies. I believe such a solution that provides the entire bundle will be very good and helpful for us (CIOs), who will not have to divert their focus to searching for multiple vendors.
With your vast experience in the IT Industry, what are your suggestions to fellow CIOs in terms of enabling change through IT in their organizations?
Based on my experience, I have learnt that before going towards any technology, you have to understand your business roadmap, be it long term or short term. Only then can you find the right solution or draw the right IT roadmap. Technology is bound to be obsolete – so has to select the right technology with prudence. Secondly, you should observe the technological transformations taking place by observing how the industry is embracing and leveraging technology. Thirdly, I would suggest the CIO Leaders to focus on cost and resource optimization, focus on quick turnaround times, and improve their operations – make them agile to align with the speed and growth of the organization. Next, IT governance and IT security knowledge must be spread across the organization so that people are more aware. A basic approach of IT security is lacking in most of the organizations, for which CIOs must initiate training sessions and this should be a key priority. Lastly, working closely as a technology advisor and strategist with the Board and LoBs (Lines of Business) and evolve technology strategies shall help their respective organizations achieve the desired competitive advantage and growth.