Business Process Transformation by Technology Enabled Systems

By Arindam Sharma, General Manager, IT (CIO), Albert David Ltd
Headquartered in Kolkata, Albert David (BSE: 524075), a subsidiary of Kothari Group, is a pharmaceuticals and drugs manufacturing company having a decade long presence in the health care industry, with a present market cap of Rs 70 crores.
 
India is today one of the top emerging markets in the global pharmaceutical market. The sector is highly knowledge based and its steady growth is positively affecting the Indian economy. The organized nature of the Indian pharmaceutical industry is attracting several companies that are finding it viable to increase their operations in the country. India’s pharmaceutical sector will touch US$ 45 billion by 2020, according to the study conducted by global management and consulting firm, McKinsey & Company. The reason for this optimism is the three fold growth of the country’s healthcare sector in the period 2002–2012, touching US$ 70 billion from US$ 23 billion. India's pharmaceutical market experienced a similar boom, reaching US$ 18 billion in 2012 from US$ 6 billion in 2005. The report further states that the Indian pharmaceutical market will be the sixth largest in the world by 2020. 
Similar to other sectors, the pharmaceutical sector is also being influenced by the advent of new technologies. The pace of technology change, innovation and business adoption since the last couple of years has been stunning. Big data and advanced analytics have swiftly moved from the frontier of our trends to a set of capabilities that is deeply embedded across functions and operations, enabling managers to have a better basis for understanding markets and making business decisions. Social technologies are playing as a powerful social matrix, a key piece of organizational infrastructure that links and engages employees, customers and suppliers as never before. The internet of all things is the linking of physical objects with embedded sensors, which is being exploited at breakneck pace, simultaneously creating massive network effects and opportunities. The rapid technology evolution of mobile devices and mobile business solutions make business processes more online and up-to-date providing huge pace of growth. The cloud, with its ability to deliver digital power at low cost, is not only changing the profile of corporate IT departments but also helping to spawn a range of new business models by shifting the economics of “rent versus buy” trade-offs for companies and consumers. The result is acceleration of a trend to deliver anything as a service. IT enabled commerce is reducing entry barriers and opening new revenue streams to a range of individuals and companies.
 
Business Enablers
One of the main business enabler for enterprises is an ERP (Enterprise Resource Planning) solution. Business operations require a fine tuned and configured enabler in place as per their business needs which adds practical value to the organizations in their profit booking. Now in the emerging technology enabled era we find many on-premises ERP models having adequate depth of capabilities for business process transformation required to add proper value in the organization; whereas cloud-model ERP requires more time to attain that level of maturity for the same value addition.
Internet connectivity speed is another big challenge as majority of the business process operations across departments are broadly dependent on internet connectivity. Managing the redundancy of different service providers to resume the activities during failure of one connection is vital and by preserving the backups of high speed 3G data-cards at business units through which they can continue critical operations, may be a wise alternative. Security is also one of the biggest challenges, for which the organizations should implement the endpoint security and configure it to keep it updated automatically on daily basis. Business process transformation from legacy system to the technology enabled system is another challenge. Many factors are involved in the whole course of the process right from the beginning of development, configuration, implementation and operation. One of the major parts is the active involvement and cooperation of business process owners that becomes a biggest challenge for any CIO.
Innovation in the solution requires technology up-gradation along with the present day technology trends and for this the organization must encourage the team members to attend the seminars on introduction of new technology or products of different OEMs. A team performance must be encouraged to achieve the win-win situation. IT magazines/periodicals provide latest trend of technology up-gradation and the facility must be incorporated. Training must be scheduled for adoption of new technologies and a platform should be provided for innovation to take place in consultation with OEMs and service partners considering optimum cost effective technical solution of practical challenges. (As told to Mujeeb Jeelani)
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