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Time To Revisit And Redefine The IT Strategy & Roadmap

by By Jitendra Singh, CIO & Head-Business Excellence, Nagarjuna Group July-2015

Nagarjuna Group, with its Headquarter in Hyderabad, is one of the most prominent Private Sector Plant Nutrition Group in the Country, offering specific products and solutions to assist and enable Farmers across the geography, including Fertilizer, Micro Nutrients, Micro Irrigation etc. The Company has successfully transitioned into an end-to-end solution to Farmers and Agricultural communities.

The recent developments in the Global Economics, complimented with an integrated approach for products and services, it has become mandatory to revisit the IT Strategy and Redefine/Refine in the lines of Digital Agenda the world is moving towards.

The era of Automating departments and functions to achieve efficiency is over and the Information Technology function cannot just keep their role limited to ‘Keeping the lights on’ mode, but has to partner with various Divisions and departments in fueling growth, resulting in higher revenues along with optimized costs and an elaborate market visibility across all channels. Hence, the Digital Strategy & Roadmap.

While ERP is the foundation of transactional data & reporting in any organization, the utilities under extended ERP (CRM, SRM, SCM, MES, etc.) have become the necessity and are also considered routine in an evolved IT setup (moving towards complete Digital Journey)

It would not be an exaggeration to mention that in the absence of an appropriate Digital Strategy, organization cannot think of moving forward and stay competitive.

Traditionally, both product as well as service organizations have been customer focused, however, today’s customer is much connected, aware and alert of the Quality and availability of a product or service, therefore having only the automated function which captures transactions will not qualify to be termed as Digital strategy of an organization.

A good Digital Strategy for an organization should essentially be focused around one important aspect – Customer Centricity.

At Nagarjuna, we have started our Digital Journey with a host of initiatives which primarily are directed towards better relationship with our customers (Farmers, Dealers, Distributors, etc.) and partner with them in adding value to their efforts in producing better results (Both Quantitative and Monitory). We intend to be Digitally connected and available to our customers and partners across all channels.

A word of caution here, Digital strategy does not indicate having the best technological initiatives alone. It is more to do with People and Processes within the organization, resulting in a transformation of organization to a connected-Digital enterprise, where every function makes optimum use of its Human Capital, Processes, supplemented with an equally efficient Technology.

We, at Nagarjuna group embarked the Transformation Journey with three Pillars at the Core – People, Process and Technology. With Digital roadmap in mind, the project involved due diligence of existing processes, followed by benchmarking them with the best practices, so that the revised/refined process is suitable to enhance the growth envisaged and is in sync with the Digital presence. The Technological enablement of the finalized processes is in progress, and has already started yielding results.

The evolved Ecommerce and Social platform at the customer and market front, and technologies like “Internet of Things (IoT)” at manufacturing level, has provided us with ample opportunities in realizing the Digital dream

Nagarjuna IT is enhancing its Digital presence by working along with other Divisions in several initiatives. For instance, the increased visibility and accessibility at Social platform with Mobility has given the end customers an opportunity to connect directly with the Field Force including Sales & Officers, Development Executives and Agronomists. This will provide the customers to seek advice and solutions through Mobile platform, thereby a strong bond between Nagarjuna and its customers.

Similarly, an online platform for functional managers for providing them with Analytics, enables them to have a near exact and informed planning for their set of products and services.

Provision of Real-time visibility on Targets, Actuals, and Stocks etc. to Field Force (Sales, Logistics and Development Executives) is a direct impact on Top and bottom line of the organization.

The adoption of ‘Internet of Things’ at Manufacturing level will definitely add value to an optimized cost and productivity level of the company.

Having said that, I sincerely recommend that we, the IT leaders should revisit our IT Strategy and transform ourselves into the Business Partner with appropriate Digital Strategy wherein the entire organization joins hands in making best use of Digital Technology including Analytics, SMAC, IoT, etc. fueling the organizational growth at all levels.

Nagarjuna and a good number of forward looking companies in India have already begun their Digital Journey and have started realizing the benefits. If you haven’t already, better do it now.