Change Management Is A Prime Issue For CIOs

by Pratap Gharge, Executive Vice President & CIO, Bajaj Electricals Ltd

Bajaj Electricals Ltd (BEL) (BSE: 500031) is an Indian consumer electrical equipments manufacturing company based in Mumbai, Its main domains are lighting, consumer durables, engineering and projects. The company currently has a market cap of Rs.1789 crores.

Customer is a kingpin of the market. Today, customers define the way businesses have to operate and innovate in order to remain relevant to the ever rising customer standards. New generation is growing up with all the time connected to the internet through social platforms, and their preferences are necessary to be heard over interactions. Most of the organizations are focused on enhancing their capabilities to respond to the social technology equipped customers. Though using social platform is a two way sword, it is unavoidable due to sheer power of the social medium. Today it is not only limited to customer interactions but also using combination of social and analytics to derive meaningful information which can help to improve business share, customer engagement and customer life cycle association. Customer experience and customer interactions are influencing every aspect of product or service in every industry. New technologies such as social, mobile, analytics and Cloud have changed the way business is done and organizations today, need to be highly customer centric and make strategic investments in these technologies to be competitive. 

The steps of keeping customers engaged with the organization are always challenging and it completely depends on the company's ability to use upcoming platforms, update its products offering and its philosophy towards the customers and culture of the company. All players in industry have realized the importance of keeping up with the changing drift. And if they are able to adopt these technologies well and are able to innovatively derive value from the same for the business, they can surely build a competitive advantage at least for some time.

Challenges to Win Over

Change management is one of the prime issues the CIOs have to deal with; constant changes are expected in the systems, processes and the list of requirements is never ending. Efforts involved in every new project are different and justification and quantification of benefits from the technology projects is always difficult without participation from the users. Managing IT with limited budgets, increasing adoption level of the work delivered across entire organization, aligning IT Services as per Business requirements, prioritization of the IT projects and keeping IT team motivated are the challenges that Bajaj Electricals face every day. 

There are solutions available from the vendors to satisfy all these needs, but unfortunately ability of manufacturing companies to invest in the technologies is restricted due to limited budgets. Organizations face difficulties to calculate the RoI and struggle to quantify business benefits and the share of the benefit derived out of technology enablement. Hence businesses are not able to invest into innovative projects consistently, the only option which may come to their rescue is cloud based offering. Without making big Capex investment, trying some technologies with cloud offerings could help in knowing the business benefits and to decide to either continue on Opex model or to go for investment in Capex. 

Cloud based offerings is another big trend helping on technology acquisition capabilities but are available on limited platforms and that is where vendors may need to invest to expand its scope in different technologies, this might radically help the manufacturing sector. At the same time, every such offering needs to be supplemented by sufficient customer education to provide the proof of concept to users so that adoption of services over cloud is increased. Aligning licensing policies as per cloud requirement is not still addressed by most of the vendors.