NextGen Digital Leader: Raghunath Bal: Ahuja Group

Can you give an overview of emerging technologies you have deployed?

My first initiative was focused on IT Infrastructure i.e. Migration of ERP – SAP Application & CRM from On-premises to AWS Cloud on the Year 2015.

Ahuja Group’s SAP ERP Central Component (ECC) is used by close to 200 users across fourteen Project Sites (Two township projects) for key business functions such as financial reporting, constructions & Operations, Sales & Marketing, and Human Resources. The company had been hosting its SAP ECC platform on-premises data centers. But as the business grew & increase of no of Constructions Sites, the infrastructure was reaching the limits of its capacity, which was compromising the performance of the SAP applications. This hindered productivity delayed reporting, and slowed delivery of key information to senior managers.

These issues meant that the SAP solution operated with 90 percent or less system availability when the company needed 99 percent or more availability. Ahuja Group realized this situation was unsustainable and started looking for alternative infrastructure options i.e. moving on a cloud with AWS.

Migration to Amazon Cloud Services:

After analyzing various solutions, Ahuja Group found that migrating its infrastructure to an external cloud service, and specifically to Amazon Web Services (AWS), would enable the company to achieve its objectives and avoid the expense and management load of employing in-house IT administrators.

“Our analysis revealed we could almost eliminate our capital costs and cut our operating costs about 30 percent by moving to the AWS Cloud and also, compared to the other cloud providers we reviewed, AWS offered superior storage management and snapshotting capabilities.”

Which are the functions/departments in your organization that is starting first with the emerging technologies? 

Currently SAP on AWS Cloud is used across the depts like Projects, Procurement, Contracts, Finance, Sales & CRM, IT & Admin. Core application i.e. SAP is used by our Marble processing Factory covering Production Planning, Materials Mgmt, Finance & Sales.

How will emerging technologies like AI, Machine Learning, IOT, Big Data, Augmented Reality, Analytics etc will change the fabric of IT organizations?

New technologies and smart applications have become prevalent. The ability to create, distribute and effective use of technology has become a major source of competitive advantage. Some of the main features of this transformation are the growing impact of information and communications technologies (ICT) on business, the economy, and society; the rapid application of recent scientific advances in new products and processes; a high rate of innovation across industries; a shift to more knowledge-intensive industries and services; and rising skill requirements.

What are the key factors to be factored (best practices) in an emerging tech deployment strategy?

Progresses in emerging technologies should follow the needs of businesses and individuals rather than the other way round. In order to ensure that innovation is directed towards effective pursuits and does not clash with human interest, collaborative efforts. For the deployment of emerging technologies, we should follow below for digital success plan-

  1. Map out a technology road-map.
  2. Create initial pilot projects.
  3. Define the capabilities that you need.
  4. Become a virtuoso in data and analytics
  5. Transform into a digital enterprise
  6. Actively plan an ecosystem approach


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