Anjan Deb, GM-IT (CIO) - The Great Eastern Shipping Co
‘We look forward to a technology driven shipping industry’
The Shipping Industry(Ocean Logistics) is where I belong to at the moment. It is a slow runner in comparison with other industries as far as technology adoption is concerned. The industry is still not IT driven at the moment. But there is a seeming change that is sweeping across the industry and it is subsequently moving slowly to adopt new technology. The biggest bottleneck however is the poor and unreliable connectivity over sea. In the world of connectivity, there are improved solutions now coming up. But no way is it close to industries like BFSI, FMCG, Mfg., pharma etc., in terms of the technology driven environment.
The business still does not feel the need of involving IT in its strategy and growth. Of course, this is in context to the Indian Shipping Industry. There are significant transformations happening in this area in other advanced countries.
We look forward to the technology driven shipping industry, may be 5 years down the line. So, all in all, the board is yet to feel the importance of CIO and how he can influence the business growth and strategy.
We are not in a plan to create an in-house expert on new technologies. We have a small research team that works on new upcoming technologies, in terms of understanding the concept, finding out usability in the organization and also finding out the external expertise to make it happen in the organization. For example we are implementing chatbot and experimenting the usability of AR (Augmented Reality) in our ship’s equipment maintenance process.
We are experimenting on AR which we think will be very useful and will make huge impact on the business of huge cumbersome ship maintenance work. We are also evaluating blockchain technology to find out the suitability of our business usage in ocean logistics world. We already have significant usage of Mobile Apps and have a plan to extend its usage in all functional areas.
Adaptability to Organizational Changes
It is an absolute fact that in this extremely dynamic scenario of technology changes, in terms of new tech and upgrade of existing technology, IT needs to be fully flexible to quickly adopt the current technology. The technology architecture plays a significant role at the time of designing any solution. This will remain all the time with IT and they need to give huge focus on the flexibility of adopting new technology.
Investment Plans for FY 18-19
We will be focusing on basic AI, AR utility, blockchain technology usage in ocean logistic domain, enhancing Mobile Apps usage andcyber security enhancement.
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