World Auto Forum on IT held in New Delhi last month, brought together stakeholders from across the auto industry value chain. The forum focussed on the top IT investment drivers for the industry being big data, security, IOT, digital retailing, mobility and automotive 14.0.
Next generation ERPs formed the basis of the first panel discussion and highlighted the importance of end-to-end solutions from suppliers to dealers. Airing his views on the topic, Chandan Chowdhury, VP Global Affairs & Business Development, Dassault Systemes, mentioned that if best practices in companies become static, they would surely get disrupted by rivals. Next Gen ERP should be Cloud and mobile friendly with intelligence.
The session delved into the need for availability of detailed analytics for different users in next gen ERP and how technology is evolving based on changing needs of the market and not merely for the sake of evolution. However, with the global focus gradually shifting towards autonomous vehicles, a need was felt to make auto software and connected vehicles more secure through innovative solutions. This could be achieved in due course of time, given that autonomous technology is yet to be holistically integrated and delivered to the end customers.
Highlighting the current predicament of the industry, Deepangshu D Sarmah, Editor-In-chief, Auto Tech Review, spoke about the hacking incident from 2015, involving a Grand Jeep Cherokee. The hackers got vehicle access through an open port in the entertainment System and thus controlled HVAC, steering, brakes and transmission systems of the vehicle. This incident led to development of new security standards like the J3016 Guidebook on CyberSecurity by SAE. This incident reiterated the vulnerability of millions of vehicles on road and the importance of cyber security.
The second panel discussion focussed on the challenges and opportunities of cloud computing. It mentioned how recent developments in AI, AR and VR would significantly enhance customer experience and this was possible using the existing set up across dealer networks. Providing an example, Pratap Pat Joshi, CIO, Mercedes-Benz India, mentioned that the customer today wants the best product at the best price with best service. He said that at Mercedes-Benz workshops, all the interactions between customers and the dealer service advisor are digitally captured including the signatures. This leads to increase in efficiency, productivity, customer delight and higher workshop earnings.
Major auto makers today are leveraging cloud for service, loyalty and sales force management. The panel discussion reiterated how companies that continue to drive their business through cloud can be assured of sustained growth in the future. Subsequent speakers mentioned how dynamically cloud computing would be used through API’s coupled with hybrid cloud solutions. The entire IOT piece would drive cloud, to connect and to decode the analytics.
With new-age factories being run and managed digitally and remotely through sensors, the potential for digital simulation to save costs and eliminate risks is high. This, however, requires the right organisational culture to be in place rather than merely having the technology in place. Bishwanath Ghosh, CIO, Corporate, Mahindra & Mahindra, shared his views on cloud computing best practices @ automotive. He shared the ‘on premise challenges’ of organisations and spoke on newer issues due to cloud like security, hybrid access mechanism and high bandwidth. He also shared simple do’s and don’ts on cloud strategy and adoption.
Sharing his thoughts on the way ahead for connected car technology, Anuj Guglani, Founder World Auto Forum, set the context by talking on concerns on safety, cyber security, ethics, employment, road design and how insurance companies are ecstatic that human error would be eliminated. He highlighted the prerequisites in terms of safety and security, which need to be addressed, before this revolutionary technology finds rapid doption.