Cost Centre To Profit Centre

Mandar Borkar, VP - IT & Finance, SCM, Indoco RemediesBackground
Information is power. Information is an asset. In this digital world knowledge attracts the valuation. During my professional journey which started with a basic root level plant accounting costing, finance treasury, supply chain world combined with IT, extremely valuable insights were obtained from various stakeholders. It provided wider perspectives which started as an internal service recipient from IT to a leadership role of IT. In this brief article I would like to share how IT as a function has transformed itself with changing times.

VUCA World & IT
The world today is VUCA:
• Volatility: The issue or the challenge is unexpected and we are not sure it will last up to what time and in what form.
• Complex: Multiple interconnected challenges. All the information as expected may not be available.
• Ambiguity: Unclear probably what is not known itself is not known.
• Uncertain: Again a synonym. Not very clear about cause, effect, and impact.

In this VUCA world Information Technology forms a strong support to navigate successfully.

The growth of technology has been a great enabler for the corporation to man-age all such challenges. But no wonder with security threats, speed, and viral effects, we really need to manage this double edged sword.
Typically like any service department, information technology was considered as a cost. The objective has been:

How do we manage this cost?
What is necessary - must to have or nice to have?
What can be postponed?
While largely this approach has been prevalent across the organisations in view of the changing business dynamics and globalisation, the scenario has changed a lot. The major transformation is happening across the organisation. Let us understand the same in more detail. The changes in the rules, regulations, compliance have been the order of the day. The business is really becoming complex.

Traditionally we were working in silos like hardware, infra, applications and so on. However, with the advent of cloud based applications, technology has become a part and parcel, integrated with the business. Automation is making various silos redundant and convergence has been the order of the day.

The key steps to achieve this are as follows:
• Stakeholders collaboration and trust-It is absolutely essential to contribute to the success of the business. It builds the credibility and helps in overall success of the organisation. These stakeholders them-selves support you in future.
• Speed ­ Right speed to achieve the goals is must. Speed of support and execution is of paramount importance. It drives the corporation to achieve the desired goals.
• Sense of ownership
• Top leadership commitment
• Adopt to new environment
• Focus on objectives
• Take charge
• Think big
• Think long term

Focus should be with a complete strategic alignment with business. In fact, I strongly recommend that IT team member should first understand the business dynamics. Put one into the shoe of business head. The thinking should be ­ how to contribute so as to help in running the business more effectively and efficiently. Execution ­ seamless with speed and right cost is the mantra of success in today's business. IT should propose right technology which will enable the business. The value addition can be definitely measured in terms of:
• Ease of doing business
• Handling complex business scenarios
• Provide time bound out-of-the-box solution
• Enhanced controls to bring CEO 360-degree view
• Optimise the resources
• Knowledge management
• Mitigation of information risks

Over a period of time, IT function and the talent has evolved significantly. It is no more a cost center; in fact, it has transformed itself into a successful profit center helping business derive immense value.