'We have discontinued our in-house IT support'

VoicenData Bureau
New Update

Tata Motors and its subsidiaries have implemented and applied IT

strategies across the company including their Daewoo plant at Korea. Associated

with the Tata Motors for over three decades, Probir Mitra, CIO of the company is

a veteran of the automobile industry. He is responsible for closely aligning

information technology strategies with the company's business goals and

processes. Mitra spoke to VOICE&DATA about the challenges in handling both

the functional as well as IT- related processes of the company


Have IT and telecom tools become mission-critical for the automotive


IT and telecom tools have, from a long time, graduated through an essential

stage to a critical one. The emergence of high-demanding customers and the tough

competition, to meet these demands, make innovation through the use of IT and

telecom tools inevitable.

How do IT managers create a more efficient, trusted IT infrastructure for

timely delivery on business promises?

It would be unfair to generalize on the IT industry's ability to deliver

on business problems. The key for successful IT delivery is to manage

perpetuations and expectations right from the inception of the IT project. A

clear and unambiguous understanding of the customer's requirement is the

foundation stone for deliveries and the delivery attributes time and money.

What are the constituents required to align business with IT?

Aligning business with IT requires mutual trust and respect. At Tata Motors

we prepare a three-year IT road map, which is reviewed every year. The exercise

comprises looking at business objectives and examining thrust areas, which need

to be leveraged by IT. Mutual and sustainable technologies along with the

current IT base line are inputs to the IT strategy formation. Business processes

and their re-engineering are also a strong focus, as these are the basic

pipelines through which IT initiatives need to be channalized.


How can CIOs help their companies handle risks?

CIOs can help firstly, by in-depth understanding of the business and the

critical success factors for each of the business process. They also need to

package and market IT solutions effectively. Also, they should ensure that there

is comprehensive buying on every IT initiative.

What are your views about outsourcing IT in an organization?

Tata Motors discontinued the function of its in-house IT support department

and outsourced all IT to our own subsidiary Tata Technologies. Today, Tata

Technologies services several other accounts other than Tata Motors. However,

keeping in mind the core focus areas of Tata Technologies, some aspects of IT

services have been outsourced to other service providers as well. Today, there

are a number of IT service providers who work as a team to deliver our IT


Do you think certain areas of business like ERP systems will become


We do not think that areas like ERP can become commodities, even if the ERP

requirement of different companies of the same industry radically differ. This

is because of complexities in the way the businesses are run. It is virtually

impossible to adopt standard packages without customization.


What do you think about IT governance in the automotive sector?

I don't feel that IT governance in the automotive sector is radically

different from any other sector. Perhaps, the complexities in the sector,

ranging from product and process design through manufacturing and logistics and

sales and distribution, are more demanding than that of some other industries.

The key is in evolving a governance module, which involves all facts of the

business with the IT delivery team.

Which technology(ies) is going to be the key driver in the automotive

industry in the coming days?

We expect the key drivers in the coming days to be 3Graphics, RFID and high

performance computing for engineering design and virtual RFID for supply chain

logistics, both external and internal.

Rahul Gupta