Firstly, leading a team within one’s own function could already be a challenge in itself (of course we called it opportunity!) as there will be a mixture of genders, age, ethnic background and location.
That is just the physical aspect of things.
There are still the emotional side of things, agendas – personal and departmental, views and perspectives, relationship between members, and the list goes sensitively on.
What more leading a cross-functional team where KPIs, agendas, and even objectives can be different – yes, in the same company.
Throughout my experience leading cross-functional teams – Management, Marketing, Sales, Operations, Human Resources, Engineering, Support, Services, Public Relations etc – in Asia Pacific and across the globe, I have quantified it down to the following 5 As.
It starts with AWARENESS of the challenge we have on hand. It is easy to say but some companies may not be aware of the challenges they have or choose to ignore them like an ostrich with its head in the sand and hope that it will go away.
Many said leaders are there to find answers to problems. So leading a charge not just to understand the challenges of the business but also finding the best solution to solve and advance it Blue Ocean style is the true mark of a formidable leader, more so in a cross-functional environment.
AWARENESS is also about communicating the challenges in a unified language that everyone understands.
We all have heard stories – some funny, many not – that misunderstandings occurred when this is not done. In the tech word, TLAs – two or three letter acronyms – are often the language of communication. Unfortunately, functions within even the same company may use the same acronym to mean different things. Case in point I experienced was using the acronym HPC where the Sales function saw it as Hundred Percent Club for awesome achievers and Marketing thought it was High Performance Computing! The meeting started and thanks to the sportiness of the ram, we laughed and adjourned as the wrong people were in the room.
After the problem is identified and the common language established, we will have to ASSESS the issue on hand to figure out the WHY – why it happened, why are we concerned, why is it a priority – before what most firms do, jump into solution-ing mode immediately before defining clearly what the challenge is. ASSESSMENT of the situation will define the statement of challenge, and set a foundation for collaborative discussion towards a solution.
Would you go to a doctor who, without even taking your temperature or put a stethoscope on you, prescribe medicine you should take?
With ASSESSMENT, we can establish a common goal and defined scope, ready for solving the problem, together.
ASSESSMENT give us the drumbeat in a dragon boat race to peddle to – many people, one goal, one tempo.
With an objective established, we can now move ahead to allow each of the constituents ALIGN their departmental objectives to this common objective. Do not mistake ALIGNMENT with AGREEMENT – which is a common mistake – as ALIGNMENT will show you how each department will play to it versus to contribute to it. It looks great on slides for presentation where one puts a tick in the alignment box but this does not necessarily mean that the actions are in agreement with one another to deliver the desired collaborative impact in outcomes.
However, it is also not saying that we should skip ALIGNMENT and jump straight to AGREEMENT as we need to provide each department the flexibility, and respect, to socialise within their individual departments, and to develop that ALIGNMENT alà the flavour of each department – to prevent a forced feeding syndrome and thus disrespectful which may go against the objective of collaboration.
AGREEMENT is a phase where every constituents AGREE to a set of joint KPIs and OUTCOMES.
This is when one changes hat, from a departmental one to a company one. It is not against their own departmental goals as they have participated, contributed to the development of these company KPIs in the previous phases.
The AGREEMENT on the KPIs and OUTCOMES will be the foundation for the development of solutions to solve the challenge identified in AWARENESS and ASSESSMENT phases.
We are now ready for the ADVANCEMENT phase.
ADVANCEMENT will require a clear set of actions that is targeted at solving the issue on hand, with clear timeline and leaders to lead sub-groups with sanctioned measurements and also the all important communication channels – weekly meetings, sub-group meetings, collaborative portals and documents, agreed format of communication and documentation of all meetings etc – the whole nine yards of good project management.
The above phases, I find, will facilitate the development of a impactful and collaborative solution for a clearly defined challenge, allowing cross-functional teams to focus on one target without sacrificing their own interest.
Happy collaborating in solving your company challenges.
IIT Kharagpur’s Centre of Excellence in Advanced Manufacturing Technology has set out to bring to the forefront indigenously developed industry 4.0 technologies that support India’s industrial sector to achieve the vision of an Atma Nirbhar Bharat (Self-reliant India). Indian Institute of Technology Kharagpur (IITK) was the first-ever Indian Institutes of Technology to be established and is recognised as an institute of national importance.
The COVID-19 pandemic has necessitated significant staffing restrictions with new hygiene norms and social distancing. In this new normal, cloud infrastructure, remote and real-time operations systems will be critical to maintaining effective industrial operations. Furthermore, the advantages that controlled operations bring in delivering quality output at low costs have a wider impact in the context of Atma Nirbhar Bharat (Self-reliant India).
The institute recently developed novel Industry 4.0 technology for remotely controlled factory operations and real-time quality correction during industrial production, in partnership with an Indian multinational information technology services and consulting company, to set a new trend in India’s advanced manufacturing sector.
The innovative technology has been developed by Prof. Surjya K Pal, Professor in-charge at the Centre of Excellence in Advanced Manufacturing Technology jointly with the information technology services and consulting company, will acquire real-time information about the welding process through multiple sensors and enable online control of weld quality through cloud-based communication with the friction stir welding machine.
Stressing the need for such technologies to achieve the ‘Make in India’ goal, Director Prof. Virendra K Tewari believes that while India is aiming to boost indigenous production and exports, the primary goal should be the quality output with minimum disruptions. He felt that these are the two basic needs our industrial sector which must be addressed for servicing business to scale.
The innovation upgrades the industrial process of friction stir welding to a multi-sensory system of Industry 4.0. The process has set the course for remotely controlled operations in the Indian industrial sector and, at the same times, has enabled real-time quality check and correction during the production process. This will make it possible for industrial houses to achieve standardised quality goals throughout the production process and reduce rejection hence lowering the cost of production.
Welding is at the heart of any industrial operations. If we can improve the weld quality in real-time during batch production we can reduce rejections in post-production sample checks,” opined Prof. Pal.
Explaining the new technology, he revealed that the multiple sensor process involves a range of signal processing and machine learning techniques that predict the ultimate tensile strength of the weld joint is fabricated. This technology is connected with a vast experimental knowledge base to conform to a standard system and prediction of the weld joint strength. Any defect identified during the monitoring procedure is corrected in real-time by sending modified parameters to the machine thus ensuring the standardised quality of the process.
The concept of this technology can further be evolved for real-time control of other industrial processes and such work will be carried at the centre with other industrial partners soon, affirmed Prof. Pal.
IITK’s industry partner believes that such innovations are enablers of technology-based transformations in the country, especially in overcoming challenges called out by the pandemic. The remote friction stir welding machine quality control via multi-sensor fusion developed by Centre of Excellence in Advanced Manufacturing Technology at IIT Kharagpur is a case in point
The Executive Vice President and Chief Technology Officer said their organisation convinced that academic partnerships are an important part of their Research and Co-Innovation Network (CoIN) in creating real-world solutions with scientific rigour. He confirmed that their Embedded Systems & Robotics, IoT and ICME platform teams from their Research and Innovation wings were working closely with IIT Kharagpur’s CoE towards AI-driven prediction/control of weld strength using a scalable and robust platform.
The SG Women in Tech movement (SGWIT), an initiative by the Infocomm Media Development Authority (IMDA), industry, government and community partners to attract and develop girls and women in tech, celebrated its 1st year of advancing diversity in the tech sector in Singapore this week.
Some of the key milestones include:
- Connecting girls in schools with female tech leaders through a series of StudentsAsk videos that have since reached out to over 115,000 people in the community
- Bringing together over 600 women in the tech workforce for networking and mentoring activities
- Launching the inaugural SG 100 Women in Tech List to honour women who have achieved outstanding accomplishments and made significant contributions in tech.
Study finds women in tech in SE Asia is higher than global averages
To provide more insights on the strategies that companies, governments, schools and individuals can take to advance gender diversity, The Boston Consulting Group (BCG) has partnered with SGWIT and IMDA on a new study which surveyed 1,650 women in tech in Southeast Asia.
The study found that the participation of women in tech in Southeast Asia is slightly higher than global averages, and about 65% of respondents agreed that the tech sector does better than other industries in offering programmes specifically tailored to recruit, retain and promote women.
“More talent will drive the fast growth of our burgeoning tech sector and spearhead digital transformation for the Singapore economy. It is heartening to see the strong interest and support for the Singapore Women in Tech movement from schools, industry and community. We are glad to see tech companies and leaders taking action to attract, retain and develop girls and women in tech, and look forward to bringing on board even more stakeholders to develop an exciting and enabling environment for women in tech,” said Mr Lew Chuen Hong, Chief Executive, Infocomm Media Development Authority (IMDA).
Report identifies areas to boost the number of women in tech
With demand for digital talent growing faster than supply, the report identified three critical junctures for intervention to boost the number of women in tech. These “moments of truth” are the choice to pursue higher education in tech, the selection of their first job, and the decision to remain in tech over the long term.
Based on these, the report has also identified areas where companies, policymakers and academic institutions, and even women themselves, can work on, to further attract, retain and develop more women in tech.
BCG’s global leader for the Technology, Media & Telecommunications practice, Vaishali Rastogi, said, “Technology is radically disrupting businesses and industries, driving an urgent need for more digital talent across the region as demand for such profiles rises faster than supply. Women need to be part of the long-term solution.” Vaishali, who is one of the authors of the BCG report, further explained, “Our research shows that gender diversity can make companies more innovative and agile. For example, companies where women account for more than 20% of the management team have approximate 10% higher innovation revenues than companies with male-dominated leadership”.
Senior Minister of State for Communications and Information, Ms Sim Ann, also announced the extension of the MentorConnect programme for a second year at a webinar organised by SGWIT to commemorate its first anniversary.
The cross-company mentorship programme was started last year by Dell Technologies as a platform to guide and empower the development of women professionals in tech and promote best practices among participating companies from all industries. The programme will see four new companies, DBS Bank, VMWare, Aon, and BHP, joining the current ones – Dell Technologies, IMDA, Salesforce and ST Engineering.
Having battled the global pandemic for more than 6 months and foreseeing its lasting impact in the times to come, it is important to ask how prepared we are for the life after COVID–19. What are some of the valuable lessons that we have learnt in the past few months that we must take with us as we venture into the ‘new normal’?
In an attempt to discover and delve into the answers to these questions, OpenGov Asia hosted an OpenGovLive! Virtual breakfast insight with financial industry executives based in Indonesia.
The timely and thought-provoking issues saw a 100% attendance and high engagement rate from the audience for the session.
Balancing digital transformation along with managing fraud and risk is a major challenge for banks
Mohit Sagar, Group Managing Director and Editor-in-Chief, OpenGov Asia set the tone for the discussion by pointing out that the new, transformed workspace is no longer a physical place that employees go to but a cluster of virtual work tools that lets employees stay productive anytime and anywhere.
This free and flexible style of working has posed a major challenge for the financial sector industry. They are under a lot of pressure to balance their digital transformation efforts with the increasingly stringent regulatory guidelines alongside managing stakeholder expectations.
Apart from being resilient, banks have to constantly ensure that they are compliant and not flouting any regulations to ensure their presence amongst other contemporaries.
Operational resilience, which was earlier a seldom-discussed topic in the boardrooms, has been elevated on the priority list of CIO’s.
Mohit also highlighted the fact that mere compliance is not enough to ensure survival in the post-COVID-19 world. Constantly pushing the envelope by innovating and thinking outside the box is more important than ever.
He left the audience with advice that to effectively manage these distinct aspects of their business, it would be expedient to seek help and support of partners who specialise in it and who can help them prioritise right in the new uncertain normal.
How SAS can help and support financial institutions in the post COVID era
After Mohit’s challenging opening, Anggaraini Rahayu, Director-FSI, SAS Indonesia, shared her insights on the topic.
Anggaraini began by explaining how SAS can support, help respond to sudden changes and mitigate risk for the financial institutions as they recover in the post COVID–era.
She shared that SAS is doing this by identifying the volatility in macroeconomic factors that are key drivers of change, building up data and analytics capabilities along the journey to recovery and getting ahead of the innovation curve and applying analytics for future strategies.
Anggaraini elaborated on the various trends and opportunities in the FSI that have emerged beyond the pandemic. They are enhanced focus on digital transformation, better integration of financial services to the monetary policies, the robustness of asset and liability management, heightened security risks and surge in contactless payments.
She also talked about the way SAS operates in the financial industry space by enabling effective operations and working with innovative solutions that are driving amazing outcomes for their customers. As SAS champions driving value from analytics, she some of their use cases across the financial institution value chain shared with the delegates.
Anggaraini delved into the biggest focus area of SAS I.e. risk management for banking and insurance industry. She shared with the delegates the details of the SAS fraud and security intelligence solutions and how it enables users to stay resilient and relevant in the post-COVID-era.
She concluded her presentation by sharing some successful implementations of the above-mentioned solution.
Speed of service delivery is of utmost importance in the new financial industry world
After Anngarani’s information-rich presentation, Gerard Mcdonell, Regional Solution Director Fraud & Security Intelligence, SAS came forward to share his perspectives with the audience.
In his very first slide, Gerard highlighted the importance of the speed of delivery in the post-Covid era. Banks and financial institutions are under a lot of pressure to meet the changing demands of their customers in this new world. The need to go digital for financial institutions in the current scenario comes with the downside of increased risk of financial crimes and fraud.
He underscored the need for speed by quoting Klaus Shwab, who said that in this new world it’s not the big fish that eat small fish but the fast fish eating the slow fish.
Gerard validated his statement by citing a recent example where a large European bank lost an opportunity to expand their market due to the lack of agility and velocity in their DNA.
He also echoed the sentiment that the pandemic has only exacerbated the situation for financial institutions forcing the unbanked population to make a leap to digital banking. This, on one hand, has added to the existing challenges for the banks but, on the other, has exposed them to a new customer base that they can tap on.
He went on to shed light on the ways AI can support them. They include accuracy and efficiency with compliance, quick identification of fraudulent transactions, fast and accurate credit scoring.
Gerard strongly advised the colleagues from the industry to embrace the latest advancements in AI to tap on this newly created customer base.
He concluded his presentation by sharing how SAS helped a major bank to significantly improve its fraud management by implementing the fraud management and credit authorisation solution together.
Learning to mitigate the effect of COVID-19 crisis in the financial sector industry
After Gerard, Alfanendya Safudi, Senior Vice President, Head of Credit Portfolio Risk at PT. Bank Mandiri shared his learnings with the delegates.
Alfanendya opened his slot by sharing that, just like the most of delegates and their organisations, Bank Mandiri had very limited visibility of the impact the COVID-19 crisis would have on the economy.
But early stress testing and contingency actions are key to mitigating the impact of COVID–19 outbreak. He ardently advocates stress testing as an effective way of mitigating COVID risk and also emphasised that the test needs to be updated frequently as well as supported by robust tools and systems.
He cautioned the delegates to not rely on a singular stress cycle and undergo multiple rounds of it as they did at Bank Mandiri.
Towards the end of his presentation, Alfanendya shared with the delegates how banks need to prepare as they move forward in the new normal. He also agreed that there is an increase in non-financial risks like fraud, scams, cyber-attacks etc. during the COVID-19 crisis that needs to be better prepared for in times to come.
After the informative presentations, it was now time for the more interactive part of the session: the polling questions and discussions.
On the question about your organisation having the tools to model out the P&L under a wide range of different economic and non-economic scenarios, a majority of the audience voted that they use traditional forecasting techniques, and they are good enough (77%).
One one of the delegated reflected that they are currently using the traditional techniques that are sufficient for now but they are also open to new technologies out there that can help them do it better.
On the question about the impact of the pandemic on their operational risk exposure, particularly relating to fraud and compliance, a major chunk of the delegates voted that increased online and application fraud, along with greater resource demands to keep AML/ KYC/ screening compliance under control have been impacted (50%).
A digital executive shared that increased online or payment fraud and application fraud are bigger impact areas in their organisation that they need to work on.
On the final question about the top priorities, while managing risk management portfolio, the delegates seemed divided between updating their legacy with a modernised risk infrastructure (36%) and using AI and machine learning for credit scoring, capital optimisation, back-testing and model validation and regtech (36%).
After the polling session, the Virtual Breakfast Insight reached a timely conclusion with closing remarks by Febrianto Siboro, Country Managing Director, SAS.
Febrianto began by thanking all the delegates and speakers for joining the session and sharing their insights with the audience. He encouraged the audience to make use of various AI/ML and analytics solutions by SAS to augment their service delivery and team SAS would be happy to entertain their queries and demonstrations for the same.
The Government Communications Security Bureau’s (GCSB) National Cyber Security Centre (NCSC) helps government agencies and organisations of national significance protect and defend their information systems against cyber-borne threats that are typically beyond the capability of commercially available products and services.
The NCSC works closely with CERT NZ (Computer Emergency Response Team) to provide guidance and help on cyber threats. CERT NZ helps business, organisations and individuals wanting prevention and mitigation advice on online security issues that do not require the NCSC’s specialist skills and knowledge to respond to. It has primary responsibility for cyber threat reporting and a coordination role in threat response.
With elections over, the NZ government can resume business which is good news for tech. NZ Cert, the government entity that tracks cyber breaches, feels that the economic growth policy takes a leaf out of the Singapore playbook, with a focus on industry transformation.
During the first lockdown, cabinet refocused their industry policy on specific sectors that were well-positioned for and would benefit from a high-intensity and high-investment strategy – digital tech, advanced manufacturing and sections of food and fibre. These sectors were considered sectors that had the potential to become highly productive and internationally competitive.
The Digital Technology Industry Transformation Plan (ITP) has been gotten off to a solid start. The ITPs provide a framework to proactively and collaboratively drive change with the government that would encourage and drive the growth of the tech sector.
Collaborative workstreams are exploring education pathways to accelerate the development of local skills. Changes in procurement approaches to stimulate the local tech sector have been put in place and the government is looking to get a better understanding of tech export successes. Work on the advanced manufacturing ITP has also started and this should be beneficial to the high-tech manufacturing and biotechnology parts of the tech sector. The government has also significantly worked on the development of a national AI strategy and data-driven innovation.
All of this in an effort to develop a robust narrative for a strong tech story for New Zealand.
As has been happening across the globe, COVID has dramatically increased New Zealand’s reliance on digital devices and the internet. Yet, NZTech Chief Executive Graeme Muller said CERT NZ research indicated that New Zealanders are not adjusting their behaviours around cybersecurity fast enough.
The research found 87% of the country’s respondents acknowledge security of their personal information online is important but 40% say safeguarding their information is inconvenient. About a third do not regularly check the privacy settings on their social media accounts and the same number do not use two-factor authentication when logging into an online account. Even with increasing news reports about security issues such as ransomware, identity theft and hacks, people still do not think it will happen to them or their business, Muller says.
He quoted a recent global analysis of hacks and data breaches that estimated it would cost three million dollars on average for a company to recover from a successful hack. For the average New Zealand company, this could be disastrous, so business owners need to take cybersecurity seriously.
Similarly, consequences from breach of personal data, identity theft, ransomware, fraud and direct monetary loss could be significant. According to CERT NZ’s quarterly data, thousands of Kiwis are subject to cyber blackmail and fraud every year due to their complacency around simple security measures.
CERT NZ ran its Cyber Smart Week 2020 campaign from October 19 – 23, 2020. The main goal of the initiative is to increase the cyber resilience of New Zealanders making them, and the nation, less vulnerable to cyber attacks.
Universiti Kebangsaan Malaysia (UKM) in collaboration with a local tech reseller and an American tech manufacturer to launch a new technological learning space, the AktivUKM ruang space for students and the entire campus community. The Vice-Chancellor of UKM stated that the AktivUKM™ space is the first learning space in public universities in Malaysia, which involves strategic collaboration with industry.
The idea of establishing the AktivUKM™ space begun with the aim of aligning with the UKM Strategic Plan 2019-2021 with the concept of House of Quality where Teaching-UKM has been given the mandate to realize the Empowerment of Teaching and Learning and Talent Outreach.
In line with the mandate, the establishment of the AktivUKM™ space is expected to empower students with relevant and futuristic skills to face the era of the 4th Industrial Revolution. The space was created as a knowledge hub that connects students, lecturers and UKM staff.
Its location, located in the Tun Sri Lanang Library, makes it a bridge to connect knowledge in the physical world and the digital world. True to its name, AktivUKM™ is symbolic to drive digital teaching and learning activities among campus residents and the community.
Apart from that, he said, the skills cultivated in the space are expected to provide students, lecturers and UKM staff to share, inspire, impart knowledge and further be able to increase the marketability of graduates.
Through this learning space, students will join the two industry partners in gaining hands-on experience and live digital and futuristic skills for their future careers. Students can also work with digital experts in the space to apply active learning with an American multinational technology company technology as well as develop and create innovative digital materials with futuristic space and technology.
In addition, the AktivUKM™ space provides a hub for lecturers to further strengthen strategic alliances with Apple in transforming teaching and learning (PdP) approaches. With this network, technology experts will be with lecturers in redesigning teaching with Apple’s futuristic ecosystem technology in line with Education 4.0. Lecturers can also create and innovate in PdP and in turn drive education based on the 4th Industrial Revolution.
Preparing Malaysian youth with digital skills
The current COVID-19 pandemic has made it apparent that equipping the workforce with digital skills is imperative for economic recovery. To enable this, the Malaysia Digital Economy Corporation (MDEC) has introduced a Digital Skills Training Directory during its recent #MyDigitalWorkforce Week, an initiative to assist youth job-seekers and the unemployed.
The CEO of MDEC said the directory would act as a guide for Malaysians in selecting digital courses that meet their career needs. The introduction of the directory is consistent with the agency’s focus on developing digitally-skilled Malaysians. It will be the go-to guide for all Malaysians and the workforce on what to look out for when it comes to digital tech up-skilling and re-skilling programmes.
Businesses that are looking to hire personnel and have plans to equip talent with relevant digital tech skills can refer to the digital-first focused directory catalogue as it lists down courses that address in-demand digital skills. In addition, most of the courses have been approved for funding – for organisations or talents – under the government’s National Economic Recovery Plan (PENJANA) Hiring Incentive that the Social Security Organisation (Socso) manages.
Should the candidates require training, up to RM4,000 training subsidy will be available for the unemployed who are selected for recruitment by Socso-registered employers.
This arrangement is also available for unemployed Malaysians who are registered with the Socso Employment Insurance System.
The directory covers all areas of digital skills training, from beginner up to advance level. The courses on the list consist of data science (50 courses); cybersecurity (44 courses); animation (19 courses); game development (five courses); and software development (55 courses). These include, but are not limited to, data science, cybersecurity, animation, game development, and software development for the new digital era.
JTC and the Singapore Business Federation (SBF) signed a Memorandum of Understanding yesterday to support manufacturers, especially SMEs, to kick-start their Industry 4.0 journey or to scale their current efforts through the adoption of technologies and solutioning for business operations through the new JTC-SBF Industry Transformation Initiative.
This initiative will provide companies that are keen in furthering their Industry 4.0 ambitions access to relevant Industry 4.0 related resources.
These include curated workshops, capability building initiatives tailored to companies’ digital readiness, and link-ups to a larger pool of technology partners and its consortiums, for solution matching to help companies develop the expertise to implement and scale Industry 4.0 solutions in their operations.
Over 300 companies are expected to be supported under this initiative and undergo Industry 4.0 transformation in the next two years. This will help them to develop new capabilities for their workforce, enhance its productivity and ensure long-term competitiveness.
Mr Tan Boon Khai, CEO of JTC, said, “SBF is an instrumental partner to drive the next phase of Industry 4.0 transformation by companies. With our large base of customers, strong network of partners, and robust advanced manufacturing ecosystem in Jurong Innovation District, more companies can become the forerunner in Industry 4.0. With this new partnership, we hope to see more businesses in Singapore transform and capture new growth opportunities in the region.”
Mr Ho Meng Kit, Chief Executive Officer of SBF, said, “The COVID-19 situation has brought disruptions to economies, making businesses rethink strategies, relook operating models and recalibrate resources. This has led to an accelerated need for a better understanding and adoption of Industry 4.0 to help local enterprises emerge stronger from the pandemic.
With the present downturn expected to be protracted, we hope that through this JTC-SBF partnership, we can further encourage more companies to take a holistic view at how Industry 4.0 solutions can help their businesses transform and thrive in the future economy.”
New initiatives to support and accelerate the next phase of Industry 4.0 transformation
This new collaboration will allow JTC and SBF’s combined network of companies to more easily access relevant Industry 4.0 resources across JTC and SBF’s networks and platforms.
Together with partners, joint engagement sessions will be carried out to further strengthen the various initiatives and encourage higher adoption of solutions for businesses to scale up their Industry 4.0 capabilities.
Companies can participate in curated training workshops and capability building programmes tailored to their level of Industry 4.0 readiness, and develop roadmaps to guide their implementation.
They will gain access to successful case studies and embark on learning journeys at Factories of the Future, giving them greater exposure to Industry 4.0 solutions in real production facilities. This will further encourage companies to transform and remain competitive amidst the pandemic.
Building a collaborative community through Industry Connect to help businesses capture new Industry 4.0 opportunities
This partnership with SBF is part of JTC’s ongoing efforts to build a collaborative community that can help companies to stay ahead of the curve. In January this year, JTC launched the Industry Connect Initiative to help businesses across its estates grow through technology adoption while enhancing talent development and environmental sustainability.
With over 14,000 customers, JTC can effectively promote business transformation to these companies by connecting them to solutions providers, trade associations, and government agencies.
To date, over 1,000 businesses in JTC’s estates have been engaged through various Industry 4.0 outreach initiatives, with around 200 companies embarking on their Industry 4.0 journey.
Leading players in the business community are sharing relevant technologies and experience to address problems faced by various industries. This has created new opportunities for businesses and their workers.
The National Super Computing Mission (NSM) of India is making significant headway in boosting the high power computing capacity in the country. The nation is rapidly expanding its supercomputer facilities and developing the appropriate capacity to manufacture its supercomputers in the country.
The NSM is jointly steered by the Ministry of Electronics and IT (MeitY) and Department of Science and Technology (DST) and implemented by the Centre for Development of Advanced Computing (C-DAC), Pune and the Indian Institute of Science (IISc), Bengaluru.
The National Super Computing Mission is deploying a phased strategy through its various arms to meet the increasing computational demands of academia, researchers, MSMEs, and startups in areas like oil exploration, flood prediction as also genomics and drug discovery.
With the infrastructure planned in NSM Phase-I already installed and much the infrastructure of Phase-II in place, the network of supercomputers through the country will soon reach to around 16 Petaflops (PF). Phase-III, to be initiated in January 2021, will take the computing speed to around 45 Petaflops.
Param Shivay, the first supercomputer assembled indigenously, was installed in IIT (BHU), followed by Param Shakti and Param Brahma at IIT-Kharagpur and IISER, Pune, respectively.
Thereafter supercomputing facilities were set up in two more institutions, and one is being set up in Phase-I, ramping up high power computing speed to 6.6 PF under Phase-1. In Phase-II, 8 more institutions will be equipped with supercomputing facilities by April 2021, with a total of 10 PF compute capacity. Work on Phase-III will start in 2021 and will include three systems of 3 PF each and one system of 20PF as a national facility.
MoUs have been signed with 14 premier institutions of India to establish supercomputing infrastructure along with assembly and manufacturing capacity within the country. These include IITs, NITs, National Labs, and IISERs. While some of these have already been installed, more will be done by December this year. The Phase-II installations will be completed by April 2021.
The three phases will provide access to High-Performance Computing (HPC) Facilities to 75 institutions and thousands of active researchers and academicians working through Nation Knowledge Network (NKN) – the backbone for supercomputing systems.
HPC and Artificial Intelligence (AI) have converged together. A 100 AI PF Artificial Intelligence supercomputing system is being created and installed in C-DAC, which can handle incredibly large-scale AI workloads increasing the speed of computing-related to AI several times.
The mission has also created the next generation of supercomputer experts by training more than 2400 supercomputing manpower and faculties till date.
Powered by the NSM, India’s network of research institutions, in collaboration with the industry, is scaling up the technology and manufacturing capability to make more and more parts in India. While in Phase-I, 30% value addition is done in India, that has been scaled up to 40% in Phase-II.
Efforts are being made to design and develop parts like server board, interconnect, processor, system software libraries, storage, and HPC-AI converged accelerator domestically. India has developed an Indigenous server (Rudra), which can meet the HPC requirements of all governments and PSUs. This is the first time that a server system was made in India, along with the full software stack developed by C-DAC.
Experts said that the pace at which things are moving forward, we may soon have the motherboards and sub-systems manufactured in India, making the supercomputers indigenously designed and manufactured.
Such indigenously designed systems with most parts designed and manufactured in India will be installed at places like IIT-Mumbai, IIT-Chennai, and Inter-University Accelerator Centre (IUAC) at Delhi, C-DAC, Pune, which are covered under Phase-III and help move towards supercomputers developed and manufactured totally in India paving the way for self-reliance in the field.