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February - 2014 - issue > CIO Insights

INNOVATION IS NOT EMPTY VESSELS MAKING NOISE

Ravinder Pal Singh, Global Chief Information and Technology Officer, Air Works
Monday, February 24, 2014
Ravinder Pal Singh, Global Chief Information and Technology Officer, Air Works
The growth curve of the aviation industry has seen many vacillations in the past few years. Though the induction of low cost carriers made the dream of many to fly by air come true, India as a country still has a long way to go to make aviation a genuine engine of transport for all sections of the society. There exists an enormous gap that has to be bridged to create capabilities to manufacture, engineer and service aircraft ecosystems which is only possible by means of fruitful technological innovations to become drivers and enablers of achieving global competence.

Technological Trends gaining Thrust
From an information standpoint, aviation as a domain is catching up with other domains like financial and retail services to adopt readily available technologies in consumer space, especially mobility, social and wearable technologies. In the enterprise space, technologies like cloud, integration and intelligence are gaining a lot of traction in almost every sphere of technology. With respect to IT, the prime defy in the aviation sector is an open secret – which is to convert the desire of data standardization for aviation to true intent and not just seeing sparks of innovation without reaching anywhere close or parallel to other forward looking domains like retail, banking and insurance. Some of the sectors like healthcare and banking have made the best of data standardization in-spite of fierce competition and rivalry amongst organizations. Upcoming techno-trends like Internet of Things, 3D printing and Gamification are some of the IT trends that I am betting on for medium and long term agility. I strongly feel that Unmanned Platforms, Cognitive Avionics and Natural Language Search will also gain a great foothold as the next-gen technologies.

Growing with Community Oriented Culture
Our organization is a group of likeminded entrepreneurs who run specialized businesses and are best in their respective domains. Integration of all capabilities for our customers and our own sake is the biggest asset and challenge that we have. Technology plays a great role in bringing people, processes and things together into one hanger across functions and across constituent companies in multiple countries.

As the CIO, I am personally involved in building young, vibrant and multi-cultural communities within the organization that contribute to the ideation and innovation with direct visibility to the leadership. We follow a startup culture which is informal and fearless but at the same time community oriented like a global corporate which is structured and goal driven. As an innovation leader, I strive hard to convert each ideation to a 90 day project. If it demonstrates success, it becomes the fabric of the organization and takes scale with the required funding. Hence just talking means nothing and noise in modulated very quickly. Innovation in problem solving is also boundary less. For an instance, recently some young colleagues from CAMO, Planning, and Engineering came together to help the supply-chain team to solve a complex problem. We identify technology and innovation champions across the organization, and that community encourages other members to participate and work together in solving simple and complex problems and create future ideas.


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