The Smart Techie was renamed Siliconindia India Edition starting Feb 2012 to continue the nearly two decade track record of excellence of our US edition.

February - 2012 - issue > CIO Insights

Technology today is about being Agile

Benita Matilda
Thursday, February 2, 2012
Benita Matilda
Sridhar Nallani is the Vice President IT, TRIA Beauty, a privately-held, venture-backed medical device company that develops and markets light-based therapeutic beauty systems. He is placed in San Francisco Bay Area. He has over 17 years of experience in building high performance teams. His expertise spans areas of Ecommerce, Business Intelligence, Enterprise Architecture, Application Development including ERP/CRM transformations and Cloud/Virtualization. Prior to joining TRIA he was a Senior Director of IT at Microsoft under the CIO and earlier to that the First Vice President of Technology at WaMu under the CIO and CFO. He is known as an accomplished technologist and leader who applies a rare mix of technology depth, relationship skills, and business acumen to direct strategic enterprise software development, management and customer delivery.

Technology is not just limited to the IT segment but has been a big driving factor for emerging companies in sectors ranging from retail to agriculture to help them boost their business growth. Our perception towards technology has completely changed. There has been a shift from a more traditional life cycle developmental methodology to a more agile methodology. One of the key trends that seems to have made a come back is e-commerce. Additionally, there has been a rampant adoption of cloud computing, social networking, mobile computing and other new technologies as each company is trying to make these trends a competitive edge.

Today the emphasis is on delivering value much quicker and earlier than we traditionally did. Days of waiting for 2 to 4 years for a software release are gone. It’s more an agile based lean model where business would be looking for delivery cycles every 2 to 4 weeks incrementally. On the cloud technology front there are different types of data that could suit well to different options available, from a private to a public cloud with some companies looking into a more hybrid model. Also data from traditional data ware house & business intelligence has taken a new meaning now as well. Innovative IT teams are getting away from developing canned reports and moving to developing self-serving dashboards with drill down capabilities and putting the power into the business user’s hands.

Challenges of a CIO

There are a few key challenges for any CIO today. How you constantly assess and inspire your current team, add more talent and improve from a people point of view is a big one. How you keep pace with new trends like cloud, mobile and social networking and use them as game changers for your company is another. In this context then it’s not on when to adapt them but how is the key; e.g., public or private cloud, data and security aspects, on-premise or hosted, the budgetary aspects related to all these and more. Also important is the state of the IT team and how you are taking it to the next level. Using Gartner’s maturity model of functional, enabling, contributing, differentiating and transformational, where does your team stack up and what are you doing to move it up a notch. The aspect of data security and recovery plays a very critical role as well. Every CIO needs to be paranoid about how well their data and systems are secured and actually proof test their recovery mechanisms if a disaster were to occur.

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