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IT Strategies for Success CIO Perspective
SI Team
Friday, September 2, 2011
The economic slowdown has accelerated enterprise transformation and India is now shifting into focusing on newer strategies for Management and IT. The Role of a CIO is no more restricted to handling IT issues; they are slowly becoming the Key Business Drivers. The role of a CIO has changed from being an information officer to being an innovative officer.

What are our CIOs busy doing? What are the challenges they face today? How do they get maximum ROI for their organization? IT management can become saturated by supply-side thinking, what will the IT industry offer next and ‘how best to assimilate that?’ has become a major concern for CIOs today.

Chandrasekaran N, Director- Information Technology and strategic advisor (CIO), Ashok Leyland says, “The CEOs and the Boards no more look at IT as support system, but one that would help in establishing competitive edge in the market place. And the expectation is not “when” would the ROI yield be but “how” would it manifest. It is through an order of magnitude improvement in productivity & analysis in finger tips to be able to make the right business decisions”.

Vijay Sethi, VP – IS and CIO, Hero Honda, says, “The first priority of CIOs all over the world would be the alignment of IT to the business needs of the company. If investment in new technology is aligned with business needs, ROI increases, otherwise it can even be zero.”

Yogesh Kumar Sharma, Head ERP/Group CIO, Jindal Drilling, says, “The main prong of our IT strategy is in innovation of existing processes and acquiring the latest technologies. Innovation is a continuous process at Jinal. Process Optimization helps align IT to business. This helps save expenses on manpower, time and hardware. This usually happens after a scramble to meet a delivery or a crisis. Also, if returns are calculated on a longer time frame, ROI is substantial.”

Emerging Technologies and Trends: IT Game Changer?

Adoption of new technologies such as cloud based services; social media and virtualization have accelerated and is accelerating changes in the role, structure and purpose of IT. The CIOs and their take on new technologies like cloud and virtualization. Our CIO’s today have totally different perspective towards cloud and virtualization.

Chandran R, CIO, Daimler India Commercial Vehicles (Benz), says, “Cloud Computing is the next big thing! Be cautious, it has its usage. Use it where the number of transactions are not huge i.e. Email, CRM and more”.

Suresh Krishnaa, President and CEO, India Cements Capital, says “Cloud is good for SME’s to reduce cost for the time being, but the whole onus lies on how to spread the awareness. The issue with cloud is to build up the trust factor, as your data will be lying in somebody’s server. My organization makes use of Google apps alone. There is no heavy use of cloud, but we are in the process of implementing it. We have our own servers to secure our information through first layer of filters.”

Harinath Chakravarthy, CIO, TVS Logistics says, “Emerging technologies are game changers, but the effectiveness of these technologies needs to be supported by a strong business case.”

IT in the Health Care Industry

“IT system in health care, in India is at least 20 years behind. What I use to do back in 1993 in U.S. is pursued in India in 21st century; we are way behind on it. Heath care IT has not got what is deserves. Most hospitals are bringing IT systems without any understanding and we need to change that, since they turn around and blame the CIO or the IT managers for the failure. More involvement from CIO of health care industry will help in structuring the IT in Health care and where the problems lie.” says Inderjith Davalur, CIO of Global Hospitals. “Cloud is too early for hospitals, lot of people might call me foolish but still I will say do not put it out there until u can feel if it hacked still there is some level of security. As a CIO I would have failed in my job if someone can get into my patients details. We have our own data center inside our own premises. We also have firewalls and virus protection, even our email servers are secured because there are emails that are shared between the doctors and between the doctors and management and we cannot afford to lose any data. We have multiple layers of security and not have any public IP that is not secured,” adds he.

Harish, CIO of Medall, says, “We run completely on IT, nobody has scaled IT too much in Health care. The diagnostic do not use IT to that level, but we want BPO level IT in health care. Nevertheless Cloud and Virtualization are some of the fantastic emerging technologies that have started up and we are working in cloud extensively”.

Arvind Sivaramakrishnan, CIO, Apollo Hospitals, says, “Emerging technologies have a lot of potential to create a niche for any business in the market. However, organizations should be careful in evaluating what is right for them. What is good for a certain industry segment may not be good for another. At the same time every organization should evaluate what they want and what they could achieve in logical units of time.”

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