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Ask Dheeraj Chawla for Advice
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Advice Request
Dheeraj Chawla
Dheeraj Chawla

Dheeraj Chawla

CIO

Shib Dass and Sons

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Dheeraj Chawla is a member of:

- Expert
Briefly tell me about your company and the IT strategies you have in place.
We are a company touching a turnover of 350 crores this financial year .Set up in 1954 and are biggest distributors and stockists of industrial pipes.
What do you think about new technologies like cloud and virtualization?
Cloud & Virtualization is a buzz word now days but as per me if business is expanding and if there is a real need to implement theses technology then its the right time,we have just two options left either to be leaders in adoption or be on a back seat and be a follower, early implementation has its own merits and demerits,merits i.e. latest more reliable, more R&D on it and more market driven demerits i.e. doesn't come cheap plus sometimes we still feel we are still monkeys to be experimented on still under trial and error process technology. Just for heck of implementation is of no use unless there is a actual need for it.
How do you keep yourself updated with latest technologies?
I try to keep myself updated on most aspects of technology but still technology changes within a blink of eyes now a days. I firmly believe that one learns each day and this believe of mine makes me hunting and searching for something new and nice, and this implies not just to tech aspect but in general too. We being on forefront have to be updated no matter what medium we source our resources from.
How big is your team?
Our team is pretty small and is aliened to our business specific needs.
What is your biggest pain point?
Now days handling man is more difficult than machines, one can make machines work as per man but to get man work as per machines is difficult plus an ongoing process.
Will technology help to address those pain points?
Technology is like a knife in a doctors or a robber’s hand how best it is used depends on how you handle the man and machine.
Did IT innovation become more critical during the slowdown?
During slowdown I.T. innovation or implementation is at peak as we get the best of deals plus cheap and best mindset of people, so slowdown should be taken as positive indication for I.T. implementations.
What are the challenges in securing your information system or data base?
Biggest challenge is security of data and to retain employee is biggest bottleneck as the data flows with each and employee movement mostly a person is seen to be sentimentally and by nature more dignified towards the company he works in then his previous employer.
How have you adopted cloud policy?
We are still acting as followers of technology as far as cloud is concerned, still waiting and watching.
How cloud plays an important role in securing your information?
We believe cloud is good but where ever security of data is concerned its still a paradox.
What is the annual IT budget that you spent on IT systems?
We don’t plan the budget and we keep a little reserve as it is generally seen as planning is totally waste as technology changes and you can’t keep changing budgets now and then, we go for need based procurements.
Do you have any plan of increasing your IT budget in your company?
Our I.T. policy is totally aliened to our need of customers. When we feel a need of any technology we don’t waste any time and if there is no need we simply reject it no matter of how much new or latest the technology is.
Should an IT leader be a manager first, or a technologist first?
I.T. leader has to be master of technology along with different other traits, master of blending man to man, man to machine, machine to man and finally machine to machine.
What is the ROI on the technological investment that you make?
R.O.I as a whole is a debatable issue as for some ROI is a satisfied customer for some it’s the monetary return but for me it’s the company’s progress along with progress of its employees and the customers after implementation of a technology.
What are the new technologies that you are looking forward for?
We go slowly but we believe in implementing tried and tested technology as it’s more reliable, as already told we go as per need we are looking forward to CRM then ERP and will be cloud when the need arises.
How do you describe the relationship of CIO with the CEO’s?
CIO and CEO have to work with a same mind set and should blend well in thoughts in tune with business and companies objectives.
What is your advice/ suggestions to fellow CIOs in the industry?
Be focused, be attentive, grasp opportunity, be good to treat man as man and machine as machine don't ever try to mix the two.
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