How would you define the role of a CIO/CTO today?
The CIO today is a business enabler and no more a technology
services provider for the organisation. The single most important
priority for him is to ensure business alignment of IT to maximize
value to key stakeholders. This means ensuring that IT projects
are instituted and auctioned based on business need, lead by champions
from the business organization, and reviewed periodically by executive
management. Typically, his role in assimilation of new technologies
that can help create new business offerings, optimise costs and
improve performance. He would get invited to business strategy discussions
involving use of IT for improving organization performance. Strengthening
the 'information value chain' to create new business opportunities
is a key priority. The CIO's goal in growing IT's contribution in
2006 must be to change the conversation between IT and the business
from one based on “what IT can do for me” to “how
we will solve the problem together.”
How do you cope with the changing scenario of
the telecom networking industry?
Risk management is essential for any new technology assimilation
within the organization. Its introduction should not increase risks
of disruptions or introduce additional points of failure. Potential
benefits should-apart from technology improvement have economic
benefits at an enterprise level. A pre-requisite for adoption is
the stability and maturity of the target technology and evaluation
of the TCO based savings potential or business value creation. In
terms of details, a proof of concept approach is a good way to experience
and decide on new technology.
How do you ensure that your company deploys
not just the latest, but something that adds value to the business?
The way to approach new technology is to prioritise business needs
and look at technologies that impact these areas. New technology
has to be chosen when it makes business sense alone and not because
it is a fad. Identity management and single sign has existed as
a business need for a long time, but enabling technology has only
In the context of telecom and networking needs
of enterprises, what are the major concern areas?
Applications today require networks that are reliable and available.
In specific business continuity requirements dictate that networks
must enable flexible rerouting of traffic to alternative DR locations,
while at the same time remaining cost effective. Telecom service
providers can look at providing innovative solutions and pricing
models. The second is to ensure that uptimes are maintained and
supported to meet business expectations. The third area is to continuously
look at cost reductions given that bandwidth pricing is continuously
reducing and to ensure that the service provider passes these benefits
to the organization.
Which will be the hot telecom-networking technologies
VoIP adoption in the enterprise is a big step forward with the emergence
of MPLS networks. This will enable voice and data to be carried
within and outside the enterprise boundaries in a flexible manner,
while ensuring quality. These are ideal replacements for the traditional
high cost point-to-point networks and unpredictable throughput Internet
Are you open to outsourcing security and storage
Currently, we are examining outsourcing entire network services–telecom,
LAN, and WAN services based on strong SLAs and service availability
in a scalable and flexible manner. MphasiS uses over 40 Mpbs of
domestic and international bandwidth, which has been outsourced
to two service providers. We are now examining outsourcing internal
infrastructure management, network, desktop, and server management
through a comprehensive managed services outsourcing contract.
What kind of groundwork should companies do
Having well developed internal processes for IT management and governance
as the key factors for attempting outsourcing. It is important to
measure and establish existing operational service baselines and
quantify these appropriately so that these can be compared with
those once the outsourcing is done. Setting expectations on services,
the scope and service levels are important. Other areas to focus
on are outsourcing risks, scalability and growth of outsourced services,
change management with controls to match business expansion needs.
Thinking through about future insourcing plans is also important.
What challenges does 2006 hold for you as a
Enterprise Applications Integration-linking up disparate applications
so that there is an end-to-end view of a business process and its
The challenge is to design and build a common central data store
and then ensure transfer of data, which is correct and complete
in a timely manner.
Workflow and collaboration enabling technologies are another key
area that's important for geographically dispersed work groups.
MphasiS extensively uses IP enabled conferencing and collaboration,
knowledge repositories etc.
All of these above initiatives are being progressed within MphasiS
as priorities for 2006.